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Toshiba enters monitor market

The Japanese company enters the computer display market in the United States and adds to its business PC line.

    Toshiba has entered the computer display market in the United States and added to its business PC line with a Pentium II system, as the No. 1 notebook manufacturer continues to expand its presence in the desktop market.

    Toshiba's entry into the desktop monitor business allows it to offer a branded product in a high-profile PC market, as well as complement its desktop computer offerings.

    The Japanese company will compete with top display makers such as NEC, Sony, Mag Innovision, and Viewsonic. Compaq Computer, IBM, and other companies also ship large numbers of branded displays with their systems.

    Toshiba will launch its display line with a 17-inch model. The TekBright 700PM monitor uses Toshiba's Microfilter technology, which the company claims increases brightness by 30 percent and improves color purity by 10 percent over traditional monitors.

    The monitor also has built-in stereo speakers, headphone jacks, and speakers. Available immediately, the TekBright 700PM is priced at $749.

    Toshiba has also filled out its line of business desktops, with new systems targeting large corporate customers. The Equium 6260M computer line is based on technology that makes it easier for information system personnel to remotely manage desktop PCs linked together in large networks.

    Housed in a minitower case, the 6260M supports the Desktop Management Interface 2.0 and comes with Intel's LANDesk Client Manager v3.0. The Windows NT 4.0 operating system is included.

    Both the Desktop Management Interface and LANDesk Client Manager provide technology that allows administrators to better manage PCs from a central location. The LANDesk client manager allows a network administrator in a central location to monitor computer systems and to use the corporate network for such operations as remote control, inventory, and software distribution.

    The systems come with a 266-MHz Pentium II processor, one of Intel's fastest. They also feature 32MB of memory, a 4GB hard drive, and a 16X CD-ROM drive. The 6260M is priced at $2,799 and is available now.

    Toshiba is also setting the stage to enter server computer market in 1998.

    "We've been doing servers in Japan for seven years. What we're doing here is ramping up that support infrastructure. Our relationship with the enterprise is strong because of our notebook products, and that'll build our reputation," says Mike Wagner, director of desktop marketing for Toshiba.

    But the company doesn't expect to be an overnight sensation in PC servers, understanding that information system managers don't switch to new products quickly. "It will be a while before people will trust us. That's why we're sensitive to issues around the products," Wagner says.