Toshiba's latest back-to-school devices boast a dedicated key for Cortana, aiming to take full advantage of Windows 10.
Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana, has stirred notable interest ever since it made its debut on Windows Phone, and it will be the first of its kind to go beyond mobile. Cortana is all set to reach the desktop with the latest Windows 10 OS, and Toshiba is ready to bet on its potential.
The company just unveiled its new back-to-school lineup of laptops and hybrid devices, and all models will have a dedicated hotkey on their keyboard specifically for launching Cortana in Windows 10. The button looks like a search key in the Function row, right near the "Esc" button.
Toshiba's new devices include Satellite C, Satellite L, Satellite S, Fusion, and Radius series. All models will get Microsoft's latest Windows 10 when the OS is ready to roll out on July 29.
Toshiba Satellite C Series
The Satellite C series consists of entry-level notebooks with plastic designs and affordable price tags. The laptops come with 15- and 17-inch displays, Intel or AMD processors, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. The Toshiba C Series starts at $395, with commercial availability set to commence on June 21.
Toshiba Satellite L Series
The Satellite L series is one step up from the C series, but still aims to combine performance with affordability. The laptops come in 15- and 17-inch sizes, a choice of latest-generation Intel or AMD processors, as well as options for up to 16GB of RAM, full HD display resolution, and speedier 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Other neat treats include Skullcandy audio, 4K HDMI out, a backlit keyboard, and a Sleep and Charge USB port.
"The new Satellite L Series laptops are thin, lightweight and stylish, encased in a fashion-forward Satin Gold Finish with sleek lines and a less-than-an-inch profile. A backlit and frameless TruType keyboard delivers a contoured key design for more comfortable typing with less key bounce, along with a modern buttonless touchpad with multi-gesture control," Toshiba touts in the press release (PDF).
The 15-inch Toshiba Satellite L starts at $530, while the 17-inch version starts at $570, set to hit retail on June 21.
Toshiba Satellite S Series
The more advanced Satellite S series laptops come with higher prices, but also higher spec options, a sleek aluminum design, and Harman Kardon audio. Optional NVIDIA graphics, dual- or quad-core i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, a 2TB HDD or a dual HDD + SSD combo, and a 4K display option are all in the cards with the Satellite S series, but the top configurations won't come cheap. The Satellite S series consists of 15- and 17-inch models, starting at $720 and $875, respectively. The laptops will go on sale late next month, on July 29, Toshiba announced (PDF).
Toshiba Satellite Fusion Series
The hybrid Fusion series consists of high-end 2-in-1 machines able to serve both as laptops and as tablets thanks to a 360-degree hinge. The new Toshiba Fusion series comes only in a 15-inch size option, but offers a choice of Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors, up to 12GB of RAM, HDD or SSD options, and other neat treats. The Fusion series starts at $650.
Toshiba Satellite Radius Series
Lastly, the Radius series is similar to the Fusion hybrids, with the difference that it's exclusive to Best Buy and comes in more sizes. Adding to the existing 11-inch Radius, Toshiba now offers new 14- and 15-inch versions. A 4K option is on the table, as is a more premium aluminum design, while processing options depend on model size. The 14-inch Toshiba Radius comes with a choice of Intel or AMD, but the 15-incher is available only with Intel inside. Prices start at $585 and $843 for the Radius 14 and Radius 15, respectively. The Satellite Radius series will hit retail on June 21, notes the press release.
Windows 10 Upgrade Eligibility
All of the new devices Toshiba announced, with the exception of the 17-inch Satellite L and the Satellite S series, will go on sale on June 21. Microsoft's latest Windows 10, meanwhile, is slated to roll out to PCs on July 29. Consequently, all Toshiba models launching on June 21 will come with Windows 8.1 on board, but will get a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the OS rolls out.
Windows 10 is expected to bring notable improvements on all fronts compared to the previous version of the OS, and the dedicated Cortana hotkey on the new Toshiba lineup sounds like a neat bonus.