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Toshiba Satellite U925T is First NFC-Enabled Ultrabook

At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2012, Intel said that Toshiba's Satellite U925T will be the first Ultrabook on the market with built-in near-field communication (NFC) technology. During the show, the hybrid Ultrabook was set up to demo a possible purchase using a MasterCard PayPass-compatible card. This tech will allow consumers to make purchases without having to enter and/or store their credentials anywhere on the device.

According to a hands-on by DailyTech, Intel's demo showed how consumers can purchase the Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook on TigerDirect.com using NFC tech. On the page was an option to purchase the device by clicking the green "Buy With PayPass" button. After that, a PayPass wallet pulled up, giving options for signing in, or to use the PayPass Tap & Go option.

After choosing the latter option, the user was instructed to tap the NFC reader, located on the palm rest and placed to the left of the touchpad. Once the card was placed on the Ultrabook, the reader pulled in all the required credit information – including the user's the billing/shipping info – and automatically filled out the order form. After that, the user merely submitted the fake order to complete the transaction.

Essentially this method prevents the user from typing in their PayPass password, or entering in all the sensitive information manually. Intel claims that the system is secure, that the e-tailer doesn't receive the user's credit card number, but rather gets its verification from MasterCard.

Unfortunately, we haven't seen anyone try to use the system with Google Wallet thus far. In theory it would be the same process although the user would swipe their smartphone or tablet instead. Using Google Wallet also means that consumers can use any credit or debit card, not just a MasterCard. Google Wallet will generate a fake PayPass credit card number that hides the customer's real credentials.

Will this be a more secure form of online shopping? The thing to remember is that sensitive information is stored with MasterCard or Google rather than remaining on the laptop or an online storefront. Yet that doesn't mean either party won't be hacked and everyone's private information is spilled onto hacker forums. But this method – making purchases by tapping an NFC-capable smartphone, tablet or card on an NFC-capable Ultrabook or other receiver – seems to be a step in the right direction of making secure payments.

Toshiba's Windows 8 hybrid tablet is slated to launch alongside Microsoft's new blocky operating system on October 26. Featuring a slide-out QWERTY backlit keyboard, the Satellite U925T can be used as a 13-inch tablet, as a notebook, or as makeshift AIO desktop-like PC thanks to a sliding hinge mechanism. Features will include two USB 3.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity and more.

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  • MasterCard's "Buy with PayPass" functionality supports all cards, not just MasterCard cards. Do your research.
    Reply
  • chewy1963
    What? Toshiba figured out a way to enable the National Football Conference on their laptops? Some of these headlines at Tom's are hilarious!
    Reply
  • svdb
    Perhaps this is the "first" to hit the US, but it's been around for almost a decade in Japan and other asian countries. I still have a Sony VAIO SZ that I purchased in Akihabara in 2005 which has a Felica sensor in the palmrest.
    Reply
  • techcurious
    If you just need to put your wallet (credit card) on the sensor to pay for the transaction, what are they doing to prevent someone from standing behind you in a crowd and discretely bringing a sensor (lets say on a cable attached to a laptop, rather than the whole laptop itself) to your wallet in your back pocket, to pay for their purchase?
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  • techcurious
    ... Perhaps shielded wallets that would require that you remove the card before it can be detected?
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  • @techcurious: chip-based transactions would prevent that
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  • teh_chem
    techcuriousIf you just need to put your wallet (credit card) on the sensor to pay for the transaction, what are they doing to prevent someone from standing behind you in a crowd and discretely bringing a sensor (lets say on a cable attached to a laptop, rather than the whole laptop itself) to your wallet in your back pocket, to pay for their purchase?Because in addition to scanning your card/payment device, you also typically need to input a key-code.

    Anyhoo, this is an interesting idea--probably a lot more pertinent for small-businesses wanting a unified work-computer/POS purchase transaction machine (assuming you can set up the pay service, etc. But for the average user/consumer...meh...I personally wouldn't seek out this feature, but if it's there, I couldn't care less.
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  • So a kid can buy a sports car on ebay and use my credit card by taking it out my wallet and put it on the laptop? Kids got it easy nowdays :D
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  • Yes NFC, but when it comes time to update the Toshiba customized HD graphics drivers for your games, you will never be able to get them, folks just know Toshiba never updates their HD graphics drivers. Intel can not update OEM customized Intel HD graphics drivers! Toshiba will never provide them! Gamers do not BUY toshiba! you will be up the river with out the updated drivers you game needs to run!!!!!
    Reply
  • svdb
    teh_chem...But for the average user/consumer...meh...I personally wouldn't seek out this feature, but if it's there, I couldn't care less. The electronic wallet has a lot more appeal in countries where shoppers traditionally carry a lot of cash and don't have credit cards (i.e. Japan).
    For credit card users the advantage is that they don't have to type in their CC information at all to make online purchases. No use looking over someone's shoulder to see his card info. Keyboard loggers and other trojans designed to steal CC information would be useless as the entire process is encrypted end to end.
    Reply