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Toshiba launches usability tools for all notebook models

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Toshiba Computer Systems has launched ConfigFree 5.0, Toshiba EasyMedia and EasyGuard, a collection of easy-to-use network configuration, media management and security tools for Toshiba notebook computers.

“Nearly all notebook PCs come with some form of configuration and customisation tool pre-installed,” says Reon Coetzee, marketing manager for Toshiba Computer Systems South Africa and Africa.
“But Toshiba has added some extra features to its tools, which are geared to make mobility easier to manage and users more productive.”
ConfigFree allows users to take full control of the way they share information and stay connected to a network and networked peripherals in a wired or wireless environment.
ConfigFree is a collection of components designed specifically to help users manage multiple network connections as they move from one network to the next.
“Installing and configuring a new network connection is relatively easy,” says Coetzee, “but setting up default printers, browser settings and managing any other peripherals in a new location can be complicated and time consuming each time you move to a new location.
“To alleviate these challenges, Toshiba notebooks now come with ConfigFree, which aims to provide hassle-free, location-based connectivity for both wired and wireless network environments – including 802.11 WiFi and Bluetooth.”
ConfigFree includes four main components:
* Wireless radar screen: Easily find wireless networks in your area using a circular “radar screen” and determine their strength by their proximity to the centre of the radar screen;
* Connectivity Doctor: Diagnose and solve connectivity problems;
* Profile settings: Capture, store and switch between profiles for each connectivity location – “Home”, “Office” or “Coffee shop” for example);
* ConfigFree Summit: Easy file sharing either through wireless file transfer or virtual meeting places by creating ad-hoc wireless networks.
According to Coetzee, ConfigFree runs silently in the Windows background and automatically springs into action as and when users move from one network to another.
“ConfigFree also has a scanning function, which will discover all Toshiba products (such as projectors) in the vicinity and automatically create a connection to allow easy access to the device’s functions,” he adds.
To make it as easy as possible for users to get the full benefit of all the features packed into Toshiba notebooks, Satellite and Qosmio models are pre-loaded with EasyMedia.
With a digital TV tuner feature, a remote control, and Qosmio Player Archive, users are no longer limited to watching TV in their living rooms.
“Plug your TV cable into your laptop and use Player Archive to record and save your favourite shows to your laptop’s hard drive,” Coetzee says.  “You also have the option to copy these to DVD later.”
Other features in EasyMedia include:
* Dal mode touch pad: places shortcuts on the touch pad itself – giving users easy access to their pictures, music, the Internet or any other applications or files of their choice ;
* Instant DVD/CD: Instead of booting the machine just to watch a DVD or listen to a CD, Instant DVD/CD makes use of Windows Vista’s Hot Start feature to give users a single-button startup feature especially for DVDs and CDs;
* Toshiba EasyKeys: hardware-based buttons give users direct access to play, pause or skip through media without the need to use an on-screen cursor;
* Toshiba Flashcards: virtual hot keys at the top of the display give users quick and easy access to application shortcuts; and
* Fn F5 display switch: Simple switch between notebook display and external output device (such as CRT/LCD screens or projectors).
Aailable on Tecra, Portégé and Satellite Pro models, Toshiba EasyGuard provides added data security tools for business users.
These tools include a single sign-on feature, allowing users to have access to a number of different password-protected applications (such as e-mail, Internet banking, or online shopping systems), with a single swipe of their finger on a biometric fingerprint reader.
In addition, the Toshiba Management Console allows IT managers to remotely maintain notebooks to install updates, for example, to maximise productivity and reduce downtime.
“EasyGuard also protects users’ data from everyday mishaps as well,” adds Coetzee. “With spill-proof and fall-proof technologies, users need not worry about losing their data in the rough and tumble of everyday life on the road”.
“Toshiba’s philosophy around usability is very simple – keep it easy to use and intuitive.
“By making use of tools such as ConfigFree, EasyMedia and EasyGuard, users are assured that they will be getting the maximum benefit from all the features that are included in their new Toshiba notebooks – without the hassle of finding and installing third-party software from the Internet,” Coetzee concludes.