Toshiba to expand tablet offerings in the US this year

The company offers only one 10-inch Android tablet for the U.S. market

Toshiba plans to expand its tablet offerings in the U.S. later this year as it explores more screen sizes and price points.

The company will introduce new Windows 8 and Android tablets at multiple price ranges in the U.S., said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing at Toshiba America Information Systems, during a press event on Thursday evening in New York City.

One of the new tablets will be shown at the Google I/O show, Pinto said. Google I/O is Google's developer event and will be held between March 15 and 17 in San Francisco.

Pinto did not share specific details about the tablets and when they would be released. But he said that the company is willing to compete at prices as low as US$199 to higher price points for better equipped tablets.

A number of considerations will be taken into pricing the tablets, including the operating system and screen size, Pinto said. Toshiba will be entering a highly competitive market with companies like Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Lenovo, Amazon and many others offering low-cost Android tablets.

Right now the company offers one tablet called Excite 10 which is priced at $349.99 and runs Google's Android 4.1 OS. The new tablets will represent a renewed effort by Toshiba to expand in the U.S. tablet market after a long silence.

Toshiba offers multiple tablets in different countries, and on Thursday announced a new WT310 tablet with Windows 8 and an Intel Core i5 processor in the U.K.. But the company has had a rough history with tablets in the U.S. and some other European countries. It cancelled plans to release a Windows RT tablet and also a 13.3-inch Excite Android tablet. The company also pulled its Folio 100 tablet and cancelled two Thrive tablet models, including a buggy 10-inch model.

The company recently announced a new laptop called Kirabook, which has a groundbreaking design and a display that can show images at a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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