Toshiba's Stylish Sub-US$1,200 Satellites

SAN FRANCISCO (01/31/2000) - Toshiba Corp. goes gunning for the low-end of the retail notebook market with its announcement today of two new Satellite notebook computers. Arriving in stores this week, both notebooks use Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) processors and feature Toshiba's sleek blue and silver design, introduced last year in its more expensive Satellite models.

The Satellite 1605CDS offers a 450MHz AMD K6-2 processor, 32MB memory, a 4.3GB hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, ATI Rage LT Pro video card with 4MB video memory, integrated V.90 modem, and a 12.1-inch Color Bright dual-scan display for an estimated US$1,199.

The Satellite 1625CDT has the same basic components except upgrades to a 475MHz AMD K6-2 chip, 64MB memory, and a 12.1-inch TFT (thin-film transistor) display for an estimated $1,599.

Both notebooks build in a floppy drive, since Toshiba's customers say they still want one, according to Mary Zerafa, product manager for the Satellite line.

Both PCs also ship with Windows 98 Second Edition, as well as Lotus SmartSuite Millennium Edition, which let you turn on the notebook and get to work, Zerafa says. Both computer packages will also include coupons from Toshiba that let you choose two free software packages from a list of productivity, education, and entertainment titles.

Compromise On Display

To get the price of the 1605CDS down to $1,199, Toshiba had to outfit the notebook with the dual-scan display, Zerafa says. While most people prefer the more expensive TFT displays, "dual-scan has come a long way and the quality is better than in the past," she says.

While a sub-$1,200 notebook from Toshiba is a tempting offer, some manufacturers such as eMachines already offer new notebooks for $999. Does Toshiba plan to offer a new product at that price point any time soon?

Probably not, Zerafa says. "When we can put together a great product for $999, we will," she says.

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