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Toshiba ditches 'Intel-only' laptop policy

First AMD-based Satellite laptops in 7 years

Toshiba has disclosed details of a new range of laptops based on processors from AMD - the first AMD-based machines the company has sold in about seven years.

The Satellite A215 series laptops - launching in the US - will be based on AMD’s Turion 64 X2 dual-core processors and also feature Radeon X1200 graphics from ATI, which AMD bought last year.

Other specifications include a 15.4in widescreen display with 1,280 by 800 resolution, serial ATA (SATA) hard-disk drive and DVD super-multi-drive, compatible with 11 disc formats, including DVD+/-R dual-layer discs.

Toshiba stopped using AMD processors in its laptop computers in 2000, making its complete line Intel-only. The company didn't disclose the reason for dropping the chips, but two years ago AMD alleged in a lawsuit against Intel that Toshiba had received a "very substantial" payment from Intel.

Like other PC vendors, Toshiba was receiving "market development funds" from Intel worth about $25m to $30m per quarter and those would have been jeopardised if it used AMD chips, the lawsuit alleged. The case between AMD and Intel continues. Intel's practices are also being investigated in Europe.

In a statement yesterday Toshiba said it has seen "increased consumer demand over the past two years for AMD-based platforms”.

The computers will be available built-to-order from Toshiba's US online shop.

A featured configuration, the Satellite A215-S4767, combines the Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology Gold Edition TL64 processor with 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard-disk drive, DVD supermulti drive, 802.11b/g wireless LAN, embedded webcam and fingerprint reader for $1,300.

There are no details about a European launch as yet.


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