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Toshiba Gets Touch Friendly, Adds Tablets

New York – Toshiba today updated its computer lineup, making touchscreens optional on almost all of its laptops and adding a stylus-equipped high-end tablet.

The company also updated its all-in-one (AIO) computer line with a new industrial design so they now resemble Toshiba’s televisions, said Mark Lackey, product manager, digital products division.

The Excite tablet series now includes a good, better, best setup with the Excite Pure, Excite Pro and Excite Write respectively filling in each of the slots, said Duc Dang, Toshiba’s product development senior product manager, digital products division.

The Write, $599, comes with a Wacom stylus and several Toshiba-developed writing-enabling apps that capture handwriting and drawings, he said. The tablet will be marketed toward artists, business and students and is part of a Toshiba effort to make tablets more of a productivity tool, Dang said.

The Write is powered by a Tegra 4 processor and has 32GB of memory and a Pixel Pure 2,560 by 1,600 display. It will ship with Android 4.2, but will be upgraded to the new Key Lime operating system when it becomes available.

The midrange Pro, $499, has the same specs as the Write but drops the stylus; however, it can be mated with an optional Bluetooth keyboard cover, Dang said, which again plays into the productivity aspect.

The entry-level Pure, $299, uses a less-powerful Tegra 3 processor and only a front-facing camera.

In the notebook space Toshiba introduced new models in its S and, P series, Lackey said. The major change for the spring is offering a touchscreen at every level except the high-end gaming-oriented Qosmio laptops.

The touchscreen adds about $150 to a laptop’s price, he said. Pricing and availability were not available at press time.

Other changes include implementing a uniform design across all the series and stiffening the keyboard to give a better typing experience.

The two AIOSs — both with 23-inch displays with prices ranging from $899 to $1,299 — have also been redesigned to catch the female shopper’s eye. Lackey said Toshiba’s research indicates women are making the purchase decisions on AIOs, so the company is designing them around that fact.

The update includes having the AIOs mirror the look now carried by Toshiba’s TV line. Also, the wireless keyboard and mouse now have a smaller, more premium appearance, Lackey said.

Absent from Toshiba’s AIO line is a portable table-type model, one that can be depressed until it lies flat against the table and that has limited battery life.

Lackey said Toshiba is following this trend, but has not made up its mind on the overall usability of the form factor.