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The Cutting Edge Laptop is Double Sided

January 1, 2010

Laptops have gone a long way from the bulky suitcase sized monolith. The technology that modern day laptops use is astonishing. Faster, more energy efficient processors, thinner, smaller form factors and admirable battery life are just some of the advancements that laptops have incorporated.

However the trend for the current cutting edge laptop development is its form factor. It feels to me that prime question for companies are “What is the thinnest possible laptop I can possibly build that isn’t mediocre?”

From Apple’s “Macbook Air”, to Dell’s upcoming “Adamo XPS” there seems to be some irrational attraction for electronics to be thin. While thin has some practical advantages (such as being light) there comes to a point where it becomes too thin.

As laptop designers strife for thinner laptops, the computing power and effectiveness of the laptop suffers. Batteries have to be smaller, and processors have to be more energy efficient. There may not be any room for a large hard drive. These overlooked criteria may ultimately undermine the quality of the product that is created.

At a price to performance standpoint, it is very hard to justify purchasing something that focuses on giving you the thinnest edge rather than the most effective computer experience. There is very high premium to buy thin. You sacrifice a lot of performance and a lot more money. To me it just doesn’t seem practical.

There have also been stories of laptops overheating because of the lack of attention to cooling design. I can’t say I’m a fan of the trend. On the other hand, you are always given the option to purchase the thicker more well rounded laptop, so I guess maybe this pursuit for the “razor thin laptop” is for a niche market. People who value form over function may be the intended market. Whether or not it’s worth it is really up to you and what you want in a laptop. But if I was given the choice between a thin mediocre laptop and a well rounded multipurpose one, my choice is on the latter.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Fish. permalink
    January 4, 2010 5:37 pm

    I agree, your thoughts are exactly my own! I get the whole lighter laptop idea, but whats the point if the performance suffers? Plus for people who use their computer all the time, the problem of over-heating increases. I think companies should look into that area more.. my laptop gets so hot I swear you could fry something in there. -0-

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