Toshiba Will No Longer Make Laptops

The firm created the world's first IBM-compatible laptop computer back in 1985.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Toshiba released a press release this week announcing that it was transferring its remaining shares in Dynabook to Sharp. And with that transfer ended the company's production of laptops.


None of that was written in the short statement but it has been reported widely. In honor of this event, and to say our final goodbyes, let's take a look at Toshiba's laptop history.

Toshiba released its first laptop computer, the T1100, back in 1985. It was, at the time, the world's first IBM-compatible laptop computer, according to Computer World.

But the machine that would go on to fuel the growth of the laptop industry almost didn't happen. Toshiba executives doubted the company's ability to successfully launch the machine and the laptop suffered from a lack of compatible software.

"Back then, transportable computers were becoming popular but they were very, very, very big," told Computer World Atsutoshi Nishida, who led the project at the time and is now a corporate executive vice president at Toshiba. "Our plan was for a clamshell-type transportable PC with an LCD and IBM compatibility," he added.

Despite many hurdles, plans for the laptop pushed through after Nishida promised he could sell 10,000 of the machines in a year. "That is not many today but back then it was a very large quantity," Nishida explained.

And so the T110 was created. It weighed nine pounds (4.1 kilograms), boasted 256 KB of memory, a 640x200 pixel LCD screen, a 3.5-inch (8.9centimeter) floppy disk drove, and cost $1,999

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So how did Toshiba go from producing the world's first laptop to not making any at all? Well, the firm was a leader in laptops through the 1990s and much of the 2000s but soon started to see undeniable competition. 

Competitors such as Apple, HP and Dell had newer technology and thus were producing better laptops forcing Toshiba to sell its laptop division to Sharp in 2018. Now, the firm has completed that sale and the once historic Toshiba laptops will soon be a thing of the past.

That does not mean they won't be remembered fondly. Goodbye Toshiba laptops. You will be missed.

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