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IFA 2012: Toshiba unveils new Windows 8 laptops & ultrabooks

In addition to its new touchscreen units designed with Windows 8 in mind, Toshiba has also unveiled at IFA four new systems of varying sizes and features optimised for Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system. All systems will include Toshiba Desktop Assist, which provides the familiar control panel and shortcuts seen in Windows 7, as well as Toshiba Central, which is Toshiba's proprietary assistance software that's arranged in a tiled-style layout similar to that of the new Windows platform.

Toshiba Satellite P845t

Designed to be Toshiba's mainstream Windows 8 system, the Satellite P845t is a souped-up, Windows 8-ready version of the Satellite P845. The first thing you'll notice about the P845t is its absence of a bezel, as it sports an edge-to-edge 14in display. Notwithstanding its good looks, the primary ingredient in the display is its capacitive touch capability, which in turn makes navigating the tiled interface of Windows 8 a more fluid experience. An etched aluminium chassis in a champagne silver finish complements its slim-form-factor to result in an overall refined aesthetic. In addition to being kitted out with three USB 3.0 ports, the P845t is also equipped with an HDMI port as well as Intel's Wireless Display technology. On the inside, it packs a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB DDR3 RAM, and a 750GB HDD.

Toshiba Satellite U845W with Windows 8

With the exception of its inclusion of Windows 8, the latest iteration of the Toshiba Satellite U845W is essentially a dead ringer for its predecessor. Like its earlier incarnation, the new U845W's chassis is 21mm thick and is constructed out of aluminium with a soft-touch rubber material running along the cover. But most attention once again centres on its 14.4in diagonal display with an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio and a maximum resolution of 1,792 x 768. While it's not equipped with a touch screen like the P845t, the U845W's larger screen provides more screen real estate for navigating through Windows 8's horizontal layout. Moreover, its ClickPad features Windows 8 gesture support. The U845W can be configured with either a third-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. Users can opt for a 500GB HDD with a 32GB SSD cache or a 256GB SSD. Regardless of which configuration users choose, the U845W features three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a memory card slot. Like all other systems in Toshiba's new line-up, there's Desktop Assist and Toshiba Central included to ostensibly makes the user experience easier. Pricing for the new U845W is expected to be on par with that of the current model.

Toshiba Satellite U945

The Toshiba Satellite U945, meanwhile, is set to replace the Satellite U845. Sporting an all-plastic construction that weighs less than1.8kg and measures .78in in thickness, it occupies the affordable ultrabook niche in Toshiba's new line-up, with an as-of-yet undetermined price slated to cost roughly £30 less than comparable systems. The U945 sports a 14in LED display, and can be configured with a third-generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processor. It comes with a 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD, and features dual USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a full-size HDMI port.

Toshiba Satellite S955

Rounding out the new line-up is the Toshiba Satellite S955, an all-purpose desktop replacement. With its 15.6in display, the S955 sports the largest screen of the group. While it's also the bulkiest system in the line-up, the 1.8kg S955 nonetheless sports a thin profile that measures just under an inch in thickness. As an added aesthetic flourish, its brushed aluminium chassis comes in an Ice Blue finish. Typical of its class, the S955 comes equipped with a full-size keyboard, numeric pad, and a built-in DVD drive. Under the hood, it can be configured with either an AMD A8 or third-generation Intel Core i5 processor, up to 8GB RAM, and a hard drive capacity of up to 750GB. The S955 also sports dual USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port.

All systems are set to launch in conjunction with Windows 8 on 26 October, but may be displayed in retail stores as early as 12 October.