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.