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Toshiba To Supply Eco-Friendly Notebooks To Wal-Mart

The notebooks are designed to comply with European regulations restricting the use of certain hazardous substances, such as lead, cadmium and mercury, in the manufacture of electronics products.

Toshiba said Wednesday it’s expanding its environmentally friendly line of portable PCs with a deal to supply Wal-Mart with RoHS-compatible notebooks.

Restriction on Hazardous Substance, or RoHS, is a directive adopted by the European Parliament that restricts the use of certain hazardous substances--such as lead, cadmium and mercury--in the manufacture of electronics products. The directive becomes effective on July 1.

Though the United States doesn’t require RoHS compliance, many electronics vendors are expected to offer such compliance in the U.S. as their product lines shift to meet the new directive for Europe.

Toshiba has already started shifting its entire portable PC line to become RoHS-compatible, said Chris Casper, group manager of product marketing at the Digital Products Division of Irvine, Calif.-based Toshiba America Information Systems.

The company's first RoHS-compatible portable, the Tecra S3, was launched in the channel in October, said Casper. The new Tecra M5 and Portege M400 are also RoHS-compatible, and future products will have that compatibility as well, he said.

The Satellite A55-S1064, which will be sold at Wal-Mart for less than $700, is Toshiba's first RoHS-compatible consumer notebook, Casper said. All new Satellite and Qosmio consumer portables will be RoHS-compatible, he said.

RoHS-compatibility adds little or no cost to portable PCs, said Casper. "The components aren't any more expensive," he said. "We spent a lot of time working on this. We are just simply shifting from non-RoHS to RoHS components."

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