Toshiba adds CD-ROM, video smarts

Toshiba will begin pushing out notebooks with speedy, slimline CD-ROM drives in November.

The Japanese giant will kick off by putting its new 10-speed 12.7mm-high drive technology into Portege subnotebooks, according to sources. The product will be one of several new mobile PC products shown at the Comdex Las Vegas trade exhibition in mid-November and will ship the same month. However, buyers seeking huge system performance leaps could be disappointed: Intel has no plans for faster mobile processors until 1997.

Also at Comdex, Toshiba executives will meet to discuss whether to launch the Infinia home desktop PC in Europe in 1997. The system has been widely acclaimed in the US. "The green button hasn't been pushed yet but obviously we've got a business plan ready," said Murray McKerlie, Toshiba product manager for notebooks.

In related news, both Toshiba and Panasonic this week began shipping Zoomed Video (ZV) MPEG CardBus PC Cards. Both have turned to Californian maker Apex Data for the devices that send video straight to the graphics accelerator, bypassing the CPU to deliver 30 frames per second full-screen motion video. Panasonic charges £249 + VAT, and Toshiba £229 + VAT.

Toshiba can be contacted by telephone on 01932-841600. Panasonic can be contacted by telephone on 0500-404041.