The updated Toshiba Kira series: putting the ‘ultra’ in ultrabook?

toshiba-kira-front

Toshiba has announced it has both expanded and enhanced its premium Ultrabook Kira range. According to Toshiba, with a range of new features, the 13.3 inch Kira takes “performance to an improved level as the ultimate Ultrabook both for personal and business use.”

The Kira range will soon be available for the first time in Europe with a range of configurations. Will it be the “detailed clarity” of a PixelPure touch screen, or the new fully HD non-glare option, that whets the appetite of the Europeans?

So what to the critics think of the new and enhanced Toshiba Kira range?

The Gadget Show is wholly impressed, running its review with a striking opening sentence that states the new Toshiba Kira “Packs more of a punch than ever.”

With a fifth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, according to the Gadget Show, not only is the new Ultrabook more powerful than previous models, but it allows for slicker day-to-day use as well as processor-heavy tasks such as gaming.

The Gadget Show review is particularly awestruck with the 1080p model, in which users can enjoy a “whopping” 13 hours of standard use.

Wooing Apple laptop users?

The Inquirer is equally as rapt by the “beefed up” Toshiba Kira range, believing that the Windows 8.1 Ultrabook will have the ability to “woo Apple laptop users.”

The Inquirer is keen to highlight the fact the full HD model weighs just 1.1 kg and the higher spec model weighs a little more at 1.32kg.

The upgrade comes with 256GB SSD storage and 8GB RAM, as well as the same Haman Kardon stereo speakers with DTS Studio Sound as its predecessor.

Trusted Reviews were also quick to jump of the Kira Ultrabook’s new processor and longer battery life, which, according to the site, jumps from around 10 to 13 hours.

As far as connectivity goes, the upgraded Kira has three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI, SD card reader and dual-band Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, Trusted Review is quick to point out.

According to the Gadget Show the 2,560 x 1, 440-pixel model will be out before the end of March, but we’ll have to wait for the 1080p model which is likely to be available before the end of June.

toshiba-kira-side

There definitely seems to be a general accord of excitement surrounding the new Toshiba Kira range, and that’s even despite the fact we’re all looking forward to the arrival of Windows 10 but with the Kira update we’ll still have to make to with Windows 8.1.

The prices have yet to be disclosed.

IFA: Toshiba launch Satellite U920t, aka ‘the slide-top’

Judging by the product announcements so far at IFA, it seems to be the year of the laptop-cum-tablet. We’ve got the XPS Duo 12 with a swivelling screen, the XPS 10 and HP ENVY x2 with detachable screens and now the Toshiba Satellite U920t with a slide ‘n fold screen.

The U920t comes with a 12.5” TruBrite IPS HD display with 5-finger support, up to 256GB SSD hard disk and up to 8GB DDR RAM. In terms of connectivity you’re looking at HDMI, SD slot, 2 x USB 3.0 ports as well as Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) capability. The device measures 326.5mm x 213mm by 19.9mm thick and weight starts from 1.45kg.

The Satellite U920T also features two integrated cameras: a 1MP front-facing camera with an Ambient Light Sensor, and a 3MP rear-facing camera with Auto Focus. In addition to the scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass, the U920t also includes Intel Sensor Solution, allowing users to take advantage of games and applications by making use of a 3D acceleration sensor, magnetometer, gyroscope and ambient light sensor.

The Satellite U920T will be available in Q4 2012.

Update: Here is a hands-on video of the U920T filmed at IFA:

Toshiba packs a punch with its latest range of PCs

Toshiba has announced the launch of its latest range of PCs, including Ultrabooks, business laptops and an all-in-one desktop PC. Ever forward-thinking, the company’s newest range includes some record breakers in the form of the world’s first 21:9 laptop and the world’s lightest 13.3-inch laptop. Let’s look at each machine individually:

Toshiba-U840W

First up is the Satellite U840W. This is the world’s first laptop featuring a 21:9 display, which eliminates black bars from movie playback. If that wasn’t enough, Toshiba has installed high quality harman/kardon stereo speakers to complete the cinematic experience. Thanks to its Ultrabook-level performance, the laptop packs in all these features, while retaining the slim-line portability and all-day battery life found in previous Ultrabook models.

While computers are traditionally marketed to gamers, designers or businessmen, the Toshiba Satellite U840W is designed for cinema enthusiasts, and its wireless streaming capabilities and stellar battery life make it the perfect companion for long journeys.

Also announced was the Satellite U840 Ultrabook, which comes with a winning combination of performance, design and portability to produce an affordable, light-weight laptop. With a brushed metal design and elegant, embossed pattern the laptop delivers on style, while its third-generation Intel Core processor and 14-inch HD LED screen together provide stunning graphics and performance.

The Portégé Z930 is another first for Toshiba, and currently stands as the world’s lightest Ultrabook. Designed with business in mind, the netbook has ultimate portability, a slim design but is still powered by the latest generation Ultrabook processors. In addition to these features, each Portégé Z930 machine comes with advanced Intel security and remote management features, taking the weight off your shoulders in more ways than one.

Toshiba-Z930

Joining the Portégé Z930 in Toshiba’s business laptop inventory is the R9 range. Designed using input from business users, the R9 Series produces premium machines with industry-leading features that include strong reliability, faster performance and advanced security. Laptop sizes in the R9 Series range from 13.3 inches to 15.6 inches, and each of the three models in the range has a range of customizable specifications.

Toshiba-LX830

The last of Toshiba’s latest offerings, but by no means the least, is the LX830 all-in-one PC. Like the Satellite U840W, this machine is designed with entertainment in mind, and comes with a Freeview-enabled TV and Blu-Ray player, a 23-inch HD screen that is available as a touchscreen or non-touchscreen. Despite these features, the desktop computer retains a slim, space-saving design.

Toshiba AT300 Tablet: Gaming, entertainment and style to go

Toshiba has released a new tablet that offers a slimmer, lighter experience, without compromising on power, connectivity or style. Complete with Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, the app store Play, and a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, the device combines high performance, modern design, and some of the best tech features available on the market.

AT300

Specs

Weighing in at under 600 grams, and with a thickness of less than 9mm, the AT300 is perfect for gaming, browsing and reading on the move. The device has a 10.1 inch LED backlit display that supports 10-finger multi-touch and is available with 16GB or 32GB storage. As users can choose from over 500,000 apps, as well as movie rentals and e-books, through Play, you might need the extra space.

Thanks to its NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, the AT300 can handle heavy applications and gaming, providing excellent graphic performance during gaming sessions, and smooth HD video playback. The processor’s fifth core is specifically designed to help extend the device’s battery life to up to 10 hours, which gives you nearly a full day of power without needing to recharge.

Cameras and video

The AT300 has two integrated cameras, with a 5MP lens on the rear, and 2MP on the front. Both cameras produce flash photography, movie recording and video chat. A Micro-HDMI output enables you to play videos, web content and games through the device and onto a TV screen, external monitor or projector.

Connectivity

Despite its thin frame, the AT300 has an excellent range of connectivity options. These include a full-size SD card slot that can handle file sizes up to 64GB and provides a way to quickly transfer files from computers or digital cameras to the tablet. You can also connect external devices through the tablet’s micro-USB port.

The AT300’s 3G capabilities mean you have the option to access the internet from anywhere with a 3G signal, meaning you can browse the web, read email, download apps and stream videos on the go.

Software and Apps

The AT300 includes many popular Google Mobile Service applications, including Google Play, YouTube, and Google Maps. With the AT300, you also get a variety of Toshiba software and third-party applications, including Toshiba Places, which allows you to download music, movies and e-books.

What Makes the Perfect Tablet?

As Toshiba unveils its new Excite 13 tablet, its latest offering has stirred discussion among critics about what it is exactly that makes a tablet a tablet.

At 13 inches, the Excite 13’s screen is bigger than the Apple iPad’s 10 inches, and rivals Apple’s smaller laptops. Critics agree that, while 10 inches is big enough for a table, 13 inches takes the portability out of the device and potentially makes it less suitable for everyday use.

Excite-13

Toshiba’s tablet also comes with a heft price-tag to match its screen size, with prices in the US starting at $650 (over £400) for the lower spec model – $150 more expensive than the lowest-priced iPad.

When it comes to the perfect tablet, consumers will vote with their wallets, however Toshiba’s controversial launch has got us thinking: what makes the perfect tablet?

Size

Critics agree that 10 inches is the optimal size for a tablet screen. Small enough to carry around, but more readable than a smart-phone, anything bigger approaches laptop proportions, and any smaller risks compromising some of the tablet’s functionality.

Operating System

The PC vs. Mac debate continues with tablets. Also added into the mobile OS mix are the Android OS, BlackBerry OS and the HP webOS. With many operating systems to select from, there is no “right” choice, and the OS you select will depend on what your personal preference.

The Apple operating system is intuitive and easy to use, while the Android system is more customizable, with more freedom for developers to get creative. Other users might prefer the Windows OS as it will be familiar to anyone who has used a PC. Alternatively, if you’re a BlackBerry owner, you could feel more comfortable choosing a tablet that uses the BlackBerry OS.

Consumers looking for an operating system that provides a choice of tablet models will have more luck with iOS and Android OS.

Processing Power

Put simply, the tablet’s processing power affects how fast it runs. If you will be using the tablet for gaming, multi-tasking, or using graphics-heavy apps, you want to select a tablet with high processing power.

Higher processing power can drain the battery faster, however it improves the overall performance of your tablet. When selecting a tablet, look for a dual-core processor for optimal performance.

Memory

The amount of memory you need on a tablet is determined by the volume of apps, music, documents, pictures and videos you want to store on the device. Some tablet models are available with different amounts of memory; for example, you can get the iPad 3 with 16, 32, or 64 GB of memory.

The more memory you want, the higher the tablet’s price tag. Most apps don’t take up a lot of memory, however movies can take up between one and two GB, and you can’t increase the amount of memory on your tablet once you buy. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about what kind of things you might want to do with your tablet before purchasing. 16GB might be enough if you’re mainly browsing and downloading apps, but if you plan to store movies, music and pictures on your tablet, you should purchase a device with more storage.

The Toshiba AT200. A honeycomb tablet so thin it’s almost see-through.

The iPad 2 is facing some serious competition these days. As the consumer market warms up to the potential of tablet media, there is certainly no shortage of options for us to choose from. And we can certainly thank Android and Apple for that. That said, there is little operationally, to distinguish one android from the other right now, which is where Toshiba’s AT200 can take the moral high ground because it is the lightest and thinnest 10.1 inch tablet on the market.

Toshiba-AT200

With a depth of just 7.7mm and weighing in at meagre 558grams the AT200 is a highly portable product and one that will be very popular with anyone on the go particularly if Toshiba prices it competitively.

The tablet runs Android Honeycomb version 3.2 which is great as far as an operating system is concerned, the drawback is that unlike Apple’s strict App Store quality control, Android’s open source format attracts many more bad apps as there are good ones and with over 250,000 to choose from you’ll be doing a lot of sifting. The spec however is impressive. There’s a front and back HD camera and a micro HDMI port to hook it up to the telly, a 10.1inch capacitive LED screen, GPS, wifi, Bluetooth,  1 gig of DDR2 RAM and a 1.2 ghz TI OMAP 4430 CPU. The current model has 16 and 32 gig versions, but a 64 gig model and 3G is promised early next year.

So, thin is good. It’s good because the battery life is certainly not starved, you get a full eight hours and it’ll pop inside your case with a minimum of fuss. Whether or not it stacks up against the Galaxy will have to be seen. At the end of the day it will be the price that will determine that one.

Toshiba’s ZL2 TV gives you 3D viewing without the specs

Even though 3D is still not a convincing enough medium to have cracked the home market, television manufacturers seem convinced that ultimately it will be and so doggedly pursue ways and means to tempt up into going for it. The problem has always been the glasses you have to wear to enjoy the 3D experience.

Toshiba-Glasses-Free-Pillow-Fight

So imagine a 55 inch LCD television that gives you a cracking 3D image without having to look like someone auditioning for Joe 90. Yes, those dodgy specs can finally be binned.. Not only that, this telly has face recognition technology in it too, so no matter where you are in the room you’ll get the best possible image. And what’s more it can handle up to nine people at the same time. That’s pretty serious technology that is. In a way you’ve lost the specs but gained more spec if you get my drift.

This amazing glasses-free 3D technology is based on the principle of simultaneously delivering one normal picture for the left eye, and another one with a slightly offset parallax view for the right eye. Then, a range of lenticular lenslets deliver the 3D image to each viewer.

Not content to just deliver deliberate 3D images to us, the ZL2’s CEVO engine which incorporates a Quad Full HD display  offering  up to 3840 x 2160, converts ordinary 2D into sparking 3D right before your very eyes, so your standard DVD’s Blu Ray and live broadcasts can all benefit from a bit 3D magic.

Sonically, the ZL2 has a built in sub woofer and as part of the overall package you get 4 HDMI ports and wifi which by connecting through your home router you can turn you iPhone into a remote control .through a downloadable app.

The only drawback to all this luscious technology is the price which is reputed to be eye watering.

Toshiba launches an impressive new product fest in time for Christmas

It seems the technology wizards at Toshiba have been burning the midnight oil this year to ensure an impressive range of new products comes out in time for Christmas 2011. There’s the UK’s first glasses free 3D television for a start, a suite of new Blu-ray players, three new Camileo camcorders, an ultra thin tablet and an all in one PC.

Toshiba-Camileo

The 55 inch ZL2 is a glasses free 3D television that features face tracking technology to provide the best picture wherever you’re sitting, a quad HD image system with 3840X2160 display, no less than four HDMI connections and built in wifi.

The BDX2250 and the BDX1250 are Hi definition 1920X1080 blu ray players at entry level price points. The 2250 also features an integrated ethernet port for online access to You Tube, BBC iPlayer and Picasa.

The HD Camileo camcorder range provides three models designed specifically for very different scenarios. The entry level Camileo X200 offers 1080p full HD resolution with smile and motion detection technology and three zooms from 12 to 60X at various resolutions.  The X400 will let you have plenty of face time with its 23x up to 120 X optical zoom and a 5 MP CMOS sensor will give you some sharp still images too. For outdoor types the ultra compact weather proof Camileo Clip will get you those seat of action views through a purpose built clip design that will fit most helmets and handlebars.

The ultra thin 7.7mm AT200 Android based tablet features a 10.1” HD screen and up to eight hours of battery time.

Finally, the Qosmio DX730 is Toshiba’s very first all in one PC with a 23” HD touchscreen display, Intel Core processor, 6 gig of memory, integrated blu-ray and Onyko built in audio