Toshiba is to start selling the first laptop to feature a rewritable HD DVD optical disc drive this week.
The PC will be in its Qosmio multimedia laptop range and is firmly aimed at users who want to enjoy high-definition video on their PCs. There are two digital HDTV tuners so that one station can be recorded while watching another and the laptop comes with 400GB of hard-disk drive recording space. The 17in widescreen display offers 1,920 by 1,200 resolution so is suitable for watching HDTV in full resolution.
The HD DVD-R/RW drive can be used to transfer recorded TV shows or content from a high-definition video camera to disc for archiving. The drive also supports the new HD Rec format that allows for recording HD content on conventional DVD discs. With the price of blank HD DVD media still relatively high, the ability to use cheap DVD media could be a welcome feature for users. However, the capacity of DVD discs is lower so only about 24 minutes of video can be stored on a single-layer DVD.
The PC is based on a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and there's a nVidia GeForce 8600 graphics processor. Other features include a harman/kardon 4-speaker sound system, 2GB of memory and 802.11 a/b/g wireless LAN.
As to be expected from a multimedia PC with such a large screen, Toshiba's Qosmio G40 is a heavy laptop. It weighs about 4.8kg, so isn't the most portable machine in the world, but likely consumers will be people who live in small apartments and who want a PC, TV and video recorder all-in-one to save space.
The machine will cost around ¥400,000 (£1,750) and it will go on sale in Japan only on Friday. Toshiba didn't announce overseas launch plans. Previous models of Qosmio PC have been put on sales overseas after the Japan launch.