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Radical Makeover On The Cards For Toshiba As They Move To Take On Apple

By David Richards | Monday | 29/04/2013

A radical makeover is on the cards for Toshiba with the Japanese company set to take on Apple with a slick new range of products that "differentiates" the company from a rat pack of brands who appear to be in a race to the bottom say experts.

Earlier this month the Japanese company that invented the notebook unveiled a new premium brand called Kira, now the Company has launched a hybrid version of its portable lightweight PC which will be available at retailers from June, the move is part of a plan to generate profits over market share.

Toshiba already makes one of the lightest and slickest Android tablets, now they are set to change the way that they sell their products in store with the Australian subsidiary set to introduce smart new in-store kiosks according to Marketing Director Mariana Thomas.

The all new Port 'g' Z10 is a thin-and-light Windows 8 Ultrabook whose display transforms into a detachable tablet giving users access to apps, movies, music and media. "This is a product that needs to be demonstrated" claims Thomas.

"What we are working on with retailers is delivering a better in-store experience so that consumers can clearly see the difference between a Toshiba product that is made from superior components and has superior design and a lot of other brands that are in a race to see who can produce the cheapest notebook". 

The new Ultrabooks are only the initial Kira products. The company plans to roll out additional models in not only the computer, but other product categories claim company executives.

"Our vision is to deliver a line of superior products and we are looking at all form factors," said Duc Dang who is a senior product development manager with Toshiba's digital products division.

"The Kira project is part of Toshiba's plan to differentiate itself in a category that is more focused on lower prices to get sales than delivering a superior product. The Kira range allows us to present the consumer with a highly engineered Ultrabook that will be a showcase product" said Thomas.

Toshiba claims that this will combat not only the low-price points that have haunted the notebook category for several years, but also the new trend of driving down prices for Ultrabooks. The Japanese Company acknowledges that Kirabook prices are steep, but a spokeswoman said the company is not going for market share with Kira.

Toshiba's target consumer is someone who they refers to as a "discerning adopter," who is aged between 30 and 40 years old, is a photo buff, and is evenly split between men and women. These consumers do have money to spend, so while they may not be first adopters, they keep track of trends and will jump in when the time is right, Toshiba said.<div class="htmlEditorPageBreak">- Page Break -</div>

Toshiba Australia will reveal a showcase of products on the 8th of May 2013 included will be Kira Ultrabooks powered by Intel i5-powered processors.

All the models feature a pressed magnesium-alloy cover, improved keyboard, Retina level display - which Toshiba calls Pixel Pure - and a dedicated Kira customer-service program.

The entry-level model has a non-touch display, but both step-up models, will have touchscreens. The mid-priced model also features an i5 processor, while the flagship piece has an i7 processor.

Other features include 8GB of memory and a 256GB solid-state drive.

Toshiba will include a two-year warranty for the Kirabooks along with a special customer service experience for Kirabook owners. This will include 24/7 phone support with access to Australian customer service personnel, annual tune ups, rapid repair and setup assistance.

Also included in the purchase price is a two-year subscription to Norton's Internet Security, Anti-Theft and Online Backup with 25GB of storage provided.

Two initial configurations have been announced they range from a $1199 Port?g? with Celeron CPU, 4GB of random access memory and a 128GB solid-state drive, to $1499 for a model with similar specs but an Intel Core i5 "Y" processor.

It has a wide-view 11.6-inch full HD touchscreen display. Weight has not been disclosed.

Handwriting recognition is possible via use of a digitiser pen, though this may be optional.

The hybrid Port?g? will be sold through selected retailers or direct from Tosh's online store at mytoshiba.com.au.

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