A few days ago, I unexpectedly found out that the Panasonic SV1 officially hit the market! This thing used to only appear on second-hand electronics markets and online platforms. I’ve decided not to wait for the 2022 model of the Nano and went ahead to buy this one. Speaking of innovative thinking, the Japanese truly have a unique perspective. Even though Panasonic laptops were marketed with their rugged features, it’s quite remarkable that in 2022 you can still get your hands on such a retro electronic product, which really speaks to their commitment to uniqueness. The ancestral laptop comes with some heartwarming features: VGA. This interface is truly a blast from the past. It’s like getting a new typewriter and finding that it still includes a ribbon. Just a few days ago, I discovered that even the stylish Vaio had this interface in 2021, but it was removed from their 2022 models. Hard disk light. It takes me back to over 20 years ago when I played Red Alert, with the hard disk making that distinctive clinking sound. The blinking frequency of the hard disk light is almost as fast as it staying continuously lit. Sitting in front of the screen, gripping the mouse with bated breath, fearing that I might enter the game a second too late. Removable battery. Back then, many people used to remove the laptop battery, supposedly to extend its lifespan by a few cycles and protect the battery. Moreover, if you removed the battery from many laptops at that time, the machine couldn’t operate at full power. Some laptops wouldn’t even turn on without the battery. Shanghai’s Qiujiang Road and Shenzhen’s Huaqiangbei were flooded with all sorts of second-hand replacement batteries. Proprietary power connector. Laptops used to have different charging ports, and I could now probably dig up three different IBM chargers. Optical drive. The Japanese version surprisingly includes a Blu-ray drive… and it only adds around 10 grams to the weight. 8-bit sound. The first Windows startup sound scared me into thinking my speakers were broken. This thing is a true nostalgic sound.
Now, let’s throw in some images. For comparison, I’m using my TPX200S that I bought in 2005 or 2006. When comparing them, it’s like reliving the initial days of joining the WTO.
Lastly, I reckon someone will say again, “For this price, you can buy XXXX…”. So, let me briefly mention the advantages: This machine weighs only 919 grams, lighter than any modern lightweight laptop. Holding it in hand feels like holding a model, for instance, last year’s newly released X1 Nano weighs around 970 grams. Complete interfaces. Many new laptops lack not just VGA, but even HDMI and USB-A ports. Many now only have USB-C ports, like Apple, or like the latest Surface Book Studio, which I reviewed on TG recently. You can’t really go out without an adapter. Keyboard feel. Possibly due to the machine’s thickness, the keyboard has a long key travel and a good feel, very similar to the old ThinkPads. Battery life. It easily guarantees over 8 hours of usage, but of course, this depends on the configuration as well. There aren’t any power-hungry components. Durability. It can withstand a fall of 70 centimeters, which means it won’t break if it falls off a table. Nostalgia. This is subjective; not everyone has the same fondness for old laptops like I do. After using it for a few days, this machine truly evokes the feeling of 20 years ago, chatting on MSN and browsing old TG forums with a laptop. For specific users, this feeling is priceless, while for most users, it might be scoffed at.
Now, let’s touch on the downsides: It shares many of the drawbacks of ultraportables: lower performance and a less impressive screen. It’s quite thick, but since it emphasizes ruggedness, it’s expected not to be thin. Despite being lightweight, traditional removable batteries are used, affecting the weight distribution. Price.
Finally, let’s talk about the target audience: For those seeking ultimate portability for business purposes and are okay with a laptop design reminiscent of 20 years ago.