Research has shown that over 80 percent of netbook owners believe that good sound is important, yet I think it's fair to say that most netbook speakers are not really very good – offering about the same audio output quality as a smartphone. Toshiba has revealed that its new mini NB520 netbook sports a pair of Harman/Kardon speakers and Dolby Advanced Audio technology, to give users the kind of rich audio experience usually reserved for much bigger devices.

Toshiba says that the mini NB520 is the world's first netbook with a pair of specially designed 2W premium stereo speakers from Harman/Kardon. Paired with Dolby Advanced Audio technology, they're said to give 720p high definition videos the kind of volume and sound quality they deserve. Users don't even need to boot up the netbook to enjoy stored MP3s with the Sleep and Music feature.

The 261.9 x 189.5 x 16.6/35.5mm at the front (10.3 x 7.46 x 0.65/1.39-inch) netbook has an Intel Atom N550 1.5GHz Dual Core processor at its heart, supported by up to 2 GB DDR3 memory, and is available with up to 250GB of HDD storage. There's a 10.1-inch TruBrite, LED backlit display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels, a VGA web camera with integrated microphone, and a multi-touch trackpad.

Connectivity and expansion are offered via three USB 2.0 ports and a 2-in-1 media card reader. One of the USB ports is available for Sleep and Charge, which allows users to keep phones and media players topped up with juice even when the NB520 is not switched on. Wireless connectivity takes the shape of 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 2.1, with the promise of version 3.0 being becoming available via a subsequent upgrade.

Toshiba says that the N520 should be good for up to 10 hours usage before the 6-cell battery needs recharging. It'll be available throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa from January 2011 in blue, brown, lime green, turquoise, and orange and will come pre-loaded with Windows 7 32-bit Starter edition.

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