HD DVD and Blu-Ray have been battling for control of the high-definition DVD market for a little over a year now. Now two big names in laptop computers have announced that they will offer machines compatible with one format or the other: Toshiba has cast their lot in with HD DVD, and NEC will back Blu-ray with similar releases this year. There are significant differences between the products touted as compatible with these new media formats, however.
Toshiba will put the first laptop PC in the world with support for the write-once HD DVD-R optical disc format on sale in Japan in late February. The G30/97A will be an upgrade of existing models of Toshiba’s hefty Qosmio G30 entertainment laptop. Some of those models already contain an HD DVD reader and are on sale in major markets worldwide.
The computer is based on an Intel 2-GHz Core 2 Duo processor and has a 17-inch wide-screen display with 1920 by 1280 pixel resolution, which means it can show high-definition images from HD DVD movie discs. The 10.6-pound machine also features a 320GB hard drive, digital TV tuner, and HDMI output.
Another rival PC maker is also offering blue laser disc compatibility in a new machine running Vista. NEC, which has been straddling the format battle fence, will release two laptops with Blu-ray Disc support in February. The LaVie C will come out February 9 and the LaVie L will come out February 23rd. Both will be based on Windows Vista Home Premium.
The drives will be read-only models suitable for playing back Blu-ray Disc movies and other prerecorded content but not in full high-definition resolution. The computers have 15.4-inch widescreen displays that only offer 800 pixels of horizontal resolution. Full HD images have 1080 picture lines.