Toshiba AT100: Android tablets hit maturity

This Autumn sees a wealth of mature Android tablets hitting stores – pumped up with better specs and the new 3.1 and 3.2 Honeycomb operating systems. One of these mature devices is the Toshiba AT100 (formally known as the Thrive). How does it shape up? Read on.

Toshiba-AT100

The Toshiba AT100 launched on September 1st, bringing with it Android 3.1 – Google’s first tablet-optimised OS. Most new tablets will be sporting this bad boy, so we’ll move on to other features.

The 250 Tegra processor is the standard heart for most tablets, so we’ll not dwell on it too much. It basically means that all current Android apps should run a-ok, although we’d be wary of playing Full HD videos on it.

There’s a generous amount of DDR2 RAM (1GB) so multitasking should be a breeze, although the built-in 16GB of storage is pretty minimal. Luckily, it takes full-sized SD cards up to 128GB, so you could have a pretty big storage system on your hands.

It’s not just a storage beast, though – it’s pretty beefy all over. It weighs 725g and 15.7mm thick – thicker even than a MacBook Air, and much larger than other tablets.

You’ll also find a full-sized USB and HDMI port, which add to the overall size of the device but also give it increased functionality over its rivals.

The added bulk doesn’t add much battery life, though – you’ll find an Android-standard seven hours.

A lot of that battery must go towards powering the 1280×800, 10.1″ screen, with brightness and colour boasted courtesy of Toshiba’s Resolution+ technology. It’s nice that the resolution is the same as a MacBook, but the picture quality won’t match up with the iPad’s screen.

All-in, it’s one of the biggest tablets on the market – and therefore probably suited to hardcore users. It’ll plug-in to pretty much everything that you’ve already got in your office, and you’ll certainly notice if you’ve accidentally left it behind.

It’s affordable, too, at around £380-£400.

Toshiba unveils world’s lightest laptop; Z830 series Ultrabook

In a bid to stem the current surge in tablet popularity, Toshiba has launched a new series of ultra compact lightweight computers that have the portability of a tablet but the processing power of a laptop.

Toshiba-Ultrabook

Using Intel’s second generation Intel® core processor for Ultrabook and boasting up to six gig of DDR3 RAM, the Portégé Z830 and the Satellite Z830, weigh in at a mere 1.12kg and at only 15.9mm thick, are about twenty percent lighter and forty percent thinner than their previous versions. The 1,366 x 768 high definition display uses non reflective LED backlighting whilst the audio packs a punch via a Dolby advanced audio system.

Toshiba also claims a longer battery life through improved power saving and faster disk performance from the 128gig solid state drive. Perhaps more importantly for the portable traveller, the entire casing has been remodelled around a magnesium alloy casing reinforced with an enhanced “honeycomb rib” design to provide some decent resistance to drops and shocks whilst the fluid resistant keyboard will protect it from some on the go hot coffee spillage. It can absorb something in the region of 30 mls of liquid allowing you up to three minutes to desperately shut down the computer as fast as possible. (phew).

Not to be outdone on connectivity, the Z830 series has a versatile set of interfaces including Bluetooth, WLAN, Mobile Broadband, VGA, HDMI and several USB ports including a 3.0.

The Portégé Z830 and Satellite Z830 will be available in Europe during this autumn.

3D comes to the slightly bigger screen with the Qosmio F750 3D

I love the technology arena; no sooner does one company announce it has achieved a “first’, than another developer pops up and pips them at the post.

This is what happened to poor old Asus, which announced the world’s “first glasses-free 3D laptop” at the beginning of June. Well, where it went wrong was announcing it, but not having a date for its release. Step up Toshiba, which has now announced what WILL be the first glasses-free 3D laptop, ready to hit the shelves at a price of £1300 in August.

Toshiba-Qos-3D

The Qosmio F750 3D laptop comes in the wake of the Nintendo 3DS, which had mixed reviews, after many reviewers and customers found they suffered from headaches after trying out the handheld games console. And the press info for this new laptop does carry warnings about possible side-effects and, like the 3DS, suggests that children under six should not view 3D images in case it impacts on the development of their sight.

For the 3DS to work, you basically need to keep your head and eyes still, but this clever laptop works by using its webcam to track your eye movements, and thus present you with the right 3D image. In case you’re wondering just how it works, the laptop’s lenticular screen sends two images of slightly differing perspectives individually to the left and right eye, which creates the 3D effect.

However, bear in mind that, because it does this, you can only use the 3D function for single-person viewing – don’t expect to gather a few friends around the screen to delight in the 3D-loveliness you have on offer, ‘cos it won’t work. Mind you, having said that, the screen is 15.6 inches, so you’re probably not going to be gathering that many folk around it anyway!

If you do want to watch on a big screen, there is an HDMI slot, so you can connect to a large TV and watch a movie from the laptop’s Blu-ray drive. You can also use it to store all your data on capacious Blu-ray discs.

Apart from the 3D offering, the laptop crams in a good number of powerful features including an Intel Core i7 processor, 6GB RAM , Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics, 640GB hard-disk drive, Dolby Advanced Audio and Harman Kardon stereo speakers.

Intriguingly, the Qosmio F750 3D is also capable of displaying both 2D content (such as documents) on the screen, while also allowing you to view 3D images.

Along with all this fascinating technology, Toshiba has managed to make the laptop look pretty darn good, as it comes in a glossy red coat, with a wavelet pattern across the lid, while inside the device is glossy black, with a carbon pattern on the palm rest. An EasyControl bar sits above the keyboard, with seven dedicated buttons for multimedia and 3D features.

For more head here

Toshiba’s Qosmio X770 gives you a steamy laptop

There’s nothing wrong with unashamed self indulgence, after all you’re worth it. You work hard so why not play hard too and now you have every reason to play as hard as you possibly can.

QosTosh

Toshiba has ignited the humble laptop and turned it into a 3D gaming and cinematic behemoth with its Qosmio X770. This is a laptop with real attitude. A stereoscopic 17:3” 3D screen and Harman Kardon stereo speakers and integrated subwoofer will give you the sound and eye candy whilst the second generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, 8GB memory and NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 560M graphics card with 1.5GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory will ensure it all gets delivered on time.

So far so good then, you’ve got a laptop that sounds great and has plenty of muscle under the bonnet. But the good stuff just keeps on coming. It will play Blu Ray 3D DVD and rewrite obviously, but it’ll also convert standard 2D content to 3D too just for the hell of it, and there’s an integrated 3D HD camera to make up the set. You’ll just need a pair of active shutter glasses to sit back and experience it all. The port bundle takes care of just about every scenario with three USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI, Bluetooth 3.0 and an eight in one memory card reader.

Just to complete the package, the case is super cool with red highlights all over and even the keyboard’s back lit fiery red.

Toshiba has all but thrown the kitchen sink at this to make it well and truly ready for next generation gaming. Of course, like all good things it comes at a hefty price tag, probably around £1,200 and will be available in the high street from July 2011.

Watch 2D films in 3D on a new Toshiba TVs

The chaps at Toshiba have been busy little bunnies and have released a whole raft of goodies on the unsuspecting buying public.

Toshiba-TV

First up are the company’s first CEVO engine powered TVs.

These are the first in the UK to feature the CEVO engine, which offers a powerful, multi-core processing platform to enhance picture quality. The TVs can display Full HD 3D images and also have processors dedicated to 2D-3D image conversion. 2D content can be upscaled to high-quality 3D, allowing you to watch your 2D films in 3D.

The CEVO Engine also runs 3D Resolution+ and NetResolution+ technologies, which can upscale and enhance lower resolution 3D and online content to near Full HD quality.

The REGZA WL and REGZA YL series have launched with Toshiba Places – a platform for accessing and sharing web-based content and services directly from REGZA TVs. This offers access to social networks, video portals, news services and on-demand TV services, and you can create a customised, personal entertainment experience and share content with friends.

Toshiba Places enables users to create bespoke personal profiles that can be accessed across Toshiba devices. Users can begin a film or video on a laptop, pause it, and then continue watching on a REGZA TV from the same point they left off. Virtual bookmarking keeps track of your content, and a fully integrated networking platform lets you share content with other users.

There’s also built-in access to YouTube and BBC iPlayer and built-in Freeview HD and they look good too, having won a product design award.

The REGZA WL and REGZA YL 3D Pro-LED TV series will be available in 42in, 46in and 55inch panel sizes.
2D- to 3D conversion is also available from Toshiba’s new Satellite P-series and L-series multimedia laptops. The P-series features 3D-ready screens, 3D Blu-Ray playback and screen sizes from 15.6in and 17.3in screen sizes. The P-series also features a 3D webcam above the screen, while the top-of-the-range P755 includes nVidia 3D vision active shutter glasses so that you can watch 3D games and films on the laptop.

Under the bonnet you’ll find second-generation Intel processors – Core i5 or i7 Sandy Bridge and nVidia graphics and on board are Harman Kardon speakers.

The L-series comes in 13.3in, 15.6in and 17.3in and you can connect to a 3D TV for playback. They also feature the Toshiba TruBrite HD+ screen and integrated Onkyo speakers. Buyers can customise the laptops with a choice of Intel or AMD processors, as well as Blu-Ray or DVD prices and a choice of colours including Modena Red and Grace Silver.

Toshiba has also recently launched two new Blu-Ray players offering next generation 3D Blu-Ray playback and Dolby TrueHD, and two new high-def camcorders the Camileo P100 and Camileo B10. The P100 has a 3in LCD touchscreen for control and an Upload button to share your videos instantly with social networks.

No prices have been announced as yet, but you can find out more at www.toshiba.co.uk

Toshiba’s Satellite C670 and C670D: Blending desktops with laptops

I don’t know about you, but I am becoming slightly disgruntled and restless with squinting and struggling with the minute screens provided on netbooks and many modern laptops, and would like to see a revival of the large-screen. Toshiba must have read my mind, with the launch of the Satellite C670 and the Satellite C670D – a duet of large-screen entry level laptops, designed to combine the versatility of the laptop with the performance of the desktop.

Toshiba-Satellite-

Both models boast 1600 x 900 resolution displays ensuring images and movies are viewed in exceptionally high quality, and, as importantly, their large and adequate screens enables users to view multiple content simultaneously.

A choice of Intel Corei3 or Pentium processors is available to power the Satellite C670, whilst the C670D features the latest AMD E-series processors, ensuring that both models have ample power for the multiple tasks modern computer users crave on a daily basis. Whilst the 4GB of DDR3 RAM means users efficiently utilize the unique capabilities a merger of laptop adaptability and the reliability of a desktop creates. For those requiring ample room to store hoards of documents, photographs and videos, an integrated hard drive, on both models, provides up to 320GB of storage space.

For me, the return of a comfortable full size 10 digit numerical keyboard is also a plus point and Toshiba’s new duo provide a refreshingly alternative to fumbling about with awkwardly minute keyboards, or worse still, a virtual on-screen keyboard (OSK). Although in-keeping with the contemporary desire to intuitively scroll, swipe and zoom through multimedia content and programmes, both Toshiba’s new Satellite models possess a large touchpad with multi-touch, enabling users to swiftly locate and muse through content at the swipe of a finger.

Both models feature the latest Wi-Fi connectivity for a fast and wireless internet connection, as well as two USB 2.0 ports for connecting to a wide range of peripheral devices.

If more than ample storage, exceptionally vivid detail and a commitment to uniquely blending the ‘practicalities’ of a desktop, namely a large screen and full-size keyboard, with the flexibility of a laptop, for – Toshiba assure us – ‘great value’, sounds like a competent, convenient and practical choice of laptop, you’ll be pleased to know that the Satellite C670 and the Satellite C670D will be available to purchase from April 2011.

Toshiba Mini NB500 and NB520

The iPad killed the netbook. The useless, low-resolution, under-batteried and dramatically under-powered old-school netbook. No-one told Toshiba, however, that the iPad had won, or that netbooks had to be useless. That’s why they’ve produced two systems that do things that the humble iPad can only dream of.

Toshiba-NB520

Internally, the Mini NB500 and NB520 are packing some impressive specs in their 25.7cm frames. There’s the 10.1″ screen, pumping out a resolution of 1,024 x 600, lit via LEDs for an even brightness. Then there’s Winsows 7 starter, 1GB DDR3 RAM, a 250GB harddrive and an all-day battery life.

That’s all great, but the really impressive features are exclusive to the NB520. Not only does it come with a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor (a step-up on the NB500’s Intel Atom N455), but it also has speakers designed by Harman/Kardon. It’s as much boombox as it is netbook, with speakers that’ll probably put any Apple laptop to shame, let alone the iPad.

Toshiba think you’ll be so addicted to the sounds the system is shaping that they’ve given the MB520 a battery that lasts a staggering ten hours between charges – two-hours longer than its little brother.

Some people might consider those premium speakers wasted on just a netbook – or at least, Toshiba certainly did. That’s why the company included its Sleep-and-Music technology, copied from its full-performance multimedia laptops. The feature lets the user connect an MP3 player to the machine and play music through the Harman/Kardon speakers, even when the laptop is turned off. Awesome.

Other than playing music, the netbook can also Sleep-and-Charge, letting users re-charge USB devices when the netbook is in sleep mode. Essentially, the netbook doubles up as an extra-large battery charger.

More run-of-the-mill features in both the NB520 and the NB500 include a multi-touch pad, for zooming, swiping or scrolling, a VGA webcam with mic, a card reader and a weight of less than 1.32KG.

Unfortunately though, you won’t be getting one for Christmas – they’re due out late January. Valentine’s Day, maybe?

The best of IFA – part 1

IFA 2010 is done and dusted, so thought we would give you a 2-part low down on what has caught our eye, including the world’s first 3D camcorder from Panasonic, the Galaxy tablet from Samsung, Toshiba’s Folio, ViewSonic’s tablet and LG’s 2.9 mm thick OLED.

Best-of-IFA

Panasonic were in bullish mood about their focus for the next twelve months, and it all revolves around their 3D Eco-system. We attended their press conference at the Messe in Berlin, where they held a full 3D press conference. All attendees were given 3D glasses to watch the presentation. And they filled the conference room with 94 Viera Full HD 3D Plasma TV’s.

The first big unveiling was the world’s first consumer-type 3D camcorder, which will go on sale in the autumn. The HDC-SDT750 is the world’s first and they showed footage caught from the camera on the 3D TV’s in front of us – it showed the potential of bringing family moments to life; like birthday’s or going to beach in full 1080p 3D glory. We have to say it did look stunning. Especially, with their new 3D eyewear that was on show for the first time.

They also announced two new full 3D HD TV’s that were very impressive, especially with their new 600hz technology, it’s not as thin as a LED but they did produce stunning pictures. Later on, they brought on stage partners from Eurosport and Ubisoft, who announced that the French and US open were going to be available in 3D. Ubisoft announced a slew of titles that will be in 3D. Panasonic also announced that their new Viera 3D TV’s can connect to Ge-force PC’s making 425 games 3D compatible via HMDI 1.4a. They also showed off their 152” HD TV, which they have already taken orders for. However, they were unwilling to say how much it was.

Elsewhere the IFA went tablet crazy, with announcements from Samsung, Toshiba and Viewsonic. Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet stole the show and already being talked about as an operator-friendly alternative to Apple’s iPad. The 7-inch form-factor is more portable than the iPad and runs the Google alternative operating system Android. It will come in two flavours 16GB and 32GB and Samsung announced 200 apps on launch. No pricing details were given although it is thought to be a high as £500.

Toshiba announced their foray into the Tablet world with their compelling software full Folio, which again runs on Android. The tablet has a 10.1-inch, diagonal screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Folio runs on version 2.2 of Google’s Android operating system.

The fact that Toshiba used Android 2.2 is important because the Folio will be able to run Adobe Flash, a ubiquitous Web technology for playing video. That’s a key advantage over the iPad, which along with the iPhone can’t play Flash video. The Folio is equipped with an SD card slot, and HDMI and USB 2.0 connectors. The device supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless, with a 3G model scheduled for the near future, according to Toshiba.

Viewsonic also announced a tablet which features Windows 7 as well Android, but there is a compromise you can only run Android 1.6, which is already considered outdated. This is because it’s the most recent version that supports the x86 processor on the tablet, which is required for Windows 7. Not the worst compromise, but still a compromise. The rest of the specs are typical netbook-level stuff: Intel Atom N455 processor, 1GB memory, 16GB SSD, 1024×600 10? LCD.

LG were proud to show off the world’s biggest and thinnest OLED TV, which have had us drooling for years, but they’ve always been tiny and expensive. Now LG has solved one of those problems, well sort of, showing off a 31-inch OLED TV, which will hit stores in March 2011. Finally, OLED is big enough for the living room. The only downside is it’ll cost a whopping £6,000 to get it there.

For the money though, you’ll get a Full HD TV set to floor all others, with an “infinite” contrast ratio and colours as rich as those buying it, the world’s largest commercially available OLED TV measures 31 inches across, as is also the slimmest in the world at 2.9mm thick.