Well this is new. A computer/electronics maker is saying that it will not release a netbook. Low cost ultraportable computers or netbooks are hot right now. Like, 8 out of the top 10 computers on Amazon’s charts are netbooks hot. So it’s rare to see a company definitively state that it does not plan to enter the netbook market. But that’s exactly what a Panasonic official recently did.

When asked whether Panasonic would be producing a netbook, an official from Panasonic’s Kobe manufacturing center said that since the company is focusing on corporate computers, not consumer laptops, the company has no plans to offer a netbook.

Of course, he went on to say that the reason is that the performance on Intel Atom powered devices is “too low to work with office documents or other applications,” which is kind of untrue. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had problems working on a text, spreadsheet, or presentation document on a netbook. You could, however make the case that the low screen resolution and smaller keyboards make netbooks good for traveling or personal use, but less than ideal for business use.

Of course, Panasonic’s position could change over time. Once upon a time it looked like Sony might stay out of the netbook game. Now it looks like Sony is just biding its time, waiting for the market to settle a bit before swooping in with something that will stand out from the crowd.

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6 replies on “Panasonic: No netbooks for us”

  1. I don’t agree with Panasonic’s statement about “the reason is that the performance on Intel Atom powered devices is “too low to work with office documents or other applications,”” Seeing as panasonic uses Core Solos, or the U series or even ULV series of chips in their toughbooks. Not to mention they usually have low amounts of ram and small HDDs, all while running windows Vista. Netbooks mostly run Windows XP (except for HP2133) which is fairly light.

  2. they make some awesome ruggedized laptops, but they aren’t cheap by any means. and they’ve never tried to crack the consumer electronics world. it’s always been focused on the business (and military, that’s how i’ve used them) world. that’s the safe way for them to go. they’ll probably reexamine this a few years down the road when more and more powerful netbook size machines are released and performance catches up to what more heavy business users require.

  3. @Rob
    Panasonic makes some of the best ultraportable laptops available, so it makes sense that they have no interest in cannibalizing their business model by selling netbooks. Until about a year ago, if you wanted the smallest, lightest laptop money could buy, you purchased something from Panasonic.

  4. I think we all thought the same thing:

    “Panasonic makes laptops?”

    If I go out to buy a laptop for family/friends, I usually have the same 3-4 usual suspects like everyone else does and Panasonic isnt in there.
    Actually Panasonic is probably not in my top 20 just like many on the Liliputing database arent.

    I know the name. I even had a Panasonic cordless phone or two, maybe even an answering machine.
    Dioesnt mean Id want a GE laptop either.
    Not that I dont think they could make something half decent but with 60some netbooks to choose from, I dont think Il mourn them.

    1. Panasonic has been making the Toughbook line of rugged laptops for a while
      now. They’re pretty well respected. But not cheap.

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