Toshiba Exits the PC Business

Toshiba Portégé, 2006

Toshiba this week confirmed that it has sold the remaining stake in its laptop business to Sharp and is formally exiting the PC market.

Toshiba began making PCs in 1985 and it grew to be one of the most successful and reliable PC makers. Its Satellite Pro range, in particular, was a leader in the nascent premium PC market, taking on rivals such as IBM’s ThinkPad line.

But with the PC market contracting by one-third in recent years and the premium market evolving into Ultrabook-style designs championed by Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo, Toshiba’s PC business began shrinking, and the firm began exiting markets. In 2015, it started outsourcing its laptop production. And in 2018, it sold 80 percent of its PC business to Sharp for just $36 million. Sharp has since renamed the product line to Dynabook, and it continues to sell product using former Toshiba brands such as Portégé and Tecra.

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Well, now it’s finally over. This week, Toshiba confirmed that it sold its remaining 20 percent stake to Sharp on June 30, 2020. It’s not clear what the value of that transaction is, but Toshiba has finally exited the PC market for good.

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Conversation 16 comments

  • dnationsr

    Premium Member
    08 August, 2020 - 9:52 am

    <p>they are great pc's</p>

  • darrellprichard

    08 August, 2020 - 9:54 am

    <p>My first “tablet” laptop (circa VERY early 2000’s) was a Toshiba. I never really used it in tablet mode but it was a solid laptop.</p>

  • hoyty76

    08 August, 2020 - 10:18 am

    <p>The first laptop I ever used in 1994 when I went to college and was helping fellow students get on the Internet was a Toshiba. It was almost 6 inches thick and had a screen with contrast adjustment on it. It was a Toshiba T3600CT I think.</p><p><br></p><p>Then fast forward to 2000 and I started working at a school that used Toshiba laptops exclusively. We used them all the way up to the M780 tablet PC in 2011. Then Toshiba exited the education market. We had to switch to Lenovo and their ThinkPad X220t then. Still use the ThinkPad X1 Yoga now alongside Surface Pro for students.</p><p><br></p><p>My school was a self servicer for Toshiba which was awesome. We could order parts and get paid for replacing them without involving tech support. Miss those days sometimes.</p>

  • 02nz

    08 August, 2020 - 10:27 am

    <p>They made some great ultraportables in the early 2010s. My Portege R705 was amazingly light – I think 3.1 lbs for a 13-inch including optical drive. That was incredibly light back then, especially since it was priced for consumers. And the Z series was even lighter. Then they seemed to basically disappear, at least from the U.S. market.</p>

  • yogesh

    08 August, 2020 - 11:21 am

    <p>Paul,</p><p>I think you mean "just $36 million", not billion!</p><p>Sharp itself is owned by Foxconn (it acquired it in 2016 for around $3.6 billion).</p>

    • yogesh

      04 September, 2020 - 5:50 pm

      <blockquote><em>Article still reads 'billion' when it should be 'million'.</em><a href="#559951"><em>In reply to yogesh:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • jbinaz

    08 August, 2020 - 12:34 pm

    <p>Sharp is in the PC business? </p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    08 August, 2020 - 3:18 pm

    <p>I had a Satellite with a 486/75 and 16 MB of RAM in the late 90s. It ran Windows 95 and 98 like a champ until it got stolen in 2006!</p>

  • SRLRacing

    08 August, 2020 - 3:46 pm

    <p>They made a solid if rarely exciting product. </p>

  • proftheory

    Premium Member
    08 August, 2020 - 4:18 pm

    <p>What happened to the Toughbooks? The go to model for the services industry.</p>

    • train_wreck

      08 August, 2020 - 7:13 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#559996">In reply to proftheory:</a></em></blockquote><p>That’s Panasonic, I believe.</p>

  • SvenJ

    08 August, 2020 - 8:55 pm

    <p>I still have a Toshiba convertible. 15". The screen spun around on a center pivot and laid down over the keyboard making a 'tablet". It ran Windows XP Tablet Edition. Actually it still does. Boots and runs. There is actually a silo for the pen. Plenty of room, as it is over an inch thick. Is it a collector's item now? Maybe I should take it to Antiques Road Show.</p>

  • JH_Radio

    Premium Member
    09 August, 2020 - 8:18 pm

    <p>Them and Sony. Gone. One thing that Lenovo has going for them is that they at least have smartphones and can diversify. That didn't help Sony though, since they sell all kinds of other things other than PCs. </p>

  • yaddamaster

    10 August, 2020 - 10:21 am

    <p>I remember the Satellite Pro from around 2006-ish. Had no idea they were still in the market.</p><p><br></p><p>Heck, I had no idea Sharp is still in the market.</p>

  • gg51

    10 August, 2020 - 6:14 pm

    <p>I use a Toshiba laptop for almost 25 years. The first one was a t5200. Build like a tank, plasma screen (amber and black) with room for a full and 1/2 card. Battery life you ask? Zero, there was no batteries, but there was a handle. Loved it. Went all over the world with it.</p>

  • dftf

    12 August, 2020 - 9:03 am

    <p>Still coming at you from a Toshiba L500 series laptop here (photo not my actual one):</p><p><br></p><p></p><p><br></p><p>Originally came with a 2.5" SATA HDD and 4GB RAM but upgraded to 2.5" SATA SSD and 8GB RAM (maximum supported).</p><p><br></p><p>Everything still works, except the webcam (probably a loose connection which I could fix, but I use my phone for personal stuff like WhatsApp calls or my HP work laptop for work conference-calls, so not an issue — plus it's only 640×480 VGA at 15fps I think, or 30fps at QVGA 320×240) and I prefer the "old-style" keyboard to "chiclet" types.</p><p><br></p><p>Windows 10 Version 2004 works fine on it, though as the processor is so-old OpenGL hardware-acceleration isn't supported fully, unlike in Windows 7 (DirectX acceleration works the same though, so emulators/apps which offer both work fine).</p><p><br></p><p>I also upgraded to a large-capacity battery (around 7000mAh) which isn't flush, but rises the laptop up, allowing more airflow underneath. Typically get around 5 hours battery-life, assuming casual web-browsing, music-playback or Microsoft Office use.</p>

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2023 Thurrott LLC