Toshiba Qosmio G40  (Source: Toshiba)
Toshiba ships first notebooks computers featuring rewritable HD DVD drive

Consumers have been able to get notebook computers for a while now with internal Blu-ray drives which could also write to blank Blu-ray disks. Notebooks were also available that would play movies on internal HD DVD drives.

Information Week reports that Toshiba will begin selling in Japan this week the first notebook computer which integrates a rewriteable HD DVD optical drive. A pair of Toshiba notebooks in the Qosmio Series 2 family will include these HD DVD rewritable drives. One model will be available  with a 17-inch screen featuring a 1920 x 1200 screen resolution and one with a 15.4-inch screen using a 1280 x 800 resolution.

Those specifications should mean that the 17-inch notebook would be able to output full 1080p movies from HD DVD discs and the 15.4-inch version will be able to show 720p HD content. Both of these systems are far from what would be considered easily portable.

The Qosmio G40/97E 17-inch screen version is reported to weigh 10.6 pounds while the Qosmio F40/88EBL 15.4-inch version weighs 7.7 pounds. Information Week surmises from the size and heft of the machines they are intended to replace a separate computer and TV in cramped apartments in Japan.

Toshiba also says that both the notebooks will be capable of viewing one show while recording another thanks to dual TV tuners. The HD DVD drives themselves will be able to write to HD DVD recordable media as well as writing to normal DVD media with support for HD Rec extension.

The 15.4-inch Qosmio will retail for around $2,600 USD and the 17-inch version will retail for around $3,500 USD.

The HD DVD rewritable drives used in these Toshiba notebooks shouldn’t be confused with the HD DVD drives used in older Toshiba notebooks like the Satellite X205-SLI1 that would play HD DVD movies and write to standard DVD media only. Rewritable Blu-ray drives have been available for a while now on systems like the Dell XPS m1530.

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