Toshiba and Sony
We took a few minutes early Friday morning to sit down the folks at Toshiba and it was time well spent. Toshiba stepped us through their entire notebook and netbook product line-up and they have a bevy of new offerings either out the door or coming in the weeks ahead.
The new Qosmio is now blacked out thankfully but nicely styled with red trimmings only instead of the over-the-top redness we were subject to on the previous model. It's also now sporting a full 18.4" of love but kept its fighting weight of a little over 10lbs like the previous gen machine. This is no traditional notebook boys and girls. This is a full-on desktop replacement machine and with either a Core i5 or Core i7 under the hood and up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M for your gaming pleasure. That ought to get the job done, whether work or play. The starting price is now $1499 as well, which doesn't hurt, versus the $2700 price tag we chewed on with last year's model.
In the midrange were new models in the U and A series of machines from Toshiba. The 13.3-inch U500 series(left) weighs in at a moderate 4.5 lbs and comes with a slot load DVD player. Right is the A500 series machine that Toshiba demo Intel WiDi technology for us on. It's also comes with USB sleep-and-charge (as do many of Toshiba's new notebooks and netbooks), which is nice for when you'd like to power down the machine but keep your MP3 player or smartphone tethered and drawing a bit of juice.
Sony had a number of new notebooks on display, including ultra thing-and-light netbooks to high-powered Core i5 "Arrandale" based machines. The machine in the middle-top picture is based on the Intel Atom platform and features an extremely thin bezel and enclosure. It is flanked by a number of Core i5 based machines ranging from a 15.6" mainstream machine to a more powerful 17" model that's large enough to house a full number pad. The unit at the bottom, however, was quite interesting. Sony had an Intel WiDi demo setup in this display. One touch of the WiDi button at the upper-left of the keyboard and whatever was being displayed on the notebook's screen was broadcast immediately to an HD TV nearby.