Toshiba launches Haswell-powered notebooks and Tegra 4-based tablets

Toshiba's June product refresh brings new slimline consumer and business notebooks, some featuring Intel's latest 4th-Generation Core processors, and a new range of 10-inch Android tablets.

Toshiba has refreshed its notebooks and desktops with Intel's latest 4th-generation Core ( Haswell ) processors, and also introduced the Excite range of Android tablets to the UK and Europe — including models powered by Nvidia's latest Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip.

Satellite notebooks
The new Intel 4th Generation Core processors make their appearance in the consumer-focused Satellite notebooks, headed by the top-of-the-range P series, which comes in 17.3-inch (P70) and 15.6-inch (P50, or P50t with 10-point touch functionality) sizes. Screen resolutions are either HD (1280 x 720) or Full HD (1920 x 1080), with dedicated Nvidia graphics (2GB GeForce GT 740M or 4GB GeForce GT 745M) providing Ultra HD support via HDMI-out on an external '4K' monitor or TV. Content can also be sent wirelessly to a compatible TV thanks to Intel Wireless Display and Miracast support.

Toshiba Satellite P50 (15.6in. HD or Full HD screen with optional 10-point touch). Image: Toshiba

RAM goes up to 32GB on the 4-slot P70, or 16GB on the 2-slot P50, with storage capacity maxing out at 3TB on the P70 (2 x 1.5TB HDD) or 1.5TB on the P50. Various SSD and hybrid HDD/SSD options are also available. As befits a multimedia-oriented notebook, the sound system is high-end: there are four Harmon Kardon speakers with DTS Studio Sound on the 17in P70 and two on the P50.

The Satellite P series will be available in the UK from Q3 2013, starting at £599.

Other Satellite ranges that get the new Haswell chips include the new slimline (24mm thick) S series, which comes in 17.3in and 15.6in screen sizes with HD or Full HD resolution and optional 10-point touch functionality. You can also opt for AMD processors in the S series, dedicated graphics in the latter case being a 1GB Radeon HD rather than the 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 740M in the Intel models. Storage goes up to 1TB (HDD or hybrid HDD/SSD), Miracast is supported and the speakers are by Onkyo (with DTS Sound).

Portégé Z10t: a hybrid ultrabook/tablet. image: Toshiba

Occupying a lower orbit is the mid-range Satellite L series, which adds a 14.1in variant to the 15.6in and 17.3in models (again with optional touchscreens). Intel (3rd or 4th Generation Core) and AMD processors are again available, with discrete (Nvidia or AMD) and integrated GPU options.

New or recent Toshiba notebooks that don't get the Haswell upgrade, for now, are the entry-level (15.6in or 17.3in) Satellite C series, the business-focused Satellite Pro L (mid-range) and C (entry-level) series, the 11.6in 2-in-1 Portégé Z10t ultrabook/tablet and the 11.6in. WT310 Windows 8 tablet.

Excite tablets
Toshiba's other main announcement yesterday was the new range of 10.1in Excite tablets running Android 4.2. There are three models, starting with the Nvidia Tegra 3-powered Excite Pure, rising to the Tegra 4-powered Excite Pro and culminating in the Excite Write — which is basically a Pro with the addition of Gorilla Glass 2, a digitiser pen and Toshiba's TruNote handwriting application.

All three Excite tablets will be available in Q3 2013 with Toshiba's optional keyboard cover.

The entry-level Excite Pure with optional keyboard cover. Image: Toshiba

The entry-level Tegra 3- powered Pure has a 1,280-by-800-pixel AutoBrite screen, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and supports mobile broadband (3G). It has Micro-USB 2.0 and Micro-HDMI ports, a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion plus front (1.2MP) and rear (3MP) webcams. The Excite Pure weighs 600g, or 1.1kg with the optional keyboard cover, and costs from £249.

The high-end Tegra 4-powered Excite Pro with high-resolution 2,560-by-1,600-pixel screen. Image: Toshiba

The Pro and Write models have a higher screen resolution (2,560 by 1,600 pixels), come with 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, support 802.11ac as well as a/b/g/n and add LTE to the mobile broadband (on 32GB models). The rear camera has an 8MP sensor with LED flash, and the stereo speakers are high-end Harmon Kardon units. The Excite Pro costs from £349, while the digitizer-equipped Write costs from £499.