TechXNY: Toshiba promises corridor cruisers

Toshiba will present a new type of mobile, wireless computer, targeted at workers who require wireless mobility within the...

Toshiba will present a new type of mobile, wireless computer, targeted at workers who require wireless mobility within the confines of an office environment, at next week's TechXNY trade show in New York.

Nicknamed "corridor cruisers," the ultra-light, ultra-thin wireless notebooks from Toshiba will be based on the company's Portege 2000 series notebooks launched in January, Oscar Koenders, vice-president of product development for Toshiba, said.

Expected to arrive in the fourth quarter 2002, corridor cruisers will also give Toshiba a product that fits snugly between the company's notebook computers and future Tablet PCs, Koenders said.

"People are now wireless, not just outside the office, but also inside the office," said Koenders, who defined corridor cruisers as "people who just normally went into a meeting and took notes and then went back to their PC on the desk and typed in their notes".

Corridor cruisers will utilise wireless 802.11 and Bluetooth technologies and leverage Toshiba's Portege technology, such as the product's smaller 1.8-inch hard drive, magnesium casing, and lithium polymer battery technology, to minimise their size, Koenders said. "We're going to use all technologies we've used to make the Portege 2000 a very thin machine, to make sure we have a very strong offering when we introduce the Tablet PC, and that's going to happen somewhere in Q4 of this year," he said.

Toshiba has a concept Tablet PC called the Paperback Tablet, which runs Transmeta's Crusoe processor, the Linux OS, and offers a 6.5-inch colour touch screen.

At the trade show Toshiba will also demonstrate an appliance server for home networks that provides a "jukebox" for digital music, digital photos, and video, said Koenders. A VPN that ships standard with the Toshiba appliance server will allow users to connect to and download files from the product over the Internet, according to Koenders.

Next-generation mobile devices such as corridor cruisers and Tablet PCs from vendors such as Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft will be one of the high points of the trade show, according to Rob Enderle, an analyst at Giga Information Group.

"As far as the new technology at the show, a lot of it will have to do with Tablets PCs," said Enderle.

In line with this, Jeff Raikes, the group vice-president for Microsoft's productivity and business services, will kick off the trade show with a demonstration of new applications for Tablet PC devices during his Tuesday morning keynote address.

The TechXNY trade show takes place at New York's Javits Convention Center, from 25 June through to 27 June.

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