Desktop Replacements vs. Laptop Replacements

Some laptops were never meant to replace desktops. Others were. In an era where the desktop is disappearing, are tablets meant to replace laptops AND desktops?
Notebook-vs-PC
I’ve been a mobile computing advocate since 1992. I’ve been an expert really, since 2003. Mobile computing has become a way of organizing my life, a way of being more efficient at work as well as a way to entertain my family.  If it wasn’t for my son’s Nintendo DS-XL, some car trips would be unbearable. Dad likes a quiet car…

Desktop computers are being slowly phased out by the consumers that have historically purchased them because portable, more mobile replacements have been taking their place for a number of years. The trend can be taken back to Compaq’s luggable” portable computer that was introduced back in 1980 blah-blah-blah. People have wanted to take their computers with them since they were first introduced…

It was long thought that laptops and notebook computers would cause desktops to be phased out, but that didn’t quite happen.  You can credit that to the fact that they were really the same computer, at least on the inside. For the most part they used the same operating systems and the same applications. There was so much mobile form factor diversity, that the laptop PC almost insured that it wouldn’t phase out the desktop.  Tablets however, are a different story. There are basically only two form factors 7″-8″ and 10″ – or more aptly put – a mini and a normal sized tablet.

Apple’s new A7 processor appears in not only the iPhone 5S, but in the new iPad mini and the iPad Air. The A7 runs 100mHz faster in the tablet versions of Apple’s newest iDevices, and with some of the newer keyboard covers that are coming out for the devices, you have to ask yourself the question – will the iPad Air replace the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro as Apple’s mobile computing platform?  Should it?

The A7 runs 80% faster than the A6. It seems to, or appears to, have the chops to handle most of the computing tasks that most consumers would need – web surfing, email, moderate digital photography retouching. As I said before, all that most any casual consumer would need at that point would be the right kind of keyboard cover, and without a doubt, the iPad Air or new iPad mini could be their go-to computing device. Those that are more comfortable with a full featured PC, notebook or other computer can still get what they need today with either a Mac mini or MacBook Pro; or even a notebook or desktop PC.

Consumers want what ever device is going to provide the path of least resistance to their computing goal. The biggest problem with tablets as a primary computing device, in my opinion, has been their slate form factor and lack of keyboard and, even with their touch screens, a pointing device like a trackpad or mouse.

Devices like Surface Pro and Surface 2 Pro have the right idea – a portable slate device with a very usable keyboard and trackpad.  Now that third party accessory makers are providing usable, comfortable keyboard covers for the tablets in general, I think we ARE going to see more tablets with magnetic keyboards.  With processors that are providing notebook level computing power, I think that for the immediate computing future, say the next 3-5 years, notebooks and desktops won’t be completely replaced in the consumer market, but more users will likely be headed in that direction. It simply makes sense from a usability, portability, economic and ecosystem perspective.  Forget lean back and lean forward computing, tablets will be the devices we lean TOWARDS to get work done.

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New air-cooling system based on human lungs for tablets, laptops and other devices

Researchers at General Electric has developed a new air-cooling system based on human lungs called DCJ, which adapts the technology that GE researchers originally developed for commercial jet engines. DCJ behave as a micro-fluidic bellows that provide high-velocity jets of air to cool electronic components such as a laptop processor. The turbulent air flow of the DCJ increases the heat transfer rate to more than ten times that of natural convection and is going to support the next generation of thinner, quieter and more powerful tablets, laptops and other electronic devices, the researchers at General Electric says. You’ll find a demonstration of the new air-cooling system in the video below.

“DCJ was developed as an innovative way to dramatically reduce the amount of pressure losses and loading characteristics in aircraft engines and power generation in gas and wind turbines,” said Peter de Bock, lead Electronics Cooling Researcher at GE Global Research. “Over the past 18 months we have addressed many challenges adapting this technology in areas of acoustics, vibration, and power consumption such that the DCJ can now be considered as an optimal cooling solution for ultra-thin consumer electronics products.”

Compared to conventional cooling assemblies used in electronic devices today, GE’s DCJ technology enables cooling solutions only 4mm tall, representing a more than 50% decrease in height. In addition, the DCJ is very stingy on power, consuming less than half the power of a comparable fan, and its simple construction will deliver higher reliability leading to millions of dollars in repair cost savings for OEMs.

“With new tablet and netbook roadmaps moving to platforms measuring less than 6mm high, it is clear that consumers are demanding thinner and more powerful electronic devices.” said Chris Giovanniello, VP Microelectronics & Thermal Business Development at GE Licensing. “GE’s patented DCJ technology not only frees up precious space for system designers, but it consumes significantly less power, allowing as much as 30 minutes of extra battery life. Best of all, DCJ can be made so quiet that users won’t even know it’s running. Thermal management is becoming a big problem for many companies trying to miniaturize their electronics, and as a result we are getting strong demand to evaluate the DCJ technology in many markets, from consumer electronics, to automotive, to telecom and industrial sectors.”

GE is currently providing DCJ demonstration kits for OEMS wishing to evaluate the DCJ technology for their next generation products.

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Powermark battery life test for Windows 7 devices

We all heard of Futuremark, the software development company that produces computer benchmark applications for home users and businesses such as 3DMark and PCMark. Well, a while back, Futuremark expanded its product line with Powermark.

Powermark is a new battery life and power consumption test for Windows 7 notebooks, laptops, tablets and other battery powered devices. Powermark includes a set of standard tests based on productivity and entertainment use-case scenarios, as well as allowing custom settings for bespoke testing requirements.

Battery life is critical to delivering a positive user experience. Powermark helps PC industry OEMs and their suppliers strike a balance between performance and power consumption by providing a consistent, accurate and reliable testing and measurement tool created with Futuremark’s deep experience in quality benchmarking software.” – Jukka Makinen, CEO of Futuremark.

Powermark Professional Edition commercial licenses start at $200 for 10 activations. However, at this time, Powermark is only available for business customers.

Order Powermark

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Logitech Multi-Touch Lapdesk – a retractable touchpad with multi-touch navigation to scroll and swipe your way through the Web – comfortably

After a while, almost every laptop gets hot and using the touch-pad becomes quite uncomfortable

Well, Logitech has come up with a new idea for those who hate the heat from their laptops on their laps.

Logitech’s Touch Lapdesk N600 –  a large touchpad that can be connected to your laptop and helps you  scroll and swipe your way through the Web – comfortably.

“We’ve seen people using everything from pillows to pets to shield their laps from the heat their laptops generate, ” said Denis Pavillard, vice president of product marketing for laptop accessories. “Our lapdesks are much more effective and, with the addition of a multi-touch touchpad, you’ll get the added capability to more easily move through your favorite content without attaching additional peripherals.”

The Logitech Touch Lapdesk N600 features a 5-inch, retractable touchpad with multi-touch navigation. You can move the pointer with one finger, scroll using two, and swipe through pages or pictures with three.

The multi-layer, heat-shielding design of the lapdesk protects you from laptop heat so you can browse in cool comfort, and the anti-slip surface helps keep your laptop in place. To get started, you just plug the tiny Logitech Unifying receiver into the USB port and start navigating. For your convenience, Logitech’s newest lapdesk offers up to six months of battery life.

For more information please visit the product page.

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The hottest laptops on the planet that you can find

In my humble opinion, this are the 3 hottest laptops on the planet that you can find. It wasn’t easy but here we are.

ASUS G73SW

Specifications:

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7 2630QM / Intel® Core™ i5 2410M
Chipset: Intel® HM65 Express Chipset
Memory: DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM,4 x SO-DIMM socket for expansion up to 16 G SDRAM Quad Core,2 x SO-DIMM socket for expansion up to 8 G SDRAM Dual Core
Display: 17.3″ 16:9 HD+ (1600×900)/Full HD (1920×1080)/Full HD 3D(1920×1080 120Hz) LED backlit
Graphic: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460M 1.5GB GDDR5 VRAM
Battery: 8Cells : 5200 mAh 74 Whrs
Storage: 750GB 7200rpm / 640GB 5400rpm /500GB 5400rpm/7200rpm / 500GB / 7200rpm; SSH Dual HDD Support*1

You can find more info here.

Alienware M11x

Specifications:

Processor: Intel® CoreTM i5 520UM (1.86GHz/3MB cache) / Intel® CoreTM 2 Duo SU7300 (1.3GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache) / Intel® CoreTM i7 640UM (1.06GHz/3MB cache)
Chipset: Mobile Intel® GS45 Chipset
Memory: 2/4/8 GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 800MHz
Display: 11.6 inch display (1366×768)
Graphic: 1024 (MB) NVIDIA® GT335M GeForce®
Storage: Up to 640GB5 SATA II hard drive (7200RPM) / Up to 256GB5 Solid State hard drive / Up to 160GB5 SATA II hard drive (5400RPM)

You can find more info here.

Apple MacBook Air 13

Specifications:

Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache
Memory: 2GB (two 1GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; two SO-DIMM slots support up to 4GB
Display: 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1280 by 800)
Graphic: NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
Storage: 250GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive; optional 320GB or 500GB 5400-rpm drive

You can find more info here.

Note: The products specifications may differ from country to country or from dealer to dealer.

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