A few months after introducing its Kirabook flagship, Toshiba is back with some mid-range laptops that bring some of the same understated design elements. The 14-inch Satellite E45t Ultrabook and the 15-inch E55, announced today, have the same pared-down look as the Kirabook, except they're made of aluminum instead of pressed magnesium, and the bottom isn't made of metal but rather, textured plastic. The screen resolution is also lower, at 1,366 x 768; these are middle-of-the-road machines, after all. On the bright side, they all support 802.11ac WiFi -- of a surprise on otherwise humdrum systems like these. The E45t, which will be sold only at Best Buy and on Toshiba's site, comes in just one configuration, with a Core i5 Haswell processor and a 500GB hard drive paired with an SSD. Perhaps most interesting, though, is that the E45t will come with Dragon Assistant on board for simple voice commands (think: shutting down the computer, doing a web search, controlling multimedia playback, et cetera). You can expect to find that next week, on August 4th, with a suggested retail price of $818, though a Toshiba rep told us it'll likely sell for $799.99 once it actually hits shelves. Just a heads-up.
The 15-inch version, meanwhile, will be offered with either a Core i5 processor and touchscreen (that's the E55t) or a quad-core A6 APU. There are actually two AMD models: one configuration comes with a touchscreen (that would be the E55Dt) and one has a non-touch panel (that's the E55D). Strangely, the non-touch model also offers lesser storage; that has a 750GB HDD, while the touch version goes up to a full terabyte. Either way, you get a number pad, which you won't find on the 14-incher, though you'll be missing out on that Dragon Assistant app with the AMD models. These will be available in September, a little later than the 14-inch model, with the non-touch E55D going for $580 and the touchscreen E55Dt priced at $700. We haven't yet confirmed pricing for the E55t, that lone Intel-based model, but we'll update this post once we do.
Toshiba Satellite E45 and E55 hands-on
NEW TOSHIBA ULTRATHIN LAPTOPS BRING MORE INTUITIVE INTERACTION
Collection of Ultrathins Grows With New 14- and 15-inch Models, Variety of Processor and Storage Choices, and Premium Styling at New Lower Price Points
IRVINE, Calif. – July 29, 2013 – Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today expanded its portfolio of ultrathin laptops with the new 14-inch Satellite® E45t and 15.6-inch Satellite E55t/E55Dt models. Built with the latest technologies and intuitive touchscreen and voice controls, these ultrathin PCs offer versatility for both productivity and entertainment in a distinctively thin design.
"Thin is in," said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "Our expanding line of ultrathins is designed to be more accessible to consumer looking for a thinner, more stylish PC that delivers the same class of performance and features as a traditional laptop – at a price point that is competitive with a traditional laptop."
Sleek, Thin Design
The Satellite E Series features a sleek, yet durable brushed aluminum casing with Toshiba's modern Skyline design and stand at less than an inch thin. Both also include reinforced LED backlit keyboards, making typing comfortable in all lighting environments. The 15-inch models also include a built in 10-key numeric pad, great for productivity applications.
More Intuitive Interaction with Voice and Touch
Dragon Assistant on Ultrabook models leverages the power of speech recognition technology, giving users the freedom and flexibility to control applications using their voice. Simply speaking, "Hello Dragon," launches the assistant and allows people to search the Web, find content on their laptop, play music and movies, check and reply to email, update Facebook and Twitter, make Skype calls and even shut down, restart or put the laptop to sleep.
Satellite E Series models feature touchscreen displays with 10-finger touch support, ideal for interacting with Windows 8. The Satellite E45t features a 14-inch diagonal HD display1, while the Satellite E55t/E55Dt features a 15.6-inch diagonal HD display.
Smart Multi-tasking. Superb graphics performance. Excellent Battery Life.
The Satellite E series offers a choice of the latest processors from Intel and AMD. Models equipped with 4th generation Intel® Core processors2 deliver smart multi-tasking and stunning visuals, as well as the latest Ultrabook technologies, including Dragon Assistant voice control technology, Intel Smart Response technology and Intel Wireless Display3. Models equipped with AMD Accelerated Processing Units feature the quad-core A6 APU, which brings fast and fluid performance along with the graphics horsepower of AMD Radeon. Battery life ratings are optimized for life-on-the-go, ranging from 7 hours and up4, depending on model and processor.
All the Essentials
Unlike many other thin-and-light laptops, the Satellite E series includes generous local storage option ranging from 500GB to 750GB5. Both ultrathins feature all the essential ports, including HDMI®, Ethernet, SD Card slots and two USB 3.0 ports6, one with USB Sleep & Charge7, and one USB 2.0 port. Configurations also include powerful dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi®8, and stereo speakers with DTS® Studio Sound that provides rich audio performance optimized for music and movies.
Pricing and Availability
The 14-inch Satellite E45t will be available on August 4, 2013, exclusively at Best Buy stores, BestBuy.com and Toshiba Direct. The 15.6-inch Satellite E Series will be available in September 2013 at major retailers and e-tailers nationwide and direct from Toshiba at ToshibaDirect.com. Pricing for the Satellite E55 Series will be announced closer to availability.