made their way back to us tonight to display their star products and talk about Toshiba’s technology advantage.
Anthony Geronimo, Toshiba’s Consumer Product Marketing Manager gave us the run down. XP will run out of support on the 8th of April and Anthony started the night by finding out who had the oldest hardware in the group. A number still had XP machines running. This lead Anthony into his first topic. The growth of computing technology.
Anthony spoke about Moore’s Law and the advances in hardware technology with the resultant speed increase. It was only in the late nineties that hardware speed started to outstrip software processing power, at which time we see the growth of small computing devices such as the netbook. This processing, power lead to a divergence of technologies. Traditionally our technologies were very directed, with TV’s heading the passive consumption of data and desktops the data creation.
As the computing power increased we started to see the convergence of these divergent devices starting with the smart phone with its access to the internet.
Less than 10 years after the introduction of the smart phone we see the integration of TVs desktops and mobile devices.
New developments in processor technology started the drive to smaller devices. Along with the smart phone, netbooks started to appear, then tablets. Today we see the virtual integration of TV and radio units into home entertainment units or “smart TVs”. With internet access, communication devices like smart phones have become virtual portable TVs and radio entertainment units.
Toshiba were the first company to introduce the laptop, or note book computer, and while it remains largely the main portable device, the tablet and large screen phone appear to have become our main portable entertainment device.
While the 15 inch screen remains the most popular choice there is a rise in the 11 to 14 inch screens.
Anthony then took us into where Toshiba fits in this new integrated produce market.
He started with the Kira notebook.
It has a Magnesium alloy construction with a solid state drive. To quote the site” giving it an incredible lightweight strength of between 1.21kg – 1.35kg”.
Next Anthony discussed the Portage Z10. This is the start of the hybrid computers, combining tablet size screens with detachable keyboards. It has a 12 inch screen and a 128 GB solid state drive.
First we had Laptops, then netbooks, followed by tablets and now the Chromebook. This is Google’s entry into the mobile computing world and Toshiba has developed its own version.
Traditionally computers came with hard drives and software you installed. The Chromebook turns that idea on its head. With no large hard drives, and no bulky software, the Chromebook has a 16 GB solid state drive and built in applications just like a smart phone and comes with a 100 GB cloud storage.
It is not a Windows machine - the Chrome browser is the operating system.
In essence the Chromebook is a simple terminal with all your software stored off-line.
Initially the largest drawback was that you needed internet access to take full advantage of the features, however now more apps are available for use off-line.
Anthony also introduced the Encore tablet.
Connected to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, Anthony ran the entire night from this device. This is where portability meets performance. The Encore come with a fully licenced Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013.
What is the slowest part of the PC?
Turns out to be the hard drive. Toshiba have created a range of laptops with either solid state drives (SSD), the conventional hard drive, and hybrids with small SSD and large storage conventional drives.
To finish the night Anthony and Alex did a demo to compare how fast the different Toshibas drives combinations can boot up.
The Kira come in first with the hybrids second and L50 last. That said, we are talking a difference of 4 to 8 seconds. I can remember a time when you could make a coffee while waiting to boot up.
Alex offered the opinion that if a hybrid was at a comparable price to a conventional drive the speed advantage of the hybrid should win.
Toshiba don’t only make computers, there is an industrial division, medical imaging, business copiers and an Audio Visual division.
Tonight Anthony generously donated a Blu-ray player from the Audio Visual division along with two Bluetooth wireless speakers
Tim took home the Blue-ray player.
Robert and Ray won the Bluetooth speakers.
Russell won a Pandora headphone set
and our door prize went to Reg.