Toshiba unveils laptop with graphics wallop

The 2800, scheduled to ship in Australia in the March/April period, will be the first notebook to hit the market with NVidia's new GeForce2 Go mobile graphics processing unit, and consumers will see the difference according to Mike Wagner, vice president of marketing at Toshiba.

This notebook offers three to five times the graphics performance of typical notebooks, he says. It's designed with the game player/DVD watcher in mind.

The top-shelf version of the 2805 is the S402 model, will retail for around $5500. It has an 850-MHz Intel Pentium III processor, 128MB of SDRAM, a 20GB hard drive, 16MB of video SDRAM with the NVidia graphics, a 15-inch thin-film transistor display, and integrated Ethernet and modem. It includes a three-in-one optical drive--with 24X CD-ROM, 8X DVD, and 4X CD-RW--as well as a smart media slot, two type II PC Card slots, and a Yamaha sound system with a sub-woofer in the base.

The release date of the new notebook will ultimately be determined by NVidia which is still tweaking the performance of its graphic chip. This is namely in the area of conserving power in order to maintain a longer notebook battery life.

A less expensive version of the 2800 series -- yet to be named -- will offer a less robust hardware set for around $3700. It has a 700-MHz PIII, 128MB of SDRAM, a 10GB hard drive, S3 Savage IX graphics with 8MB of video SDRAM, and a 14.1-inch display. The rest of the specifications are the same.

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Tom Mainelli

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