Toshiba has added to its laptop range with three new Satellite models plus the UK launch of its Portégé M780 convertible tablet, aimed at the business market.
The Portégé M780 is not in the style of an iPad tablet, but more like a traditional tablet computer complete with stylus. It will ship in the UK in late April.
It is a 12in convertible tablet PC, a device of the type Toshiba has a long history of making. It looks rugged, with shock protection and a spill-proof keyboard. In the future, a 3G version will be released into the market.
Costing around £1,100, the M780 has a touch-screen display with twist-screen technology allowing it to be used as a traditional laptop or twisted round so that users can sketch on the screen with fingers or the included stylus. Working with an Intel Core i3 processor, it can use Windows 7 touch-screen capabilities.
"The whole tablet PC thing started many, many years ago, and we still do quite a bit of business out of that. It's the latest in the long line of tablet PCs aimed at the business market," said Tony Alderson, consumer product manager at Toshiba.
Of course, this is not quite the style of 'tablet' causing so much of a stir at the moment, with people in the future potentially looking for a more touch-screen experience.
"The strong following for the iPad, and we've already seen this at the beginning of the year, will spur competitors in designing devices that are similar. Maybe not quite the same, but similar," said Ken Chan, senior product manager at Toshiba.
"Ideas will blossom into different devices or operating systems. All the other big software developers are looking at the iPad and asking how they can compete with it and, more importantly, whether it is actually the right product.
"There's a lot of that thinking before products will come to light. It's like the netbook. They weren't around a couple of years ago. Asus came in with a 9in device and defined the form of a netbook. Now everyone's got one."
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