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Toshiba Bows Media Center 2004 Equipped Notebooks

Toshiba will introduce two new Satellite notebooks tomorrow that feature the Windows Media Center Edition 2004 operating system and wide screen LCDs.

The Satellite P25-S609 and P15-S479 are among the first computers announced that incorporate the newest version of Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center software, which is being debuted Sept. 30 by Microsoft.

The P25-S609 is a revamp of the Toshiba P25-S507 that was introduced earlier this year. The new P25 adds the Media Center OS, a larger 80GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, a DVD Multi Drive and uses a slightly more powerful 3GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading Technology. Like the previous unit the new P25 has a wide-screen 17-inch LCD, USB and 1394 ports and an NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200 graphics card. A price has not been set, but Craig Marking, Toshiba’s product manager, computer systems group, expects it to cost in the low $2,000s. The older version carries a street price in the $1,800 range.

The P15 has the same functionality, but is slightly small making it more mobile, Marking said. It uses a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading Technology, 512MB of RAM, a wide screen 15.4-inch LCD, 60GB hard drive and DVD Multi Drive. Pricing has not been set.

Both models also feature 802.11g wireless networking.

In other news, Toshiba and Samsung Electronics today signed an agreement to integrate their optical drive businesses.

The deal has the two firms establishing a separate joint venture to develop and sell various types of CD and DVD drives. The joint venture will be headquartered in Japan, but Seoul, South Korea-based Samsung will own 51 percent of the new company, with Toshiba picking up the remaining 49 percent. However, the wholly owned subsidiary will establish its base of operations in Korea.

The company is expected to generate about $1.8 billion in annual sales. A time frame for completion of the deal was not given.