TOSHIBA HAS UNVEILED a mid-range laptop for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) that offers the capabilities of the firm's premium enterprise models at a more affordable price.
The 15.6in the Satellite Pro R50-B is intended to appeal to the growing SMB market, especially startups, that might otherwise buy consumer grade systems, by offering an enterprise feature set at a lower price point.
Toshiba UK product marketing manager Rob Raine said that the firm has taken the key features of "security, reliability and mobility" from its higher end enterprise models - such as the Tecra and Portégé lines - and integrated them into the mid-range SMB system.
"This is potentially a huge market, but difficult to capture because they often tend to go for consumer kit because of cost, but end up with devices lacking business features," he explained.
The Satellite Pro R50-B features a 15.6in 1366x768 resolution anti-glare display, is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, and has a starting weight of 2.3kg. It is powered by a choice of Intel's fourth-generation Core i3 or Core i5 processors with up to 8GB memory and hard drives up to 1TB in capacity. A built-in optical drive is also optional.
The Satellite Pro R50-B offers Ethernet and WiFi connectivity plus VGA, HDMI and USB ports and an SD card slot for flash storage.
For the sake of security, Toshiba has developed its own Bios for the Satellite Pro R50-B, which Raine said allows customers to have more control over the low-level firmware. The Satellite Pro R50-B also includes a trusted platform module (TPM) security chip, previously found only on the Tecra and Portégé models, plus Toshiba's sensor that protects the hard drive heads if it detects sudden motion, such as a drop.
Another key feature is a removable battery pack with a quoted life of up to 7.5 hours. Toshiba also offers a USB 3.0 desktop dock for the laptop instead of the docking cradles supported by enterprise models.
In order to show potential customers that it is as reliable as its premium enterprise systems, Toshiba is backing the Satellite Pro R50-B with a guarantee that if the system fails within the first year it will repair the system for free and refund the purchase price of the laptop as well.
The Satellite Pro R50-B is available now and will ship with Windows 7 Professional pre-loaded as standard, as well as a copy of Windows 8 included for customers that want the newer operating system.
Prices start at £299 and increase to £499 for the most powerful system configuration. The firm also said that customers can buy between one and 10 of these laptops on a financing scheme. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ