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Toshiba takes on the business market
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Toshiba takes on the business market 

The company’s new Z-series laptops are fully optimized for enterprise use, are simple to use, and are among the most lightweight products available on the market today. The Z30 model features a 13-inch screen, while the newly-redesigned Z40 and Z50 are equipped with 14- and 15-inch screens, respectively. All three devices also feature backlit, spill-resistant keyboards.

“We have a full range of notebooks that our customers can choose from, depending on what they want,” says Yuji Wakabayashi, commercial notebook product manager for Toshiba Canada’s Digital Products Group. “With the 15-inch (model), we have a built-in keypad, which is great for accounting firms and other industries that work with numbers.”

Since last year’s release of the Z40 and Z50 models, Toshiba has been hard at work making adjustments to provide their customers with an improved user experience. One key modification was the elimination of the optical drive, a feature that is gradually being phased out by many computer developers due to increased reliance on email, USB drives or the cloud for file transferring.

“Last year, the 14- and 15-inch (models) were more traditional workhorse computers that relied of their optical disk drives,” says Wakabayashi. “But now that we’re seeing a trend in the marketplace where no one is really using optical disk drives anymore, we decided to (eliminate) it and create a line of ultra-portable notebooks.”

Most of the new changes to the larger-screened units were the result of research and feedback from the smaller Z30 series. The success of that model was a major factor in Toshiba’s decision to re-launch the Z40 and Z50.

“For the past few years, we’ve always had an ultra-thin kind of notebook,” says Wakabayashi. “We decided to take what we learned from the 13-inch platform and expand that into the 14- and 15-inch range.”

While many assume that the larger the size of a laptop, the more it will weigh, that is not the case with Toshiba’s Z-series units. Despite the three different screen sizes, the devices are very lightweight, making it easier for employees to carry with them as they go about their business. In addition, the integration of Haswell processors has also helped to make them more energy efficient.

“What makes these notebooks great is now that we’re using the Haswell processor, we’re able to make them thinner and lighter,” Wakabayashi explains. “Because they’re using the Haswell technology, they’re going to be more energy efficient, which means that we don’t need to have thick units with thick batteries.”

The Z30 weighs in at just 2½ pounds, keeping in line with Toshiba’s mandate to create a lighter notebook. The Z40 and Z50 are equally lightweight, weighing 3½ and 4 pounds, respectively.

Additionally, the Z-series units are equipped with a port replicator, which makes work easier for IT managers because there is less to manage. It also provdes a financal benefit, as its design allows companies to save money on extra peripherals for port-reading purposes. 

Also being introduced by Toshiba is a new mobile workstation. Designed with enterprises in mind, the Tecra W50 mobile workstation is larger than its Z-series counterparts and combines the capabilities of a desktop with the portability of a laptop.

“We’ve taken the standard desktop workstation and put it into the mobile format,” says Wakabayashi. “What classifies it as a workstation is the i7 Quad Core CPU, the full HD screen, and the nVIDIA 2 GB video card.”

The Tecra W50 can handle various types of larger-scale projects, making it able to adapt to the needs of virtually any industry, profession or workplace environment. It also has built-in storage capacity of up to 32 GB of RAM.

“It’s AutoCAD and Solidworks certified, so it’s designed for engineers and anyone working with AutoCAD,” Wakabayashi says. “It’s also very good for graphic designers, and it has the processing power for them to use Adobe Photoshop, and other Adobe Suite programs.”

“For graphic design, you have to look at the resolution as well because the screen has full HD capabilities,” adds Mini Saluja, director of product marketing for Toshiba Canada’s Digital Products Group. “If a customer is interested, we can provide a 4K panel, which is especially effective if you’re doing photography work.”

“Most of our TVs have an Intel chip inside of them, so you can pair the two, and whatever is displaying on the (device) will also be displayed on the TV,” says Wakabayashi.

“(The Z10t) is designed to compete with Microsoft’s Surface tablet, so it’s definitely not a low-power device,” Saluja says. “It has the same regular-sized CPU found in our Z-series products, and it won’t be comparable to retail products you can find on the shelves in most stores.”

Rounding out Toshiba’s business suite is the new Satellite Pro R50. This device, designed for use by SMB customers, features a fourth-generation Intel Core i3-4005U processor with hyper-threading technology and enhanced SpeedStep technology, HDMI capabilities, and a 500GB Serial-ATA hard disk drive.

“We just introduced this product this month, and it is meant to be targeted toward our SMB customers, in terms of price point,” Wakabayashi says. “SMB customers who don’t have the budget to move up to our higher-end products will have something just as capable as the Z-series notebooks.”

The Satellite Pro R50 “has a docking unit on the bottom. It’s a one-click dock that allows you to use a port replicator to help get all of your ports expanded,” says Wakabayashi.

“When you’re sitting in an office or home office environment, you have all of your peripherals connected to that dock,” Saluja adds. “Every time you leave and return, you don’t want to have to reconnect multiple peripherals. With this device, all you have to do is disconnect your laptop, and when you return, you don’t have to reconnect everything.”

The Satellite Pro, says Saluja, integrates several of the elements of the higher-end models into a package that is more affordable, making it more attractive to smaller businesses that require fewer units for daily work functions. 

As many workplaces weave collaborative methods into their activities, the desire to have technology that promotes collaboration and makes it accessible increases significantly. Toshiba has designed its business-focused products to assist with collaboration while simplifying connectivity at the same time.

“Regardless of where you are, you will always need to have a wireless connection, and our products certainly have those capabilities,” Saluja says. “We have also equipped our entire line with various types of ports, which makes it easier to upload and transfer data to the server, cloud, or virtually any other location.”

With mobility becoming a key component of an increasing number of workplaces, the need to ensure the security of mobile workstations becomes vital. In response to that, Toshibas family of products are equipped with EasyGuard Technology.  EasyGuard provides users with security features that make it easier to go mobile, including shock-absorbing design, hard drive protection, fingerprint reader capabilities, and multiple-level password utilities.

Given that businesses often have limited budgets for new technology, Toshiba’s products are also engineered to provide them with cost savings over time.

“In the consumer space, you often see users replacing their notebooks every year or two,” says Wakabayashi. “We found that the majority of our customers are replacing their notebooks within three to five years. As a result, the cost of ownership will be much lower over the long term because of the reliability of our units, the technology behind them, and our very low failure rate.”Despite their differences, Toshibas family of products are all equipped with EasyGuard Technology. Drawing upon the capabilities of each unit, EasyGuard provides users with security features that make it easier to go mobile. 

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