Toshiba has launched its first tablet PCs with LED screens, taking some thunder away from Dell, which is also due to launch a convertible PC with an LED screen called the Latitude XT.

Targeted at "mobile professionals", Portege M700 Tablet PCs come with 12.1in light-emitting diode (LED)-backlit displays and antiglare coating that display rich colours both indoors and outdoors, Toshiba said. The touchscreen supports both finger and stylus input, the company said.

The tablet PCs are available in multiple configurations, with prices starting at $1,449 (£750) in the US. The $1,449 Portege M700-S7008X is powered by Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7250 running at 2GHz, and includes 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, graphics accelerator, wired and wireless a/b/g/n networking, DVD drive, webcam and Bluetooth support. It runs the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 OS. Depending on configuration, weight for the systems starts at 2kg.

Tablet PCs are trickling into the consumer space as touchscreen technology develops, showing signs of breaking away from its traditional presence in vertical markets such as education and health, said Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies. Companies such as Microsoft and Apple have invested money in developing touch technology and want to ensure it reaches multiple form-factor devices such as ultramobile PCs, mobile phones and notebooks, Bajarin said.

Screens with LED technology make Tablet PCs more attractive to consumers, Bajarin said. Compared to liquid crystal displays (LCDs), LED-backlit displays are brighter, save energy and have better contrast.

Though OEMs have managed to drive down LED display prices, they remain expensive for the average consumer, Bajarin said. As more PC manufacturers adopt LED, prices may fall.

The system is available in the US through Toshiba's website. Toshiba hasn't provided details on worldwide availability.

Related articles:

All laptop reviews