CES: Toshiba Goes All-In On Laptops; Huawei, Samsung Innovating

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Toshiba Corp (OTCMKTS:TOSYY) (TYO:6502) is looking well into the future with their line of laptops, displaying a new 5-in-1 concept laptop at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s unlikely to launch this year but the “shape-shifting” laptop suggests a bold new innovation where the computer can be changed into different modes of use.

Toshiba’s shape shifting laptop

The laptop is split into three main components – the screen, keyboard and kickstand. The kickstand houses the motherboard and the keyboard is detachable. So as well as using the device like a traditional laptop, it can be used solely as a screen in “presentation” mode or even operated similar to a tablet.

Given the device’s multi-faceted functions, Toshiba Corp (OTCMKTS:TOSYY) (TYO:6502) could look to enable the laptop to switch between Windows 8 and Android, depending on the mode you have chosen, creating a laptop-hybrid much like the new Yoga and Miix devices unveiled by Lenovo at CES also.

Toshiba reveals 4K Ultra-Display laptops

Laptops were Toshiba Corp (OTCMKTS:TOSYY) (TYO:6502)’s main focus at CES this year. The company was also keen to reveal a world’s first for laptops at the expo – 4K Ultra-Display laptops. The supreme picture quality of 4K (3840 pixels × 2160 lines) has already manifested itself in TVs and monitors but Toshiba is the first to reveal a laptop capable of such visual power.

The two new models, Tecra W50 and Satellite P50t, will also run on Windows 8.1 and are equipped with 15.6 inch screens. The new laptops come at a good time for 4K technology as Netflix recently announced that future original content will be shot for 4K viewing, indicating a greater demand for the high quality display.

While the laptops will provide greater quality in entertainment viewing, the Tecra model in particular is aimed at designers, engineers and digital content professionals, according to Shawn Worsell, product line manager for the Quadro Professional Solutions Business at NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), who developed the CPU.

“We have applied years of experience and engineering resources to bring Ultra HD 4K technology into our premium laptops for consumers and businesses so they can usher in the next generation of content creation and consumption,” said Toshiba’s Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing and engineering, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division.

Toshiba will be releasing both 4K laptops in the mid-2014 but have not provided any specific dates or months just yet.

Some more coverage from CES by Cantor is below:

Huawei Morphs into a More Formidable Smartphone Competitor. During yesterday’s press day, Huawei focused on the introduction of the Ascend Mate2 4G smartphone and announced a goal to sell 80 million smartphones in 2014, and highlighted the sale of 17.5 million smartphones in 4Q:13. Huawei is not only an important router competitor to Cisco and Juniper Networks but is increasingly becoming a more important smartphone competitor in China to Apple. Given Apple’s recently announced iPhone agreement with China Mobile, Apple is now focused on China like never before. We believe the Ascend Mate2 4G with a 6.1-inch screen and an amazing two days of battery life could finally provide Huawei with the global recognition that it has been seeking. In our view, Huawei is becoming a more formidable, long-term competitor to Apple; however, we believe the near-term impact of new innovations is more likely to be felt by marginal smartphone competitors, and to some extent, Samsung.

Samsung Introduces New Innovations. Given that Samsung is Apple’s biggest rival in the mobile device market and an important customer for our LCD universe, we were very interested in what Samsung would unveil at yesterday’s press event. After the presentation, Samsung reported a profit miss for the December quarter. Samsung introduced new TV innovations that could ultimately be an incremental positive for Corning over the next 2-3 years. On the mobile device front, Samsung introduced the Pro series tablet family with a focus on the enterprise, but no new smartphones were announced. Given Apple’s history with the “Pro” name in its products (e.g., the MacBook Pro), we are interested to see how Apple responds.

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