Despite sad news for the HD-DVD format, Toshiba soldiers on. Long known for their technical innovation (they were the first to develop laptop computers and flash memory), the Japanese company had a few interesting standouts hidden among the regular flow of updated TVs and the like, including a promising Linux-based UMPC.
Although the model available for hands-on demos was running a fairly clunky Vista install, Toshiba had a few more of these under glass cases that were confirmed to be running a custom Linux flavor, according to the Japanese reps on hand. Even though it could just be for development purposes, a sleed UMPC like this in the hands of Linux hackers is an exciting prospect.
The UMPC setup also features a methanol fuel cell attachment mockup.
Toshiba was one of the development partners behind the Cell processors found in every PS3, and while we continue to hear about the architecture's incredible power, the supercomputer-like applications have been a little slow to trickle out. One interesting use for the Cell Toshiba was demoing is upconverting standard-definition signals to HD. It's unclear whether this demo was an example of the PS3 firmware's upconverting abilities (it honestly could have been anything), but the results were certainly discernible.