With the release of its new Satellite notebook, Toshiba has joined Apple among the small number of vendors offering a large 17-inch notebook display.

The new P25-S507 sports a 17-inch display with a resolution of 1,440 pixels by 900 pixels – the same as Apple’s PowerBook. Toshiba built a CD/DVD recorder and two speakers from Harman International Industries into this notebook so customers can use it as a digital entertainment centre, the company said in a release.

Apple was the first major notebook manufacturer to release a 17-inch notebook display earlier this year with the launch of a new PowerBook at Macworld Expo. Acer's Aspire 1700 also comes with a 17-inch display.

Notebook computers have been getting larger and smaller this year. The launch of Intel's Pentium M processor has allowed notebook manufacturers to build lighter and smaller notebooks with better performance and battery life than allowed by older mobile processors. Consumers have also snapped up larger notebooks that aren't suitable for travel outside of their homes, but can be moved from room to room without much hassle.

Intel just released the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 for these desktop replacement notebooks, but Toshiba is sticking with a desktop Pentium 4 processor in the new Satellite notebook. Mobile processors offer power-management capabilities that reduce heat dissipation, but desktop processors offer better performance, and are often the choice of customers that want high-quality multimedia applications in a notebook.

The P25-S507 comes in a fixed configuration with a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 processor with hyperthreading, 512MB of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 60GB hard drive, a GeForce FX Go5200 graphics card from NVidia with 32MB of DDR video memory, a CD/DVD-R/RW drive, integrated 802.11a and 802.11b Wi-Fi, and Microsoft's Windows XP Home for an estimated price of US$2,099.

Apple’s 17-inch PowerBook costs $3,299 (£2,212 ex. VAT). It runs on a 1GHz PowerPC G4, features 1MB L3 cache, 512MB DDR333 memory, 60GB Ultra ATA/100 drive, DVD-R/CD-RW drive, 64MB NVidia GeForce4 440 Go graphics card, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 400 and 800, 802.11g AirPort Extreme Card and Bluetooth built-in.