Toshiba Marks 25 Years With Latest Libretto

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NEW YORK — To celebrate Toshiba’s 25th year in the notebook business the company has updated two of it better-known products, the Libretto and the Portege.

On the consumer side, a limited-edition concept product of the Libretto mini-notebook, rolled out in the United States in 1998, is on tap. And Toshiba’s original notebook, introduced in 1985, has been reconceived as the R700 Portege business notebook.

The latest Libretto, the W100CT, greatly deviates from the original two models. It has dropped its keyboard in favor of an additional 7-inch LCD. The second display can either show content like the primary screen or be used as a virtual keyboard, said Philip Osako, Toshiba’s product marketing director, digital products division.

The Libretto maintains its clamshell design with the additional display, and the user can toggle back and forth between using it as a keyboard or to view content. An upcoming ereader app will allow the Libretto to act like a paper book, with writing filling both screens.

Osako said that while the concept Libretto will be available at retail in August, the numbers will be extremely limited. He did not say how many would be made.

“We would not normally put something like this up for sale, but we thought we could get some real feedback on the concept,” said Osako.

The original Libretto the U100 was updated to the T1100.

While the new Portege, the R700, retains the traditional laptop form factor of its parent product, it is no less than 2.5 inches thinner while delivering desktop- level performance, said Osako.

Toshiba’s T1100 notebook, the forerunner of today’s Portege business line, contained no hard drive; had 256Kb of memory, expandable to 640Kb; featured a text-based screen that was 80 characters wide; and ran on an Intel 80C88 4.77Mhz processor. It also had 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch floppy drives and cost $1,899.

The latest relatives are the R700- S1310, the R700-S1320 and the R700- 1330. Suggested retails are $999, $1,299 and $1,599, respectively.

The base model has a 13.3-inch display, Intel Core i3 processor, 500GB hard drive and 4GB of memory. The top-end model steps up to a 128GB solid-state drive and an Intel Core i7 processor.

For the first time Toshiba has created a Portege SKU for the consumer market. The R707 is a spin-off of the R700. It will sell at retail for $899 and has the same basic specifications as the R700-S1310.

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