Toshiba goes Android and dual-screen with new laptops

Toshiba W100

Toshiba has marked 25 years of its laptop business with the release of several new models, including its first Android-powered device and a dual touch screen Windows 7 laptop.

Toshiba AC100

First up is the AC100, a 10.1in netbook powered by a 1GHz ARM-based Nvidia Tegra processor. Weighing just 870g, the AC100's LED-backlit display and full-size keyboard make it well suited for working on the move. On-board storage is limited to 8GB, but more can be added via SD slot.

More significantly, the AC100 also marks Toshiba's first steps into Android territory, and gives users the flexibility to set up multiple home screens to suit different situations work and home screens, for example with the AC100 able to detect where you are at any given time and switch profiles accordingly.

Downloadable apps and widgets offer further personalisation options for the interface, while various basic tools such as the Documents to Go editor and the Opera Mobile web browser are pre-installed.

The AC100 comes with a 3G module built in, along with Wi-Fi. Toshiba claims a start-up time of under a second, and eight hours of battery life in constant use. It goes on sale in August.

Toshiba Libretto W100

The unique W100 is based on the netbook form factor, but opens up to dual 7in touch screens, with no physical keyboard at all. It's the first dual-screen device to run Windows 7, with Toshiba bolting on its LifeSpace interface for managing files and applications across the two displays.

The device can be used horizontally for side-by-side document or page viewing, or vertically for longer-scrolling web pages or documents. Alternatively, the bottom touch screen can be used as a virtual keyboard for more traditional laptop-style computing.

Under the surface is an Intel U5400 processor, coupled with 2GB of memory, a 62GB solid-state hard drive, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Toshiba says the W100 will only be made in limited numbers to serve as a trial device to gauge consumer demand. It will be available at the end of the summer.

Toshiba Portege R700 and Satellite R630

Toshiba has also added to its Portege and Satellite lines, bringing to both their slimmest and lightest models yet.

The Portege R700 claims to be the thinnest and lightest full-functional laptop in Europe, which it defines as a laptop with a built-in optical drive, a standard voltage CPU and running Windows 7. The R700 is 16.8mm thick at its thinnest point and tips the scales at just 1.3kg.

Despite its slimline design, the R700 is far from flimsy, with the magnesium chassis incorporating a honeycomb structure around the palm rests for added stability.

Users have a choice of Intel Core i7, i5 or i3 processors, up to 4GB of RAM and up to 320GB of on-board storage. A 13.3in LED-backlit display should keep things looking good on screen, though the resolution is limited to 1366x768 pixels, and the optical drive is DVD only.

For the business user, however, that should prove more than sufficient, and of more interest will be the battery life of up to nine hours in use.

The Satellite R630, meanwhile, features a similar spec, but does without more business-focused features such as Bluetooth, a docking connector, EasyGuard security technology and a fingerprint reader.

The Portege R700 will go on sale next month, with the Satellite R630 following in August.