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Toshiba Corp., a leading maker of consumer electronics, has announced its new HD DVD drive for notebooks, which can not only playback next-generation DVDs and record CDs and DVDs, but also can burn HD DVD discs, allowing users to utilize such media for data storing. Additionally, the company demonstrated several more HD DVD burners at Ceatec Japan trade-show

Toshiba’s SD-L902A is 12.7mm thick drive for laptops with tray loading that can read and playback CDs (24x), DVDs (8x), HD DVDs (1x) as well as record CD-R (16x), CD-RW (10x), DVD±RW (4x), DVD±R (4x), dual-layer DVD-R (2x), dual-layer DVD+R (2.4x), DVD-RAM (3x) discs as well as single-layer and dual-layer HD DVD-R (1x) discs. The device is compatible with ATAPI interface and is equipped with 8MB buffer to avoid errors while recording.

Sample shipments of the new drive, SD-L902A, are scheduled to start by the end of this year, according to Toshiba, who remains tight-lipped over mass-production timeframes.

In addition to the SD-L902, Toshiba has demonstrated an array of its HD DVD devices for personal computers, including SD-T913A HD DVD burner for mobile computers with slot loading, SD-U913A 9.3mm thick HD DVD recorder for notebooks with tray loading, SD-H902A HD DVD burner for desktop computers as well as USB 2.0 HD DVD recorder that can be plugged to any PC.

Even though Toshiba is a bit behind Sony and Panasonic with its next-generation DVD burners, the two Blu-ray adopters still hardly sell their burners to the mass market, as such devices cost about $1000. The only Blu-ray enabled laptop out there currently is Sony Vaio AR-series.

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