The End of an Era: When Did Toshiba Stop Making Laptops?

Toshiba, a name synonymous with innovation and quality in the tech world, has been a major player in the laptop market for decades. Their iconic notebooks were once a staple in homes and offices, renowned for their reliability and performance. But like all companies, Toshiba’s journey has seen its share of twists and turns, leading to a crucial question: When did Toshiba stop making laptops?

The answer, unfortunately, isn’t a simple one. While Toshiba no longer manufactures laptops under its own brand, the story is more complex than just a complete departure from the market. Let’s delve into the timeline of Toshiba’s laptop journey and explore the reasons behind its evolution.

A Legacy of Innovation: Toshiba’s Laptop History

Toshiba’s foray into the laptop market dates back to the early 1980s, with the launch of the T1100, a revolutionary device that marked the beginning of a long and successful era. This compact, portable computer, powered by the Intel 8086 processor, set the stage for future developments in mobile computing.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Toshiba consistently pushed the boundaries of laptop design and technology. Their Satellite series became a household name, offering a wide range of notebooks for various needs, from everyday computing to high-performance gaming. Their innovations included features like the AccuPoint trackpoint, a precursor to the modern trackpad, and the introduction of DVD drives into laptops, making them multimedia powerhouses.

Toshiba’s laptops gained recognition for:

  • Reliability and Durability: Known for their robust construction and ability to withstand everyday wear and tear.
  • Innovative Features: Pioneering features like the AccuPoint and early adoption of DVD drives.
  • Diverse Model Line: Catering to a wide range of needs, from budget-friendly to high-end options.

A Shift in Strategy: The Sale of the PC Business

Despite its strong legacy, Toshiba faced increasing competition from other tech giants like Lenovo, Dell, and HP. The market landscape was becoming increasingly challenging, with the rise of smartphones and tablets further impacting the traditional laptop market.

In 2016, Toshiba announced a major decision: the sale of its Personal Computing (PC) business to Sharp Corporation, a Japanese electronics company. This move aimed to streamline Toshiba’s operations and focus on its core businesses, including infrastructure, energy, and healthcare.

This sale, however, did not mark the end of Toshiba’s involvement in the laptop market. While they no longer manufactured their own laptops, they continued to sell and support their existing products.

A Continued Presence: Toshiba’s Laptop Legacy Lives On

While Toshiba may no longer be a direct competitor in the laptop market, their legacy lives on in several ways:

  • Sharp Continues Production: Sharp, the company that acquired Toshiba’s PC business, continued to manufacture laptops under the Toshiba brand. This ensured continuity for existing customers and maintained the Toshiba name in the market.
  • Product Support: Toshiba continued to provide support and repair services for their existing laptop models, ensuring customer satisfaction even after the sale.
  • Rebranding and Partnerships: Toshiba continues to utilize its brand recognition by partnering with other companies for laptop production and distribution. They have also launched new laptop models under different brand names, showcasing their continued involvement in the industry.

The Future of Toshiba in the Laptop Market

While Toshiba’s direct presence in the laptop market has changed, their legacy and brand recognition remain strong. The company’s focus on core businesses like infrastructure and energy has led to a shift in priorities, but their commitment to technological innovation and customer satisfaction continues to be a driving force.

The future of Toshiba’s involvement in the laptop market is still unfolding. While they may not be directly involved in manufacturing, their partnerships and brand recognition suggest a continued presence in the industry, albeit in a different capacity. The evolving landscape of technology demands adaptability, and Toshiba, with its history of innovation, is well-equipped to navigate this changing terrain.

In conclusion, while Toshiba no longer manufactures laptops under its own brand, their legacy in the industry is undeniable. The sale of their PC business in 2016 marked a shift in strategy, but their continued involvement through partnerships and brand recognition suggests that Toshiba remains a key player in the laptop market, albeit in a different form. The company’s future in this space will be shaped by its ability to adapt to evolving technological trends and customer demands.


1. When did Toshiba officially stop making laptops?

Toshiba officially stopped making laptops in 2018, after selling its PC business to Sharp. This move marked the end of an era for Toshiba, which had been a major player in the laptop market for decades. The decision was made as part of a larger strategy to refocus on its core businesses, such as infrastructure, energy, and healthcare.

While Toshiba no longer manufactures laptops under its own brand, its legacy continues to be felt in the market. Sharp, which acquired the PC business, still sells laptops under the Toshiba brand. However, these laptops are now manufactured by Sharp, not Toshiba.

2. Why did Toshiba decide to stop making laptops?

Toshiba’s decision to exit the laptop market was driven by a number of factors. The company faced increasing competition from other manufacturers, particularly in the consumer market. It also struggled to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in the PC industry.

Furthermore, Toshiba’s PC business had been losing money for several years. The company decided that it was no longer strategically viable to continue operating in this market. Instead, it chose to focus on its core businesses, which offered more growth potential.

3. Did Toshiba sell its entire PC business?

While Toshiba did sell its entire PC business to Sharp, it’s important to note that this sale did not include all of Toshiba’s operations. The company still retains its other businesses, such as its infrastructure, energy, and healthcare divisions.

The sale of its PC business was a strategic decision to streamline its operations and focus on areas where it believed it could be more competitive. It wasn’t a sign that Toshiba was exiting the technology industry altogether.

4. Are Toshiba laptops still available?

Yes, Toshiba laptops are still available for purchase. However, these laptops are now manufactured by Sharp, not Toshiba. Sharp acquired the Toshiba PC business in 2018 and has continued to sell laptops under the Toshiba brand.

While Sharp is responsible for the design, manufacturing, and distribution of these laptops, they still carry the Toshiba name and branding. This means that consumers can still find Toshiba laptops on the market, but they should be aware that these laptops are not actually made by Toshiba.

5. What happened to Toshiba’s employees who worked in the PC division?

The sale of Toshiba’s PC business to Sharp led to a significant number of job losses. Many employees who worked in the PC division were laid off or offered positions within Sharp.

The transition from Toshiba to Sharp ownership was not seamless for all employees, with some facing uncertainty about their future. However, the sale allowed Sharp to acquire a skilled workforce with experience in the PC industry.

6. What were some of Toshiba’s most popular laptops?

Toshiba was known for its high-quality laptops, and some of their most popular models include the Satellite series, which was known for its durability and reliability, and the Portege series, which was designed for business users and featured lightweight and compact designs.

Toshiba also made a significant impact in the netbook market with the Libretto series, which were incredibly small and portable, and the Satellite U series, which offered a balance of portability and performance.

7. What does the future hold for Toshiba in the tech industry?

Even though Toshiba exited the laptop market, the company remains a significant player in the technology industry. Toshiba continues to focus on its core businesses, such as infrastructure, energy, and healthcare.

The company is investing heavily in research and development in these areas, aiming to develop innovative technologies and solutions for a wide range of industries. While Toshiba may no longer be a familiar name in the laptop market, its impact on the tech industry continues to be felt in other areas.

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