Small notebooks are nothing new. They were around long before netbooks or ultrabooks hit the scene. They just carried a much higher price tag than their modern equivalents… and they became a lot harder to find once netbooks started selling for $400 or less, convincing shoppers that small notebooks should be cheaper than their 15.6 inch cousins, not the other way around.

But apparently Panasonic never got the memo. Not only has the company never introduced a proper (cheap) netbook, but Panasonic keeps pumping out high-priced mini-laptops with high performance parts.

The latest example is the Panasonic Let’s Note J10.

Panasonic Let's Note J10

This little guy has a 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, an Intel Sandy Bridge processor, a choice of a hard drive or a solid state disk, and 4GB to 8GB of storage. Oh yeah, and it also gets up to 8 hours of battery life with the standard battery but there’s an extended battery option that provides up to 12.5 hours of run time.

Panasonic offers COre i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processor options, hard drives ranging from 320GB to 1TB or 128GB or 256GB solid state disks.

The Panasonic Let’s Note J10 is a bit thicker than your typical ultrabook, measuring about 1.4 inches thick. But the little laptop weighs just 2.2 pounds, making it at least as portable as a netbook or ultrabook.

Unfortunately the J10 is only available in Japan, where it sells for between $1500 and nearly $4200 depending on the configuration.

There are a handful of retailers including Dynamism and Conics which make a business model out of buying gadgets that are only available in Japan and making them available internationally — but that tends to drive the price up even higher.

via VR Zone

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17 replies on “Panasonic throws ultrabook parts into a netbook-sized case”

  1. Still an impressive device, despite being around for a while. There was a time Panasonic gave the option of having it shipped with a trackpoint (you know, those nipple mice on the keyboard) instead of a touchpad. I wonder if they still offer that? Get rid of the inept touchpad and give me a nipple-mouse, and this would be top-tier in my book. Decent battery life for a Sandy Bridge model at this size, and I wonder how much they can squeeze out of am Ivy Bridge 

  2. I’d buy one if it came with an i7 3612qm and sold in the US (ie. not through importers mentioned in this article).

  3. The J9/J10 has been around for at least a year now. Definitely predates the whole ultrabook craze.

    1. Yes, but this is basically a minor news bump that indicates they updated the spec options a bit since then…

      Originally, it was released with first Core i-Series but now they’ve updated it to Sandy Bridge and doubled the RAM offerings. While options like 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD weren’t available when they first released this series.

      1. It’s been nine months or so since they have been updated to sandy bridge and added more SSD options.

        The news should be Ivy Bridge upgrade, though that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

        1. Not really the point, they actually announced the update shortly after they announced the J10 series back in January of 2011. How long it took for them to actually start selling them with Sandy Bridge may have started 9 months ago but like I said, options like the 1TB drive and 256GB weren’t available then or even 9 months ago.

          While such news wasn’t widely reported here in the states and minor news bumps are basically to help promote a product that may have been ignored or forgotten.

          The main purpose of which on Panasonic’s part is likely that if a Ivy Bridge update is coming from them then it’s probably to help promote the line beforehand and get the old stock sold before they get the new models out.

          1. The 1 TB and 256GB upgrades have been around for months, especially since conics have after market options as well.

            If anything, price drop is the main point, not spec upgrades. What better way to sell soon-to-be outdated parts than to drop the price?

            Coincidentally, conics still sell J10s with the first gen i CPUs.

          2. There hasn’t been a price reduction and again you’re missing the point. A minor news bump is to get more people aware of the product when most have already started either forgetting or never heard of it to begin with!

            While Conics is just a importer, they’re not a direct reseller! Meaning they could sell systems that are years old as long as they had stock and people still willing to buy those models.

          3. There has been a reduction, if you will care to notice.
            J10 is as low as $1240 here:
            Whereas it used to be ~$1500 for the same model.

            Granted, conics is usually more expensive than it would cost if you bought directly from a Japanese store.

            This is a very minor news bump indeed, considering few other products get a news bump without explicitly mentioning any price reduction or confirmed, new upgrades.

          4. You said it yourself, Conics doesn’t represent official pricing. And again, not the point of a minor news bump!

            Besides, you should be comparing to previous major news releases that didn’t get buried as a foot note on some remote part of the Internet.

            These models mainly aren’t offered internationally. So news doesn’t have to be news to them, just to us!

            And the fact is most people around the world aren’t aware of the J10 series.

            Hell, just a week or two ago the Gadgeteer posted about a rebranded eKing UMPC from 2010, which they apparently didn’t know was rebranded, that a importer was starting to sell. So it’s a fairly common practice…

            These news bumps are again, to let people know who didn’t previously know or had forgotten! Especially when the original news release is outdated!

          5. Except the title is rather misleading.

            “Panasonic throws ultrabook parts into a netbook-sized case” rather implies that the J10 is a new byproduct of the ultrabook bandwagon rather than the actual fact that J10 predates ultrabooks.

            Not mention that this isn’t news even to those of us who are not in Japan. Sandy bridge let’s note series has been mentioned in a major news site like engadget back in January of last year.

            Even minor news bumps have expiration dates, no matter how obscure the product may be.

          6. Or just a modern interpretation and no, fact is most regular people don’t even know about the J10.

            9/10 for every time I’ve mentioned the J10 series over the past year no one knew what I was talking about!

            While Engadget hasn’t updated since that original news release! So no, it hasn’t gotten a mention that wasn’t buried in some remote part of the Internet since then.

          7. News usually don’t get bumps without new developments. Otherwise it wouldn’t be news, just mere rehashes.

          8. You’re confusing news with the purpose of a minor news bump. I already pointed out the difference, news bumps are often little more than rehashing in any case and have more to do with awareness than anything else, and I outlined the likely reasons for them to be pushing awareness at this time. They don’t have to be reasons you care for to still be valid.

            Really, we aren’t talking about a product that’s widely known or even has been properly reviewed.

            Aside from the initial announcements that like many reports or upcoming products during the annual CES is quickly forgotten by most or never heard of at all. Especially, since not all announced products actually get made or take more than a year to come out.

            So except for the few who follow such details closely enough to be aware of the J10 series, it’s pretty much unknown to most people outside of Japan.

            While a late update is still a update in any case…

  4. It’s not for you! Anyone who used a Let’s Note know it’s worth every penny.

  5. Interesting device. Too bad the touchpad looks virtually unusable, and the price is higher than a Macbook Pro. At $500 this would have real potential.

    1. Ultra Portables are normally higher priced for the smaller size and weight they offer. You won’t find any MBP that’s the size of a 10″ netbook and it’s actually impressive they didn’t have to skimp on things like run time.

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