With all the excitement over the new color-coordinated Dell Inspiron laptops (and the groovy 13-inch XPS m1330) last week, the guys over at Toshiba must have been kicking themselves. Instead of just giving their laptop lineup a new paintjob and some upgraded processors, they've got a whole stack of new and revamped systems, emphasizing the company's commitment to the HD DVD format (which may or may not be the best long-term plan, but that's another story).
We've always liked the Qosimo line of high-end media center laptops, and the new 15.4-inch Qosimo F45 is no exception. We primarily like these for their Harman Kardon stereo speakers with built-in subwoofer--this is one of the only 15-inch laptops we've seen with a subwoofer--and the handy AV control pads, which look like tiny iPod wheels planted right next to the keyboard. The new Qosimo avoids the rainbow of colors offered by Dell, instead opting for what the company calls a "striking piano-key white glossy finish."
One of the four available configurations, the $1,649 F45-AV412, has an HD DVD drive (although we're still not convinced 15-inch laptops need high-def drives), while the non-HD-DVD configs run from $1,299 to $1,349.
Meanwhile, the new Satellite U305 is a totally different beast. It's a 13.3-inch small business laptop, and while it isn't as flashy as other 13-inch laptops such as the Apple MacBook and Dell XPS m1330, it is available in both Santa Rosa versions (using Intel's latest Centrino Duo platform) and an exceedingly thrifty non-Santa-Rosa version, using older parts, but starting at just $899.
For laptop gamers (and there are a few of you still out there), Toshiba last week revealed the new Satellite X205, a 17-inch desktop replacement that is one of the first laptops with Nvidia's DirectX-10-compatible GeForce 8700M GT graphics processing unit. Of course, that doesn't come cheap, and the X205 (with a red flame lid design) starts at a whopping $1,999, with an HD DVD drive.