Toshiba to roll out Ultrabook in Taiwan next month

Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) Toshiba Corp., the world's No. 2 maker of flash memory, plans to start selling its Ultrabook laptops in Taiwan at the end of November to boost sales of its premium lines, the Japanese company's commercial agent said Tuesday. With a weight of 1.1 kilograms and a thickness of 1.58 centimeters, the 13.3-inch Toshiba Z830 will first go on sale in the United States in late October and then hit stores in Taiwan, Japan and Europe the following month, said Chien Chun-hao, manager of Grainnex Corp., the general agent for Toshiba notebooks in Taiwan. The model equipped with a 128GB SSD (solid-state drive) will be sold in Taiwan at NT$37,000 (US$1,206), while a 64GB SSD version will go on sale in the U.S. at US$1,000. "Taiwanese consumers are less interested in the specifications for the US$1,000 model, so we will launch only the 128GB version in Taiwan this year," Chien said on the sidelines of a press conference held by Intel Corp. to showcase Ultrabooks. Toshiba expects to sell 600 Ultrabooks per month in Taiwan, with its global sales of the product projected at 60,000 to 70,000 units by the end of the year, he said. The average selling price (ASP) of Toshiba laptops is about NT$25,000, and the ASP of its R-series ultra-light laptops is NT$35,000, Chien noted. The R-series accounts for a fourth of Toshiba's total notebook shipments, he added. Meanwhile, Lenovo Group Ltd of China also plans to start selling its U300 Ultrabooks in Taiwan next month, said Frank Hsu, advisory product manager of Lenovo's Taiwan branch. Hsu said the new Ultrabooks, using Intel's Core i5 and i7 CPUs, will be priced at just over NT$30,000. They will go on sale in Taiwan before the opening of the "IT Month" consumer trade show, which is scheduled for early December. (By Jeffrey Wu)