Toshiba is making a bid for the style conscious tech market with the announcement of two Satellite-branded laptops powered by Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processors. The Satellite T110 and T130 are 11.6in and 13.3in laptops, respectively, and offer up to 11 hours of unwired use before the battery needs to be replenished.
At a launch event in London last night, Toshiba showed off the two models, which come in a choice of pearlescent white, black or dark red, and announced pricing of just £429, seriously undercutting other lightweight laptops such as the £1,300 MacBook Air.
The "ultra-mobile" CULV laptops are a first for Toshiba which, until now, has primarily produced business-focused laptops of somewhat chunkier proportions and fully laden Toshiba Qosmio gaming and entertainment laptops.
Toshiba's spokesman told us the company sees the models as being a step up from netbooks but offering the convenience of easy portability and longer battery life. Although the T110 and T130 won't have a dedicated graphics chip, they will sport the newest Intel GMA chipset, rather than "last year's Intel graphics processor, which all the netbooks do".
The 22mm-thick laptops weigh in at 1.76kg for the 13in Satellite T130 and 1.58kg for the 11.6in T110 model. Both size laptops have 1,366x768-pixel screens.
Up to 3GB of DDR3 RAM comes preinstalled on the T110, which has a 250GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, an HDMI port, a webcam with face-recognition capability and three USB ports but no optical drive. Processor options are an Intel Pentium or Celeron Single Core Solo ultra-low voltage.
The 13.3in Satellite T130, meanwhile, has up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 500GB hard disk drive and the same processor options as the smaller T110 model. However, a Satellite Pro version of the T130 also offers an Intel Core 2 Duo CULV processor option and pairs this with a 320GB hard disk.
Toshiba's spokesman told us that with Microsoft Office 60-day trial and antivirus software preinstalled, there would be little call for an optical drive. Toshiba isn't producing an external DVD drive specifically to go alongside the new ultra-mobile models but sells a compatible one for around £50.
The Toshiba Satellite T-Series models go onsale at the end of the month.