Toshiba's HD-DVD-R laptop goes on sale

The first laptop computer to feature an HD-DVD-R drive, Toshiba Corp.'s Qosmio Q30, went on sale in Japan over the weekend.

HD-DVD-R is the read-only version of the HD-DVD format, and a single-sided disc can hold up to 15GB of data. The format, which is principally backed by Toshiba, is in competition with Blu-ray Disc, which is backed by Sony Corp.

The Qosmio G30/97A is an upgraded model of the existing Qosmio laptop computer that is already on sale in several markets worldwide. It is based on an Intel Corp. 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and has a 17-in. widescreen display with 1,920-by-1,280-pixel resolution, which means it can show high-definition images from HD-DVD movie discs. The 4.8-kilogram machine also features a 320GB hard-disk drive, digital TV tuner and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) output.

Toshiba announced the laptop in mid-January and also displayed it at the recent International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. It's on sale for around $3,085 in Japan. Toshiba hasn't announced international launch plans or prices but says it will go on sale overseas.

To coincide with the launch of the new laptop, Hitachi Maxell Ltd. is putting blank HD DVD-R media on the market for around $12.42 per disc.

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