Toshiba Eyeing HD DVD Laptop: First Titles May Be Delayed

Toshiba said it plans to launch its first laptop with a HD DVD drive in North America, Europe and Japan in April. The Qosmio G30 will be the next-gen edition of Toshiba's Qosmio G20 notebook, and reportedly will be priced comparably. (The G20 started at about $2,400).

According to Toshiba, the Qosmio G30 will feature HDMI-out (HD multimedia interface), and can be connected to an HD monitor with support for HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), an encryption system for enforcing digital rights management over DVI and HDMI. (In other words, copyright protection for Hollywood.)

The HD DVD drive will only be accessible in Toshiba's pricy Qosmio laptop line for now, although it's indicated that some models in its less expensive Satellite line could also come equipped with HD DVD drive capabilities by next winter.

As for HD DVD titles, there are reports that Warner, and perhaps Paramount, will not meet the official HD DVD launch date of March 28, so some very early adopters may have HD DVD players in hand for a while with virtually no playable content. Any such delays, however, are only expected to last for a few weeks or less.