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Yea, Toshiba!

25 Sep, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Another hearty kudos to Toshiba for its announcement this week that its upcoming Qosmio X500 line of laptops will come with built-in Blu-ray Disc drives as standard equipment. The laptops will start arriving in stores Oc. 22 (to read the complete story, click here).

As I mentioned in a previous blog posting, the computer industry is moving ridiculously slow in incorporating Blu-ray Disc drives into its PCs, mostly because of the additional expense. It wasn't this way with DVD, but then again computer prices have plummeted over the last decade and new PCs and even laptops can be had for a fraction of what they used to cost.

But still, why not offer a premium line of laptops and settops with a Blu-ray Disc drive--or at least offer Blu-ray Disc drives as an upgrade, the way car makers do with seat warmers and DVD players? I know, consumers can always add a Blu-ray Disc drive later, but come on--it's just not the same.

I'm more convinced that Blu-ray Disc is going to make it, and make it, big. Just look at last week's top home video seller, 20th Century Fox's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the first of the year's big tentpoles to hit video. An impressive 27% of sales came from the Blu-ray Disc version, or 810,000 of the first-week sales tally of 3 million units.

The computer industry could really help lift Blu-ray Disc at a time the format needs it the most. And, conversely, Blu-ray, once established, could lift computer sales, just as DVD drives ultimately helped lift PC sales. Eventually there came a time when computer owners demanded DVD drives, and quite often bought new computers just to get one.

It's going to be the same with Blu-ray disc drives--but computer manufacturers need to take the first step.

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