DVD, Pentium II for home PCs

Toshiba today announced new consumer PCs with DVD drives and Pentium II processors.

Brooke Crothers
Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
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Toshiba today announced four new consumer PCs featuring, for the first time, DVD drives and Pentium II processors.

Toshiba follows IBM, Gateway 2000, and Micron as the fourth major manufacturer to build a DVD drive into a mainstream consumer PC system. Toshiba recently announced a PC with a DVD drive, but this was targeted only at software developers.

Digital video discs go far beyond CD-ROMs in many respects. They let users, for example, play full-length movies with subtitles in different languages, add parental ratings, and provide control over viewing angles. DVDs are also expected to include advanced interactive games, as well as play current CD-ROM titles.

The major drawback to the DVD, a relatively nascent technology, is the lack of titles.

The Infinia model 7231 comes with a 233-MHz Pentium processor with MMX, 64MB of high-speed "SDRAM" memory, a built-in 56-kbps modem, an advanced graphics chip from ATI Technologies, a 4GB hard drive, and an 8X DVD drive. This PC is priced at $2,699.

All models come standard with hard drives ranging in capacity from 4GB to 6.4GB, the ATI graphics chip, a 56-kbps modem, and software such as Microsoft Works, Microsoft Encarta 97, and Intel Video Phone technology. The DVD system includes the Discovery Channel Multimedia Animal Planet, among other titles.

The Infinia model 7260 offers a 266-MHz Intel Pentium II processor, the first Toshiba Infinia to do so, a 6.4GB hard drive, 64MB of memory, and a 24X CD-ROM drive. This is priced at $2,899. Intel Pentium II processors include MMX technology.

A lower-end model packs a 200-MHz Pentium processor with MMX, and its price is set at $1,899. Another 233-MHz MMX Pentium system is priced at $2,299.