Toshiba rolls out first HD DVD-R notebook PC

Posted by Mark Raby

Irving (CA) - More than a year after recordable Blu-ray Disc media became available, HD DVD has finally made its way into the same market with Toshiba's latest notebook computer.

Toshiba, which is the main financial backer for the HD DVD format, has begun shipping the Qosmio G45-AV680 laptop.  It's the first computer in the US to have a built-in HD DVD burner.  Although blank HD DVD media was ready pretty much right when the first high-def movies became available, it's taken a while for the technology to make its way to the states.

An HD DVD-R drive first made its way to Japan around five months ago as a built-in component of a different Toshiba notebook.  The new laptop will let users write all forms of blank DVD media, but only HD DVD-R for high-def discs.  It doesn't support rewritable HD DVD media.  Toshiba was slow in introducing an HD DVD-RW drive, and according to PC World, it has just recently been made available to PC manufacturers.

HD DVD-ROM drives have been available for months, with basic support for playing back the high-def discs.  Blu-ray, however, has a much stronger presence in this arena.  Writable Blu-ray drives started popping up before the standalone players were even available.

The G45-AV680 laptop from Toshiba will be available soon and will carry a price of around $3200.