Panasonic rules out netbook

ToughBook manufacturer will not be jumping on the netbook bandwagon, insisting it has no plans to produce a budget business machine.

Panasonic has revealed that it is happy to leave the netbook market to others, saying that it will not be producing its own take on the popular computer form factor.

The question was raised during a press tour of Panasonics's Kobe manufacturing facility, following the global launch of its new ToughBooks in Japan.

"Many people have asked us the same question," Toshi Harada of Panasonic's Kobe factory told a press gathering in Japan when asked if it was considering refitting it's small lightweight 'R'-Series machines with Intel's Atom processor.

Harada explained the company's reticence over producing a netbook. "We're focused on corporate rather than consumer needs, and performance is too low to work with office documents or other applications."

Concerning the size of the display, Harada added: "The key pitch (the distance between the keys) is only 15.5mm, which is too difficult to use compared to the 17mm on regular notebooks."

While the first netbook, the Eee PC, was released by consumer brand Asus, more business-orientated companies such as Dell, HP and Lenovo have released their own take on the netbook format.

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