RealTime IT News

Toshiba Bows Wireless Installation Services

In a move to edge away from the public's perception of it as being solely a notebook and appliance guru, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS) looked to make waves in the wireless world Monday with the roll out of a new suite of wireless installation services.

Dubbed Wi-Fi Installation by Toshiba, the play is part of Toshiba's new strategy to bolster service offerings in a market where many companies have already staked a claim.

Rolling out under the tagline, "Go Wireless. Guaranteed.", Wi-Fi Installation includes site assessment, installment and deployment of products and access points. Toshiba has also promised to offer promotions such as discounted rates on installation and Toshiba hardware purchases.

In that promotion, Toshiba will offer consumers a site survey of their business area, installation of one Toshiba Wireless LAN Access Point and up to eight Toshiba Tecra 8200 or Satellite Pro 4600 notebooks.

The promotion also states that if customers are not completely satisfied with their wireless computing experience after 30 days, they can return the hardware for a refund.

Steve Andler a vice president of marketing at Toshiba, said the move was a milestone to extend the firm's presence beyond hardware.

"As a leader in the mobile movement, expanding our capabilities to include installation services is a logical step to ensuring our customers a smooth transition into the wireless millennium," Andler said.

With the announcement of its Wi-Fi installation services, Toshiba joined wireless service provider YadaYada Monday as another company looking to find its niche in the wireless Web albeit, through different means. While Toshiba will still focus heavily on its ubiquitous appliances, YadaYada is a wireless pure play that has just relaunched with greater emphasis on its wireless service provisions.

True to form, Toshiba isn't ignoring its products either. The company also made three new notebook lines with different focuses available to the public.

The most basic is Toshiba's new Satellite 1700 family, which start at $1,199 and offer DVD-ROMs and TFT displays. The 1700 series is targeted for students.

Next, in the middle of the road, Toshiba offered its Satellite 2805 series, the highlight of which is its mobile graphics processing unit (GPU) that seems to be ripe for streaming media as it gives users "extreme multimedia capabilities." Priced from $1,799 to $2,749, this notebook was designed for gaming fans and graphic artists.

Lastly, Toshiba unveiled its redesigned Satellite Pro 4600 series, which boasts the firm's brand new Wi-Fi installation capability and was created for small and medium-sized businesses who want to treat their employees to wireless computing. This suite ranges from $2,149 to $2,999.