Toshiba's Multimedia Portable Tackles Two Markets

Two of the hottest growth areas in the personal-computer market are portable PCs, such as the new "subnotebooks," and multimedia machines, which can handle digitized stereo sound and full-color images as well as text and numbers. Now, laptop giant Toshiba Corp. has devised a PC that tries to combine the best of both markets.

The T6600C machine features a 10.4-inch active-matrix color screen that produces crisp images. With its built-in Microsoft Corp. sound system and speakers, the portable can be used by traveling executives for multimedia sales pitches. But there are some drawbacks. One is the price: $7,699 to $9,499, depending on options such as a CD-ROM drive. Another is its weight--about 18 pounds. Yet another downer: It must be plugged into an outlet, so you can forget about playing fancy computer games during that long plane ride.

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