Toshiba’s Digital Products Division today introduced the Multimedia Center Audio/USB Hub that allows consumers to easily connect their notebook computers to their home entertainment systems.

The Multimedia Center Audio/USB Hub enables users of any notebook computer running Microsoft™ Windows® XP Home, Microsoft Windows XP Pro and the recently released Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 to:

—Play music, movies or games in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound from home entertainment systems or external PC speakers;
—Play games in full EAX Advanced HD Surround Sound for a realistic 3D audio experience;
—Listen to MP3 play lists on home stereo speakers by connecting the hub to a stereo receiver via a SPDIF coaxial audio cable;
—Connect joy sticks, steering wheels and game pads for an enhanced gaming experience via any of four USB ports, as well as connect other devices such as a printer or scanner;
—Connect to the Internet via an integrated Ethernet port to download music or digital video, or just send a friendly e-mail.

“The notebook computer is being transformed from primarily a productivity tool into a personal entertainment hub where users can manage and enjoy multimedia content,” said Taro Hiyama, vice president of marketing, Toshiba Digital Products Division. “The Multimedia Center Audio/USB Hub offers consumers a simple and inexpensive way to enhance their multimedia experience on their notebook computers.”

Designed in a compact form smaller than a VHS tape, the Multimedia Center Audio/USB Hub is priced at $129.99 and is currently available from ToshibaDirect at The product will be available from retailers nationwide in Q1 2005.