At recent Toshiba media function I was reminded of the many different DVD formats out there in the marketplace. I am not regular notebook user so I wasn’t aware of the problems users have with their DVD drives, particularly on notebook PCs.
Apparently many of these optical drives don’t recognise certain DVD formats.
Perhaps you have experienced the problem?
If anyone can rectify it, Toshiba should. The company sold its one millionth notebook last year. On average, it sells notebook every two minutes, probably because it often leads the way in technology development.
Toshiba’s latest notebooks come with built-in DVD SuperMulti Drive that is compatible with all of the DVD formats – not to mention the existing CD formats.
This means the DVD SuperMulti reads CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-R-RW, DVD+R+RW and RAM disks, and writes to CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R-RW, DVD+R+RW and RAM disks. You can, therefore, watch movies, edit videos or photos, play games, and handle just about anything else the DVD market can throw at you.
With IDC predicting 22 percent global growth in notebook sales this year, and the average price of notebooks still falling – 18 months ago Tecras ranged from $5000 to $8000, today they cost $3000 to $5000 – no wonder more notebooks are replacing desktops in the business world.
Toshiba’s New Zealand manager Steve Ford and his team were up there highlighting host of other recent innovations in notebook design and manufacture. These included, for example, the magnesium alloy casing (10 times stronger than ABS plastic); new thermal cooling technology that vaporises heat away from the CPU; an advanced port replicator that’s backwards compatible; as well as advanced network analysis for users having trouble connecting to the office network; special network locator and connector function; and of course, full wireless functionality.
Wireless, according to Ford, is catching on fast now that the issue of security has, finally, been put to bed. “Seventy-five percent of schools we’re talking to, for example, want wireless, because they understand that it’s an inexpensive and easy way to grow network.”
Ford is predicting bright future for notebooks – with new developments such as performance boosting fuel cells. “By the end of 2004 we will see the first notebook powered by fuel cell technology,” he promises.
Other growth drivers include the diminishing price difference between notebooks and desktops (particularly desktops with more expensive LCD screens); the increasingly mobile workforce; the greater emphasis on work/life balance; the ubiquitous nature of email communication; and the recognition by senior executives that business management is all about performance rather than attendance.
The disappearance of the previously pronounced performance lag between laptop computers and desktop computers has also contributed to the worldwide growth in notebook sales.

Glenn Baker is regular contributor to Management.
Email: [email protected]

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