If you want a laptop with a DVD or Blu-ray drive in the United States, you’re probably going to have to look for a model with a big screen and a thick and heavy chassis. Most companies making ultraportable PCs sacrificed optical disc drives for thin-and-light designs years ago.

But if you happen to be in Japan, companies like Panasonic are still cranking out compact notebooks with disc drives.

The company’s latest model is the Panasonic LV series featuring a 14 inch display, a starting weight of about 2.8 pounds, and a choice of a DVD or Blu-ray drive and the SV series, with a 12.1 inch display, a DVD drive, and a starting weight of just 2 pounds.

Panasonic CF-SV 7

It’s unlikely that either model will be available outside of Japan anytime soon — and if you’re planning to pick one up on your next trip to Tokyo, you should keep in mind that these things are super expensive.

But it’s still interesting to see what’s possible if you decide that a lightweight computer doesn’t nee to be super slim.

There’s room on the 12.1 inch model for full-sized Ethernet, HDMI, and VGA ports, as well as three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C port, and that DVD drive. The computer features a 1920 x 1200 pixel display, support for up to an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of solid state storage. There’s optional support for 4G LTE. And Panasonic offers small and large battery packs (the larger one adds a little weight to the notebook, obviously.

Panasonic CF-LV7

The specs for the 14 inch model are pretty similar, but the laptop has a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, optional support for a Blu-ray drive, and a heavier chassis, obviously.

thanks the calm critic!

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8 replies on “Panasonic still makes 2 pound laptops with optical disc drives (for Japanese market)”

  1. I like laptop design done in Japan. But the main issue is… no English keyboard. *ARGH*

    1. Im in Tokyo, Just bought a Panason 14 inch CF LV model, It has English keyboard as standard, it has the japanese letters on the key too, but its alot smaller. An excellent laptop!!! The Japanese always say its the best computer in japan by far. Even the non rugged laptops like this LV series can take drops and falls etc. So many full size ports!!! loving it. Yeah its super light but not paper thin, so got Bluray player with it as well. Its a very practical laptop, will last forever.

    1. Not to mention audio CD sales is thriving in Japan, partly due to handshake events. Some musicians there even refuse to offer their works as digital downloads, let alone streaming.

      1. YES! As part bass guitarist myself and knowing that there’s always a “Japan edition/release” music albums over there, it’s their astonishingly “unique” culture of appreciating and rewarding artistes.

        It’s still amazing that companies like Panasonic seek to accommodate this as best as they could.

  2. The optical drive also doubles as a sake dish holder… guess which gets used more often.

    1. Still, nice to have when you need it. I used to have an old desktop where I kept a floppy drive in the case just in case. And by in the case, I mean sitting on the floor of the tower case, unconnected to anything. 😉

  3. Because from time to time, like minded buddies are gonna ask me about what would be my top choice for a crazy import purchase (if/when given half a chance), my answer is always the same; that Panasonic LV model.

    I think of that as the Panasonic straight answer to Thinkpads and quite frankly a very Japanese sugar coated way of saying “FU” to the current thin and light product design regiment.

    Alas they don’t sell it outside. One has to wonder about how much does Panasonic make from these per annum, to not even care about external markets comfortably.

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