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How Practical are 20-inch Laptops? 274

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the large-and-in-charge dept.
GeneralPacket writes "A 20-inch laptop might sound perfect for a game of Grand Theft Auto on the way to work, or navigating a mammoth spreadsheet. But are they really usable as laptops, or are they just luggable desktops? This week CNET attempted to work on the super-sized 20-inch Dell XPS M2010 laptop while travelling across London on the subway. The resulting video review is hilarious. This is not your typical tech video review — it's actually funny, and, refreshingly, completely advertising-free. The reviewer is in constant fear that anti-terrorism police are about to swarm him. Would you use a 20-incher?"
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How Practical are 20-inch Laptops?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:48PM (#16528929)
    Would you use a 20-incher?

    On behalf of my girlfriend, I have to say the answer is yes.
  • If you could roll them up into a 300g 20"x1" rod, with "VCR" controls along the side and infrared+Bluetooth, that magic wand would inspire more respect and fear than mockery.

    "Any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur Clarke
  • by garcia (6573) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:51PM (#16528953) Homepage
    Most people don't want a "laptop". Instead, they want something that they can take to Panera and do their work w/o being in the office. My wife and father both have one of these huge laptops. They are uncomfortable to carry (they use backpacks), they suck power (she gets about an hour of battery life), and they are loud.

    I rely on my Sidekick for most of my work (e-mail, calendar, and notetaking) and I use a Thinkpad for anything more serious. While I am always looking for something even smaller everyone else seems to look for something larger.

    MORE POWER ARRR ARR ARR.
    • by Zadaz (950521) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:03PM (#16529041)
      I'm with you on this. I haven't been able to make the jump to a smart phone I have to synch too much too often for what I do, but I do cary my laptop everywhere. It's around 2 1/2 pounds, light enough I don't notice it. I get about 6 hours of battery life out of it (more if I dim the screen) and when I'm in my office/home I dock it with a 23" display and a real keyboard.

      Makes me a little sad to see people breaking their backs with these huge things, getting into fights over outlets in cafes...

      No marketer would ever call my laptop a desktop replacement, but I've been doing active development on it (or one of similar size and specs) for the last several years, and have no complaints. (I don't go to lan parties, and I have a separate machine for gaming, but that's me.)
      • by mikael (484)
        Makes me a little sad to see people breaking their backs with these huge things, getting into fights over outlets in cafes...


        Seems like if they had one of those plug type outlet extension boxes, this problem could be resolved simply. Every laptop I've seen always requires a massive transformer box somewhere along the power line.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by RobertLTux (260313)
          easy a true Road Warrior (geekus nomadicus) woudl have the following handy

          1 power squid
          2 small router
          3 Towel (of hand size)
          4 half dozen power bars
    • by metamatic (202216) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:32PM (#16529277) Homepage Journal
      While I am always looking for something even smaller everyone else seems to look for something larger.

      Yeah, drives me crazy. Apple don't even have a small laptop offering; their smallest is 13".

      What I really want is something like a VAIO UX, only with an operating system.

      Lots of manufacturers don't even bother to release their small laptops in the USA, because everyone here wants honkin' huge SUV laptops.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bhima (46039)
        I would dearly, dearly love a "Macbook Nano" if Apple would only get around making it.
    • by dhaines (323241) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:32PM (#16529283)

      It's a tradeoff, some people's work is much easier with a lot of screen space. Others are more concerned with weight, keyboard feel, etc. So you might say: it's not how big it is, it's how you use it.

      Just a few weeks back I was shopping for new laptops for my girlfriend and myself (yes really). We never encountered anything larger than 17 inches, but found even that size to be painfully large. We settled on matching (of course) 15.4-inchers, which are "just right."

      Funny coincidence though -- like the woman interviewed in the video, my girlfriend prefers black laptops.

      • It's a tradeoff, some people's work is much easier with a lot of screen space. Others are more concerned with weight, keyboard feel, etc.

        There's nothing stopping you compromising and getting a small and portable laptop for carrying around and plugging it into a big screen where you do the most work. I have a 15" PowerBook as my primary laptop, and it's about as big as I would want to carry around, but a 23" Cinema HD on my desk for when portability isn't a consideration.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Wdomburg (141264)
          Not everyone does the bulk of their work at a desk. I spend the bulk of my time in conference rooms, other people's offices, colocations, etc, etc. If I was one of those people who only transport their laptop from room to room or from their car, I might consider something larger than my current 14.1".
    • by SeaFox (739806) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @08:43PM (#16532561)
      Most people don't want a "laptop". Instead, they want something that they can take to Panera and do their work w/o being in the office.

      Did anyone else read that as "something that they can take to Pantera and do their work..."? I was wondering who does work during a rock concert.
  • by HiredMan (5546) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:52PM (#16528961) Journal
    Would you use a 20-incher?

    I can't believe you ended a Slashdot post with a question like this... it's like T-ball.

    What are you tying to do - flush the trolls into the open?

    Sheesh,

    =tkk
  • by AsmCoder8088 (745645) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:53PM (#16528975)
    this T-shirt [terrortshirt.com] and the look will be complete!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Just don't wear it in Britain. They'll gun you down without a second thought.
  • by Loconut1389 (455297) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:54PM (#16528979)
    Reminds me of the old IBM 'portable' computers- perhaps less the CRT.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bing Tsher E (943915)
      Even the first generation IBM Laptop (the PC Convertible, about a generation newer than the 'Portable') was one heck of a lug to carry around. I still have one. It's got a nice 'hard case' to transport it in that makes it about twice the size of a briefcase.
    • by msobkow (48369)

      Credit where due -- they're a lot more powerful than the Osborne 1.

  • I have a 17 inch dell laptop, and yes I do use it on my lap, and no I am not a huge fat guy, I am however tall. It's actually very comfortable to use, more so than my wife's 14 inch dell. So yes I would use a 20 inch laptop.
    • by eebra82 (907996) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:05PM (#16529053) Homepage
      If you're comparing the difference in size between 14" to 17" and 17" to 20", think again. Although the increment is the same, it's still a lot bigger.
    • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:15PM (#16529145)
      I have a 17 inch dell laptop, and yes I do use it on my lap, and no I am not a huge fat guy, I am however tall. It's actually very comfortable to use, more so than my wife's 14 inch dell. So yes I would use a 20 inch laptop.

      Personally, work gave me a 14 inch laptop which I thought was absolutely too small until I realized why they gave me a laptop rather than a desktop; I'm on site 2 days a week which means that I carry the lap-top home or to work 4 days a week. What I have found is that a 14 inch laptop is (in a lot of ways) too large and clumsy to carry around on Calgary's busy public transit system and I couldn't imagine how awkward and heavy a 20 inch laptop would be.

      In my opinion a 20 inch laptop would be amazing if your goal is to drag it to and from lan-parties once or twice a week in your car, but if you're taking something to and from work every day you'd start to hate the extra size and weight.
      • by Brickwall (985910)
        My wife just purchased a 20" laptop for her work. It cost over $3000 CDN. I suggested she get a smaller laptop, and purchase 20" LCD monitors for home and office. Much cheaper, and easier to lug around. "Oh no, that's too much trouble." So she wastes the company's money, and is going to have yank around a massive, power-hungry machine. Go figure.
      • by interiot (50685)

        I carried a 17" laptop around on the Tokyo subways for a while. As long as you carry it around in a backpack, you're okay. Walking long distances to/from the train station with all the weight on a single shoulder strap or on a single hand is no fun.

        Though this 20" laptop wouldn't fit in any normal backpack. 20" is obviously too much for a daily commute.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      My boss has a 19 inch laptop. It's big, it doesn't get a lot of battery power, but he likes it. He drives back and forth to work, so it's no more trouble than a 12 inch laptop would be. He doesn't travel too much, and it's pretty powerful. However, for myself, i'd look for something in the 12 to 15 inch laptop. I'm not so obsessed with screen size as i am about thickness and weight. the only reason that i'd rather have a 12 inch than a 15 inch is because everything is smaller. If they could make 17 i
  • by eebra82 (907996) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:01PM (#16529017) Homepage
    First off, Dell markets this laptop as a portable home entertainment system. You can obviously interpret that in so many ways, but my guess is that it is intended for portability WITHIN the house. So, for example, it can be used as a perfect workstation at the home office, and then transported to the living room for media center uses.

    My close friend bought one of these beasts. I was fast to check it out and I've even borrowed it for personal evaluation purposes (since I wanted one myself). All I can say is that it is an outstanding machine and works perfectly if you want to watch movies while lying in your bed. It also interacts great as a media center and it has the power to play games.

    What do people do when they buy a real laptop? They are usually intending to carry it around every now and then, because they might need it at work, at home and at other places. This machine does not really serve that purpose and it's obvious.

    So when this reviewer is making this amusing approach of using the laptop at buses and subways, it's fairly obvious this was only an attempt to make fun of its massive size. And there's really nothing we can blame Dell for here, anwyay. With larger screens comes lesser portability. It's fairly obvious.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, this thing is really a portable desktop, rather than a laptop. Good for LAN parties, but you'd never be able to use it in a typical airplane environment for instance. I don't see it competing with Thinkpads and the like, the way people seem to expect.
    • by garcia (6573) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:14PM (#16529133) Homepage
      All I can say is that it is an outstanding machine and works perfectly if you want to watch movies while lying in your bed.

      So is my TV/DVD combo and they weigh about the same! :)
    • by Almahtar (991773)
      That is, until we have holographic displays.
    • by kallisti777 (46059) <TimWalker@nosPam.gmail.com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @02:19PM (#16529651) Homepage Journal
      Full disclosure: I am a Dell salesman.

      An architectural design firm in my area has a couple of these. If you look at the "power under the hood", you'll see why they chose them as portable workstations. For the CAD and graphics work they do, this model was a perfect fit, and I've never heard a complaint about it being too heavy to move from the office desk to the conference room table and back.

      Now carrying this thing on a tube train during a morning commute? What are you, daft? I whine about having to carry my 5 pound Latitude and an overnight bag. My thanks to eebra82 for being able to tell the differences between apples and oranges.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ffejie (779512)
      I agree. Something like this would be good for certain people. Take my parents for instance. They have a place they go to in the summer, and another in the winter. They want to have computer access everywhere, but have no desire to maintain two different computers (with different settings, emails etc on either). I pitched the idea of a network backup that would allow them to sync settings and other important files between two machines -- but that didn't fly. they wanted something simpler. So my mom got one
  • Ahhhh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:02PM (#16529027) Homepage
    So what did we (*buffering*) think of the (*buffering*) Dell (*buffering*)....

    What a maddening video! I tried to pause it so it could load up (like You Tube, Quicktime, and every other civilized video player) and it wouldn't. It would load up the next second of video then stop buffering. Combine that with their bandwidth problems (thanks, Slashdot) and it's almost impossible to watch the video.

    Still. 20"? I though 17 was too large. That thing is huge. And yet they gave it a 9.2. IT'S A FREAKING DESKTOP. As a laptop it should get a 6. Plus, it has two drives in RAID 0. That's an INGENIOUS setup for a LAPTOP.

    If they marketed this as a compact, all in one, portable desktop I could see it. But it's not a laptop unless you weight 600 pounds.

    • Re:Ahhhh! (Score:5, Funny)

      by corngrower (738661) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:24PM (#16529211) Journal
      But it's not a laptop unless you weight 600 pounds.


      So what you're saying is that most americans should find this acceptable?

    • by Randseed (132501)
      Worse, in Firefox on Linux I couldn't even figure out how to play the video. "Check out the video above" -- Huh? There's nothing above.
    • by Barny (103770)
      It also retains no data while playing, i tried turning the volume down and just letting it play, then started from the beginning, still buffering :/

      Seems they brought this /.ing on themselves with a shoddy media player that makes terrible use of bandwidth.
    • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@NOSpAm.xoxy.net> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @04:44PM (#16530903) Homepage Journal
      Yeah what the fuck is wrong with that video? (Let me count the ways...)

      Seriously, I really tried to watch it. It would play for about three seconds, and then stop for "buffering." No surprise there -- I'm on a shared connection. I don't have enough bandwidth to watch something like that live.

      So I thought I'd just pause it and let it load -- like any decent system ought to allow me to do -- but oh, no; it had better ideas. As soon as I put it on pause, it stopped buffering. I can tell, because the traffic through my router just abruptly stopped. When I hit play again, then it started buffering again.

      How brain-dead is that? Even if I tried to play it through at its stuttering, three-seconds-per-load speed, and then rewind back to the beginning and play it again, it apparently doesn't "buffer" for very long, because it tried to reload the data.

      I want to find the person who thought that encapsulating videos inside Flash objects was a good idea, and put their face in a bench vise. They could have just used a good-old streaming video object, but no. They had to do it with Flash. Well, the hell with them.
  • cargo in tow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Neuropol (665537) * on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:02PM (#16529031) Homepage
    To me they seem largely impracticle, but I can see that people are ready for a true desktop class portable to become available - some thing more than a 17" widescreen or the occasional 19". There's nothing like being able to work on a full dual or tri-head setup, close the lid on your work, head home and plug in to your extra monitors, and re-open the work in progress a few minutes later. Albeit with a 20" you can probably cancel your membership at the gym. Some thing of this size the user is not concerned with what their having to carry back and forth, they're just psyched they have a nice work portable area.

    How well can they condense the guts of it? Can they stretch out the lcd all the way to tthe edge of the bezel and keep the keys tight to the edge so there's no wasted space? The world of 17" machines like the HP 9600 (total tank) requires massive power supplies to lug around, gives you limted long-term battery life and are the loudest machines I've ever heard with 3+ fans constantly whirring away trying to keep heat to a minimum.

  • Good Luck (Score:5, Informative)

    by bad_fx (493443) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:04PM (#16529043) Journal
    Hmm... I have yet to watch the video, but good luck working on *any* laptop on the london underground during rush hour... ;)
  • Envy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kildjean (871084) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:04PM (#16529045) Homepage
    Dell has obvious imac 24" envy
  • What is up with the sound in the review? It's a ~ 4 minute video clip, yet it sounds like they've hired some behemoth sound effects team out of hollywood with a $74 M budget to do the music and sound effects?
  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by be-fan (61476) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:08PM (#16529083)
    You couldn't even open that thing in an airplane seat. Hell, my 13.3" macbook is almost too big for comfortable economy-class use. And the attendant back, pain, oh god...

    I don't know what kind of idiot would subject themselves to this. Why not just get a nice big external display like everyone else does?
  • the SUV of laptops (Score:5, Interesting)

    by victorvodka (597971) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:09PM (#16529093) Homepage
    I'm reminded of a cartoon in the New Yorker about "Hummer Style" in which various normal objects were supersized and underpowered so they would appeal to bonehead Americans still living in a world where size always means value. For example, a cellphone the size and weight of a concrete block with a range of 200 feet from the cell tower and a battery life of fifteen minutes. In Japan, of course, the idea is to make things smaller and charge more for them. I'd love a laptop with a 1600 X 1200 six inch screen that fit in my pocket. I wouldn't mind using reading glasses and typing on a tiny keyboard, at least until I get "to the office."
    • I'm reminded of a cartoon in the New Yorker about "Hummer Style" in which various normal objects were supersized and underpowered so they would appeal to bonehead Americans still living in a world where size always means value.

      Full keyboards and larger displays aren't extra value? to you perhaps but I can assure you most people do feel differently. And what's up with the underpowered remark? I hate to tell you but neither of my 17 inch laptops have anything less under their hoods than most peoples desktop
      • All that "power" (fast processor, huge screen, DVD burner) probably means that the power (battery) won't last very long. What's the point of a "portable" laptop if you can't go for more than an hour without a charge?
  • by davmoo (63521) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:10PM (#16529105)
    This guy is lucky. I used to have to travel with two Compaq "lugable" computers. Each was the size of a small suitcase, and all you got for that was a tiny b/w crt. And a good workout from carrying them ;-)

    Seriously, while I thought the video was really good, and I realize it was done mostly tongue-in-cheek, I have to echo what others have said. I have a Toshiba laptop. Its used for when I want to eat lunch at Panera and still get some work done, or at the library. When I need true portability, I'll use my Palm TX (and here lately, I'm using the TX at the library too).
    • I had one of those. Most amusing experience was a taxi driver who assumed it was a portable sewing machine. It looked like one when closed up and weighed about the same as one. When he found out it was actually a portable sort of computer, he spent the entire drive from the airport into town trying to convince me of its great potential as a tool for bookies and other sorts of illegal gambling types.
  • It is more of a portable PC. Would I use it? That design almost wants me to get an iMac modify it to take batteries and put a handle on it.
  • Hrmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by sheriff_p (138609) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:11PM (#16529115)
    The chick looking at it and telling the guy breathlessly that she preferred the big black laptops rather than small white ones made it for me :-)

    +Pete
  • Practcal for some (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slobber (685169) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:14PM (#16529129)
    This is a pretty silly question - it would be practical for some and totally impractical for others. I lug around a 12 pound Dell 17" myself, and couldn't be happier about it. For the most part I take it to work in the morning and bring it home in the evening. It stays home on the days when I telecommute.

    I think a much better question would be 'Could 20" be profitable for Dell?' It might well be - while it won't sell in the same quantities as 3 lbs 15 inchers, I'd imagine that margins on 20" would be notably higher.
  • First 20" Laptop? (Score:3, Informative)

    by joetheappleguy (865543) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:15PM (#16529139) Homepage
    I'm pretty sure that Acer shipped their Aspire 9800 before Dell did. Matter of fact, I think that Acer makes Dell's unit.

    I've had a chance to play with it a bit and I noticed that the Acer 9800 weighs as much as a 20" iMac!

    You feel like a little kid when using it - Like you shrunk somehow. :D
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:19PM (#16529179) Homepage Journal
    Compare this machine to the 20" iMac rather than a lappie. This machine is the result of Dell buying Alienware. It's designed to be lugged to LAN parties rather than used in a typical lappie manner. I suspect it's packing a Core Duo. Someone also mentioned RAID 0...that's a very gamer kind of thing to add to a machine. If this was a Road Warrior lappie I would have instead opted for RAID 1 for data redundancy and "automatic backups." However RAID 1 slows, rather than speeds, disk access so it would be a downer for the gamer crowd.

    Is it me or does this machine also seem to be built of sterner stuff than the average Dell lappie? I work at the library at my university and we have Dell lappies exclusively. They are built like plastic pieces of crap. Loose ports are epidemic. I really baby them when I move from place to place because I know that other people don't. The toughness of this machine, I suspect, is another example of Alienware's influence.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by arth1 (260657)

      Someone also mentioned RAID 0...that's a very gamer kind of thing to add to a machine. If this was a Road Warrior lappie I would have instead opted for RAID 1 for data redundancy and "automatic backups." However RAID 1 slows, rather than speeds, disk access so it would be a downer for the gamer crowd.

      RAID 1 has data redundancy, but not "automatic backups", with or without quotes. If you lose a file, you lose it from all the mirrors, and can't recover it any more than if it had been on a single drive. It o

    • by modemboy (233342) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @02:06PM (#16529519)
      SO wrong on so many levels. Raid 1 does speed disc access: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/si ngleLevel1-c.html [pcguide.com]
      Slows write a little, speeds up reads.

      This machine was out 2 months before Dell bought Alienware, I believe acer makes them.

      Also it depends on what you consider your average dell lappie. The Inspirons are complete plastic crap you are correct, the XPS and Latitude line are quite nice, you get what you pay for...
    • by dfghjk (711126)
      "This machine is the result of Dell buying Alienware."

      "The toughness of this machine, I suspect, is another example of Alienware's influence."

      What evidence do you have for making these statements?

      "Someone also mentioned RAID 0..."

      The Dell website lists RAID 0 or RAID 1.

      "I suspect it's packing a Core Duo."

      Why don't you look it up on Dell's website then?

      All talk, no facts.
      • XPS M2010 Specs (Score:5, Informative)

        by @madeus (24818) <slashdot_24818@mac.com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:30PM (#16531233)
        All talk, no facts.

        Yeah, not like your post, which was a fountain of knowledge.

        You could at least have linked to the specs on the Dell website [dell.com], which lists the the specs as:

        CPU options:

                * Intel® Core(TM) 2 Duo Processor
                * Intel® CoreTM 2 Duo Processor T7200 (2GHz, 4M L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB)
                * Intel® CoreTM 2 Duo Processor T7400 (2.16GHz, 4M L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB)
                * Intel® CoreTM 2 Duo Processor T7600 (2.33GHz, 4M L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB)

        Other misc. info:

                * Up to 4 GB of DDR2 dual channel2 memory
                * 20.1" Widescreen WSXGA+ display
                * 256MB ATI® MobilityTM RADEONTM X1800 Graphics Card for multimedia intensive applications.
                * Integrated 1.3 megapixel web cam and array microphone
                * 8 speakers and subwoofer
                * Up to 240GB3 of storage across two hard drives
                * Optional RAID 0 - 1
                * 8x DVD/CD Burner (DVD+/-RW)4

        Weight & Dimensions

                * Width: 18.85"
                * Height: 2.90"
                * Depth: 15.90"
                * Weight (lbs): 18.305

        I/O Ports

                * IEEE 1394 integrated port (1394 cable and software sold separately)
                * 4 USB 2.0 (Universal Serial Bus) compliant 4-pin connectors
                * ExpressCard Slot
                * RJ45 Ethernet port
                * RJ11 Modem port
                * Video: Digital Video Interface (DVI)
                * S-Video: 7-pin mini-DIN connector
                * Component Video, S/PDIF Digital & Analog 7.1/5.1 Audio out
                * 13-in-2 removable memory card reader
    • by magarity (164372)
      It's designed to be lugged to LAN parties
       
      Are you kidding? With only a single Radeon x1800 you'd be put to shame by anyone with Clevo's 19" that sports SLI 7900's.
       
        This machine is the result of Dell buying Alienware
       
      No, the first revision was introduced before that buyout. But that does lead to a more interesting question: Now that Dell, whose laptops are ODMed by Compal, owns AW is Clevo still going to remain the ODM?
  • Let me shed some light on dell computers, and more specifically the xps series as a dell rep. The XPS series is not intended for those people (like the man in the video) to work on articles on a bus station, ITS A GAMING RIG. The XPS series is intended for users who are into intense gaming/graphical design/any other field that would require a strong cpu. Hence the the dual cores most come with standard. And the larger HDD's compared to the latitude and inspiron series. HENCE THE 20 INCH SCREEN. Thanks for
  • I have a 2 17s that I think are great: full keypad, enough real estate on the screen to have two documents open at the same time and both are readable without a telescope? What's not to love?

    I don't have as many problems as some of the 17 inch naysayers seem to have... the battery life, while not as good as my thinkpad is good enough to be productive when i'm away from a power source and, sure, i use a backpack with mine but considering the size it's not like i'm lugging an anvil along. Anyone who's
  • by Rich Klein (699591) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:23PM (#16529203) Homepage Journal
    Do they realize they're copying this video from a month ago [engadget.com]?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The laptop magazine article you've linked to via Engadget isn't a video, it's a few photographs! A few photographs VS a four minute video. I didn't laugh at the photos on Laptop Magazine, but I did laugh at the video in the Slashdot story.... It may be a similar idea, but I prefer CNET's exectution of it.
  • I'd love one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptnMArk (9003) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:27PM (#16529235)
    Big screen laptop would enable many things:

    - normal keyboard (I'd love a proper keyboard, see www.pckeyboard.com)
    - 2 hard drives (for RAID-1)
    - bigger battery or two
    - better cooling
    - more I/O ports
    - more expansion slots
    - maybe even include a resting/charging place for a (wireless) mouse

    Weight is a minor problem, price is a bigger one.
  • I'm the kind of user that wants a lot of punch (not the drinkable) in the computer and selected a "laptop" on those conditions. It's not convenient to use on an aircraft or on the train, but it is very useful when it comes to software development. I see it as a portable workstation. Most laptops suffers from severe lack of performance, which makes them unsuitable for programming, but if it's only necessary to do writing and drawing in PowerPoint then the ordinary laptops are sufficient.
  • I have a 17" Dell Inspiron and I can tell you that it's a great laptop but don't plan on being able to use it everywhere. First off, it's completely unusable in a coach seat on an airplane because it's so huge there is actually not enough space between you and the seat in front of you to open it! Also, at a battery life of about 2.5 hours it's not going to keep you up for long with no external power available. I can imagine a 20" laptop would be worse since it's going to have greater backlighting demands
  • by BeeBeard (999187) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:38PM (#16529325)
    Check out the specs on this thing on Dell's website. [dell.com]

    The dimensions are less of a concern as long as it fits in a backpack or roomy laptop case, but to even call this monster a laptop is disingenuous. It is more of a "portable" computer in the sense that it can all be transported in one piece should you ever attempt to break your back moving it.
  • Vision issues (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kin_korn_karn (466864) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:41PM (#16529349) Homepage
    I do all my writing on my 15" laptop. If it were any smaller, I would have trouble reading it. Jacking the font size up results in a smaller amount of the page on the screen at a time, which results in scrolling incessantly, which means I waste more time with the arrow keys and extreme right side of the trackpad.

    So, there is a practical purpose for these things. Believe me, if I could work on a 13" screen, I would.

    • by fossa (212602)

      I do all my reading on 8 1/2 by 11 inch typing paper (that's 13 inches diagonal with reasonable margins) and 10pt text. If it were any lower resolution, I would have trouble reading it.

  • I would buy one (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:43PM (#16529361) Homepage Journal
    ...or are they just luggable desktops?

    What's wrong with a luggable desktop? While I wouldn't want to use this in a subway, plane, bus, etc, it sounds ideal to set on your hotel room desk. I love my 12" iBook, but it is not a workstation. Its screen is too small and its keyboard too cramped. Its good for use in a cramped plane seat, but sucks trying to do real work in the hotel room. But this 20" laptop sounds like it could be my home system away from home.
  • The shocking thing to me isn't successfully using a laptop on the London tube, despite how crowded it typically is. No, I'm more shocked at how successful he was at traveling on the tube at all. Typical announcements in tube stations include "there is good service on the Piccadilly Line". This distinguishes it from all of the other tube lines which are, by implication, offering less than good service.
  • It's wide screen, but it isn't even 1080p? Its some weird in between 720p and 1080p res of 1680x1050.
    What I really want is a 10" at full 1080p.
    I know this is technically possible as my Nokia 770 is 800x480 and is only 4 inches wide display.
    Granted 200dpi makes for some squinting at times, but on the whole it works great especially with Opera's zoom function (which maintains font anti-aliasing). I'd love a full 1280x720 at 300dpi if they could squeeze it into the same space. I might look odd as hell, bu
    • It's wide screen, but it isn't even 1080p? Its some weird in between 720p and 1080p res of 1680x1050.
      What I really want is a 10" at full 1080p.


      1680x1050 is quite common for widescreen computer displays of that size. Having 1080p would be nice, but more annoying about those 1680x1050 displays is their 16/10 aspect ratio. No, I do not permanently want controls or the taskbar or such being displayed when watching a video, and having black bars above and below a widescreen program on a widescreen display is jus
      • I'm aware this is a common resolution for desktop LCD, as for the odd aspect ratio, that has to do with the size of the larger glass they cut these things from, rather than throw away usable glass they choose sizes that use up all the glass. I know all this, but if you are going to have a full 20" display then make the dotpitch such that you can get a full 1080p picture out of it and support easily showing the 1080p on external HDTV (though that probably is doable with this rig as a 2nd monitor in some fashion).

        There are full 1080p displays in 15" and 17", why not this EXPENSIVE 20"?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          but if you are going to have a full 20" display then make the dotpitch such that you can get a full 1080p picture out of it and support easily showing the 1080p on external HDTV (though that probably is doable with this rig as a 2nd monitor in some fashion).

          First of all, I'd rather want a 1080p resolution display on such a machine as well.

          Then, many video cards do not support the native resolution of a 1080p display but do support 1680x1050. Of course in case of this laptop, it would be possible to select v
  • I have a 15.1" laptop now and my main complaint is it's too big. I don't take it with me much because IMHO it's too clumsy.

    My next laptop will be as small and light as possible; probably a 12" screen, and I hope 4 pounds. I don't even care if it even HAS batteries; I never use a laptop anywhere that I don't have a 110v socket anyway, even in my car. For me a laptop can't be my only machine or replace a desktop anyway because I really need a ton of storage and the ability to plug in a wide range of perip
  • It's obviously NOT the best for use on the move. I mean he shows it can be done, but it would be easier with just about anything else.

    The only advantage I can see to this over, say, a small notebook and a large monitor, is the battery power. If you HAVE to have a 20 inch screen and you have to have it someplace with no power outlets, that's obviously the thing to get. Otherwise, a desktop is going to be cheaper, more upgradeable, and probably more powerful. A real notebook will be more usable on the roa
  • by drsmithy (35869) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (yhtimsrd)> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @02:20PM (#16529661)

    I get the point of these massive laptops - they're really just more convenient "portable computers" for people who want something that's all in one and easy to move from desk to desk.

    However, what I really want (and I'm sure many would agree) is a small - 12" - 14" laptop that can drive *two* external monitors (I'd even be only marginally disappointed if it required disabling the internal screen to do so).

    I'd really like a laptop to use (for work) as my only machine, but I'm way too used to having a pair of 21" LCDs to use anything smaller for real work.

    I am somewhat surprised Apple hasn't brought out a machine capable of this - but then again I'd expect it to come from one of the less well known manufacturers (like Asus) first.

  • by nurb432 (527695)
    Even those are too big, for a laptop.

    Laptops are supposed to be *portable* devices, not complete desktop replacements. If you want that, buy a docking station..
  • by AWhistler (597388) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:02PM (#16531041)
    I have a Dell e1705. It is a great machine, but I use it as a desktop replacement, not a laptop. It is very nice to be sitting in my living room chair with a "hospital swingarm desk" (bought at OfficeMax) using this machine. I could not do that with a 17" widescreen 1900x1200, keyboard and touchpad attached to a PC on the floor...the monitor would always try to fall off the desk. I can use this machine in a much smaller space than a normal desktop machine. But I would not try to use it on an airplane or subway (or underground if I were in Britain).

    It is very nice to be able to pick the machine up, move it to the kitchen, use it there, and move it back later. I could *NEVER* do that with a desktop machine without dismantling it. For one thing, there are too many pieces to move...the e1705 only has two pieces to move, and with the battery, I can unplug the power and move it too without powering down. The best thing about it is being able to conveniently take a fully-powered machine to a friend's house (think LAN party, but I don't use it like that).

    The Dell 2010 is really a "briefcase PC" (I like that term...thanks). It folds up and closes with a handle just like a briefcase. It probably couldn't be used on my swingarm desk, but it still could be used in less space than a desktop, can move all in one piece, and unplug for short periods of time, and can move to others' houses. Trying to use this on the Underground is just silly. This machine is "this generation's" luggable.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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