Toshiba's First Netbook Hits Japan, Overseas Sales to Follow

The first netbook-type portable computer from Toshiba hit store shelves in Japan over the weekend, ahead of its upcoming launch in Europe. U.S. sales are currently not planned for the machine.

Like many other netbooks the NB100 is based on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and has an 8.9-inch display with 1,024 pixel by 600 pixel resolution (WSVGA). The machine measures 22.5 centimeters by 19.1cm by 3.3cm. It weighs just over 1 kilogram and battery life is 2.9 hours, according to Toshiba.

In Japan a single version is available, running Windows XP Home and with a 120G-byte hard-disk drive, wireless LAN and Bluetooth.

Store prices for the machine range from ¥63,800 to ¥69,800 (US$677 to $740), according to price comparison site Kakaku.com. At one Tokyo electronics store on Monday the machine was being offered for as low as ¥24,800 if customers signed up for cellular data service.

European models will be offered with up to 160G-byte hard-disk drives on Windows XP models. Versions based on Ubuntu Linux are also planned, although they'll have half the memory of the Windows versions and a maximum hard disk size of 120G-bytes. They also won't support Bluetooth.

Pricing for these overseas models and launch dates are yet to be announced by Toshiba. However, European online electronics stores are already listing variations of the computer at prices between €366 and €403 (US$461 and $508).

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