We say goodbye to one of the original greats, Toshiba

We heard some unfortunate news earlier this week as Toshiba officially sold its final stake in Dynabook and exited the personal computer market for good. The past few years have seen Toshiba’s stake in the global computer market rapidly decline, from selling 17 million units and dominating the market in 2011 to selling just 1.9m units in 2017.

It is a sad day when a company with a history such as Toshiba’s leaves a market they helped create and spent decades developing by advancing technology and driving the industry forwards for everyone else.

For GRiD there is a personal attachment to seeing Toshiba transition out of the personal computer market. They were once one of our biggest competitors back when we first started out as a US based company in the late 70’s/early 80’s. With Toshiba’s first laptop, the T1100 being based on a similar clamshell design as our GRiD 1100 Compass developed a few years prior.


It wasn’t until the 1990’s however, that Toshiba really took off and exploded on to the market with the introduction of the Toshiba T4900CT and its Pentium CPU. With the revolutionary CPU it was at this point where the ability to have truly fast computing power became an option and the age of modern computing started to become an achievable goal for the masses.

Fast forward a few years and we get to the age of the ‘Ultrabook’ and a year in which Toshiba truly dominated the market, with a total of 36 new models being released in 2011 alone. Of particular note was the Portege Z835, marked as the alternative to the Apple MacBook Air with its ultra-light weight of just 2.4lbs being a key factor.

So where did it all change for Toshiba? What knocked them off the top spot as a clear industry leader and made them leave the market in its entirety?

Unfortunately, as is the case with a great number of industries, the barrier to entry is a lot less than what it once was. New competition is appearing constantly, and a great deal of ingenuity and innovation is required to stay on top. With an abundance of options and innovation coming from new companies, consumers have more to choose from and expect more as standard.

It seems that after events in 2017 which led to a historic profit loss and then selling the majority of their personal computing company TCS (which was quickly rebranded to Dynabook once Sharp took over) in 2018 Toshiba’s fate was sealed and it was only a matter of time until they left entirely.

Although we operate in the military and aerospace industries, our market is no different. We keep innovating and improving our products to ensure that we stay the most rugged and that our hardware is fully customisable so our customers can use it in any system, anywhere on the planet.

It is a shame to see Toshiba exit the market after nearly 40 years of operations but, with them leaving, it creates an opportunity for a new innovator to take their place.