Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Insights Into the Future of the Laptop

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the small-and-fun dept.

142

An anonymous reader writes "ThinkPad founder Arimasa Naitoh sat down for a chat with CNET.com.au about the future of the laptop. The article includes a few concept design images, as well as details on why Lenovo believes that fuel-cell technology is poor and that Origami will never succeed as a primary device." From the article: "Although Lenovo has traditionally targeted the business crowd, it recently released the consumer-targeted Lenovo 3000 series, as 'many people want to have a ThinkPad that is not black'. Naitoh shuns the use of aluminium in laptop manufacturing, calling it 'weak', instead praising titanium (used in the construction of the 3000) for its light-weight and scratch-resistant properties. Naitoh also showed off a number of ThinkPad concept designs with innovations such as raising displays and removable keyboards. He didn't give any word on whether these would be incorporated into official ThinkPad models, but we've snagged some pictures for you anyway."

cancel ×

142 comments

Nothing new No Digg. (-1, Offtopic)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15815985)

Opps wrong site.

I would mod that title down to Underrated Insightful +0 Into the Future of the Laptop.

Nothing is really new it just saying for the most part what we have now will be on the new laptops but it will be better. DUH!!

Re:Nothing new No Digg. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816347)

Given the quality of your grammar, the accuracy of your spelling and the insightfulness of your comment, I would agree that you are exactly the right kind of person for Digg.

Have fun there with all the other 'special' users.

ARM powered laptop with flash (4, Interesting)

Sam Haine '95 (918696) | more than 7 years ago | (#15815998)

If somebody made an ARM powered laptop with solid state storage then I'd be very happy. No moving parts, silent, incredible battery life.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

ntufar2 (906166) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816044)

If somebody made an ARM powered laptop with solid state storage then I'd be very happy. No moving parts, silent, incredible battery life.

Sounds like you are describing current state of art PDA's. The only difference is large screen and usable keyboard.

I wander why no vendor ever attempted to release such a thing. Absence of a market for such thing can be a reason but I think that the biggest obstacle is that Microsoft does not have a full-blown version of Windows for such a machine. General public is not going to buy an ARM-based laptop if it does not have Windows inside. And besides, I doubt there is an ARM Linux distribution with X Window, but it will be trivial to put up if hardware is present.

This idea needs a jumpstart to achieve a wide adoption. Just imagine what if Nicolas Negroponte with One Laptop per Child project would go this way instead of underpowered AMD and real hard disks. Africa is a rough place and hard disks are going to break pretty soon in those laptops.

I was unhappy with the noise of my desktop PC's fan. My laptop's fan is still producing too much noise to be comfortable. If I saw a laptop that you describe I will buy it right away!

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (4, Informative)

simp (25997) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816068)

It was made 10 years ago, the Psion 5MX. For it's time it was very good. The included agenda/database software is even today a good match for the modern PDAs. Unfortunately these days everybody seems to be facinated with running Windows CE on a small PDA screen and call it an improvement... I'm getting old.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816106)

The Psion was excellent (I owned a Psion 3M) however, nowadays we want to be able to browse and e-mail with the software we regularly use. To use an analogy: I have always had Nokia mobile phones. Why? Because I know the menus by heart. Would it be such a hassle to relearn another interface? No, but why bother?

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (3, Interesting)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816209)

Well,

I was recently given an old Psion Revo, and I can tell you that it's quite capable of surfing the web, since you can use Opera 5 on it. Of course it has some glitches, but for reading Slashdot and searching something on Google it's ok.

IMHO, EPOC is a much more capable OS than PalmOS or WinCE. While not rock solid, it's pretty stable and has plenty of usefull features and applications. For those who may not know, EPOC is now called Symbian... and boy, I wish Nokia offered a Symbian-enabled version of the i770!

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816363)

I wish Nokia offered a Symbian-enabled version of the i770!

I couldn't agree more. My Psion Series 3, running EPOC16, with a 4.77MHz 8086-compatible and 256KB or RAM was a far more useful machine than my 770 with a 200MHz ARM CPU and 64MB of RAM running Linux.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

roddy rags (947477) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816405)

I loved my PSION REVO Plus to death. About five years ago I had free animated web through my mobile phone in the very north of scotland. Unheard of today.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816903)

It looks like a similar configuration with the $3000+ USD IBM PC's of the 1980 era. Well, except the portability/transportability/trailerability

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816894)

Just the reason (cost was another) why I choose a Sony-Ericsson instead of a Nokia - the menus on Nokia seemed to me "braindead".

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816349)

these days everybody seems to be facinated with running Windows CE on a small PDA screen and call it an improvemen

There are alot of PDA's out there that would be very good laptops if they just added usable keyboards to them. Somehow I just don't seem to get it I guess. What's so damn great about a large touch screen, when you could have a keyboard to go with it and it would be the perfect device for surfing, writign and communicating?!

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (2, Interesting)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817241)

What's so damn great about a large touch screen, when you could have a keyboard to go with it and it would be the perfect device for surfing, writign and communicating?!

Think of the millions of computers users who cannot type (well, with more than 1 finger at a time).

For a time, I was seriously considering getting a portable keyboard for my PDA---but nearly all of them are crappily small, one might as well just peck with that pointer thingie than type with 1 finger on them small keyboards.

Why can't a PDA come with -standard- keyboard/mouse interfaces? (ie: like a PDA with 5 USB ports to plugin whatever, as well as a VGA out port---in case you need to plug it into a monitor, or projector).

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816144)

Windows Mobile 5.0 based Pocket PC? They have everything you described. And if you want a larger keyboard, you may use most of bluetooth desktop keyboards.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

larytet (859336) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816223)

you can buy one for as low as $100. Look in google for ARM boards with PXA255 and PXA270.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816262)

Dude: Apple eMate [applefritter.com] , circa 1997.

Re:eMate (1)

dhovis (303725) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816418)

I had one of those. It was pretty cool. It had a battery that lasted for 24hrs, and recharged to 80% in about 40 minutes. The only problem was that it was a pain to tranfer your work to another computer. If they remade it today, I imagine they could make it smaller, lighter, and more svelte. Data transfer would be trivial by wireless. It would be a great portable for people who write for a living, much like the Radio Shack Model 100 was for a different generation.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816555)


Right. Like my Treo that lasts for days (up to a week) depending on usage.

Could be better (bigger screen, better camera) but it does all that I need in a portable device. MP3s, camara/video, PDA, read pdfs, word/excel, web, and others.

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816736)

What, like this? [wikipedia.org]

Re:ARM powered laptop with flash (1)

frglrock (992261) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817284)

I think what you might be looking for is the HP Jornada 720 PDA. The specs were apparently (this list was made from ebay decriptions so it may not be 100% accurate):

  - 206Mhz StrongARM processor
  - 32MB RAM
  - CompactFlash Type 1 Slot
  - Smart Card Reader Slot
  - Windows Handheld PC 2000 OS
  - Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, up to 8 hours of battery life
  - Dimensions: 7.44 x 3.74 x 1.34 inch (189 x 95 x 34 mm)
  - Weight: 1.1 lbs (510 g) with battery

Others have mentioned the offerings from Psion but this came a little later (around 2000). They were both set up like very small laptops and the most distinguishing feature from other pdas of the time (to me anyway) is the laptop style keyboard allowing touch typing. The HP also had a color screen unlike its Psion counterparts of the same size. The Psion models with color screens were more the size of laptops, not pdas.

Well, that probably read like an advertisment but I havent actually owned a Psion or HP Jornada so they might have both been junk! The point is that what you speek of seems to have been and gone, probably due to a lack of market interest.

IM ALIVE (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816001)

JIZZbombs are exploding over ISRAEL, with good reason. MY ArAbiC seed is being DISPERSED RAPIDLY and the juden sleep.

Please can we have a decent battery life (1)

Bunyip Redgum (641801) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816003)

As long as they run for a whole day (16 hours plus) when running Ubuntu or FreeBSD they will be fine.

Not quite yet (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816025)

As long as they run for a whole day (16 hours plus) when running Ubuntu or FreeBSD they will be fine.

16 hours isn't quite there yet, but I do get 6-8 hours with my current laptop, a 1-year old battery and Ubuntu (the higher number when I'm offline (no wifi) and basically just read text). Add another hour with a brand-new battery. If I put it to sleep whenever I don't use it, it easily stretches to a 10-hour workday. And with a spare battery (which itself is a small unit for this laptop) I can go a whole waking day - or the Osaka-Frankfurt-Stockholm route, which amounts to the same thing.

Re:Please can we have a decent battery life (1)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816119)

Please can we have a decent battery

Did you mean: Decent bombs [slashdot.org] ?!
Terrorist! ;-)

SHOCKER! (4, Funny)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816006)

When asked about the future prospects of Microsoft's "Origami" mini-tablet design, Naitoh was sceptical. "I'll have a hard time to convince myself that Origami will be a primary device," he said.
LENOVO LAPTOP DEVELOPER IN COMPETITOR-DISLIKING SCANDAL SHOCKER!

Re:SHOCKER! (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816543)

I know you're trying for funny, but origami is mostly software, MS is relying on partners such as lenovo to build them. MS and lenovo are not competitors per se.

Re:SHOCKER! (3, Interesting)

tambo (310170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816684)

origami is mostly software, MS is relying on partners such as lenovo to build them. MS and lenovo are not competitors per se.

Not really.

The UMPC (formerly known as Origami) is a hardware/software specification set by Microsoft for this new class of devices. The software specification contains exactly one requirement: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005.

The hardware, on the other hand, has several requirements:

  • Screen: Approximately 7" LCD, with a resolution of at least 800x480
  • Weight: Approximately 1kg (2lb)
  • Integrated touch screen
  • Integrated 802.11b
  • Integrated Bluetooth
That's it - anything with those specifications can be considered (and labeled) a UMPC.

Now here's the important question: Who would ever consider a machine with those specifications their primary device? The minimum specification doesn't include any kind of drive, speakers, or even a keyboard. As a standalone device, the UMPC is really cripped - without a drive, how do you load software?

But that's the point. Please, please repeat after me: THE UMPC IS NOT MEANT TO BE A PRIMARY OR STANDALONE PC. That is not its intended niche. It is a companion PC - a souped-up version of a PDA that runs all of the software you'd expect, and with a screen large enough to do actual work. (The tiny screen was the primary factor that limited the PDA to "address-book" status.)

It irritates me to see so many tech rags criticizing the UMPC as underpowered for primary computer use. They're just not understanding its purpose. I'm an ardent supporter of the platform (and I have no attachment to Microsoft, any UMPC manufacturer, the project, etc.) - I think it will be an excellent new device, with novel computing applications.

- David Stein

What I want... (4, Interesting)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816026)

What I want is something small that I can plug a keyboard and monitor into for desktop use but also use on the move. Not a laptop - much smaller.

The closest I've seen is this thing:

    http://www.dualcor.com/ [dualcor.com]

But it looks like it's not aimed at the general market, and has a corresponding "business class" price tag.

Re:What I want... (2, Informative)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816056)

You're describing this [laptop.org] except it doesn't have an ARM but some AMD processor. From the FAQ:
The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display--both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.

Re:What I want... (2, Insightful)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816062)

Or the UMPCs that are just coming out. The markets gonna be full of these things but you're the first person I've seen who actually wants one over a laptop. I suppose the 2.5 hour battery life sorta spoils it.

Re:What I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816063)

Well... take one of these:
http://www.margi.com/products/prod_ptg_featcomp.ht m [margi.com]
for VGA output, these:
http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/8193/ [thinkgeek.com]
for input and a Palm or PocketPc as brain.

All these things have been available for a long time. Origami is not a new idea and its not the first time that concept is implemented. But it was never successful.

Re:What I want... (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816114)

And it runs Windows CE. How could you.

Re:What I want... (1)

larytet (859336) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816234)

google PXA255 PXA270 development boards. some of them come in nice packaging with built-in or plug in LCD screens and peripherals like USB, WiFi, etc. you can order Linux or WinCE preinstalled

Re:What I want... (1)

spydink (256993) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816350)

I've been waiting for this for several years now:

Paul Allen's Vulcan FlipStart [flipstartpc.com]

Development of the FlipStart seems to have flagged a bit [wikipedia.org] since this website hasn't changed appreciably in over 2 years. What the heck has Paul Allen been working on [space.com] that could be more important than what I want!?

Re:What I want... (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816483)

There are a few others, some mentioned often on Slashdot too... http://www.oqo.com/ [oqo.com]

They're very expensive for the performance, but you're paying for the portability.

Re:What I want... (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816545)


You can do this with a Treo. They have keyboards and VGA out SD cards if you want them.

You can do email and edit MS files, read PDFs and listen to MP3s. Great machine.

Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (3, Interesting)

The Mutant (167716) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816066)

"...praising titanium (used in the construction of the 3000) for its light-weight and scratch-resistant properties..."

So what did Apple get wrong then? My TiBook was looking pretty ragged after two years of use. By contrast, my 15" Aluminum G4 PowerBook doesn't have a scratch on it....

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (2, Informative)

skingers6894 (816110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816102)

Same here. I just gave my 2 year old Albook to my Mrs and it looks like new! The last time I did that (with a TiBook) it looked like it had been drop kicked all over the road!

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816128)

There is much more to metal then just the type of metal; there is purity and tempering. A well tempered Aluminum plate would be much better then a badly tempered steel plate.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816129)

If you treat the surface to make it a nitride you get a very hard surface and a nice gold colour - take a look at industrial cutting tools for an example. Titanium alloys are a bit stronger than aluminium alloys but are a pain to work with and very expensive. As for strength - the same thickness of a half decent steel is stronger than a titanium alloy but of course the titanium alloy is lighter in weight.

Alumiumium alloys can also be fairly scratch resistant if they are anodised to give a thick hard oxide layer - probably what has been done with the alumiumium powerbook.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816153)

If you got you Aluminium G4 after the Ti, then perhaps you just used it more carefully? You know, some thought like "I'll never let this happen again" after observing the scratched Ti surface and the brand-new Al?

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816172)

So what did Apple get wrong then? My TiBook was looking pretty ragged after two years of use. By contrast, my 15" Aluminum G4 PowerBook doesn't have a scratch on it....
The scratches are not in the titanium, but in the paint that Apple used to make it appear more "metal-like". The anodized aluminum on the AlBooks don't need paint to look like metal (although some parts are painted, like the keycaps which are actually plastic). It holds up better against scratches, but is also easier to dent.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816268)

Personally, I love the Mad Max aesthetic of a well used TiBook. Put it in a display case as a testament to how hard you work. Very impressive. Looks like Willy Nelson's guitar (used so much that is forearm wore a hole through the body).

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (4, Informative)

engagebot (941678) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816294)

The problem is that not all of the TiBook was actually Ti. Only the casing of the screen is actually Ti, and the whole bottom casing is just silver-colored plastic. The white frame that goes around the edge of the machine is some other kind of metal thats painted white. All these painted surfaces scratch off and look beat up, whereas the AlBook is actuallly silver.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

splatterboy (815820) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817559)

No, the top layer and the bezel around the screen were Ti and tne bottom case layer is Ti. The polycarbonate layer ("the white frame") has a Ti top panel surrounding the keyboard. So, most of the visual/tactile surface of Tibooks is Ti.

The Albook is constructed in a similar fashion - the top and bottom case long with the bezel and keyboard layer are AL. I don't know if you've owned either but Ive owned both and they are still in mint condition, of course I tend to be protective/carefull of things I pay that much $$$ for.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

Warg! The Orcs!! (957405) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816346)

My wedding ring is Titanium. It was the most amazingly shiny and sparkly piece of metal when I got it but that didn't last long - it dulled down to a "brushed steel" look through thousands of tiny scratches within two weeks. So "No" titanium is not scratch-resistant.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (4, Informative)

dhovis (303725) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816375)

Well, it may depend on the specific alloy they use. The Ti-Powerbooks were made using CP-Ti(Commercially Pure). Frankly, that isn't a structural alloy. In fact, it has no alloying elements at all! Now the lay person would say "It's really pure, it must be really strong!". Bzzzzz....Wrong. That makes it fairly soft compared to, say Ti-6Al-4V [alleghenyludlum.com] , which is kind of the standard titanium alloy that is used for most things titanium.

With the Al-books, Apple switched to an "aircraft grade" aluminum alloy. That can mean a lot of things, but generally, aircraft grade aluminum alloys are some of the strongest, lightest alloys on the market. It is also a lot easier to form aluminum. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the Al-books were forged, which would increase their strength. There is no way they could have forged the Ti-book parts, forging titanium is a very expensive process. Also, the Al-books were hard anodized, which leaves them with a thin, hard, adherent layer of Al2O3 on the surface. Al2O3 is also known as sapphire, so it adds to the scrach resistance, at least for superficial scraches, anyway.

Now, I am a Ph.D. Materials Scientist, so I would be remiss if I didn't mention that scratch resistance and strength are two entirely different things. Generally, making something scratch resistant will also make it brittle. If you had to choose between your laptop scratching or shattering, I know which one I'd choose.

That is as much insight as I can probably provide. My expertise these days is on the high temperature oxidation of Ni-based superalloys.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816881)


>>That is as much insight as I can probably provide. My expertise these days is on the high temperature oxidation of Ni-based superalloys.

You're designing bomb casings?

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

dhovis (303725) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817463)

You're designing bomb casings?

Huh? I'm studying the materials used to make the turbines in jet engines.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15817017)

So, if costs were not an issue, what alloy would you chose if you were to design a laptop for Apple ?

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816393)

Also, the Apple Titanium's cracked underneath the wrists of people who used them often. My "weak" aluminum powerbook has not cracked, however, even though it goes through extensive use. Learning from others mistakes is a much easier way to learn than learning from your own.

Re:Titanium - Scratch Resisitant?? (1)

soapbox (695743) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816404)

"...praising titanium (used in the construction of the 3000) for its light-weight and scratch-resistant properties..."

So what did Apple get wrong then? My TiBook was looking pretty ragged after two years of use. By contrast, my 15" Aluminum G4 PowerBook doesn't have a scratch on it....
I'm sure that fit and finish figured into Apple's decision to abandon titanium, but judging from the temperatures of my 15" Powerbook (Aluminum), Apple also figured out that titanium has lousy thermal conductivity compared to aluminum.

FWIW Lenovo does not make the laptops (1)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816082)

Lenovo just brands them. http://tuxmobil.org/laptop_oem.html [tuxmobil.org]

Re:FWIW Lenovo does not make the laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816446)

Don't try to understand 'em

just rope, tie and brand 'em...

Weak Aluminium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816087)

Naitoh shuns the use of aluminium in laptop manufacturing, calling it 'weak'

What, weaker than the plastic the black ThinkPads are made of?

Interesting stuff (2, Informative)

99luftballon (838486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816092)

Lenovo appears to be playing a smart game, looking to expand from the business market to the professional consumer. With companies like Acer and HP looking more a the entertainment machine concept Lenovo is looking to a higher value market. The Origami stuff is interesting too. The whole idea is a loser (sub laptop capability for more money) and he's wise to stay out of it. All this stress on using titanium could also be a nod towards industry fears that Lenovo might compromise quality for price. Maybe they've decided to rely on low manufacturing costs to keep prices at reasonable levels.

Some good news at least (1)

Rorian (88503) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816100)

I have to say, I'm completly on the side of "PCs are powerful enough already" - especially where Laptops are concerned. If I really wanted something that powerful, I'd just use my desktop - nothing is so important that it has to be processed on the spot, on a laptop instead of just waiting till I get home. I'm very happy that there is hope for a laptop running a full day on a single battery, in the next 1-2 years, I've been waiting for this news for a long time.

I guess it's just a waiting game now, until I find a laptop that packs 1gb of ram, something between 1.5 and 2ghz of processing power (seriously, anything more is stupid overkill), 8 hours battery life and a wide screen into something the size of my old Compaq Armada M300. That laptop is the perfect size/weight, it just sucks for battery life, and could use a lot more RAM.

Ohh well, fingers crossed.

Re:Some good news at least (4, Interesting)

steve_l (109732) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816166)

My Compaq nc6000 (disclaimer, I work for hp) has
  1. 1GB ram
  2. 1.8GHZ single core.
  3. 6+ hours battery life when I pull out the DVD drive and stick in the extension pack. Three hours otherwise.
  4. The more ram you have, the worse the resume from hibernate, and there is too much corporate security junk (firewall, VPN, Symantec) to take up memory and battery life. The extra battery pack is very good for conferences, as I dont need to sit glued to power cords all day long.

    The problem with long-life laptops is most people prefer performance over battery life. And with reason -most people don't go that far without a recharge. The most definitive data gathering on this topic was actually an experiment I did in 1999, logging how different people used a laptop for six months, in a paper called "the secret life of laptops" [hp.com]

    The conclusion we came to then was that power at home and work was unimportant, compared to the wide variation in network state. Getting consistent networking mattered much more to people.

    Now that we have near-universal, WLAN, maybe being unwired matters more. I should rerun the experiment, but first I need to finish the analysis of my ongoing experiment, that of capturing the bluetooth ID of every discoverable mobile phone that goes past my house. Embrace experimental computer science!

Re:Some good news at least (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816411)

Okay, so I just bought a compaq v3019 (and, by the way, video performance is a dog).

The things that matter most to me? Reasonable performance, strong battery life and wireless performance. This laptop has what I need. Oh, and weight makes a huge difference. My previous laptop (a Uniwill N258Ka0) was a 15.4" widescreen that weighed a gazillion pounds (okay just 7.3 or so), while my new one is only 14.1" screen, and is much lighter.

I haven't tested the battery life yet (bought it on Saturday), but I was informed that 5 hours was achievable. I hope so, but I suspect that in six months or so I will want a 12 cell battery instead of the six cell that it came with.

Here's something that needs to be offered, though: a laptop from hp/compaq that has none of the extra crap on it. Oh, and why are people still selling XP Home? It blows.

Now to install linux.

(BTW, Turion X2 is awesome)

Re:Some good news at least (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817279)

Interestingly enough, there are three things I look at when buying a notebook:
1. Weight
2. Size
3. Battery life.

And I think it is in these three properties that we need a real improvement. Granted, maybe size is not much of an issue (although doing laptops slimmer would help). I like 15 or even 14.5 inches screens because I cant see on smaller screens.

Now, about the weight, That is a *big* issue for me. I have an HP notebook ZV5000la, the whole beast weights 3.5 Kg, and although it is a great machine it is not by any means portable. It was rejected once from the hand bagagge of a plane because it was too heavy. I had, in my Notebook bag, the notebook,the charger and some CD's, and it was more than 5 Kg !!!.

I would love to have a notebook that weighted about 1 kg or less.

And that brings us to battery power. Darn, how I hate current batery power. As you parent stated on his message, all the notebook manufacturers sell the battery life as 6 hours or 8 hours but only if you do nothing or you are in suspend state. My laptop lasts like 2 hours with the battery full charged. That is a hell too litle, nada.

Each six months I flight for about 13 hours (UK- Mexico), I want a computer in which I can program (Eclipse Java, DevC++ or VS 2003, OpenGL graphics mostly) at least half of the time I am there.

And of course, the better the battery life the bigger and heavier the battery. I know this is a shameless rant because none of the technologies available now are able to fix it (solar panels covering the case? =op). But anyway I believe there are still a lot of improvements to be done to notebooks.

Re:Some good news at least (1)

Montag2k (459573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817523)

I'm not sure if it is Windows' fault or not, but I've noticed the hibernate problem with more RAM as well. A periodic hard drive defrag seemed to fix it for me (I know, I know... it shouldn't matter!).

Re:Some good news at least (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817221)

until I find a laptop that packs 1gb of ram, something between 1.5 and 2ghz of processing power (seriously, anything more is stupid overkill), 8 hours battery life

the Sony TX series come close, although you do need good eyesight to run windows with standard sized icons and fonts... even though I'm used to PDAs (Zaurus, Palm T3) I had to use "large icons" and "big fonts" settings (which makes windows quite fugly IMHO as it's never understood device resolution independent display). I've only had it a few days, so once I install linux it'll be far better as KDE makes everything scalable.

Pivot display please (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816109)

In terms of shape and size, I'm a bit surprised that peope are willing to lug around laptops with 17" displays while portrait-oriented displays are not widely available. Instead of having the whole LCD panel being the "lid" on the laptop, a smaller panel would do that and then hold the pivot to allow switching between landscape and portrait orientation.
these days I tend to keep the dock on OSX taking up the right hand side of my 16:9 screen and the only reason I don't do the same with the Windows taskbar is that some apps act funny when their menus are not where they're expected. Anyway, it makes much more sense to have the taskbars and menus taking up space on the corner of the eye than to have one web browser displaying empty space on both sides of whatever I'm reading, and then to have to scroll up and down all the time.

Re:Pivot display please (5, Interesting)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816193)

The wide aspect screens offer two key benfits. One of course is that movies are now shownin that aspect. The other turns out to be space. A short wide screen opens on an airplane much better than a taller one. The laptop requires significantly less room between you and the guy ahead leaning back so far you could do dental work on him.

Also, bigger diagonal (1)

leehwtsohg (618675) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816581)

4:3 at 12.1" diagonal is 70.3 square inch of LCD,
16:9 at 12.1" diagonal is 62.6 square inch of LCD

At face value, that's 12% of saving on LCD cost, and the consumer doesn't notice.

Re:Also, bigger diagonal (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817474)

That plus the fact that the last time I flew and the guy in front of me put his chair back my nuckles in home position were touching the screen. Fat lot of good.

Re:Pivot display please (2, Interesting)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816228)

At first I thought your idea was silly and then I realized you are absolutely right. I put the dock on the left side on my iBook with autohide so that i don't trigger it but gain the added space when surfing.

I wish laptop vendors would figure out a few things.

1. vertical space is more important than ever. Digital paper! Let me see a webpage. I still don't feel like going beyond 1024 x 768 when designing a page. I looked at my sites on my new cell phone the other day and realized how bad that is.

2. Not everyone wants a 17 inch display. Yes many of you exist, but there are a few of us that like 12 inch displays! I like a small laptop which is portable over a big bulky thing. I'm a student and I have books to carry too! My wife also prefers 12 inch displays. This means don't just offer a 12 inch, but a fast 12 inch as well. I don't consider a 17 inch MacBook Pro better than a 13 inch MacBook in terms of the screen. I want the faster cpus but a small screen! It may even help with battery life. What happened to the idea that that sale of products would be completely custom? Dell does it to some degree. Apple get with it.

3. Battery life is more important than anything else. If the battery dies, the computer is useless. I need to get through a 2 hour lecture while taking notes! Business people go on site, have meetings all day, etc. IT people might need to haul their laptop around server rooms, meetings, lunch, etc. Don't people at HP, IBM, and apple use laptops at work? Figure it out people!

Finally, I'd like to say that it appears video cards are the largest culpret now. Every review i've read that includes power consumption makes comments about the heat and power requirements of ati/nvidia hardware. I'd like to see ATI (amd) and nvidia go through the intel fast, low power, low heat transition. I mean they want us to run two of these things concurrently now. Could we at least get something energy efficient. The progress intel has made is useless if we put in a new ATI card.

Re:Pivot display please (1)

pkulak (815640) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817171)

That's a really good idea to put the dock on the side. I'm going to try that. Seems like a much better use of space with a widescreen display.

Re:Pivot display please (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817359)

Found an example of what I was talking about: the samsung Z130 [samsungmobile.com] mobile phone has a pivoting display in a very small package.

I love my Lenovo N100 07683VU (-1, Offtopic)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816136)

It's a great machine and Lenonvo is affordable and the time to ship was 1 week.

Pardon me, but... (4, Funny)

writermike (57327) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816148)

... I am having a Seinfeld moment.

Why is it that, in nearly every printed interview, people "sit down for a chat?" Does this actually happen? Does sitting down precede chats that will be put to the printed word? What happens if the interview is almost over and the two realize they were actually standing through it? Does that mean they can't use the material committed in the upright position? Should they sit down and perform the entire interview again?

One day, I am going to conduct an entire interview leaning against a well.

Re:Pardon me, but... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816322)

I think it is more a description of the type of interview. Rather than a formal interview, when questions are agreed upon ahead of time and answers are well thought out, this is more of bumping into someone during a tradeshow, and firing of vague questions and getting silly answers back. eg.

According to Naitoh, fuel-cell technology still has a "long way to go", particularly in terms of "longevity".
 
  Yes, thanks for that. We all know this, this wasn't revolutionary.

According to lenovo, trusted computing is future (2, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816179)

These people are on the active promoters list [trustedcom...ggroup.org] on the official website of the trusted computing initiative.

I can tell you one thing about their future, it won't involve my dollars.

Screens in sunlight (5, Interesting)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816188)

It would be nice if laptops used displays that could be read in sunlight. I'm working at home at the moment, it's a beautiful day outside, I have a laptop and a wireless network... the only reason I'm not working outside is because I wouldn't be able to see the screen.

Re:Screens in sunlight (0, Offtopic)

crull (221987) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816462)

In true WoW spirit: "NEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!!111"

Re:Screens in sunlight (1)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817401)

In addition, it can provide an excuse to justify for the higher price tag in the case of ThinkPad. If with a half way decent reason, many companies allow their professional staff (surveyor, engineers, salesperson etc) to choose the "tool" that suits. Especially backed up by a decent Ti case, a good screen that is readable outdoor will be very suitable for any work that requires the laptop to take outside.

What I want the future to bring... (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816238)

My ideal notebook:

- 8"x5" screen area (1024x800)
- high-contrast b/w indoor/outdoor screen
- 30 hour battery life
- runs on 4 AA hot swappable batteries plus internal battery
- removable solid state storage
- an open OS made for mobile work, or Linux
- full size keyboard, or BlueTooth foldable keyboard
- USB, WiFi, bluetooth, and SIM
- weight under 1lb
- thickness under 0.5"
- price around $250

Re:What I want the future to bring... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816359)

for $250 I'd expect a leather carrycase too.

Re:What I want the future to bring... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816514)

Mod parent as funny, please. ;)

Re:What I want the future to bring... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816628)

THis is the newton, except for the wireless stuff, and keyboard. Imagine if they had continued developing that. How great would it be. Surely a colour screen and wireless wouldn't drain the batteris that much.

Re:What I want the future to bring... (1)

joshuaobrien (588416) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817035)

That's pretty good, but here's what I'd really like:

- 8"x5" screen area (1280x1024)
- high-contrast b/w indoor/outdoor screen
- 40 hour battery life
- runs on 2 AA hot swappable batteries plus internal battery
- removable solid state storage
- an open OS made for mobile work, or Linux
- full size keyboard, or BlueTooth foldable keyboard
- USB, WiFi, bluetooth, and SIM
- weight under 0.5lb
- thickness under 0.4"
- free pony included

titanium ... scratch-resistant properties (2, Interesting)

youngerpants (255314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816318)

Kinda off topic, but... in the last couple of years I bought myself a new watch. I spent a bit more than I wanted to, but I really wanted a Breitling Aerospace. Specifically the one made from Titanium & Gold.



With a christmas bonus in my pocket, I walked into Sefridges jewellery department, tried on the watch I wanted (still wearing it) as the salesmans pitch started;


Salesman: Now this watch is made from titanium, are you aware of the properties of titanium


Me: Yes, very light and very strong, this its why its used in the aerospace industries


Salesman: Thats correct, and its also a self healing metal


Me: Excuse me?


Salesman: thats correct, if you scratch titanium, it will heal the scratch like your body will with a scar


Me:


Salesman: I know, amazing stuff


Me: sooooo, you wouldnt mind if I took a serrated knife to this breitling then


Salesman:


Me: I think someones been telling lies to you, but I am going to buy this watch anyway.



Not a great story, but some people areally are gullable.

RetroPad (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816500)

I like to do old-fashioned CLI C programs, and pretty much all of my word processing is with LaTeX source code. I survived quite well and was extremely productive back in the VT220 days, and wouldn't mind having a little equivalent I could carry everywhere.

So here's what I would like, although the market is probably too small to justify. Or maybe it exists and I'm not aware of it.

The smallest, lightest device possible with (1) >=128M RAM, (2) several GB disk or maybe no disk and just a USB port for a thumbdrive, (3) >=250MHz CPU, (3) long long battery life, (4) a screen sufficient to display a bash shell, (5) runs Linux, (6) a small keyboard that is just large enough for comfortable touch-typing.

It would be somewhat like a glorified PDA, but with a somewhat larger screen that's easy to read and a built-in keyboard that's large enough to touch-type on. In a nutshell, a little VT220 with a built-in computer. Hopefully cheaper than a laptop.

Re:RetroPad (1)

ygthb (84559) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817243)

have you looked at the various zauruii? (www.sharp.com)

All you have to add is an infrared-foldable keyboard.

Just a thought.

Re:RetroPad (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817261)


a Zaurus with an extended battery would probably fit the bill.

This is news? (1)

HardwareLust (454846) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816532)

He sounds like a petulant child. Cnet just did this "article" gave him some free ad space. I mean, c'mon... He didn't say anything we haven't already thought or heard already many times over.

I don't know about you but after reading this, my opinion of Lenovo is worse now than it ever was. I don't think this guy has a clue.

MIT US$100 Laptop (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816552)

Now, that's something I want!

A small, cheap, rugged, wireless, linux-enabled laptop! Something I could use for web browsing, email, IM, chat and text-editing but also capable of running a ssh shell and a freeNX session! I don't know about you, but I think that the OLPC reached a nice balance between PDA and Notebook.

Oh, and probably it's powerfull enough to run Wesnoth, NetPanzer and a SNES emulator!

On recent news ... (4, Funny)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816565)

... I'd say the future of the laptop is hot.

Where to buy a decent thinkpad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816629)

I tried to buy z61t from Lenovo page [ibm.com] . But I don't see 1440x900 there! Where to get z61t with this resolution?

Butterfly Keyboard Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15816773)

Some years ago, when IBM was going through a management change the new technology officer at the time said that he went back into IBM's patent vault and found 72 technologies that went ignored that he brought back into the mix.

Some of these kind of flopped, like the butterfly keyboard (remember that?). But some of them went on pretty far - like the nipple (that's what I call it - I think they call it the trackpoint but whenever I help someone with a thinkpad out and say "use the trackpoint as a mouse" they can't find it - when I say "use the nipple" - whamo).

Also - IBM did have a consumer based laptop a few years back and they even offered different skins to change the color. It's interesting how they are kind of going back to that and using the same logic (not everyone wants black). Back then the consumer laptops all started with an "i" like the i1572. They sold them at best buy and they were under $1000 - great laptop.

Laptops need Modularity. (4, Interesting)

neo (4625) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816890)

The main thing missing from the Laptop market is Modularity. He addresses this slightly by showing a model that has a detachable keyboard. What is really needed are inter-operable components that can be mixed and matched to fit both budget and requirements. For example, allowing users to choose screen size from several different screens, and let them all attach to the same connector on the motherboard. Allow different motherboard configurations. Allow for different sized keyboards, some with or without number pads, and some with or withough touch pads.

This is clearly the next step, but Laptop creators aren't getting the hint that desktop creators learned a long time ago. Don't put it all in one machine unless that's the low end model. Let us choose which pieces we want for our laptop and have them work together seamlessly.

Personally I want:

Full sized keyboard
15 inch screen
No touchpad
No battery
Wireless mouse
2-3 GHZ processor
3 gigs RAM
Detachable 10 gig drives

What do you want in your laptop?

Re:Laptops need Modularity. (1)

Photar (5491) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817433)

But then their hardware would become a commodity. And we'd all be buying cheap korean laptop monitors. Didn't we learn anything from Appl... nevermind.

Origami a primary device? (1)

PhoenixPath (895891) | more than 7 years ago | (#15816927)

Never expected it to be, and I doubt MS did either. It's an expansion on the PDA device.

I'd expect this kind of 'stating the obvious' from a pundit, but from the head of Lenovo?

Even in the web-mercials we saw of the device, it was web-vertised as being used in conjuction *with* workstations, Media-PCs, etc...

Why expand on the PDA? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817362)

I'd rather Microsoft and Palm quit *expanding* on the PDA and concentrated on making a better PDA.

Higher resolution screens - great, so long as they don't shortchange battery life.

Bluetooth - great, but give me a standard USB or serial interface as well... you can't charge via BT.

Wifi - my experience with wifi on PDAs hasn't been terribly good. But that may have changed.

Faster processors, huge memory, multimedia support - include me out.

Unfortunately you can't get a better screen without getting all the rest of the junk included. In fact you can hardly get a PDA without the rest of the junk these days.

Innovations ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15817331)

"...innovations such as raising displays and removable keyboards."
My IBM PS2 P75 do also have a removable keyboard and a sort of raising display... so do my Compaq Concertol, both machines are from 1993 or something like that.

Innovation is when you make something never before seen...

--

No sig!

Smashup of iBook and Thinkpad would come close. (1)

mchallis (462385) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817356)

My last two laptops were an Apple powerPC ibook and then an IBM X-31 Thinkpad. From that prospective, here is my opinion on future laptops. From the Thinkpad: 1) make it at least as tough and durable, 2) make it at least as Linux compatible, 3) please give me a nub not a pad for mouseing (sic) (or both). From the iBook: 1) keep the bottom as smooth as possible, 2)slot loading optical disks should rule in laptops 3) not black 4) cables on back and one side, opposite of optical drive 5) style is your friend, 6)sleep with a breathing LED. In general I want 6 hour battery life, at least sub 5 pound weight, work (wireless with WPA, sound, and suspend/sleep) with Ubuntu/Debian, CentOS/RedHat and Suse Linux straight from the install DVDs, , two power supplies (home and travel), and please price it at a $1000 or less.

PS What I didn't like from the Thinkpad 1) black, 2) rough slots and crap on bottom 3) no optical drive built in, from the Apple, 1) not durable (two hard drives died in first year), 2) ONE BUTTON scroll pad 3)not much choice on Linux distros and at the time, no drivers for wireless. 3)Apple fanatics.

Powerbook 2400c (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817551)

The Powerbook 2400c was designed for Apple by IBM Japan. Perhaps Lenovo might want to talk to Steve about a rematch?

Here's what I want from my Macbook Pro and my old Thinkpad t23:

Thinkpad: Two mouse/trackpad buttons, trackpad AND trackpoint, plenty of status indicators when open, BLACK, easy access to internals, pay attention to the feel of the keyboard... beveled keys may not be as stylin' but they're easier to type on, docking connector, built-in night light above the screen, working fans and cooling, optical drive on the side and replacable... and I do prefer the tray drive: you can't read business-card CDs in slot drives.

Macbook: OS X, Decent GPU, OS X, can tell status when closed (usually), OS X, Firewire built in, OS X... um... I think that's it.

Here's what I don't like:

Thinkpad: Windows, Intel graphics, teeny cursor keys, can't tell if it's on if it's closed.

Macbook: Keyboard aggravates my RSI, HEAT, one-button trackpad, Magsafe "unplug if you look at it wrong" power connector, HEAT, aluminum case, ports cluttering all sides (especially the USB port that puts any mouse cable right where I want to put the mouse itself, plugging 6 cables every time I set it down on my desk, HEAT, too hard to get into (adding RAM required trying three different screwdrivers until I found one that didn't threaten to strip the screw head), have to watch it to be sure it's really sleeping, HEAT HEAT HEAT.

As for the operating systems:

Windows: consistent keyboard support in the original user interface, reliable hibernation even if the hardware doesn't support it, "run explorer windows as separate processes".

OS X: Not stealing three keys for dedicated OS tasks, sleep works most of the time, transparent multi-display support, doesn't suck.

And dislikes:

Windows: It's an opaque toxic swamp full of industrial waste.

OS X: Why don't you sleep when I tell you to sleep? Why don't you hibernate (safe sleep isn't)? Why didn't Finder get an execution-style termination instead of infecting NeXT's File Manager?

(more for both, of course, see hates-software.com for details)

Lenovo 3000 series (1)

ArtDent (83554) | more than 7 years ago | (#15817441)

From TFA...

...it recently released the consumer-targeted Lenovo 3000 series, as "many people want to have a ThinkPad that is not black".

I'd love to own a more affordable ThinkPad that is not black. But not if it doesn't have a TrackPoint [mamboat.com] !

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...