Toshiba Ups Ante With 16-inch HD Ready Satellite A350 Laptop

Japanese Consumer Electronics manufacturer Toshiba has added a 16-inch laptop which it describes as a new "premium quality" multimedia device capable of displaying 1366x768 pixels on 16:9 widescreen.

The Toshiba Satellite A350 is the first 16-inch laptop from the company and is marginally larger than the usual 15.4-inch. It will come either with an Intel Core 2 Duo or an AMD Turion CPU (a ZM80 model running at 2.1GHz), 4GB DDR2 memory and up to 320GB hard disk drive.

The laptop will include integrated Harmon Kardon speakers as well as Dolby Sound Room technology that will emulate "true surround sound feel" (ed : whatever that means). On top of that you will get Windows Vista Home Premium OS, the choice of either an Intel GMA4500MHD or an ATI Radeon HD3650 graphics module, an HDMI port and 802.11n connectivity.

Other notable features include a DVD writer (no Blu-ray at this stage), 3 USB ports, a 1.3 megapixel webcam plus the option of either a Cosmic Black enclosure or a Silver-stripped "Fusion" one. The screen will be capable of displaying HD content, albeit the 720p type.

The A350 will be priced from £529 with a model available for £599 and a top range version for sale at £749. The Intel version is surprisingly the cheaper one.

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Our Comments

It is a pity that the A350 doesn't have a Blu-ray reader. There are cheaper options available like the ACER Aspire 7720 which comes with a dedicated graphics card, a 17-inch screen and a Blu-ray drive for less than an A350. Still, Acer has yet to match Toshiba' credentials and long history of excellence, having manufactured laptops for 20 years.

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