Toshiba has launched a new selection of notebook computers - but they look rather like Netbooks. Priced at the upper end of the cheaper notebook market (and the exact cost will depend on your territory, let's just say they're starting at £429 in the UK) they're called the CULV satellites - that's Compact Ultra-Low Voltage to you.
They're nice looking machines and they're bound to do pretty well alongside heavier competitors. But they're full of contradictions. They are single core processors but the company decided Atom processors weren't going to be good enough. They're powered up to handle serious applications, the company says, but you're never - no, seriously never - going to want to edit multimedia or something on a 10.1in screen. It's just not going to happen.
The really baffling element is that these are for consumers rather than professionals. If someone says to a professional, OK, you can hook this up to a larger monitor and it'll have enough oomph to handle the serious work but remain seriously portable, or you can put an external DVD drive on if you want, that's one thing. If you say it to a consumer, and try to explain the single core/dual core thing to them, they're going to get bewildered.
Toshiba knows this, it had the misfortune to be selling televisions when high definition started (so things were HD ready, or they had full HD, or true HD, it still makes my head bleed to think about it) and now they have no option but to sell laptops in an equally complicated manner. It's genuinely not their fault, Intel has the market for chips all but sewn up.
I'm anticipating a lot of confused customers in the superstores. And the fact that these look so much like Netbooks isn't going to help.
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