In a bid to move into the mobile computing market, Toshiba has signed an exclusive deal with Telecom and from mid-August will offer a range of laptops with 3G mobile broadband capabilities, offering resellers another string to their mobility bow.
The laptops will use Telecom’s XT network and have a built-in SIM card and antenna, which allows for a stronger signal and fewer dropouts. Laptop users will be able to access the internet anywhere they get a cell phone signal, which Telecom now boasts is 97 % of populated areas. In addition, users can surf the web with a high-speed 7.2Mb connection.
“Previously a lot of the carriers have had USB or PC card connections that do similar things, but now it’s embedded, so it’s one less thing to break, to lose, and it’s a stronger signal,” said Matthew Tuminello, Toshiba’s Product Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
The 3G laptops cost about $250 more than their identical non-3G counterparts and 80% of Toshiba’s range has 3G capabilities, showing the company is serious about the launch.
Tuminello said that while many people have email on their phone, it’s limiting and broadband allows people to be connected anywhere, anytime.
“Our customers are asking for it,” he said. “They’ve been asking for it for a little while now.”
When asked how the launch of the 3G laptops would affect resellers, Tuminello said: “I think they’re going to embrace it. It’s good for mobile computing and it’s great for the user, it’s great for the telecommunications carrier, in this case Telecom NZ, and it’s great for us as a hardware vendor at Toshiba.”
The company has spent the last three years perfecting the product and will now focus on getting people to experience it by offering go- to-market deals in conjunction with Telecom.
“We’ve spent three years ensuring that our range is capable of doing it, and now we’re going to really move forward and help people experience it, understand it and really be productive from it,” Tuminello said.
The 3G-capable laptops are available to resellers now through all of Toshiba’s channel distributors.