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.)
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