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IBM Hardware

It's a Laptop - It's a Desktop 236

Posted by michael
from the leap-tall-buildings dept.
pcman cuts and pastes: "Amidst the hollowed halls and exhibition floor of the Jacob Javits Center here, one beacon of innovation shone brightly at the TechXNY trade show. At a time when even the show's keynote speakers failed to generate headlines, IBM showed off the might of its design savoir-faire akin to the European assault on the Big Three automakers by German designers and engineer."
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It's a Laptop - It's a Desktop

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:04AM (#7002892)
    ...it's a dessert topping!
  • by clifgriffin (676199) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:05AM (#7002894) Homepage
    ...fails to see the use of this? Honestly, I can think of any real way this would help over a normal (priced) laptop. I guess it is neat you can opt to have the screen at a different height and angle, but I don't know.. I can personally live without it for a long time. Clif
    • I agree. I have a buddy with a Compaq T-1000 (laptop/huge pda with a transmeta in it) that he paid $1700 for. Fairly useless for the price, just as these seem to be. The noticeable advantage is the loss of a docking station and second monitor.. is that really necessary?
    • Well, I personally hate being hunched over the laptop if I'm sitting at home. I much prefer being able to lean back in my chair, put the keyboard on my lap, and surf away in comfort.

      -- Dr. Eldarion --
    • by gl4ss (559668) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:19AM (#7003015) Homepage Journal
      i'd think the target market would be people who don't move it much around (hence, have a real mouse attached and have it in the desktop position most of the time) and don't usually need to haul it anywhere, but when yhey would have to (like once per month or even less often) they can take that computer with them.

      of course, the advantage over just having a laptop that you attach to a normal screen(and plug stuff into) isn't much. i guess in a case where a worker has to work one month at place a and then another month at place b and then returning to a for a month.. it could be useful/handy/comfortable to no t have the need for seperate screens and keyboards at both a and b to achive the non laptop feeling.
      • by merlin_jim (302773) <James,McCracken&stratapult,com> on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:59AM (#7003361)
        i guess in a case where a worker has to work one month at place a and then another month at place b and then returning to a for a month..

        Or how about a business or technology consultant. Many times I'll be at a client site, doing real work on site, for weeks at a time, on my laptop. Anything to make this situation a little more comfortable for me, I'm for it...
      • Actually, the big market for this would be people who move their laptops daily between work and home.

        Plugging every thing every morning at work, unplugging it all at 5 and plugging it back in at home at 5:30, rinse and repeat five days a week is a pain in the butt, and buying two docking stations is an expensive solution.

        Additionally, that laptop has to sit somewhere on your desk while you've got all that stuff plugged into it. Put it under a stand, and you limit access to the CD-ROM. Set it off to the si
        • by bluGill (862) on Friday September 19, 2003 @11:04AM (#7004074)

          In the past I would have agreed with you. Today USB (high speed) is fast enough and universial enough that you can buy a keyboard, mouse, and USB hub for both work and home, and all you plug in is the hub. Want to expand? USB has you covered, and suddenly you plug in the hub at work and also have your scanner, network (wireless would be better, but perhaps not secure enough) and cd burner. At home you plug in and also get your printer and two gamepads. Or whatever combonations you can come up with.

          You still have to plug it into mains power of course, but that is a lot less connections, and a lot more versitile. I'd recomend a seperate monitor if you work in one spot often, but that may or may not be best for you. At most you have 3 connections, and the duplicated equpiment is cheap.

    • by Soko (17987) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:27AM (#7003069) Homepage
      As tech savy users, you and I are willing to put up with the compromises of a laptop - screen and keyboard at a fixed distance, screen at a fixed height, etc. We understand how they are engineered and why those limitations exist. Yes, IBMs design adds a bit of complexity to a laptop, which isn't good. Or is it?

      A non-techie usually isn't willing to accept the limitations of a laptop - witness the amount of docking stations and extra perepherals bought by people who want a full size keyboard and an adjustable screen. I have seen very, very few docking stations that were reliable and inexpensive. Nothing like adding cost and complexity in the name of convenience, eh?

      This is an elegant way of simplifying the design for those who don't want to be limited by current laptop design. IMHO, simpler == better. I like what they've done - add a proper tilt to the keyboard, a USB keypad and there's really nothing else you need to have your PC and take it with you, too. Note that USB devices are intended to be hot-plugged - Linux and Windows (most flavours of it anyway) handle USB changes with elan.

      Now, I just need the $BLING$ to acquire one...

      Soko
      • Most geeks will only see this in terms of technical value.. I mean so many people here are saying "so what, it's not like they put made a dual CPU laptop" or "it's crap because I cant use my XYZ gfx card" are simply missing the point.

        I'm not really a big fan of Apple stuff but it was the same with the iMac.. "oh, so what it's just a monitor and PC in one, been done before, etc etc" but it sold really well because like it or not the majority of people who use computers are not techies.

        I like this idea too,
    • by Richthofen80 (412488) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:49AM (#7003242) Homepage
      You obviously don't own a laptop. I support a company who has a large percentage (70%) of users who work from home/ have laptops. While in the office, everyone has a desktop. The idea that the dock goes with you, and can be set up anywhere, is the ideal situation. No more craning/aching while on the road, but the ability to set up in small places as well (airplanes).

      Almost nobody here has a laptop w/o a docking station/port replicator. the idea that it could be set up anywhere makes the office truly mobile.

      PS IBM makes a GREAT laptop. Their X series, including the X31, are incredible.

      • I had a 600e a few months back, fairly old laptop, got it from eBay, beat to hell, worked perfect. I was very impressed with both the durability of the Thinkpad as well as the performance given the specs. I just got a Dell, but only because I can't afford(finance) a current Thinkpad.
    • Some European countries have laws about workstation ergonomics. They require companies to provide a workstation that can be adjusted for comfort. Screen height is one of the criteria deemed important, so you are sat with a bent neck for long periods. So if these are the only laptops that can meet European ergonomic regulations my guess is they will sell extremely well. Companies need them to make hotdesking even more affordable yet without breeching regulations.
    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Friday September 19, 2003 @10:04AM (#7003407) Journal
      If you use your laptop a lot on travels, you'll appreciate the advantages of this model. The advantage doesn't show itself when you use on your lap, for example whilst in an airplane, but it does when you sit down in your hotel room or the client's office for a few hours of work. Most laptops are awful for prolonged work periods. Sure you can hook up an external keyboard to a regular laptop, but you'll have to lug it along all the time, and the screen remains at an awkward position.

      I need my data and applications in many different locations, and I hate having to lug around an extra keyboard, not to mention having to hunt around for a few thick books to prop my laptop on and bring the screen to a comfortable height. I'd love to have a laptop like this.
    • There are three main parts to a computer system; input, display, and processor box. While laptops are great for putting all three pieces in a small package, it's not the best layout for comfortable computing. I like IBM's detachable, wireless keyboard. Makes sense, especially if they use the width of 17" computers for a full size keyboard.

      As for the screen contorting itself between laptop and desktop orientations, I'd prefer a detachable screen that could be set on a stand at the right height and attached
    • ...doesn't think this is original. Back in the 386-era I used a laptop which was slightly thicker than the norm, was as powerful as a desktop and had a detachable keyboard on a 2 metre cord. The new machine has a colour screen, a more modern spec and a slightly updated design style but it's hardly revolutionary...
  • by fuzzix (700457) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:05AM (#7002895) Journal
    which can be configured to take up more of my desk space?
    How useful. Excuse me while I rush out to purchase one.
    • by BillyZ (169879)
      It's a laptop that can be configured into a more comfortable usable position once you get to the hotel your staying at on your business trips. I don't know about you, but @ 6'3" I don't particularly like hunching over a laptop everytime I'm not at my office to work at my desktop.
      • Yeah, and you're going to go through the trouble of taking it apart and then putting it back together again every time you use your laptop instead of just closing it up and putting it away.
        • Re:So it's a laptop (Score:2, Informative)

          by BillyZ (169879)
          Your statements lead me to conclude, perhaps falsly, that you don't travel on business much. Folks who travel and must work, answer e-mail, reasearch etc while on the road; I think will like the ability to both do some work in the airport in the normal laptop configuration, but once they get back to the hotel they can re-arang it a little bit to make the most out of typicaly uncomfortable chairs in tiny rooms when they have a couple hours of work to do while there.

          I don't the intention of these designs to
          • I hope you'll think of me when you forget to pack part of your laptop and are stuck in the airport with a non-functioning computer. I'll be the one laughing my ass off.
            • This configuration from IBM appears to be of a one piece design. One thing IBM does understand is corporate customers working on the road. They might not make sexy looking machines, but they always deliver the goods on being usable for their particular niche.
      • Try this Grandtec keyboard [grandtec.com]. It's full size, mini available, rolls up into a small bundle, and easily stuffs into your notebook bag. I've traveled extensively with mine, and am quite happy with it (no association with co).
        • Try this Grandtec keyboard. It's full size, mini available, rolls up into a small bundle, and easily stuffs into your notebook bag. I've traveled extensively with mine, and am quite happy with it (no association with co).

          I have one of those, and it's virtually impossible to type on for any extended period of time. It's possibly the worst typing surface ever created. Sort of like those old membrane keyboards on the Atari 400, except... mushy.

          However, it really is cool-looking, and can indeed be roll
    • Re:So it's a laptop (Score:4, Interesting)

      by aborchers (471342) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:10AM (#7002941) Homepage Journal
      At first I thought my technolust was just fueled by the stylishness and because-we-can appeal of this thing, but then I realized it would have a very real advantage to me:

      I have an ANSI spec workstation desk at home with a drop-down keyboard tray. The tray must be in the down position to be comfortable, and it is not wide enough to hold a notebook. Ergo, this kind of machine would be great for the road and for a console on my desktop.

      Of course buying a new desk or higher chair would probably still be cheaper!

  • by orpheus2000 (166384) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:06AM (#7002907) Journal
    I'm getting two, an IBM and Dell, and then I'm putting an autobot sign on my IBM and a decepticon on my Dell. At night, they'll battle for supremecy!
    • by kurosawdust (654754) on Friday September 19, 2003 @10:06AM (#7003421)
      OK Check it...hook them both up to a network and load SETI@Home on each. Then write a script that will check at the end of the day which of them has completed more SETI units and have that one play some trash-talking sound files to the other. (bonus points if you work some lego mindstorms in there to actually physically whoop up on the lesser computer)

      [Super bonus points if you get one of them to change into an eighteen-wheeler and star in a cartoon]

  • by vacaboca (691496) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:07AM (#7002911)
    ...as a constant laptop user, I'm not sure I like the concept of having the thing able to break into pieces by design.
  • What's the point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xpilot (117961) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:08AM (#7002922) Homepage
    Just because the screen is propped up a bit and the keyboard detached, it's still a notebook, with a cramped keyboard, missing mouse, practically unupgradable interior.
    • I'd definitely use one of these - I am already used to the keyboard on my (work) laptop, and much prefer the IBM trackpoint "nipple" mouse to a normal rodent (my hands never have to stray far from the keyboard. I don't find either cramped or inconvenient.

      (veering slightly off-topic for a moment) In fact, I'm considering a keyboard with a trackpoint type mouse for my home box, something like this one [pckeyboard.com]. Especially if it has a similar feel to the IBM laptop trackpoints... The only downside is that it seems

      • IBM Sells an UltraNav Keyboard. Which has both a Trackpad and a Trackpoint, complete with 3 buttons. No Windows keys either.

        http://www-132.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet /P roductDisplay?catalogId=-840&langId=-1&partNumber= 31P8950&storeId=1

    • So what you are saying that a laptop still isn't a desktop. Well damn, you are right. Hell when are they going to make a laptop like my current desktop that is what I wanna know.

      I mean seriously my desktop is a dual processor, very nice when you want it to respond NOW. It gots a 1.5tb storage (HD are cheaper for me then burning to dvd, damn dvd tax). It got a 22inch monitor and a 19 inch one. It als got 5.1 sound. Stupid IBM for making just a stupid laptop that has none of these laptop essentials and inste

  • Innovation? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Amiga Lover (708890) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:09AM (#7002933)
    I'm not so much sure I'd call IBM innovators here. These concepts have been around for a long time before IBM

    For example, the Atari laptop which looked in the same form factor as current ones. IBM Stole that design and produced its first thinkpad. Soon after, Apple stole the design again and produced the first Powerbook

    Odd who gets the credit isn't it? It's Apple.
    • Atari was first with the tablet PC [geocities.com] too (called the STylus)

      Yes, another real 'innovation' by microsoft.
    • Re:Innovation? (Score:4, Informative)

      by cosmo7 (325616) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:39AM (#7003158) Homepage
      Apple must have been using their time machine:

      Powerbook: October 1991
      ThinkPad: October 1992

      The STacy has "the same form factor" in as much as it is a clamshell design, which had already been done by Toshiba.
      • Apple must have been using their time machine:

        Which they stole from me as I'll be inventing it in about 20 years. Or so I told myself the other day when I came back.
        • Didn't yourself told you that you shared the technical specs on Kazaa 2023 by mistake and IBM started producing time machines for everyone?

          They didn't steal it, everyione is buying one. You don't have any idea how many times I have beaten the crap out of Darl McBride when he was on high school using mine.
          • You don't have any idea how many times I have beaten the crap out of Darl McBride when he was on high school using mine.

            You realise it's your fault he turned out the way he did, don't you?

    • For example, the Atari laptop which looked in the same form factor as current ones. IBM Stole that design and produced its first thinkpad. Soon after, Apple stole the design again and produced the first Powerbook

      Odd who gets the credit isn't it? It's Apple.

      Apple isn't credited for the clamshell design, IIRC the clamshell design had appeared a couple of times before the first Powerbook. Apple is usually credited with the palmrest [fortunecity.com] design that has come standard on many (not all) laptops since.

  • by lavaface (685630) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:09AM (#7002938) Homepage
    the detachable keyboard is kind of neat, but if I want to turn a notebook into a desktop, I'll attach a VGA monitor and use a seperate bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I'm sorry, but origami or no, Apple has IBM beat hands down in the elegant engineering dept.
    • While I agree with your statement, it is also fair to note that IBM's customers are generally corporate, and much more conservative than the creative market that Apple caters to, so, I suspect that Jonathan Ives, were he working for IBM, would have to tone down his designs considerable. I do recall that IBM created a cool split keyboard design for the ThinkPad that was very innovative, although it was abandoned fairly quickly, due to cost I suspect.
      • The thinkpad split keyboard was abandoned because it was a space saving tool. Once the LCD screen sizes became larger than the fully expanded butterfly keyboard, the split keyboards were no longer necessary.

    • I'll attach a VGA monitor and use a seperate bluetooth keyboard and mouse
      I'd like to see you haul all that extra crap around on your business trips so that you can work comfortably in your hotel room. You probably fly business class, so this VGA monitor doesn't put you over your baggage weight allowance?
    • My desktop has two monitors. The GPU in the Powerbook can drive two monitors. Why, then, does it only have one DVI port? I would love to be able to plug both monitors into my Powerbook (and disable the LCD) when I'm at home.
  • by gpinzone (531794) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:11AM (#7002948) Homepage Journal
    Just because you can detach the keyboard doesn't mean it magically becomes a desktop computer. You still can't do things like slap in a Radeon 9800 Pro, the keyboard is still small, you still have to plug in a mouse, etc.
    • This probably is aimed at large customers so that they can give this to their employees. At office you have a desktop, proper eye-screen distance, proper keyboard etc. And when you go home you can take it with you and set it up at home. Also probably useful for all those people who move their laptop only once or twice like probably small shops where the propreiter could use it as a billing machine or something and in the evening take it home.
      I dont suppose IBM really intends it to be used extensively used
    • you still have to plug in a mouse, etc.
      No, you don't [apple.com]. Microsoft makes a set too.
    • Majority of users (especially in business) wouldn't know a Radeon 9800 if they woke up next to one in bed. All they do is run Office, email, web browser, and IM apps. They might have some database front end app but that's about it. Laptops are more than powerful enough for all that.

      This is the real problem that the industry has run into; 1GHz is fast enough for most users. Even XP hasn't dulled it's edge too much. Hell, where I'm at, we're planning on replacing all computers 300Mhz and lower. That's about
  • by scottganyo (65515) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:14AM (#7002975)
    Truth is that more and more, people are buying laptops instead of desktops. Just about every computer (desktop or laptop) on the market today is capable of efficiently performing every task the average user asks of it. So, I think for most people it comes down to price and versatility. And, while laptops are more expensive, they have been dropping in price significantly and there is no question that they are easily more versatile.

    IBM et al are just taking the laptop to the next level by allowing it to (somewhat, at least) "transform" into a desktop system. I think it makes a lot of sense...
  • Nothing new... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:14AM (#7002976)
    I've had one of these IBM Convertibles [vintage-computer.com] for ages! Sorry to see they're planning to lose the widescreen LCD in the new revision... :-)
  • Is a laptop where you can bend the screen all the way to the back, so that if you got one of those snazzy Dell X300's, it's essentially a "pad" computer with a keyboard on the back.

    I use my x300 like this now, and it's almost like reading a book (it's light enough), but the screen is missing some degrees from going all the way to the back.

  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jetkust (596906) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:21AM (#7003027)
    A desktop computer at the price of a laptop! Where can I buy!!?
    • Actually, I'd be happy to get a comparable desktop and LCD screen for the price some of these laptops go for.
  • by mbbac (568880) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:28AM (#7003080)
    ...they'd be shipping these now instead of showing prototypes like a bunch of cowards.
  • by martinthebrit (565913) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:28AM (#7003084)
    I want the one that transforms into Optimus Prime.
  • by salesgeek (263995) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:29AM (#7003087) Homepage
    When I saw the headline for the article, this atrocity [vintage-computer.com] came to mind immediately.

    Thank goodness it's actually a great idea - a computer that I can take on the road and actually enjoy using. looks a little larger than a traditional notebook, though.
  • by markus_baertschi (259069) <markusNO@SPAMmarkus.org> on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:34AM (#7003120)

    During years a stereo was a big piece of electronics stacked up in a rack with each device in a separate enclosure. The entire thing was big and expensive, but powerful and upgradeable. The same thing smaller was available too, but more expensive and difficult to upgrade due to the non-standard form factor.

    Today most of the stereos are the compact, all-in-one variety. If you want something else you'll have to go to a high-end shop, the average discount store doesn't carry the expensive stuff anymore.

    The same thing happens now to PC's too. I'll bet that in ten years 90% of the PC's sold are compact all-in-ones. Maybe you can detach the keyboard or the screen (like you can detach the speakers on some compact stereos) but it will be similar to todays laptops. If you need a bigger [CPU|memory|disk] you'll buy a new one and pass the old one to your [mother|son|buddy].

    I like the second model shown, the detachable keyboard is nice and the base is short enough that you can place it in front (not on top).

    Markus

    • Today most of the stereos are the compact, all-in-one variety.

      They always were, my grandparents generation had a radiogram, my parents generation had a music center, mine had a midi system, kidsnow have micro system. All that changed is the size.

      If you want something else you'll have to go to a high-end shop, the average discount store doesn't carry the expensive stuff anymore.

      Separates aren't that expensive. Tens of pounds per bit overe here, so a complete system is no more than a good quality all

      • When I used to be Hi-Fi technician in the late seventies, most of the stereos we sold were the racked variety. There were some compacts too, but most were cumbesome. (Bang and Olufsen had nice compacts, but at a price).

        One mayor difference is that some of the basic building blocks for PC 'compacts' are more expensive (LCD vs CRT, mobile vs desktop CPU, etc). This was/is not the same with stereos.

        Markus

  • by R.Caley (126968) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:34AM (#7003124)
    It looks just like every other thinkpad.

    OK the screen pops up a bit and it has a detachable keybard, but it's hardly a radical new departure.

    What is it about computer an car designers which makes them so conservative? Even apple, who have a reputation as being inovative, really just produce things to the same tired designs, they just round off the corners and make them out of coloured plastic.

  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon@@@gmail...com> on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:35AM (#7003129)
    This is a cool idea. When I get to the hotel room, I can set this up desktop style and be comfortable, yet when I need to do a quick
    e-mail check befopre I get on the plane I can. Anyone who uses a laptop can vouch for this, but a laptop screen isn't exactly adjustable. The ways you need to move it sometimes won't work out with a straight laptop. This idea will put the screen where you need it when you have the space (when your in one place for a few days). It also allows you to use it as you would a normal laptop. It's a great idea. Lots of people panned IBM's 701 laptop (butterfly keyboard) because of it's keyboard design, but those who used it, loved it. IBM also still makes the most robust laptops I ahve seen.
    • Not the only one, I like it too. I'm more of the "desktop replacement" laptop user than the "road warrior" laptop user (my Handspring Visor is much more usable as a portable device than a laptop). I'd like this setup instead of the multiple docking stations and monitors I have at the office and home.

      And, I agree with the IBM reliability comment as well. I loved my 701c, and it never crashed. If it wasn't for the 486 processor I would have used it a lot longer. It's reliability crushed the 4 laptops I'
  • by eyepeepackets (33477) on Friday September 19, 2003 @09:39AM (#7003163)
    As a happy owner of an IBM laptop/notebook PC for four years, these are the things I'm most interested in seeing in my next laptop/notebook (and you can be sure it will be an IBM):

    1. 16 or 17" UXGA LCD (preferrably 17")

    2. RAM expandable to 1 GB (graphics work eats RAM)

    3. Lighted keyboard

    4. Onboard LAN (both wire and wireless)

    5. CD/CDRW/DVD combo drive

    6. Minimum 60 GB HD internal

    7. Quality sound/graphics

    8. NO restrictions on what OS I choose to run

    I've seen the newer laptops from Sony/Toshiba, etc. but my experience tells me they aren't solid performers over time whereas my IBM machine has performed like the energizer bunny -- it just keeps on going (and going and going.)

    Save the fancy tricks, just give me a solid machine with the above listed items and I'll buy it.

    • by PhoenixK7 (244984) on Friday September 19, 2003 @10:01AM (#7003372)
      Um, try Apple:

      1. 16 or 17" UXGA LCD (preferrably 17")

      got it

      2. RAM expandable to 1 GB (graphics work eats RAM)

      got it (up to 2 GB of DDR ram)

      3. Lighted keyboard

      got it (on 17" and 15" models)

      4. Onboard LAN (both wire and wireless)

      got it (802.11b/g on all powerbooks 12/15/17)

      5. CD/CDRW/DVD combo drive

      got it (well, dvd burner/cdrw/cd is standard)

      6. Minimum 60 GB HD internal

      got it (80 GB standard)

      7. Quality sound/graphics

      got it (radeon 9600 with 64 MB)

      8. NO restrictions on what OS I choose to run

      well, you can't run windows (natively) but you can certainly run OS X, Linux, Darwin, and a bunch of other operating systems

      Certainly you have to pay a pretty penny for one of these suckers ($3000 base) but hey, with what you're asking for all you really need to bump up is the ram (512mB DDR333 included).
      • OK, the UXGA isn't satisfied but whatever (1440x900 widescreen). It has DVI out so you could hook up an external display. If you're going for those sorts of specs, you can probably afford an extra LCD.
    • With the exception of the screen, you get all of that list and more in today's ThinkPad T40. It goes up to 2GB RAM, has wired (Gigabit) and wireless (802.11b and g) Ethernet plus Bluetooth, 80GB disk, (externally) lighted keyboard, 64MB ATI Fire graphics, etc. And it will run Linux (though IBM doesn't offer it as a preload option).

      But the biggest, highest resolution screen you can get is 14", 1400x1050. Face it, a 17" screen is going to make any laptop a rather bulky and awkward thing - witness the 17"
  • I just bought an Optimus Prime, the new Armada figure, 25% off at KayBee.

    Anyway, I think this is some excellent thinking...at work I use a laptop (long story, really I just wanted a damn flatscreen monitor, but those were considered luxury items...) but the laptops on a breakfast tray and I type on a seperate ergonomic keyboard beneath. What they're doing is aiming for a hyperportable desktop. The biggest sacrifice is possibly ease of setup.

    Heh, whatever happened to that fold out butterfly keyboard? That
  • I like that IBM is thinking about ergonomic design and ways of getting a laptop to possess more of the features that people like about desktops.

    But I wouldn't stop at a hinge that pushes the display up a few inches.

    Why not make the keyboard, mouse and display easily detachable (with retracting flexible connector cords), so that you have a choice of putting it on your lap and typing away at the airport, or arranging the parts on a conventional desk, putting the keyboard just above lap height, the mouse 6

    • Did you read the whole article, there are 2 new laptops, one with just the special screen, and the other also has a detachable keyboard. Now detachable mouse would be nice too, but would be very difficult to achieve properly.
  • I prefer my current docking station, and full size monitor and keyboard (I am using a Microsoft Natural Keyboard - one of the few microsoft products I buy simply because no one else makes one like it, and I find it indespensible for relieving carple-tunnel syndrome, which I was starting to get with the standard keyboards; been using one at work and one at home for the past 2 years and can touch type all day without a twinge).

    My concern with this technology, particularly the removable keyboard using bluetoo
  • Modular Systems [threeseas.net] for text description and images of different configurations [threeseas.net]

    Over six years ago....
  • Actually, my idea was to mount the laptop screen on flexible arms, like the B&D Snakelight uses. That would allow for versatility in positioning the screen while keeping it pretty stable. When you fold it up the arms could act as a handle.

    This would be great for use on a plane. I don't know how many times I have been unable to work because the guy in front of me decides to recline and I don't have enough space to have my screen open. If I were able the position the screen over the keyboard I could

  • It's called a "docking station". I don't understand how this is "innovation". I thought that the docking stations were pretty sweet in the day when I was an IT grunt. But IBM is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. This will be a failure.
  • ... until it's also a floor wax, a dessert topping, *and* can run Linux.

  • I'm a typical slashdot reader. I want to get the gist of what the article is about before actually deciding to go to the linked article. "design savior-faire akin"? Who the heck submitted this???
  • I'd like to see some innovation in the docking station arena. The best one I ever experienced was the Apple Duo, which got the idea right -- a super compact notebook that could be docked into a functional desktop computer case.

    I saw one other similar docking station in the same era, a Toshiba, but it was a piggy laptop and a lame dock. The only other docks I've seen since then are lame "port extenders", which don't give me PCI slots for expansion and don't do anything to keep the laptop's size and weight
  • I'd buy one (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Overbyte (226279)
    I'm suprised to see so many So what? comments about this. Last night I was working on my deck with my Thinkpad. It would have really been nice to be able kick back, shift the monitor off to the side, move the keyboard to a more comfortable position and get to work. It's all about comfort. I spent a little extra for a Thinkpad specificly for the keyboard and I'd have no problem spending a few extra bucks on one of these new ones, should they ever be made available.
    We take it for granted that our cars al
  • This looks sort of like an old IBM product that I don't think they make anymore, the IBM Netvista X41 [ibm.com] all-in -one desktop. True, this one folds up as a laptop, but unfolded the form factor looks the same. I guess IBM likes that form factor.

    We have a couple of the X41's at the helpdesk I work at.. I'm not a big fan, partly because I hate things that are all-in-one, and also because we've had several harddrive failures on them.

  • This is THE machine for anyone who leaves their laptop at work, but still needs it for site visits. Most of the time, it just sits on your desk, but when you need to go to a client you just take it with you. No need to build a brand-new demo environment for the 2-hour show, while still having most of the conveniences of a desktop - enough power, flexible screen positioning, flexible keyboard positioning. If you're not moving it more than once a month, though, there are probably better solutions.
  • Dell has a 'Desktop Replacement' docking station [dell.com] that does much the same thing but you don't have to detatch your screen to do it.

    Personally, I like the Docking Station idea a bit better because it's far easier to set up and tear down which sounds petty but if you have to do it every day (e.g. you take your laptop home with you) you'll really appreciate it.

    Also, LCDs aren't the most durable pieces of equipment - I think the chances of something breaking would increase significantly when you detach/reattac

  • Do people actually like those laptop touchpads for the mouse? Or do people buy them simply because the look cool?

    They just seem to lack the resolution, accuracy, and intuitiveness of regular mice or those mid-keyboard knobs that some Thinkpads have. Yet, it seems that 85% of laptops come with them.

  • by ecloud (3022) on Friday September 19, 2003 @11:45AM (#7004574) Homepage Journal
    A hall must be hollow,
    It's not hard to swallow;
    'Cuz if it's not hollow,
    It isn't a hall.

    Methinks that rather
    If t'were solid, I'd gather
    It doesn't matter --
    'Tis worth nothing at all.

    To have a convention
    You need the invention
    Of walls for retention
    Of a roof over all;

    A solid block of concrete
    Is useless, it can't compete;
    Facilities you need replete...
    You really need a hall.
  • by Teahouse (267087) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:04PM (#7004801)
    Functionality aside, it's not a "desktop" unless I can choose to change the graphics adapter and have a few slots for additional cards.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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