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Blurring the Line Between Laptops and Desktops 176

bart_scriv writes "BusinessWeek looks at the latest offerings in ultra-portable PCs, offering up some specs and pictures. Some of the highlinghts: removeable 19-20 inch LCD dispays, dual NVIDIA cards and customizable exteriors. On the downside, some of these machines weigh almost 20 pounds and all of them sport a pretty high price tag — they probably won't be replacing desktops or laptops anytime soon."
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Blurring the Line Between Laptops and Desktops

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  • Good and bad parts (Score:2, Informative)

    by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:20PM (#15564567) Homepage Journal
    1. Cost in the more than $2000 range, up to $5000.
    2. Adopted in developing countries, where power is much more unstable or harder to get - easier to recharge this from solar cells or power that's only on a few hours a day.
    3. Reminds me of the old "luggable" portables one hated having to lug around, especially give the 20 lb weights.
    4. Might be good for someone off the grid, with a portable high-speed connection (satellite dish or long-range WiFi?)
    5. Might also be good for someone who is retired and moves infrequently (snowbirds).
  • Re:PowerBooks (Score:5, Informative)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:27PM (#15564628)
    While I own a powerbook, just about any 12-15" laptop with a decent video out, and a couple of USB ports works great both ways.

    my 12" powerbook normally sites on my desk with a USB keyboard and mouse plugged and on the keyboard tray and a 19" LCD off to the side. I can use both displays at the same time(a feature found in all OS's now a days) and the hot swap mini dvi port means i can unplug the 19"lcd and plug in my 27" tv, sit back and watch a dvd. Both displays automatically switch to the settings I like for each.

    Then when i do travel I just have to carry a 4.5 pound notebook, and a light case containing a couple of cords a USB travel mouse. Most of the time while traveling i don't even both with carrying a power supply because I have 4 hours of wireless web surfing, and more if i turn off the wireless card.

    That's called the best of both worlds. And as I stated you can do that with XP or linux as well(not sure about hot swap monitors for either, but that's relatively minor)
  • Re:weigh 20 punds? (Score:5, Informative)

    by trb ( 8509 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:33PM (#15564674)
    It may be argued that a 20 lb PC is portable. It may not be argued that it is "ultra-portable." "Portable ultra-PC," maybe. "Ultra-portable PC," no. (Note that this phrasing is an error in the slashdot lead, not in the article itself.)
  • Re:weigh 20 punds? (Score:4, Informative)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:08PM (#15564930) Homepage Journal
    Well, I have a real laptop computer in front of me and I do all my work on it. It is a DELL Latitude D810. 2GB 533MHZ DDR2 RAM (2x1GM modules,) 2.13GHz Centrino CPU, 100GB 7200RPM HD, 128MB Video memory (ATI,) 15.4"WU 1900x1200 screen, removable DVD+/-RW 8X IDE NEC, removable second battery. It has all the ports that I need, including some ports I don't need. Everything weighs under 2.3Kg. It's a lease, I pay 208CAD/mo for 2 years (I got this laptop a year ago now,) and after 2 years I will buy it out for 1 dollar.

    It is all I need in a computer, really.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:12PM (#15564969)
    There has been a class of portable computer called a luggable since the early 1980s - don't start calling it a laptop luggable!!

    In order of size we have:

    Palm Top (nothing to do the Palm OS)
    Notebook - so named for being the size of a5 notebook
    Laptop - but has anyone noticed modern laptops will die from heat dissipation problems if you actually use it on your lap. :-(
    Desktop replacement - a laptop that proves battery technology still has a way to go.
    Luggable - very heavy portable computer that usually runs only on mains voltage; if it has a battery it lasts about 30 minutes or weighs more than small car. Actually, luggable battery power is designed for UPS type operation rather than real world usage. There are special batteries for military luggables that last between three and twenty four hours depending on mission requirements - these are quite expensive as you may imagine.

    These days the difference between a high end luggable and a mainframe is mainframe carry-on luggage bags have to be made to order. ;-)
  • by tbmcmullen ( 940544 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:22PM (#15565018)
    Hi, I'm Tyler. Now you do.
  • Re:weigh 20 punds? (Score:4, Informative)

    by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:40PM (#15565482) Journal
    I remember those, some were made by osborne and some were made by compac; I think they had 5.5 inch CRT's and the keyboard doubled as the cover.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:31PM (#15565707)
    I just love how the 10 or 20 users people "know" "Yea, but most gamers I know either..." in a limited area of influence are automatically an equivalent set to all agamers everywhere. Desktops are cheaper and can support faster subsystems, they can even be overclocked. Nobody has argued those points. However, you live in a world with other gamers who aren't as price sensitive as you are and don't want the headaches of an overclocked machine. To them, hauling around 100 lbs of desktop and CRT for a 5% boost isn't worth the trad off of not being able to game from the local Starbucks, or out by the pool, or even on the other side of the room without a huge hassle.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.