Toshiba offers dual standards

Toshiba is to launch two notebook computers aimed at business travellers, that offer support for both the 802.11b and Bluetooth...

Toshiba is to launch two notebook computers aimed at business travellers, that offer support for both the 802.11b and Bluetooth wireless technology standards, writes Daniel Thomas.

Tecra 9000 and Portege 4000 will be the first notebooks to have both 802.11b and Bluetooth antennas embedded in the lid, eliminating the need for a PC card.

The 802.11b wireless standard typically offers data transfer speeds of 11mbps and has a range of 150m. "It gives users the best of both worlds - they can connect to corporate sites and access the Internet at airports," said Marc Tanguay, director of marketing for Toshiba America. "They can use Bluetooth to synchronise PDAs and not have to travel with any cables."

Bluetooth enables devices to communicate at speeds of up to 1mbps at distances of up to 10m. Despite having a shorter range and bandwidth than 802.11b, Bluetooth has gained industry support from many mobile device manufacturers. However, the development and release of products has been slower than anticipated.

The Toshiba notebooks can also share data via a built-in modem, Ethernet, an i.Link port - to connect to digital audio and video equipment - and a secure digital (SD) media slot, which enables users to slide a Toshiba SD memory card directly into the computer.

Both the Tecra 9000 and Portege 4000 are based on Intel's Pentium III mobile processor that runs at clock speeds of up to 1.13GHz.

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