Latest retail opportunities from Toshiba

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Toshiba began its annual product showcase this year by revealing that despite tough market conditions the company achieved encouraging trading results in 2009. The value of its TV sales grew by 25%, while the sales value of its DVD players was up by 10%.

The manufacturer demonstrated its new REGZA LCD TV range which includes the first models with integrated Freeview HD – the WL and SL series. The series features advanced LED backlighting and integrated Freeview HD tuners on all its models which range from 32 to 55in panels. Toshiba hopes that retailers will take advantage of this market opportunity in the run up to the World Cup.

Both series also feature the latest versions of Toshiba’s Active Vision picture processing technology, which provides vivid images with significantly reduced motion blur in fast moving pictures. All models across both new REGZA LED panel ranges are Windows 7 certified, with integrated DLNA technology that allows users to stream multimedia content.

Toshiba also showed an extensive range of DVD players and recorders with improved HDMI connectivity and with some models providing 1080p upscaling. The manufacturer demonstrated its second generation Blu-ray player, the BDX2100KB which offers high-definition playback at a competitive price of around £130.

In the laptop sector, which is Toshiba’s stronghold as one in three business laptops sold are Toshiba’s products, value of the company’s sales grew by 1%.

Ken Chan, senior product manager at Toshiba, predicted that in 2010 despite growing popularity of netbooks, 15in screen laptops will dominate the market. Window 7 technology will stimulate product development, and the strongest demand for laptops will come from the business sector.

In response to this trend, Toshiba unveiled its new business laptop, the Satellite U500-1EX, the USP of which is its 13.3in touch screen.

Utilising the latest Intel Core i Series processor and Windows 7 technology the laptop enables users to flick through files and folders simply by touching the screen. Pictures can be enlarged or reduced simply by touching the screen.

The laptop also features Toshiba LifeSpace, a new application that features an intuitive ‘Bulletin Board’, which enables users to create instant thumbnail shortcuts, while ‘ReelTime’ accelerates file searching by automatically adding a shortcut to a timeline of recently-used files.

The new laptops feature an energy monitoring system – which allows users to follow energy use during different operations and make up to 20% energy savings.

We were also treated to a preview of Toshiba’s CELL TV panel (already in use in Japan and anticipated in the UK in autumn this year) which is not only able to upscale HD content to Ultra HD quality and 2D to 3D but has very advanced networking solutions which enable transfer of content between different sources.

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