Ever heard of Dynabook? I vaguely remember the name but I honestly couldn’t tell you of a single device that carried the branding. As a matter of fact, had you asked, I would have guessed that this particular line of laptops had gone the way of the dinosaurs. Much to my surprise, I discovered this morning that the Dynabook brand is not only alive and well but apparently, they’ve launched a Chromebook. More on the device in a moment. First, I feel that we should cover some background on this little-known laptop maker. For starters, Dynabook isn’t technically a manufacturer but instead, a segment of products that have been designed and produced by a handful of other, more recognizable brands.
As I brushed up on Dynabook’s story, I quickly found myself down a rabbit hole that spanned more than two decades and has its roots in the history of the first mass-marketed laptop PC. If that sounds in any way familiar to you, let me knock the dust off and tell you about a little company by the name of Toshiba. I won’t get into the argument of who actually created the first portable PC but the fact remains that the now-defunct Toshiba PC arm was right there in the mix. The story is long and you’re likely not here for the history lesson. So, long story short, Toshiba began producing laptops under the Dynabook brand around 1989 and continued until 2018 when the company suffered a massive blow a the hands of some shady financial scandals. It was at this point that 80.1% of the Toshiba Client Services were sold to the Sharp corporation. A year later, Sharp purchased the remaining shares and acquired sole ownership of the Dynabook brand. The well-known Satellite brand was birthed during Toshiba’s tenure with the Dynabook brand.
Since the acquisition by Sharp (Foxconn), Dynabook lives on as a small, albeit successful enterprise brand that produces a handful of PCs for business. Oddly enough, some of those laptops still carry the Toshiba named despite the company exiting the PC market. Others are simply branded Dynabook while Sharp puts their name on a few devices. Dynabook has focused on gaining some market share in key UK markets including education and SMB and now, it looks like the company has boarded the Chrome OS train. The news actually rolled out last December but it appears to have flown under the radar and this is the first time we’ve caught wind of the new device. As interesting as it is to see a new OEM in the Chrome OS space, the device itself is even more intriguing as it is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7C compute platform. The new Dynabook Chromebook C1 turned up on the Sharp Japan website and is clearly targeted towards the education market and even features built-in LTE thanks to that Qualcomm SoC.
Dynabook Chromebook C1
- Chrome OS
- ARM Snapdragon 7C Compute platform
- 11.6″ LCD touch display
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB eMMC storage
- 1MP front webcam/ 5MP world-facing camera
- Optional stowed stylus
- 360-degree convertible design
- 1 x USB-C, 1 X USB-A, MicroSD, nano-SIM, 3.5mm audio jack
- 1.35 kg
- 286 x 206 x 19.8 mm
No pricing is listed for the new Dynabook Chromebook C1 but looking at the original press release, it appears that this could be specifically for the Japanese Education market. That said, we will make a concerted effort to see if we can get one of these in the office simply because it is a Snapdragon device and it is the first Chromebook to come from Sharp and the Dynabook family. That’s very exciting news, in my opinion. As Chrome OS becomes more and more mainstream, I’d love to see more makers jump on the bandwagon. How awesome would it be to see something like an LG Gram Chromebook? To learn more about the Dynabook Chromebook C1, head over to Sharp’s landing page here.