news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Toshiba struts it stuff at E3

Toshiba struts it stuff at E3
By Michael Lafferty

Company shows why it is No. 1 when it comes to making laptops

When one thinks of laptops, the name Toshiba does not always immediately jump to mind. It should.

While the advertising budget is kept fairly low (10% of revenue generated is sent into research and development), the new Qosmio line is at once the most powerful gaming laptop and the best all-purpose laptop on the market. It is one of the reasons that Toshiba has been No. 1 in the market for the past five years.

And unlike some companies that take a wide variety of components, build them into a machine and then brand the product with their own logo, Toshiba has no reason to do that. It has some of the best hard drives in the market, has partnerships with video chip manufacturers like nVidia and has pioneer research into products that are essential to the power, speed and performance needs of not only laptops but PC-based machines in general.

If you look at the X305 machine, you will see a machine that can not only play the top-end games (like Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures), but can process out video 11 times faster than most other machines. How? The machine uses cell processors. And rather than use analog sound output for headphones, the Qosmio line will deliver digital 5.1 sound to headphones through SP Diff Out.

Some people will use USB ports on a laptop to charge items such as an iPod. If you turn off the laptop charging the iPod, the USB port goes dead. Not with the Toshiba laptop. With what is termed “sleep and charge,” the ports stay hot even when the machine is turned off.
“It’s not innovation,” said Toshiba’s Mark Lackey, product manager for Toshiba's Digital Product Division. “it’s listening to the consumer.”

The X305 machine, which has just been announced, is primarily geared to gaming. While many of Toshiba’s laptops have truly been multipurpose, when it was shown recently that the sales of laptops outdistanced desktop machines, Toshiba took the challenge and began “taking a different approach, something geared toward hardcore gaming.” While that did mean listening to consumers, some of what was heard had to be juxtaposed against the reality of making a quality machine. And “people want things but some are not engineerable,” said Lackey.

One of the machines displayed in the Toshiba meeting room at the E3 show in Los Angeles was the G55, which sported an 18-inch true wide screen (which means the screen does not emulate wide screen by putting gray bars at the top and bottom). The machine ran with some of the latest 9000 series of nVidia cards and dual hard drives of 250 gigs each. Innovation is always at the forefront and even if the application is not totally necessary – like the way the G55 could pick up hand signals to run different programs – it was amazing to see the machines in action.
While not all machines can be totally customized, Toshiba does allow consumers to do some spec configurations when buying a machine.

When one takes into account the power of these machines, it is easy to see why Toshiba is a logical choice when it comes to considering the purchase of a new system. These machines rival, and in some instance exceed, many of the desktops available. And when you consider that all that power is in a system that consumers can take with them, what Toshiba showed was more than simple gaming machines, it was the future of the laptop system.


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