Toshiba has announced the availability of the Qosmio G45-AV690 in America — the world's first notebook to feature an HD DVD-R/RW optical drive.

Although this has seen a similar release in the Far East as the G40, this marks the first Western launch for the high-end, Intel Core 2 Duo powered 17-inch notebook.

With an HD DVD-R/RW optical drive, as well as the ability to play HD DVD movies, the Qosmio notebook provides users with a multimedia machine that can burn, erase and re-burn a lot of data onto a single HD DVD rewritable disc.

For a limited time in the States with the purchase of a Toshiba Qosmio G45 notebook, consumers will qualify to receive five HD DVD movie titles for free, via a mail-in offer.

"The Qosmio continues to lead the computer industry in terms of high-definition capabilities by bringing many of the most advanced technologies together into a solid and cohesive machine," said Jeff Barney, vice president of marketing, Digital Products Division, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.

"In a digital world that is driven by power cloaked in simplicity, the Qosmio G45-AV690 is the central hub of a user’s personal Digital Ecosystem, providing users with the ability to enjoy their HD content, while expressing themselves more fully in a digital world, and using HD DVD as a personal means of doing so."

The Qosmio G45 is available in the States for $3,199.99, sample spec as follows:

* Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate Cable Ready
* Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T93002
* 2.50 GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB
* 3072MB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM memory
* Maximum capacity 4096MB
* 320GB using two (5400 RPM) Serial-ATA hard disk drives
* Primary 160GB + Secondary 160GB
* HD DVD-R/RW (Single Layer)/DVD SuperMulti (+/- double layer) drive (in one optical drive) supporting 14 formats
* OpenCable (OCUR) HDTV Tuner (External)
* 17-inch diagonal widescreen Ultimate TruBrite TFT active-matrix LCD display
* 1920x1200 native resolution (WUXGA)
* Supports 1080p content
* PCI-Express x16 graphics subsystem, featuring:
NVIDIA GeForceTM 8600M GT with 512MB GDDR2 discrete graphics memory, plus up to 255MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory using NVIDIA TurboCache technology
* 1-bit Digital Amplifier
* Four built-in Harman Kardon Bass Reflex stereo speakers with one Bass Reflex subwoofer
* Dolby Home Theater
* Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (802.11a/g/n)
* Remote Control
* Embedded Webcam and microphone
* Fingerprint reader