Toshiba Debuts Its First US Netbook - InformationWeek

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6/1/2009
06:44 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Toshiba Debuts Its First US Netbook

A couple months ago I reported that Toshiba America had big problems with the little notebooks. But the company has changed its tune with the introduction of the mini NB205.

A couple months ago I reported that Toshiba America had big problems with the little notebooks. But the company has changed its tune with the introduction of the mini NB205.When I spoke with Cindy Zwerling, Toshiba's product marketing manager for business-to-business notebooks, she questioned the value proposition for netbooks: "For $300 or $400 there is no keyboard, no optical drive, and the price delta isn't that great."

All true enough (Toshiba sells a full-size laptop for just $50 more than its netbook), but continuing demand has dragged Toshiba into the netbook market, with what looks to be a pretty decent offering, too. The NB205 sports a 10.1-inch display, "full-size" keyboard, and a six-cell battery rated at up to nine hours of life (I'll believe that after 8.5 hours of testing). Other stats are typical of the genre, with Intel Atom N280 processor, Windows XP Home Edition, 160GB hard drive (protected with a hard-drive impact sensor) and 1GB of RAM (upgradable to 2 GB!). Connectivity includes 802.11 b/g wireless, 10/100 Ethernet, and optional Bluetooth. And one of the unit's three USB ports can charge external devices even while the netbook is off.

Oh, and in a crucial business feature, the 2.9-poind, $399 NB205 comes in colors: sable brown, frost white, royal blue and posh pink. There's also a $349 black-only version with a slightly smaller keyboard.

Seems like Toshiba is now a player in the netbook game, if not an instant leader.

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