Toshiba has unveiled the first HD-DVD writer for notebook computers at the CEATEC conference in Japan.

The drive, called the SD-L902A, measures 12.7mm high and according to Toshiba therefore “meets the stringent space specifications for slim drives integrated into highly portable notebook PCs”.

As well as recording the HD DVD, the drive support playback of high-def movies and, of course, video, and can read and write to every type of DVD and CD.

Read and write speeds to HD DVD are less than impressive, at 1x, although the drive manages a maximum write speed to DVD at 8x.

Toshiba says it expects to ship samples by the end of this year, so notebooks featuring the new drive may be rolled out by the middle of next year.

Sony is also expected to make an announcement about a new Blu-ray product at a press conference, and indications are that the company may be announcing their own Blu-ray disc video recorder.