Does Size Matter In Your Organization?

Chen: When testing notebooks at eWeek Labs, we tend to value size and battery life over power.

Last week, Gartner released a report which stated that more than one-third of consumer mobile PC buyers chose heavy models. By heavy models, Gartner means laptops that are purchased as desktop replacements and weigh more than 7.5 pounds.

The demand for these models, Gartner said, proves consumers will sacrifice mobility for more performance or a lower price. But will they make those same sacrifices within the enterprise?

As everyone knows, things are a little bit different when you have to carry a 7.5-pound laptop through an airport security checkpoint. Could you imagine what it would be like trying to use that 17-inch Apple PowerBook while scrunched into an economy class seat? Road warriors may demand the power of desktop replacements, but at the same time, theyre probably less willing to sacrifice the small form factor.

All of us expressed awe when my colleague Jason Brooks unveiled the Sharp Actius MM10 he was testing a few weeks ago. The laptop weighed so little and offered so much portability at 2.1 pounds that we were willing to forgive its sluggish performance.

This week, Ive been toting around Acers new TravelMate C110. Acers second-generation Tablet PC is the first to take advantage of Intels Centrino technology. Weighing in at 3.2 pounds without external drives, the C110 certainly is portable. In tests, its battery life has been adequate so far, and while were still benchmarking the unit, the decision by Acer to go with the 900MHz ultra-low-voltage version of the Pentium M should make this particular model perform better than the TravelMate C100 we tested a few months ago.

What does this all mean? When testing notebooks at eWeek Labs, we tend to value size and battery life over power because were not looking for a desktop replacement: Were looking for a portable computer. Were lucky, though—we also have desktops in the office.

What are you looking for in a laptop? Let me know at