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Dynabook Ramps Up U.S. Expansion With Focus On Channel, Mobile Notebooks

The PC maker formerly known as Toshiba Client Solutions has been capitalizing on big work-from-home demand with the help of solution providers.

Dynabook Americas has been accelerating its push with solution providers to expand the reach of its notebook PC line in the U.S., with the shift to work-from-home serving as a major tailwind to the efforts.

Irvine, Calif.-based Dynabook Americas, formerly Toshiba America Client Solutions, had launched its Dynabook Preferred Partner Program in February shortly before the widespread move to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Related: The 10 Coolest Laptops For Working From Home In 2020]

Despite launching the program at "an extremely disruptive time," Dynabook Americas has seen strong growth thanks to its focus on business-ready laptops, said Wendy Sue Linsky, U.S. sales leader for IT distribution and channel strategy at the company. Laptops for business have been in huge demand since March in connection with work-from-home deployments.

"It's been a category that's been on fire," Linsky said. "And we're very focused on the laptop segment. That's our core. We don't play in desktops and we don't play in the low-end or Chrome segments. We are extraordinarily focused on the mobility space."

And since the partner program launch in February, "the number of resellers and the amount of units we have sold have done tremendous growth, along with overall revenue from a channel perspective," she said.

Parent company Toshiba Client Solutions changed its name to Dynabook Inc. in January 2019, following the sale of the business to Sharp the previous year.

Then in April 2019, Toshiba America Client Solutions changed its name to Dynabook Americas, which has continued to sell notebooks under former Toshiba brands such as Portege and Tecra.

Dynabook points to portability as one of the key differentiators for its laptops. Dynabook's Portege X30L, for instance, stands out with a weight of just 1.92 pounds--which makes it the world's lightest 13.3-inch notebook with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, according to the company.

The laptop supports up to an Intel Core i7-10710U processor, which comes with six cores and a clock speed of up to 4.7GHz--while the Portege X30L offers up to 14 hours of battery life and a durable magnesium-alloy chassis, as well.

Beau Currie, president of Orlando-based Currie, Peak and Frazier, said his solution provider became a partner of Dynabook about seven months ago, and has been highly impressed with the company's partner efforts and products so far. The mobility-focused solution provider had been looking for a new PC vendor to focus on after Fujitsu exited the U.S. market, and Dynabook's emphasis on laptops "fits perfectly," he said.

"Their products have been excellent. One of the things that they did for us, which was really terrific was, we sent them our key models within the Fujitsu product line and within the Lenovo product line, which are the two lines that we've been doing the most business with. And they had one of their engineers do a side by side feature spec comparison for each one of those models," Currie said. "And so we could see in a spreadsheet exactly where the differences were, and make our comparisons and choose the appropriate devices to move into the holes that were left by Fujitsu leaving the hardware market in the U.S. And so that was most helpful for us to get a snapshot and take a look at their line."

The solution provider then ran tests on a few of the devices that turned up through the comparison, he said.

"They tested out quite favorably. Performance-wise they were quite a bit faster than our Fujitsu products," Currie said. "In battery life, which is the other key component in the mobile world, they were just slightly better. So, higher performance and battery that is equal to or better. And then the quality of build is excellent as well. And they're thin and light. They're excellent in [portability]. They've done a really good job in designing those products."

Currie said that working with Linsky has also been a major plus of partnering with Dynabook.

"She's terrific. She's a seasoned veteran. And she understands the ins and outs of the business, and what's good, what's bad within the channel. And so she's got a really good understanding of what a business like ours needs to be successful with them. And she seems to be committed to making sure that that happens," Currie said.

Dynabook also seems more open to working with solution providers on smaller deals than some of the other PC vendors in the U.S. market, he said.

"If you're installing 500 units, those [larger vendors] are going to be all over it. If it's 50 or less, you kind of fall by the wayside and you're not a priority," Currie said. "But I think a company like Dynabook is going to be all over those opportunities."

Ultimately, "I think that they're going to be very successful in the market," he said.

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