Toshiba updates its laptop line for back-to-school
With new Intel chips right around the corner, look for updates and upgrades to these popular PC lines.
We're seeing plenty of new systems and updates to existing systems coming out of the Computex trade show, mostly tied into laptops to all-in-one desktops.. Toshiba has gone a little further than most, updating its premium PC line, from multimedia
That said, there are few surprises here. Some updated looks, more touch screens, a promise of upcoming Intel "Haswell" generation processors -- but as most of those new CPUs haven't been announced yet (with the exception of the higher-end quad-core models), don't expect new Intel processor model numbers just yet.
In fact, Toshiba's most-intriguing current product was only announced a few weeks ago -- the high-end Kirabook, a 13-inch ultrabook with a very high-resolution display, and a high price to match.
Satellite S series
Toshiba refers to the mainstream Satellite S series as "multi-purpose systems for everyday computing." We've previously reviewed these systems and found them a bit on thick side, but generally solid all-around midsize laptops for entertainment and productivity. The updated version has a brushed-aluminum chassis in a color Toshiba calls Ice Silver. More importantly, the S series is being updated with Intel's fourth-generation Core i series CPUs, although only the new quad-core CPUs from Intel have been announced yet. For specifics on the more mainstream-friendly dual-core chips you're likely to find in the Satellite S, you'll have to check back in after Intel's Computex press conference.
Fairly configurable, the S series will also offer optional discrete graphics from Nvidia, up to the GT 740M. the 14-, 15.6-, and 17.3-inch models are available with an optional touch screen, although only the two larger sizes have 1,920x1,080-pixel screen resolution options. Standard Toshiba features such as Harman Kardon speakers and sleep-and-charge USB ports for easy device charging are also included. The Satellite S will be available June 9, starting at $799 (or $699 if you settle for a last-gen Intel processor).
Satellite P series
A step up from the Satellite S series is the Satellite P series. This line is a Best Buy exclusive, which means you'll only find them in that chain's retail stores or Web site, starting June 9 for $754 and up. Again, Intel's fourth-generation Core i-series CPUs are the main driving force behind the update, and this line also offers optional Nvidia GT 470M graphics.
Despite being able to support up to 1TB of storage space and up to 32GB of RAM, the new P series is, according to Toshiba, 25 percent thinner than last year's version. The company calls the updated P series design "Skyline," and it features edge-to-edge glass over the display, an LED-backlit keyboard, and an aluminum interior tray in a color called Prestige Silver.
Available in 15.6- and 17.3-inch models, these also feature 1080p screens, Harman Kardon speakers (this time with something called a "Slipstream port" for less sound distortion), and sleep-and-charge USB ports that also offer access to the system's speakers.
The 15-inch is available in touch and non-touch screens, while the 17-inch is non-touch only. Why anyone would buy a non-touch midsize premium laptop in 2013 is beyond me, but these models do commit to outputting at 4K 3,840x2,160-pixel resolution via HDMI.
Not that many PC makers still push traditional gaming laptops, which makes the long-running Qosmio line even more important for gamers. The , launched just after CES 2013, is already being updated in the form of the new Qosmio X75 (the slightly simplified naming system gets rid of a generation number right after the X). This non-touch 17.3-inch beast also joins the Intel fourth-gen party, but this time, the CPUs go all the way up to the Haswell-generation quad-core Core i7. Add to that the option for 32GB of RAM, 1.25TB of HDD and SSD combined storage, and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770M GPU, and you have a pretty impressive gaming machine (in fact, I'm currently using the for PC gaming benchmark development right now).
The design is still a bit on the dorm room chic side -- Toshiba calls the design Black Widow, and it's largely black, with aluminum and glowing red accents. Like the Satellite P series, it does 4K video output via HDMI, and has the sleep-and-charge ports, and Harman Kardon speakers, but also packs in full versions of Adobe's Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 for multimedia production.
The Qosmio X75 will be available in mid-June, starting at $1,399.
PX35t all-in-one desktop
The practical, compact all-in-one desktop is quickly being recast as a multiuse home device, combining a TV display, PC, touch-screen kiosk, and more into one device. Toshiba's new PX35t adds all the currently expected features, starting with a 23-inch 1080p touch screen.
The industrial design follows Toshiba's flat-screen TV line, with a silver design names (as with the P series laptop) Skyline. The screen sits atop a u-shaped base, and the system includes an anonymous-looking keyboard, and an oddly bold-looking angular mouse.
The PX35t will be available with Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs, up to 1TB of HDD space, and up to 16GB of RAM. It also has an HDMI input, so you can use the screen with a game console, cable box, media player, or other external device. It will be available in mid-June, starting at $1,029.