Monday, August 21, 2006

The Breakthrough for Laptops Came in 1983

When the first personal computer arrived, people were in awe. Suddenly they had a computer as powerful as a huge mainframe that could sit on their desk, or in their home. It was an amazing feeling. Little did those people know, however, that something even more remarkable was soon to happen – they’d be able to pick that computer up and carry it with them.

The first laptops were not so much portable as they were ‘luggable’ – you could get them from one place to another, but only just, and you probably wouldn’t want one on your lap, which was why they weren’t know as laptops yet. These computers were quite common in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

The real breakthrough for laptops came in 1983. This was the year when the first PC-compatible laptop, the Compaq Portable, was released and also the year when the term ‘laptop’ was first coined by the makers of the Gavilan SC, the first such computer to run on batteries alone. The first real commercial breakthrough, the TRS-80 Model 100 (Tandy 100), came that same year, thanks to its low price.

Since then, laptops have had a considerable presence in the PC market. IBM started cranking out laptops from 1986, and Toshiba followed in 1987. By 1989, Apple was making the first portable Macs.

In 1991, Apple’s Powerbook introduced the laptop layout that is universal today – the keyboard at the top, mouse trackball at the bottom, with room to rest your wrists. The design was quickly copied by IBM for its ThinkPad range, and then by other laptop manufacturers after that.

Since then, improvements have been mostly incremental, but two things stand out. The introduction of Windows 95 in 1995 made laptop power management much simpler, allowing them to standby and hibernate in a standardised manner. The addition of lithium batteries has also been a turning point, allowing laptops to hold a much longer charge than they used to be able to.

John Gibb is the owner of Laptop resources
For more information on Laptops check out

Cheap Laptops

A Buyer's Guide to Laptops

When you’re buying a laptop, it can be difficult to know what to look for. Most people have bought a desktop system before, but the number of first-time laptop owners is growing every year, and the configuration of laptops is different in many notable ways.

In laptops, one of the most vital things to look for is a long battery life. Don’t trust what the manufacturer says – look for objective, independent tests instead. A laptop is just about useless if its battery lasts a few hours, unless you only plan to use it in places where there’s a power outlet to plug it into.

Another very important factor is the laptop’s weight. If your laptop is too heavy, then it’ll end up just sitting on your desk, acting as an overpriced desktop system, or perhaps breaking your shoulders when you try to carry it around. It is far better to sacrifice a little speed for a lighter weight – trust me on this one.

An often-ignored factor that is well worth paying attention to is the build quality of your laptop. Laptops are expensive, so it’s tempting to just get the cheapest one you can find, but it’s enormously frustrating when the case starts to crack, the keys start to fall off the keyboard, the system starts to overheat, and so on. It’s just not worth it to buy a badly-built laptop, no matter how cheap it might be.

While wireless networking technology isn’t unique to laptops, it is much more important in laptops than it is in other computers. If you are buying a laptop now, you’re almost certainly going to want to use it with a wireless network some time over the next few years, and you should choose a system that makes this as painless as possible, or you’ll regret it at some point.

John Gibb is the owner of Laptop resources
For more information on Laptops check out

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cheap Chips Cut Laptop Prices

The price war between Intel and Advanced Micro Devices cut the average price of a laptop by 18 percent compared with last year and led to mixed results for the semiconductor industry, according to a report released Thursday.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that worldwide sales of semiconductors totaled $19.6 billion in June, a more than 9 percent increase from June 2005.

The June sales figures brought the second-quarter 2006 sales total to $58.9 billion, but that represented a slight decrease of 0.3 percent from the first quarter of this year. However, it was still 9.4 percent better than the second quarter of 2005.

All the same, the SIA had been predicting a 2 percent rise in the second quarter over the first quarter, so the slight drop-off was unexpected.

“The results are a little bit mixed, but overall we think we are solidly on track to have a record high year,” said Anne Craib, director of international trade and government affairs at the SIA. “Q2 was not what we anticipated, but it was a very small decrease.”


Cheap Laptops

Cheap laptop desk

If you’re the observant type, you may have noticed that over the past couple years, fewer and fewer computer manufacturers are calling their portable models “laptops.” In fact, if you look at Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro Web pages, you won’t find the word laptop anywhere; instead, you’ll find frequent usage of the term notebook. Why is this? Most in the industry agree that it’s because today’s portable computers run so hot that actually using them on your lap can be not only uncomfortable, but downright dangerous, especially for men. If you’ve used a recent laptop—er, notebook—you surely understand the concern. (Apple goes so far as to warn users of their latest notebooks: Do not leave the bottom of the computer in contact


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