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Toshiba Joins the Windows 7 Notebook Tsunami

The flood of new notebooks due to crest in retail outlets on October 22, the day Windows 7 launches, got just a little bigger today with the announcement of two new affordable, ultra-thin notebooks from Toshiba.

Both laptops are part of a new line, the T100 series. They are modest in screen size – just 11.6 inches for the T115 and 13.3 inches for the T135, and very thin. Both are under one inch in thickness, thanks to the use of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) ultra-low voltage processors.

The T100 Series of laptops are designed to be ready at a moment's notice by offering a fast resume from hibernation. Thanks to battery efficiency and power saving enhancements, Toshiba claims it can deliver up to 9 hours of battery life. They meet both Energy Star 5 and EPEAT Gold compliance for power efficiency.

Both use LED displays, similar to what Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been doing with its MacBooks, and have multi-touch touchpads. Multi-touch support is expected to be a major feature in Windows 7.

They also support a new Toshiba technology called Sleep-and-Charge, which enables users to charge USB devices, such as an iPhone, while the laptop is off. USB ports typically shut off the power when the computer is off.

Also, the two Satellites have a built-in Webcam with facial recognition that supports secure login, rather than the typical username and password method of signing on. The Webcam also supports live chat and videoconferencing as well.

Another Toshiba-specific technology is the HD sensor that can detect jarring and impacts and protects the heads from being damaged or the drive from being corrupted.

"The new T100 Series perfectly balances performance, display, weight, battery life and style with value-added 'Smart' features at a great value. Also keep in mind that small is what Toshiba does well … Toshiba is applying its expertise and leadership again to deliver yet another standout product," said a Toshiba spokesperson in an e-mail statement to InternetNews.com.

The 13.3-inch Satellite T135 starts at $599 and comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, room for up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 250GB hard drive, wireless Ethernet, Bluetooth and a 5-in-1 memory card reader slot. The 11.6-inch Satellite T115 starts at $449 and shares the same features as its larger brother.