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Toshiba teases Windows 8 concept models

Toshiba announced several new systems this week, but the latest announcement is likely the most intriguing, as Toshiba showed off some early designs alongside its roadmap for Windows 8 devices.

The concept models, developed in partnership with Intel and Texas Instruments, heavily feature designs that do double duty as keyboard-equipped productivity devices and touch-screen centred media consumption devices.

In a recent meeting with Toshiba, we got a sneak peek at these new concept systems. Details were few and far between, but Toshiba tells us that all of these devices are made with Windows 8 in mind, and while these exact devices may not be identical to the models that will ship, the designs should give us a good idea of what's coming when Windows 8 launches this autumn.

The three concept models include an ultrabook convertible laptop with touch screen, developed with Intel. The convertible ultrabook features a sliding touch screen that slides between an upright position similar to traditional laptops and a closed position with the screen facing outward - instant tablet! There is no twisting or folding hinge involved, using a sliding mechanism, but the specifics of the slider haven't been finalised.

Another touch-centric laptop, designed in conjunction with Texas Instruments, puts a touch screen into a traditional clamshell design. Initial notes from Toshiba suggest that this model may be powered with a Tegra processor, running Windows RT, but no firm details have been announced.

The third and final concept design, also designed with Texas Instruments, takes the laptop/tablet dichotomy in a different direction, with a tablet that connects dock-style to a keyboard to become a compact laptop. Is it a tablet with an accessory dock? A laptop with a tablet screen? We're not sure yet, but either option sounds exciting. Like the touch-screen clamshell, Toshiba has suggested that the tablet will run Windows RT, but specifics regarding components and hardware aren't yet available.

Though the Toshiba team was tight lipped about specifications, we were able to snap photos of the design mock-ups, but were limited to shooting them from angles that didn't give away too much information. Are these going to be the new Toshiba models for the 2012 holiday season? Only time will tell, but we're looking forward to an exciting variety of designs on the market when the final version of Windows 8 finally lands.