Laptop PC specialist Toshiba has announced a pair of really rather awesome multimedia notebooks powered by twin Nvidia graphics chips running in SLI configuration.

The new 17-inch portables sport an impressive all round specification including dual hard drives, HD-DVD playback and HDMI-out video ports.

Predictably, the new Satellite X205-SLI3 and Satellite X205-SLI1 both pack Intel's ubiquitous Core 2 Duo CPUs in 2.2GHz and 2.0GHz trim respectively.

Graphics galore

But the big news for gaming enthusiasts is the graphics subsystem. Both units boast a pair of Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 3D chips for dual-rendering graphics goodness.

Individually, Nvidia GeForce 8600M GPU is approximately one third as powerful as its flagship desktop graphics chip, the GeForce 8800. It's an intriguing solution that reflects the fact that Nvidia has yet to release a mobile version of its insanely powerful, but epically power hungry, GeForce 8800 GPU.

Still, a pair of 8600M chips should deliver serious 3D gaming grunt and makes the new Satellite X200 series the most powerful DirectX10 notebooks on the planet. For now.

Mirroring the dual-graphics setup, Toshiba has also endowed these portable powerhouses with twin hard drives. In total, the SLi1 is good for 240GB while the SLi3 touts an impressive 320GB across its two disks.

The SLi3 is also distinguished from its cheaper sibling courtesy of a higher solution 1,680 x 1,050 pixel 17-inch screen. The SLi1 makes do with a mere 1,400 x 900 pixels.

Multimedia malarkey

In terms of multimedia prowess, Toshiba has plumped for HD-DVD drives and HDMI digital video ports complete with HDCP support. With both powerful graphics and full HD-video support, these new Satellites are formidable portable entertainment systems.

What's more, the SLi3 ups the HD ante with a USB HDTV tuner as standard.

Elsewhere, both units are specced with 2GB of DDR2 system memory 802.11a/g/n wireless networking, Bluetooth, an integrated webcam and a fingerprint reader for security.

In the US, the SLi3 kicks off at $2,499 (around £1,250) while the SLi1 is yours for a piffling $1,999. There's no word as yet on UK pricing or availability, but we've pinged Toshiba UK for full disclosure. We'll update with full details as we receive them.