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Ceatec: Toshiba to show laptop with HD-DVD drive

Addition to Qosmio notebook line

Toshiba plans to show its first notebook computer with a built-in HD-DVD drive at the Ceatec Japan 2005 exhibition next month, a company spokeswoman has revealed.

The firm will show a new addition to its high-end Qosmio notebook line that will include an integrated HD-DVD-ROM drive, according to Midori Suzuki, a representative of the company in Tokyo. The new drive will allow users to watch high-definition videos on their computers.

“Toshiba is planning to commercialise the product at the beginning of next year,” Suzuki said.

Few details of the HD-DVD-equipped notebook have been made available ahead of the Ceatec show, which will be held near Tokyo from 4-8 October. The notebook will include a new high-resolution LCD.

Suzuki declined to disclose additional details about the system.

HD-DVD is a next-generation DVD format developed by the DVD Forum. The integrated HD-DVD-ROM drive, which will be shown with the Qosmio notebook at Ceatec, is 12.7mm high, according to Toshiba. The drive uses a pick-up head with a single optical lens that can read HD-DVD discs and read and write to CD and DVD discs.

Initially, HD-DVD discs will have a capacity of 30GB, Toshiba said, noting that higher-capacity versions are anticipated. The company has developed a prototype HD-DVD with a capacity of 45GB.

Suzuki said Toshiba has not decided how many Qosmio models will be equipped with the HD-DVD-ROM drive and no decision has been made regarding extending availability of the drive to the company’s other notebook PC lines.

The HD-DVD-ROM drive is small enough to be used in small form-factor notebooks, according to Toshiba.

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