Toshiba has been selling a netbook with an 8.9 inch display in Europe and Latin America for a few months. But while the company showed of that model (the Toshiba Satellite NB105) at CES in Las Vegas this year, Toshiba has been pretty quiet about any plans to launch a netbook in the US.
But now ChannelWeb is reporting that Toshiba officials say the company will enter the US netbook market this year. It’s not clear whether Toshiba will be bringing the NB105 to the states, but my guess would be no. The laptop has an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 120Gb hard drive, a 0.3 MP camera and a 3.5 hour battery. In other words, it feels very much like a 2008 model.
My guess is Toshiba will release a 10 inch version to sell alongside (or instead of) the 8.9 inch model. A CPU boost would be nice as well. Last year the Intel Atom N270 CPU didn’t have much competition. But now we’re seeing netbook makers use the N280, Z5xx series, and VIA Nano processors. If Toshiba plans to launch a netbook in the US later this year, I would expect (or at least hope) that it would use one of these newer CPUs that are either more energy efficient or offer marginally improved performance.
But officially, all we know is that Toshiba does plan to launc a netbook in the US. The company’s not talking about pricing, specs, or the release date.