The time of year has come for Toshiba to update its lineup of consumer laptops, and it's as imposing and multiform a lineup as ever. Spanning across A, M, L, C, and T lines, it has more letters than the NYC subway map. We'll focus on a few highlights from a diverse portfolio of offerings that caught our eye from the lineup we glimpsed a few weeks ago.
Toshiba's 3D laptop: the Satellite A665 3D Edition is a 3D-ready laptop in the vein of the Asus model we saw last year, with a 120Hz 15.6-inch display that's capable of handling Nvidia's 3D graphics. A plug-in dongle acts as the receiver for Nvidia's 3D glasses. Starting at $1,599, the A665 certainly isn't cheap--but it does have a quad-core Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTS 350M graphics, a rewritable Blu-ray optical drive that's capable of playing 3D Blu-ray discs, and a pair of Nvidia glasses.
The C series is a new line that's meant to act as a lower-end price point for Satellites, an area we were used to seeing occupied by certain L models. The C laptops we saw had a generic black plastic and a boxier look, with starting prices at under $500 for 14 and 15-inch C600 configurations. While $449 sounds like a great bargain price, these processors are likely to be lower-end budget CPUs that won't offer the same speeds as Core i3 laptops we've recently seen in the $500 range.
T200: it sounds like a new Terminator, but these are the updates to the popular T135 and T115 thin-and-lights we reviewed last year. We were impressed with the battery life and price points of the T135 models especially last year, and the T200s look to have been given a slicker, more textured finish and a raised keyboard, with AMD Athlon II Neo, Turion II Neo or Intel Pentium dual-core CPUs. T200 laptops start at $469, but it's unclear whether they offer anything more than a cosmetic upgrade.
Sleep and music: While undoubtedly an awkward name, the function of sleep and music is clever: many of the new midrange Satellites can now play music through their included Harman Kardon speakers when asleep or turned off. Music players can be connected directly to the laptop's audio-in jack, turning your computer into a very expensive but useful portable speaker set when traveling.
All mentioned laptops (and many others) will be available for order and purchase starting June 20. We're bound to receive many of these new Toshiba laptops quite soon; stay tuned for our upcoming reviews. And on a side note, we hope Toshiba's laptop lines get a little clearer to distinguish soon--we already have a hard time explaining the differences between the A, M, and L series.