Toshiba preps touch-screen Win7 notebooks

With Windows 7 just over a week away from release, Toshiba is sparing no opportunity to tease its future notebooks based on the operating system. After unveiling its ultraportable Satellite T100 series and its Core i7-toting Qosmio X500, the firm has now announced two somewhat more pedestrian models with touch-screen displays.

The new Satellite U500 and M500 are already available with Windows Vista, but Toshiba will soon roll out the Satellite U505 Touch and Satellite M505 Touch. Both will feature touch screens and Windows 7.

Right now, the U500 starts at $698 with a 13.3" 1280x800 display, a 2GHz dual-core Pentium T4200 processor, four gigs of RAM, a DVD burner, a six-cell battery, and a weight of 4.5 lbs.The M500 is a little bulkier, weighing it at 5.4 lbs with a 14" display and AMD Turion X2 processors. It costs about the same, though.

Toshiba doesn't yet say how it will price the touch-screen derivatives, but they'll probably be a little more expensive than the base models. We'd also wager the systems will rely on Windows 7's built-in touch capabilities—see the video above. You can start looking for the new Satellite notebooks on October 22.

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