Toshiba Ships First HD DVD-R Notebooks to North America

It’s been available in Japan for many months, but now American and Canadian consumers should get their first look at Toshiba’s high-powered (and costly) Qosmio G45 notebook PC within a couple of weeks. Toshiba said its model is the first laptop (17-inch screen) offering HD DVD-R capabilities to ship retail in North America.

Toshiba first unveiled its Qosmio G45 back in January and provided further details on the unit for the North American market this spring. But it’s just now begun shipping to U.S. retailers, according to Digital Trends.

The notebook (with some optional configurations exceeding $3,000) comes with a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 2 GB of RAM (expandable to 4 GB), 1 GB of Intel Turbo Memory, two 160-GB SATA hard disk drives, and a 1920x1200 LCD display which Toshiba said is capable of displaying content in 1080p without degradation.

In a related development this week, Toshiba said it will continue through September its deal of offering new owners of its standalone HD DVD players up to five free titles from a small list of eligible movies.

Sony has been offering the same come on for owners of Blu-ray Disc players, which began after Toshiba first made their offer in the spring. One distinction in both deals, however, is, that unlike Toshiba’s deal, Sony’s offer applies to purchasers of Blu-ray players of all brands, not just Sony’s.

Only about 15 HD DVD movie titles are eligible for free selections, including the black-and-white classic “Casablanca,” and “Apollo 13,” according to Yahoo Tech.