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Toshiba rolls out HD DVD notebook

Qosmio system, to be unveiled at E3, combines heavy-hitting performance components with high-definition optical drive. Photo: Toshiba notebook goes HD DVD

Toshiba is expected to unveil what it says is the first notebook with an HD DVD player Tuesday at the E3 game conference in Los Angeles. Qosmio G35-AV650

The adds a new model to of notebooks, one that can play high-definition movies on a 17-inch display with a resolution of 1,920 pixels by 1,200 pixels. HD DVD movies are trickling out slowly, but there are several titles available, and around 200 are expected by the end of the year, said Dave McFarland, product manager for the Qosmio line.

HD DVD is facing off with the Sony-backed Blu-ray standard in a race to become the accepted standard for high-definition DVDs. HD DVD PCs, players and titles are all starting to come out this month, while most Blu-ray titles and hardware aren't expected until at least June. According to a recent study by Peerflix, however, only the earliest of early adopters are expected to place a bet this year on a high-definition DVD standard.

The Qosmio G35 is packed with high-performance features. It comes with a 2GHz Core Duo processor from Intel, two 100GB hard drives with RAID (redundant array of independent disks) support for backing up movies and music, and 1GB of DDR2 memory. It also uses Nvidia's GeForce Go 7600 with 256MB of DDR3 memory.

All that performance won't come cheap. The Qosmio G35-AV650 will cost $2,999, up from the $2,399 price tag on the , McFarland said. And it's not light, weighing in at 10.1 pounds. The notebook will be available on Toshiba's Web site later this week, and in retail stores next week, he said.

Toshiba decided to put Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition 2005 operating system on the notebook, but decided not to support Intel's Viiv program on this system, McFarland said. The company still evaluating whether to support Viiv on future releases, he said.

Click here for full coverage of the E3 game conference.