AMD Wins Another: Toshiba Business Notebooks To Use Athlons, Turions

Notebook maker Toshiba said Tuesday it will bring its Satellite lineup back into the commerical channel, and build a series of the new laptops using AMD's Turion 64 X2 or AMD Athlon dual core chips, as well as systems using Intel's Core2Duo. Previously, Toshiba used only Intel processors in its business lineup.

The systems will also bring Toshiba back into a price-aggressive space in the market, as the systems will launch with a street price of $699, executives said.

"Toshiba is relaunching the Satellite Pro series," said Craig Marking, senior product marketing manager for Toshiba's Digital Products Division, Irvine, Calif. "We're bringing it back. We've been listening to what channel partners have been saying. We are seeing significant growth in the sub-$1,000 price-bands."

Toshiba had previously shipped AMD-based Satellite notebooks to consumer retail channels, but didn't offer units in the commercial channel based on the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chipmaker's processors.

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"While we've had a successful partnership with AMD (in the consumer space), as a way of broadening our volume segment and hitting more attractive price points, our business partners were clamboring for that same flexibility and that same, broad portfolio," Marking said.

Over the past year, AMD has gained traction among PC makers with which it had previously had no success. In particular, Dell, Round Rock, Texas, has begun using its processors and other vendors have broadend the use of AMD chips in their product lines. Toshiba becomes the latest.

Specifically, The Satellite Pro A210 series will be built with AMD Turion 64 X2 or AMD Athlon, along with the AMD M690V chipset and Atheros 802.11 b/g wireless capability. At the same time, Toshiba is also launching the Satellite Pro A200-EZ2204X notebook, with Intel Core2Duo chips, Mobile Intel GM965 chipset and Intel PRO/Wireless 2945 ABG component.

AMD has had a number of wins as well as setbacks this year. While it has spent much of 2007 under financial pressure, and seen several top executives leave the company, last month it launched its Barcelona quad core processor. While generally winning strong reviews, channel executives say there are early signs system builders and solution providers will have difficulty finding enough supply to fill some orders.

Toshiba is also seeking to broaden its product portfolio at a time when rivals including Lenovo, Raleigh, N.C., and Acer, Taipei, Taiwan, have been mounting their own aggressive bids to gain market share. According to DisplaySearch, Toshiba maintained fourth place in worldwide notebook market share with 9.5 percent of the market, behind Acer, with 12.5 percent share and ahead of Lenovo's 8.5 percent market share. However, While Acer was seeing 74 percent growth and Lenovo 51 percent growth, according to DisplaySearch, Toshiba was seeing a relatively modest 10 percent growth during the second quarter.