Toshiba is bringing some of the high-end look of its Kirabook laptop to its more budget-friendly notebooks with its new Satellite E series. Of course, you won't get the same materials and accoutrements, but you'll be saving several hundred dollars.
For instance, while the E45t Ultrabook and E55 have the same basic design as the pricier Kirabook, they rely on aluminum and plastic instead of magnesium. They also have lower-res screens. Nonetheless, the laptops are less than an inch thick and include such niceties as LED-backlit keyboards.
The version of the Satellite E45t sold exclusively at Best Buy includes a 14-inch 1,366x768 screen, Intel Core i5-4200U "Haswell" processor, 6GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive, though it lacks an optical drive. It does come with touchscreen capabilities, however, as well as Nuance's Dragon Assistant voice recognition software. The Best Buy configuration will cost $699.99, while Toshiba's website will also be selling the E45t starting on August 4.
There are different flavors of the Satellite E55, depending on whether you choose AMD or Intel inside. While both options feature a 15.6-inch display with the same resolution as the E45t, the E55t comes with a Core i5 processor and the E55D and E55Dt come with an AMD A6 chip. The E55D lacks a touch screen and includes a 750GB hard drive instead of the 1TB one the E55Dt ships with. The bigger E55 makes room for a numeric keypad that is not available on the E45t.
According to Engadget, the E55D will be priced from $580, whereas the E55Dt will cost $700. No pricing info for the E55t is available yet. Toshiba says the E55 series will be sold by major retailers in addition to being hawked on the company's own site, which says these new notebooks will be ready on August 25. For more hands-on observations, check out our sister site CNET's rundown.