The Next Big Thing: Megaportables

 
 
By Bill Howard  |  Posted 2003-08-27 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

At a time when most every feature that road warriors desire can be slid, snapped, or screwed into a notebook of five pounds or less, a compelling case can be made for heavier notebooks.

Portable computers are again closing in on and surpassing the 10-pound mark. At a time when almost every feature that road warriors desire can be slid, snapped, or screwed into a notebook of 5 pounds or less, a compelling case can be made for heavier notebooks. And the heavier the better.

When a notebook weighs over 10 pounds, including the paving-brick-like transformer that probably should be confiscated by safety-conscious sky marshals, the machine is more of a fold-up desktop PC with an internal UPS than a notebook.

Dell set the stage in 1998 when it cornered the market on the first 15-inch notebook LCD panels. Actually, Dell didnt have to do much negotiating to grab the supply, because leading notebook makers thought Dell—not the leader then—was nuts. Meanwhile, Compaq, IBM, and Toshiba were agonizing over whether people wanted 14-inch displays or 13-inch screens were big enough. But the Dell Inspiron 7000 (a.k.a. the U.S.S. Inspiron), despite its 10-pound travel weight, surpassed all sales expectations and spawned a series of imitators and nautical jokes. (Q: Just what does the Inspiron weigh? A: Anchor.)

For the complete story, read the full PC Magazine article.

 
 
 
 
Bill Howard

Bill Howard is the editor of TechnoRide.com, the car site for tech fans, and writes a column on car technology for PC Magazine each issue. He is also a contributing editor of PC Magazine.

Bill's articles on PCs, notebooks, and printers have been cited five times in the annual Computer Press Association Awards. He was named as one of the industry's ten most influential journalists from 1997 to 2000 by Marketing Computers and is a frequent commentator on TV news and business shows as well as at industry conventions. He also wrote the PC Magazine Guide to Notebook & Laptop Computers. He was an executive editor and senior editor of PC Magazine from 1985-2001 and wrote PC Magazine's On Technology column through 2005

Previously, Howard spent a decade as a newspaper editor and writer with the Newhouse and Gannett newspapers in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New York. He also writes a monthly column for Roundel, a car magazine for BMW enthusiasts.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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