Toshiba Canada goes bilingual

No more complicated keystrokes will be needed to spell cliché. Toshiba of Canada is going bilingual.

The Markham, Ont.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Corp. has just released nine new notebook computers, and the vendor claims the models are the first of their kinds in Canada to come fully equipped with bilingual English and French capabilities.

Included in the launch are the Satellite Pro U300, Satellite Pro A200 series, Satellite Pro P200 series and the Tecra M9 series. For the multilingual the notebooks are equipped with a bilingual keyboard that allows users to work in either one of two languages, and each computer also comes with a one time option to have either an English or French operating system.

With various feature settings and price points ranging from $849 all the way to $2399 Toshiba said models are available to fit a range of budgets and needs, and are designed to offer versatility, power and mobility for business professionals.

Jerome Kudera, product manager at Toshiba of Canada, said there’s a demand in the Canadian market for bilingual products such as these.

“From a feature set, we’re the first notebook manufacturer in Canada to offer a full bilingual solution,” Kudera said. “This is what our customers have asked for.”

In order to support bilingual users, the new Toshiba keyboards have been designed so that French characters and symbols are actually silk-screened onto the keyboard. Blue-lettered keys are English-only, while red-lettered keys are French-only.

Michelle Warren, a senior research analyst with Info-Tech Research Group, said mobility has been on the rise in the marketplace and continues to grow over time.

“Mobility is becoming more of a tool for businesses now than it ever has been before,” Warren said. “Creating a bilingual solution will help vendors overcome obstacles they have come across in the past. By creating one SKU, Toshiba [of Canada] will also be able to streamline their supply chain process to give customers what they want.”

Toshiba’s Satellite Pro U300 and Tecra M9 series of notebooks also come with branded EasyGuard features to help improve protection and security. Features include a hard drive shock absorber, multi-level password functions and fingerprint scanners. The Satellite Pro A200 notebook computers come with a 15.4 inch display screen with an onyx blue coloured casing.

“The onyx blue casing is a merging of consumer and commercial demands,” Warren said. “A trend that I’m seeing is an overall blurring between the lines of corporate and consumer products. We want these to be tools and we want them to look good at the same time.”

In contrast, the Satellite Pro P200 models come with a 17 inch display screen and also offer 128 MB of VRAM video memory.

To help deploy these notebooks to the end-user community Toshiba will be relying heavily on its Canadian channel partners.

“We’re 100 per cent dedicated to the channel,” Kudera said. “We have partner Web sites available to help with training and we also have sales representatives. We’re constantly listening to our resellers and partners.”

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