Microsoft may have disappointed certain Windows users when it decided not to unveil the Surface mini yet – although reports say that the device is still in the picture – but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to purchase an affordable, small Windows 8.1 tablet this year. Toshiba has launched one such 8-inch device, the Toshiba Encore 2, which will sell for $199 and run a full version of Windows 8.1 rather than the RT alternative. More →
The Project Ara modular smartphone isn’t just a dream anymore, as Google is getting ready to roll out the first Project Ara devices early next year. The device will let users build their own smartphones and customize them on the go. Nikkei has learned that Toshiba has been chosen to provide three types of processors for the first Project Ara handsets, including chips that will go in the various modules and also in the phone itself. More →
Now that every manufacturer under the sun has unveiled an Ultra HD television, the next step is to find other devices that could use a 4K display. Per Windows Blog, Toshiba announced on Monday at CES that it will move on to laptops later this year. The first offering, known as the Tecra W50, will feature a 4th generation Intel Core processor, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M GPU and a 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD display. Toshiba’s second 4K laptop, the Satellite P50t, will feature an identical display, but will include touchscreen capabilities as well. Both laptops will run Windows 8.1 and should make it to commercial release by mid-2014.
A new Toshiba ultrabook model will deliver 22 hours of battery life on a single charge, according to the manufacturer, outperforming its competitors when it comes to energy efficiency. In addition to almost all-day battery life, the Dynabook Kira V634 offers a 13.3-inch display with 1,366 x 768 resolution, an Intel Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, support for 4K video output and a weight of only 1.12 kilograms. Toshiba also has a high-end variation of this new ultrabook, the Dynabook Kira V834, that packs a 2,560 x 1,440 touchscreen display but only offers 14 hours of battery life. More →
There’s no question that the adoption rate for Windows 8 is much slower than Microsoft had expected. Some manufacturers are even sticking with Windows 7 as their primary operating system for new machines. In an interview with ZDNet, Toshiba’s business-to-business product marketing manager Cindy Zwerling said that “Windows 7 is clearly the enterprise operating system at this time.” Although some businesses that have transitioned to Windows 8 tablets, Windows 7 machines still make up 99% of Toshiba’s business sales. Zwerling pointed out that migrating an entire business to a new operating system is a “huge undertaking,” and most organizations feel like they just made the switch to Windows 7. Toshiba will continue to sell the most up-to-date PCs for regular consumers, but the electronics conglomerate does not see any corporate demand for Windows 8 so far.
Smartphone cameras have improved greatly over the past years, so much so that they have begun to replace traditional point-and-shoot cameras. Image quality has become one of the main selling points for some smartphone vendors, and with each new flagship device comes more megapixels and better image sensors. Toshiba (TOSBF) this week announced the industry’s thinnest CMOS image sensor camera module for next-generation smartphones and tablets. The new sensor is just 4.7 mm in height and will allow mobile vendors to incorporate a high-end 13-megapixel shooter in a ultra-thin frame. More →
Cramming more megapixels into a smartphone with the thickness of a pencil is not the future of mobile picture-taking. Smartphones have hit a threshold where 8-megapixels is more than enough for taking crisp still shots and 1080p HD video. Many smartphones even perform decent under low-light conditions. But according to the Asahi Shimbun, Toshiba (TOSBF) has a new camera module that could change the way we take photos on smartphones anda tablets, forever. More →
While every other company is busy chasing the 7-inch tablet market, Toshiba (TOSBF) is keeping its eye on people interested in 10-inch tablets. Its new Excite 10 SE Android tablet is fairly similar to its Excite 10 LE, sporting a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 resolution display, NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 16GB of internal storage, 3-megapixel rear camera, HD front camera, microSD card slot and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It doesn’t have the iPad’s eye-popping Retina display or the Samsung (005930) Nexus 10’s crisp 2,560 x 1,600 resolution with 300 pixels per inch, but it’s more than adequate for most basic tablet tasks. And at $349.99, it’s not a bad deal for a 10-inch tablet. The Excite 10 SE goes on sale December 6th and will be available from ToshibaDirect.com and select retail stores. Toshiba’s press release follows below. More →
Toshiba (TOSBF) has canceled its plans to release a tablet computer based on Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows RT operating system. The company said its decision has nothing to do with Microsoft’s Surface tablet, rather a delay in getting components. Toshiba initially planned to use Texas Instruments’s (TXN) ARM-based processors for its RT devices, but it will instead concentrate on Windows 8 devices that work on Intel’s (INTC) x86-64 architecture. “Toshiba has decided not to introduce Windows RT models due to delayed components that would make a timely launch impossible,” Eric Paulsen, a company spokesman said a statement to Bloomberg. “For the time being, Toshiba will focus on bringing Windows 8 products to market. We will continue to look into the possibility of Windows RT products in the future while monitoring market conditions.” More →
Samsung (005930) may be getting most of its attention for smartphones these days, but the South Korean manufacturer is doing pretty well in the LCD TV market, too. According to the latest data from iSuppli, Samsung shipped 8.2 million LCD TVs in the first quarter of 2012, good for 19% of all LCD TV shipments and up from the 18% market share it held in the first quarter last year. Fellow South Korean company LG (066570) shipped the second-most LCD TVs on the quarter as its 5.8 million LCD TVs shipped accounted for 13% of all shipments worldwide in Q1 2012. iSuppli also reports that Samsung and LG were the only two companies to turn a profit from their LCD TV businesses with rivals Sony (SNE), Toshiba (6502) and Sharp (7653) all taking losses on their LCD TV divisions. Overall LCD shipments were down year-over-year, dropping from 44.6 million in Q1 2011 to 44.4 million in Q1 2012. More →
Toshiba, LG and AU Optronics have agreed to pay a combined sum of $571 million to settle a lawsuit over a liquid crystal display price-fixing scandal, Reuters reported. According to San Francisco attorney Joseph Alioto, who was the co-lead counsel for consumers suing the companies, $543.5 million will be awarded to at least 20 million consumers in 24 states, while $27.5 million will be paid as civil penalties to eight state governments. Seven other LCD manufacturers had reached an earlier settlement of $538.5 million. The class action suit alleged that from 1996 through 2006, numerous companies conspired to fix LCD prices, which resulted in higher prices on various electronics such as laptops and television sets. Several companies also pleaded guilty to separate criminal charges and paid undisclosed fines. More →
A Northern California jury on Tuesday found Toshiba guilty of conspiring to fix prices of liquid crystal displays. Customers brought a civil lawsuit against the Japanese company and other LCD providers earlier this year alleging anti-competitive practices. While most other defendants settled the case out of court, Toshiba decided to fight the allegations in a San Francisco federal court. The company will now be forced to return $70 million to consumers who bought various products, and pay $17 million to manufacturers who used its LCD panels. “There was strong evidence that Toshiba participated in the price-fixing conspiracy through communications with other TFT-LCD manufacturers, and that it received future pricing information from its competitors, shared its own future information, and was aware of its wrongdoing,” stated Bruce L. Simon, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs. “We are grateful for the jury’s service. The jury rejected Toshiba’s claim that it had done nothing wrong, and this is one of the few antitrust class actions ever tried to a successful verdict.” Read on for a related press release.
Toshiba on Tuesday announced an expansion of its Excite family of Android tablets. The new Excite slates are equipped with thinner and lighter designs, high definition displays and a wide range of ports and features. Toshiba will release a 7.7-inch model, a 10.1-inch model and a 13.3-inch model, and all three slates feature scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processors, 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front-facing cameras, expandable storage slots, 1GB of RAM and the latest version of Android — Ice Cream Sandwich. The Excite 10 tablet will be available on May 6th starting at $449.99 for the 16GB model, while the Excite 7 and Excite 13 will be available June 10th starting at $499.99 and $649.99 respectively. Read on for Toshiba’s press release. More →