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Laptop CD-ROM drive nears 20X

Toshiba debuts a new 20X CD-ROM that is the fastest drive currently available for use in portable computers.

Toshiba today debuted a new 20X CD-ROM that is the fastest drive currently available for use in portable computers.

The growing trend of portables as replacements for desktop PCs has made laptop performance an important issue for many consumers. With desktop computers now using CD-ROM drives running at up to 24X, the new Toshiba mechanism is important for laptop manufacturers in approaching desktop performance.

Currently, most laptops ship with 6X to 10X drives, with 12X drives available in some high-end laptops such as Apple Computer's 3400c/240.

Toshiba's 12.7mm thick, 8.75-ounce XM-1602B is the first internal, superslim CD-ROM drive to achieve a 20X maximum rotational speed. The company is expected to incorporate the drive into future notebook designs.

Power consumption is another important factor in laptop design; Toshiba says the new drive consumes only 3.6 watts of power. Keeping power consumption low not only allows for longer battery life but also reduces heat.

The XM-1602B supports a wide array of CD-ROM formats, including Kodak multisession Photo CD, CD-RW, and Video CD.

The drive will be sold to laptop manufacturers for $180 in quantity and is available immediately.