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Toshiba to bring HD DVD to Satellite laptops

And HD DVD-R to other machines

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Toshiba will begin adding HD DVD drives to its mainstream laptop line-up, the Satellite series, in Q3, the notebook maker revealed last week.

Toshiba already offers the Qosmio Q30 with a built-in HD DVD drive, a machine it launched in May 2006. Speaking at the CeBIT show last week, a Toshiba spokesman said the Q30 will get a recordable HD DVD-R drive in Q2.

The Japanese giant showed off a prototype HD DVD-R drive inside a notebook at last January's CES. The week before, it announced an HD DVD-R drive for desktop machines.

The company's product plan was announced after it said market statistics from Japan's Techno Systems Research showed that 60 per cent of the blue-laser optical drives designed for PCs that shipped in 2006 supported the HD DVD format. Narrow in on slimline drives for notebooks, and HD DVD's lead jumps to 70 per cent, Toshiba said.

The release of a more advanced Q30, but the availability of the lower-end HD DVD-equipped Satellites in particular, should go some way to help Toshiba meet its forecast that it will sell 500,000 HD DVD playback devices in Europe during 2007.

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