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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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  • Try "luggable" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:12PM (#15564481)
    What's "ultra-portable" about a 20" form factor and 20lbs of weight?
  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moby Cock ( 771358 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:13PM (#15564487) Homepage
    The worst of both worlds. Big and heavy, thus hard to move around. Performance hit and battery life woes too!
  • Re:Try "luggable" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:15PM (#15564511) Journal
    I believe they mean "portable relative to other desktop computers".
  • Depends on the use (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FiveDollarYoBet ( 956765 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:19PM (#15564544)
    I think it depends on the use of the laptop. I just got a new rig with a 17" screen and while it does weigh in at 9lbs. it fits my usage. I needed a good machine that I could stare at for long periods but once a month or so I could toss it in the car and go on-site. People just need to realize that these aren't for the salesman who spends 340+ days a year on the road and they're not for the data entry temp's cube.

    Of course knowing that didn't stop me from cursing about how heavy my bag was while lugging it around the subway on the way to the clients!

  • by nko321 ( 788903 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:19PM (#15564554) Homepage
    How many people here are looking for a 15+ lb. machine to replace their desktop priced at $2000+ USD?

    Okay, now how many people are looking for a sub-5 lb. machine in a laptop form factor that can run basic productivity software with excellent battery life priced at less than $800 USD?

    Why are there so few options for the latter scenario? And an even better question: why are there so many options for the former scenario!?
  • Hardware Upgrades (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MarkByers ( 770551 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:21PM (#15564572) Homepage Journal
    Laptops are great, they are so handy. I am sitting on the sofa writing this, something I can't do with my tower PC. The price of laptops is reasonable these days too.


    Agreed! The one thing that makes me still want a tower PC at times is that it is much cheaper and easier to upgrade a tower PC with the latest gadgets. Try upgrading the graphics card in a laptop computer, or installing a TV card... Ugh!
  • Re:weigh 20 punds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScottLindner ( 954299 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:21PM (#15564573)
    True.. .but if disk performance is your problem for that amount of data... why not use a portable drive? Laptops are powerful enough.. the only limitation is the disk performance.

    Plus.. making the point that this isn't really portable is still valid. My SFF is a desktop just like anyone else's.. yet it's a lot lighter than this hybrid they are referring to. What's the purpose? I think the innovation is great, but it needs work.

    Why are you so ornery? Is there something wrong with making valid points?
  • Re:weigh 20 punds? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zzyzygy ( 189883 ) * on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:24PM (#15564603)

    That's not a portable! My laptop is heavy at 8lbs and it sucks to carry around with all of the gadgets and gizmos. Heck... even my SFF is lighter than 20 pounds. I love the concept but the weight has to improve big time.

    Methinks you are missing the point of TFA. They're comparing apples-to-oranges; like comparing Compaq Portable PC, or luggable [], to the laptops (or "ultra-portibles") of the time. I can't cite specific articles, but I do remember reading about the luggable-portable debates in early issues of PC magazine, back around 1987 or so.

  • Re:weigh 20 punds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:29PM (#15564642) Homepage Journal
    "That's not a portable! My laptop is heavy at 8lbs and it sucks to carry around with all of the gadgets and gizmos. Heck... even my SFF is lighter than 20 pounds."

    It's a lot more portable than the case, kb, mouse, monitor, and speakers I have attached to it. Gotta put it into perspective. Some people read 'portable' as "I don't mind flying across the country with it", and some read it as "I can fold it up and take it to the office".
  • by ScottLindner ( 954299 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:30PM (#15564650)
    What?! Laptops awesome performance. There are lots of gamers that use laptops and at work we use high performance laptops as our demo road show that are more powerful than our blade server clusters. What you smokin? The only performance dig we've ever measured are the hard disks. I think you are buying cheap laptops and expecting the performance of expensive workstations. Or are looking at the wrong laptops for your needs.
  • Re:ULTRA portable? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Suddenly_Dead ( 656421 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:30PM (#15564653)
    Better yet: pseudo-portable
  • by lucky130 ( 267588 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @05:49PM (#15564797)
    ...think of it as serving the same function as an iMac.
  • Re:weigh 20 punds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:08PM (#15564931) Homepage Journal
    frequently beaten up by gorillas at the airports.

    that's one thing that hasn't changed, but the excuse has ;)
  • Fan noise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 2centplain ( 838236 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:49PM (#15565173)
    One of the problems of a so-called desktop-replacement notebook is fan noise.
    IMHO, a notebook sitting on my wheezing high-pitched hot air at me is annoying. I'd rather have a deskside CPU box, with a larger, quieter fan.

    I wonder if there are any desktop replacement notebooks that don't have fans? (Or, if they do, have very quiet fans...)

    As far as I know, all the Dell notebooks have fans. Sure, when the machine is idle, the fans don't run. But, once you start doing some amount of work, expect the "wheeeeeeeee".

  • by aricusmaximus ( 300760 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @11:30PM (#15566408)
    Big laptops are nothing new - what's interesting is the Samsung M70 with a detachable screen. Finally!

    Consider the potential options:
    - LCD dies -- go buy a replacement screen instead of sending in your entire notebook for repair
    - keep a backup LCD
    - Laptop motherboard dies - keep the screen and buy the notebook without the LCD, saving $100's
    - buy a lower resolution LCD screen and upgrade later
    - Detach and use on a stand for a more ergnomic fit -- or use 2 LCD screens.
    - keep two screens at home and work. travel with screen-less notebook for less weight

    I don't know if/when it will happen, but I look forward to the day the notebook industry implements a standard LCD/notebook cradle or other physical interface to attach LCD screens.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!