Toshiba is planning to launch its first laptop computer with an HD-DVD drive in Europe in April, the company said yesterday.

The Qosmio G30 laptop will also be available in Japan and North America at about the same time, said Oscar Koenders, general manager of marketing at Toshiba Europe's PC division. Pricing has not yet been confirmed but he expected the laptops to cost somewhere around the £2,000 mark.

HD-DVD is one of two formats vying to replace current DVDs for high-definition content such as movies. Its main backers are Toshiba and NEC, and it is competing with Blu-ray Disc, which is backed by a group including Sony, Panasonic and Samsung.

Users will be able to watch HD-DVD content on the laptop's screen or on a compatible high-definition monitor or television. The computer has HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) for hooking up to a TV and a DVI interface with copy-protection support for connection to a monitor, Koenders said.

Qosmio is Toshiba's multimedia PC range and the laptop also features a TV tuner and Dolby Home Theatre support.

The HD-DVD drive in the Qosmio will only read HD-DVD media, but Toshiba expects to have HD-DVD writers in its laptops by the end of this year.

The Qosmio G30 will be shown this week, starting tomorrow at the CeBit exhibition in Germany.