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Toshiba intros consumer desktop replacements

15, 16 and 17in beasts announced

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Toshiba has introduced a quartet of new Satellite laptops if hopes will tempt with their big screens and extended keyboards.

Top of the list is the A660, which sports a 16in, 1366 x 768 display, a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, up to 8GB of memory and up to 640GB of hard drive storage. It has Harman Kardon speakers and an as-yet-unnamed Nvidia graphics chip.

Toshiba touted the laptop's inclusion of its Resolution+ upscaling technology, but here it's implemented in software rather than the hardware used in the DVD players and TVs that are stamped with the brand. Side-by-side with another laptop and you can see a slight difference, but not enough to disappoint anyone who doesn't buy the A660.

Toshiba Satellite A660

Toshiba's Satellite A660: lacks symmetry

The A660 is accompanied by the C650, L650 and L670. The first two are 15.6in models, the L670 a 17.3in laptop. All three lines feature models based on Core i3 CPUs and, at the bottom end, AMD chips. The C650 range will also include Pentium-based models, while the L650 and L670 have Core i5 options.

The 15.6in screens have 1366 x 768 resolutions, while the 17.3in panels run to 1600 x 900. Some are driven by integrated graphics, others but ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145 GPUs with 512MB of video memory.

Expect them to be loaded with up to 4GB of 1067MHz DDR 3, 500GB of hard drive storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi and DVD drives. The A660 has a Blu-ray option, by the way.

All four laptop lines will feature keyboard with numeric pads. The reason, Toshiba admitted, was cosmetic: consumers don't need them, but 16:9 screens make the laptops' bodies so wide the keyboard looks too small without the numeric extension to - literally - pad it out.

The C650, L650 and L670 are set to ship toward the end of May, with the A660 following in June. Toshiba did not announce pricing. ®

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