Toshiba launches 'prestige' Kira Ultrabook range in Australia

The new flagship ultrabook from Toshiba will feature a 2560x1440 resolution display and "white glove" service.

The new flagship ultrabook from Toshiba will feature a 2560x1440 resolution display and "white glove" service.

The Kira Ultrabook. (Credit: Toshiba)

Toshiba has launched its new Kira Ultrabook range for Australia. Taking its name from the Japanese word for "shining light", Toshiba is positioning Kira as a "premium computing range" aimed at "the most discerning user", according to Toshiba Australia's MD Mark Whittard.

In a conference that was light on tech specs and high on retail marketing strategies, Whittard said that the Kira range heralds a "new corporate identity" for Toshiba, with an emphasis on design cues and elements that would flow through the whole catalogue of the company's products.

"It will be clear from the first look that this is a Toshiba product," said Whittard.

In the two years since their launch, ultrabooks have proved to be disappointing in terms of sales, failing to revitalise the PC market, which saw a 14 per cent drop in worldwide sales last quarter, according to IDC. Toshiba hopes to buck this trend, aiming at the top end of the market — specifically, people upgrading or replacing older technology.

As part of this strategy, the Kira range will come with a "white glove"-style service, promising a two-year warranty, on-site service in metro areas (and express courier service in regional ones), along with a dedicated support hotline specific to the Kira range.

The Kira on display at the launch in Sydney. (Credit: Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

The key feature of the Kira range appears to be the screen technology, which Toshiba is calling Pixel Pure. The 13.3-inch screen manages a 2560x1440 resolution. The range will also have a 256GB SSD and 8GB of memory. Weight will go from 1.21kg to 1.35kg. The speaker system is provided by harmon/kardon.

The Kira range will run Windows 8 Pro, with the top-tier models having touchscreens. The non-touch Kira will cost AU$1799, with a touch-enabled version starting at AU$1999, and heading up to AU$2199. The units are available in retail now.

Despite Intel's fourth-generation Haswell chipset launching in June this year, the Kira range will ship with the third-gen chips, either a Core i5 or a Core i7 depending on the model. Whittard said that the range would update to Haswell "later".

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