Toshiba has unveiled the KIRA Ultrabook, which is described as being the company's first "high resolution premium Ultrabook". It's a 13.3in Ultrabook with a reported screen resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. That gives it a pixel density of 221 pixels per inch, which is only slightly lower than the 2560x1600-pixel resolution of Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Toshiba is aiming the KIRA at professionals and enthusiasts who work with graphics and video, and who can therefore take full advantage of the of the high resolution. To that end, the KIRA will also come bundled with copies of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Adobe Premiere Elements 11. Going off past experience with Toshiba laptops, there will probably be a lot more pre-installed software that you'll either have to uninstall or configure properly in order to not be bugged by pop-ups.
The good news is that Australia will be among the first three markets in the world to receive this new high-end notebook, and if the media release Toshiba sent out is accurate, you will see it on store shelves sooner rather than later. Pricing has been announced for two configurations, which will be available to pre-order on 26 April, and to buy on 5 May from selected retailers. The two configurations include an Intel Core i5 model, with a price starting from $1799, and an Intel Core i7 model, which will have a price starting from $2199.
Not content with offering just a high-resolution screen, Toshiba has also made touch capability an option for it. If you opt for the 10-point touch panel instead of the regular, non-touch panel, the weight of the laptop will be 1.35kg, rather than 1.21kg for the stock model. Toshiba claims that a stabilising hinge will allow the screen to be used for touch without it bouncing when it's tapped. Boldly, Toshiba also claims that its use of Corning Concore Glass makes the touchscreen fingerprint resistant.
Going by the photos we've seen, the design of the KIRA looks smart. It has a press forged, AZ61 magnesium alloy chassis that should make it strong, and a honeycomb-base structure should help with this, too. Toshiba hopes that its design will also appeal to users who are after a luxury product. Mark Whittard, Toshiba Australia's managing director, said in a media release that the KIRA is "a statement of luxury" mainly because of its high-end finish, engineering and attention to detail.
Other features that have been stated so far by Toshiba include AirFlow II, which is a multi-phase fan cooling system that will be needed to vent the warm air from the thin chassis; a frameless, LED-backlit keyboard; a Li-Polymer battery with a life of six hours; 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM and a 256GB solid state drive.
We'll bring you a full review as soon as we get our hands on it. And we can't wait to do that.