What is a Laptop? : What is a Laptop? By: Carlos Linares
D-522 Slide 2: A laptop (also known as a notebook) is a personal computer designed for mobile use small enough to sit on one's lap. A laptop includes most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device (a touchpad, also known as a trackpad, or a pointing stick), speakers, as well as a battery, into a single small and light unit. The rechargeable battery required is charged from an AC/DC adapter (aka, a wall wart) and typically stores enough energy to run the laptop for several hours.
Laptops are usually shaped like a large notebook with thicknesses between 0.7–1.5 inches (18–38 mm) and dimensions ranging from 10x8 inches (27x22cm, 13" display) to 15x11 inches (39x28cm, 17" display) and up. Modern laptops weigh 3 to 12 pounds (1.4 to 5.4 kg); older laptops were usually heavier. Most laptops are designed in the flip form factor to protect the screen and the keyboard when closed. Modern 'tablet' laptops have a complex joint between the keyboard housing and the display, permitting the display panel to twist and then lay flat on the keyboard housing. They usually have a touchscreen display and some include handwriting recognition or graphics drawing capability. Slide 3: A desktop replacement computer is a laptop that provides most of the capabilities of a desktop computer, with a similar level of performance. Desktop replacements are usually larger and heavier than standard laptops. They contain more powerful components and numerous ports, and have a 15.4" or larger display. Because of their bulk, they are not as portable as other laptops and their operation time on batteries is typically shorter.
Some laptops in this class use a limited range of desktop components to provide better performance for the same price at the expense of battery life; in a few of those models, there is no battery at all, and the laptop can only be used when plugged in. These are sometimes called desknotes, a portmanteau of the words "desktop" and "notebook," though the term can also be applied to desktop replacement computers in general.
In the early 2000s, desktops were more powerful, easier to upgrade, and much cheaper in comparison with laptops. But in the last few years, the advantages have drastically changed or shrunk since the performance of laptops has markedly increased. In the second half of 2008, laptops have finally outsold desktops for the first time ever. In the U.S., the PC shipment declined 10 percent in the forth quarter of 2008. In Asia, the worst PC shipment growth went up 1.8 percent over the same quarter the previous year since PC statistics research started. Advantages : Advantages Getting more done – using a laptop in places where a desktop PC can't be used, and at times that would otherwise be wasted. For example, an office worker managing his e-mails during an hour-long commute by train, or a student doing her homework at the university coffee shop during a break between lectures.
Immediacy – Carrying a laptop means having instant access to various information, personal and work files. Immediacy allows better collaboration between coworkers or students, as a laptop can be flipped open to present a problem or a solution anytime, anywhere.
Connectivity – A proliferation of Wi-Fi wireless networks and cellular broadband data services (HSDPA, EVDO and others) combined with a near-ubiquitous support by laptops means that a laptop can have easy Internet and local network connectivity while remaining mobile. Wi-Fi networks and laptop programs are especially widespread at university campuses.
Other advantages of laptops include:
Size – laptops are smaller than standard PCs. This is beneficial when space is at a premium, for example in small apartments and student dorms. When not in use, a laptop can be closed and put away.
Low power consumption – laptops are several times more power-efficient than desktops. A typical laptop uses 20-90 W, compared to 100-800 W for desktops. This could be particularly beneficial for businesses (which run hundreds of personal computers, multiplying the potential savings) and homes where there is a computer running 24/7 (such as a home media server, print server, etc.)
Battery – a charged laptop can run several hours in case of a power outage and is not affected by short power interruptions and brownouts. A desktop PC needs a UPS to handle short interruptions, brownouts and spikes; achieving on-battery time of more than 20-30 minutes for a desktop PC requires a large and expensive UPS.