Toshiba's new Satellite laptops to use upcoming Intel, AMD chips

Toshiba's new Satellite C-series and L-series laptops start at $399

Toshiba on Tuesday announced Satellite laptops starting at US$399 that will have upcoming processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, which are due to become available in the next few months.

The Satellite L-series and C-series mainstream laptops will come with screen sizes ranging from 14 inches to 17.3 inches, Toshiba said in a statement. The laptops are affordable, thinner and lighter than previously comparable models, the company said.

The most affordable laptops are the C800 models, which start at $399, while the three models in the L800 series start at between $449 and $599. The laptops will become available early in the third quarter, Toshiba said.

The laptops will use Intel's new Core processors code-named Ivy Bridge and AMD's upcoming chips code-named Trinity. The chips contain significant improvements that will make the laptops faster than current systems with Intel's second-generation Core processors or AMD's A-series chips.

Acer has measured generation-over-generation CPU performance improvement on Ivy Bridge of more than 20 percent, while the graphics are about 30 percent better. AMD claims a 25 percent faster CPU performance and a 50 percent improvement on graphics with Trinity compared to current A-series chips.

Other PC makers are expected to roll out laptops with the new chips, and Toshiba's new laptops will help set the stage for another chapter in the ongoing chip battle between Intel and AMD. Intel claims better chip performance, while AMD has said it will undercut Intel on price and enable more affordable laptops.

Intel will dominate the PC chip market, though AMD will put up a good fight, said David Daoud, research director at IDC.

However, with buyers showing a preference for tablets over PCs, Intel and AMD also have to worry about ARM, Daoud said.

ARM chips are already found in most tablets and could make their way into the PC market depending on consumer demand, Daoud said. ARM-based chip makers Nvidia and Qualcomm have said they are targeting the PC market.

The Toshiba laptops will include webcams and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) and USB ports. Some Satellite L-series configurations will have Blu-ray Disc drives and allow users to charge USB devices even when a system is powered down. Some C-series laptops will offer 500GB of storage.

Toshiba also announced Qosmio X875 and Qosmio X875 3D laptops for enthusiasts that will use Intel's Ivy Bridge processors and Nvidia's latest graphics GeForce 670M graphics processor. The laptops are priced at around $1,299 and will become available in the early part of the third quarter.

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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