Toshiba abandons netbook market in US

The netbook market has been slowly but surely disappearing, and now there's word that one major notebook maker is abandoning netbooks entirely, at least in the US. Liliputing.com reports it has heard from an unnamed executive at Toshiba that the Toshiba America division has no plans to release any more netbooks in the US.

Toshiba did show off a new netbook at CES 2012 in January, the NB510; however, that model will only be sold in international markets. For the US, Toshiba will be releasing Ultrabook-style notebooks, which are light but are also more expensive than netbooks, which tend to have prices below $400.

As the article notes, many other notebook makers such as Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony have either officially announced they won't be making any more netbooks or have not released any new models in some time. Asus, Acer and HP are still selling netbooks but sales of these kinds of notebooks have been falling for some time.

It would appear that the netbook craze that hit laptop manufacturers a couple of years ago has died down quickly and that we will likely see more Ultrabook designs from those company. We could also see more hybrid notebook-tablets such as the one that Dell is reportedly developing for Windows 8 and its launch later this year.

Source: Liliputing.com

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22 Comments

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derekaw said,
It is interesting that Apple did not go down the Netbook path.

Since its inception, Apple has never ventured into the low-margin products. Why should they start now, when they're making money hand over fist?

derekaw said,
It is interesting that Apple did not go down the Netbook path.

Instead, they went into tablets - which (until now) have remained the Netbook Alternative. However, the current generation of x86 tablets are based on Ultrabooks - not netbooks. Further, note that Apple is even moving the MacBook out of the lower end of the portable market, letting the higher-end iPad take root there.

However, by doing that, Apple could well be walking into a trap. That same product space is one that both Ultrabooks and their tablet progeny are going after, and they are bringing King Kong (Windows) with them. Worse for Apple, it's not WindowsRT, but Windows 8 itself - not just the WinRT apps, but all those Win32 applications that Windows 7 supports.

That, folks, is the REAL reason for the control-scheme neutrality that Windows 8 has - not only to lure iPad (and other tablet) users, but to show you can have the app experience provided by tablets without losing access to the massive (if not monstrous) Win32 application/game/utility library.

+1! Not to mention that cramping 1366*768 in a 11 inch screen has worn my eyes more than everything else. Me too considers the tablets the ultimate traveler's companion. They are not productivity tools, but they do what mobility defines at their best!

I guess everything really is personal preference...I've tried to like netbooks, and have purchased a few different models but have NEVER been able to use them for anything more than novelty....too cramped and weak to be of any use especially if I already have a MacBook...For me tablets are the perfect travel companion, touch rather than cramped keyboard seems to work better when mobile, for me

The problem with the netbook form-factor is while the battery life was fantastic, you couldn't have it AND Windows (netbooks with great battery-life weren't x86, and Atom-based netbooks were slower than legacy laptops and less powerful besides). Ultrabooks are almost netbook-sized, far more powerful (i5 is the standard for Ultrabooks - so far, I haven't seen an i3-based model), and Windows (7 now, and 8 later) is standard fare.

PGHammer said,
The problem with the netbook form-factor is while the battery life was fantastic, you couldn't have it AND Windows (netbooks with great battery-life weren't x86, and Atom-based netbooks were slower than legacy laptops and less powerful besides). Ultrabooks are almost netbook-sized, far more powerful (i5 is the standard for Ultrabooks - so far, I haven't seen an i3-based model), and Windows (7 now, and 8 later) is standard fare.
There are netbooks with 11.6" displays with Core i3's, i5's, and i7's. Here is a link to a Core i3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/...t.aspx?Item=N82E16834214595 ultrabook.

S.P said,
That link is to the Toshiba Portege Z835 which is a 13.3".

I have a ASUS 11inch netbook. run win7 great. Battery life is amazing. I don't play games on it of course but for a multimedia machine on the go it is great. My 12 hour layover in Dubai went by much faster with it

My opinion on this is mixed. I've always looked at netbooks and thought: "hey, that's a nice little computer". Though I've never gotten one for myself because they were too underpowered for me.

Ultrabook is where it's at. I've always thought that Netbooks were too small to actually do anything productive on. And besides, with tablets these days it pretty much replaces the Netbook.

S.P said,
Ultrabook is where it's at. I've always thought that Netbooks were too small to actually do anything productive on. And besides, with tablets these days it pretty much replaces the Netbook.

Ultrabook would be where it's at IF they could differentiate it from the existing notebook market and the general public could distinguish it... Unless and until this happens, there's literally no point in calling it an ultrabook and it will never gain traction.

S.P said,
Ultrabooks are distinguished by the specification outlined by Intel though...

99% of consumers don't know that, they just see a row of shiny laptops

Granted, but Ultrabooks are only just 1 year old, so I think a little more time is needed for the marketing to kick in. I fear people will simply call them Macbook Air alternatives, which they probably are.

thealexweb said,

99% of consumers don't know that, they just see a row of shiny laptops


Exactly. And to consumers there ARE no distinguishing factors. Ultrabooks come in all sizes, all price points, and with a large variety of specs... They're laptops with a different name, that's all, and there's no benefit to having that honestly and consumers just won't care.

Well I guess we need to wait and see how long the Ultrabook last then. If companies like Toshiba are moving away from Netbooks then I'm sure they have their reason.

i like my netbook. I have an ASUS though. Great for traveling instead of my huge 17inch brick. I do think this segment is dieing off with tablets and ultra books taking its place.

I have a Toshiba NB505 netbook and absolutely love it. It's small enough that I barely notice i'm carrying it. I also cant afford the more expensive light laptop's so it's perfect. Best $240 I spent.