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Displays Portables Hardware

Get Ready For The 20-inch Laptop 373

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the just-don't-try-hauling-it-through-an-airport dept.
linumax writes "With so many DVDs featuring letterboxed or wide-screen versions of films, consumers' fascination with larger screen sizes is changing the size and shape of the laptop industry, stated an IDC report issued on Monday. The wide-screen format, found in only 39.2 percent of laptops expected to ship this year, will become dominant in mid- to late 2006. It will nearly eclipse standard screen dimensions by the end of 2009, the market research firm estimates. Samsung has already unleashed its upcoming 19-inch laptop. The product is expected to ship later this year. Dell, a major partner of Samsung, could easily adopt the large screen format for its high-end XPS laptops. And, LG Philips is also touting its 20-inch LCD displays for laptops."
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Get Ready For The 20-inch Laptop

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  • by OctoberSky (888619) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:46AM (#13870780)
    I don't want to sound too much like flamebait but how on earth is this a Laptop?
    I thought my brothers 17" Notbook was beyond portable, but this thing should come with a gift certificate to a chiropractor.
    • by TCaptain (115352) <[slashdot.20.tca ... spamgourmet.com]> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:52AM (#13870826)
      I have a 17inch laptop and while its certainly a bit more awkward than my old one
      (9.2 lbs vs 7), I'm a big boy and I can carry the weight.

      The upside is that its a much nicer screen and size-wise in a car, cafe, or bus its not MUCH larger than a regular laptop and once you're used to it its nice.
      • by Bastian (66383) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:15AM (#13870971)
        Interesting, because I feel quite the opposite. I have a 15" laptop, and I would love to have a 12" one. I think the 15"er takes up too much space and is an awkward thing to put in a backpack and carry around all day. The screen isn't MUCH smaller than a regular laptop and once you're used to the size it's not so bad; and at home I can plug it into my 19" monitor.

        Different strokes, I guess. I have a feeling that we aren't going to see a massive shift in what laptops folks are selling, I'm more inclined to guess that the PC market will follow Apple's suit and have size be the primary selling point on their laptops.
        • I have a 19 inch monitor at home. At work, I was using a 17 inch for a while. I didn't really notice much difference. I've also used 15 inch monitors that are set to 800x600 at the university. In the end, I don't really feel like it makes that much of a difference. If I was going for a laptop, i'd get a 12 inch or 15 inch, since portability is really what you want in a laptop. The only time I found that having more screen space was an asset was with multiple monitors. I find its the only way to have
          • Dont know about you but i cant usually fit the code that i write on an 800x600 display. I like to see a few blocks back and forth, so i dont have to scroll around to see what my bozo coworkers added to cvs the last night and what might break my code. even 1024x768 is far too small for me :(

            My laptop is a widescreen 15.4", quite a perfect fit for me. It fits fine on my lap and is small enough to carry around. I'm around 184cm/6feet myself, so i dont concider myself neither a small nor a big boy. But a 20" la
          • With me it's not the screen size, it's the resolution. I have a 19" monitor set to 1600x1200, and find it comfortable to work at (As long as I set the DPI properly). If I drop that to 1042x768, I immediately find it cramped. At school I'm forced to work with 800x600 on a 15" monitor, which drives me insane when you can't even view an entire webpage horizontally without scrolling.
          • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @09:08AM (#13871414)
            If I was going for a laptop, i'd get a 12 inch or 15 inch, since portability is really what you want in a laptop.

            You mean it's what YOU want in a laptop. I want a large screen. I don't carry mine around with me constantly. It goes to work, and it goes home. I don't take it to cafe's, on trains, or to random places much. I want a big screen and dont' really care if it is 20" wide or weighs 10 lbs. Unlike you, I also have several apps open and onscreen at what I consider usable sizes. Different strokes for different folks.

            It's nice that we are getting a wider selection of models available so that each person can chose one that suits them and the way they like to work. I don't think 19" and 20" models will take over in what's used. I think we will see that sales in laptop sized will be broadly distibuted, jusst like their uses.

        • I've always found 14'' to be my sweetspot in the past, but like you, I've increasingly found the 12'' size very attractive. Perhaps in a year or four when I replace the 14'' I just bought...
      • by Johnso (520335) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @09:25AM (#13871560)
        Last year, I traded in my 14.1" Inspiron 8200 for a 17" Inspiron 9200. I've regretted it ever since. I'm big so it's so the weight is no big deal. Unfortunately, it's too awkward for lap-top typing. The keyboard sits in the middle of it and takes only about 80% of the horizontal space and 50% of the vertical space. So you have this hard, flat surface which your palms, wrist, and a portion of your arm are resting on just to get access to the keyboard.

        In short, the keyboard is worst typing experience I've ever had. I'm sure some vendors place the keyboard better and make it more comfortable, but it's still going to be awkward with that much useless real estate.

    • Amen. I just got a 17" wide Fujitsu "laptop" and wouldn't dream of subjecting my lap to it. It does look nice, tho. But 19"? 20?!? That's insane unless it has wheels.
    • by CortoMaltese (828267) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:00AM (#13870876)
      People are getting fatter and fatter...

      Bigger laps, bigger laptops!

    • Ok, they're neither desktops nor laptops and calling them desktop replacements implies laptop, so what should we call them to nod dilute the notion that a laptop is something you can *easily* carry with you in a bag?

      Let's hear some ideas for new names. Perhaps we'll manage to come up with one that'll stick.

      Fattop? Hugetop? Lugtop?
    • I have a widescreen laptop, and while the screen is great, I've decided the weight is just too much. My next laptop (whenever that might be) will weight less, so the only way I'm going to get a 19 inch or better laptop is if they get the weight down at the same time.
    • It's really just an easily moveable computer anymore. Pack it up at home, unpack it at the hotel room and sit it on the table. Or pack it up at your primary residence, unpack at your investment residence while you spend a week there taking care of business.

      I know a couple people who have picked up 19"ers. The things are absolute monstrosities and weigh half a ton. But you don't see them carrying the laptops around in their backpack every day. They carry it in a laptop bag from their permanent residence to t
  • ugh.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jkind (922585) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:47AM (#13870784) Homepage
    Give me the portability of a Tablet PC like the Toshiba Tecra anyday.. These large display systems are akin to SUVs in their power consumption, are they not?
  • by DoorFrame (22108) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:50AM (#13870806) Homepage
    I like bigger screens. When I bought my laptop four years ago I got the biggest screen available at the time. The thing is a tall beast, but it's not widescreen. I don't want widescreen. Widescreen forces me to use more width, when in reality I never need more width, I only ever need more height. Never am I reading a webpage and think, "Damn, if only this computer were a little wider."

    The worst part is, all the good new laptops are being made with widescreen because little Jane going off to college wants to watch DVDs. I don't want to watch DVDs on my computer, I'll do that on the TV. I want to use it as a computer, and computer need height.

    I just wish some laptop companies would keep the big non-widescreen models around. It's sad.
    • Also a lot of websites are designed so poorly that they don`t expand to fit the available width.. so they just occupy a thin column down the middle of the screen on a widescreen display anyway.
      • Very long lines of text are harder to read. The problem here is that CSS/HTML does not allow you to make text flow throw columns automaticly (I think this is being proposed in CSS3, but I am not shure). The main problem is that CSS, HTML and other web standards are talked by web developers and not web designers. Many of the hacks to make columned sites with CSS are frankly quite ugly and use stuff that was not designed for this end (floats for instance), much like the table in html were abused to do layout.
    • by el_womble (779715) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:56AM (#13870850) Homepage
      I'm not saying you're wrong, clearly this is a matter of personal preference, but there is a counter point to your objections.

      Since getting a 20" widescreen iMac I'd not go back. It gives you the same advantages as a dual head system but without the join: rather than reading more of the same webpage it means you can read the webpage AND see the document you're working on. Thats not so say I wouldn't want more height too!
    • by MaestroSartori (146297) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:57AM (#13870852) Homepage
      Although you are in the majority in not needing extra screen-width, I (as someone who wants a laptop for audio production) would love a 20" widescreen laptop. More tracks on screen at once, less scrolling, easier visualisation of what I'm working on. Marvellous :)
    • I've a 15" 1200x1600 display which is pretty damned great for my purposes - and until recently there's been nothing better I could find. If I were to buy again now I'd get the Sony 17" 1200x1920 as this would give me an extra strip down the left or right hand side... though I'd far rather have a 17" regular ratio display.

      I accept the argument that big displays aren't very portable - but to me that doesn't matter. I only want to use my laptop on a desk - in fact I'm not even bothered if it is able to run o
    • by ProppaT (557551) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:04AM (#13870905) Homepage
      Oh, you're one of those who haven't had the good fortune of actually trying a widescreen. The great thing about widescreens is the fact that you can open more documents, web browser screens, etc. side by side. It's a godsend for multitaskers and people using their laptops for work. And, with the higher resolution widescreens, you don't even need to worry about vertical height...the resolution is high enough to display whatever you need.

      I too thought the wide screen laptops were stupid until I tried one out. Now I could never give up being able to have 3 documents open side by side at work. Think of it as dual screens on one screen...
      • Oh, you're one of those who haven't had the good fortune of actually trying a widescreen.

        Don't assume that much. I have used a widescreen display on an iMac G5. I don't think widescreen is worth the expense. As it is, for example, a 20" widescreen costs just as much or more than a 21" standard aspect ratio, but gives the user less vertical resolution, despite having the same horizontal resolution. Why pay more for fewer pixels?

        Now I could never give up being able to have 3 documents open side by side at
        • by badasscat (563442) <`basscadet75' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @09:38AM (#13871680)
          I don't think widescreen is worth the expense. As it is, for example, a 20" widescreen costs just as much or more than a 21" standard aspect ratio, but gives the user less vertical resolution, despite having the same horizontal resolution. Why pay more for fewer pixels?

          This is not really true. For example, currently on Dell's web site, there are a 20" 4:3 and a 20" 16:10 monitor that are exactly the same but for the aspect ratio and the inherent resolution difference that that implies. The 4:3 version is $749 and the 16:10 is currently on sale for $545, though it normally sells for $699.

          The resolution on the 4:3 model is 1600x1200, while it's 1680x1050 on the 16:10 version. That's a negligible difference in total pixels, and the price reflects that negligible difference (i.e. the widescreen version is actually slightly less expensive).

          Now, are those extra 80 horizontal pixels useful for anything? Well yes, because it's not just about pixels. It's also about actual horizontal size. When you're watching a DVD or HDTV, you're not going to be looking at actual pixels anyway. The same is true of today's high-resolution digital photos. In those cases, it's better to have an aspect ratio that more closely matches the source aspect ratio to give you the most actual screen area (in inches, or however you want to measure it... but not pixels). Viewing a 3:2 photo (standard 35mm/APS ratio) on a 4:3 20" monitor will appear much smaller than it would on a 16:10 20" monitor when opened in an app that puts various tools on the side (as almost all image browsers/editors do).

          It really depends on what you use your computer for whether a widescreen monitor is worth it or not. For most "home" users, who watch DVD's, play games, maybe edit their digital photos, I would think a widescreen monitor would be best. I really enjoy having one myself. Obviously for any video or photo pros, widescreen is also better. For someone who's writing code, though, maybe not so much.

          That said, a widescreen display is only 12% wider in aspect ratio (1.5 vs. 1.333)

          No, 16:10 is obviously 1.6:1, not 1.5:1. You can also get 16:9 screens which are 1.77:1, matching HDTV exactly. Most people go for 16:10, though, because it's a compromise that allows you greater width for movies and photos while still being reasonable for web browsing and word processing apps that can better use the extra height.
      • Well, it's not quite as good as dual screens, but as a widescreen laptop user, yeah, I'm with you; also a 17" or even 20" screen carries with it an added bonus: the bigger the screen, the more keyboard space; the more keyboard space, the better the chances it'll be a keyboard you'd actually like to lose.

        There are a couple problems with them, though.

        A) First, I like my screen high resolution for exactly that purpose: it's supposed to replace a dual monitor setup. So I run a 15.4" widescreen in 1920x1200. I
    • I disagree. Vertical scrolling is a lot easier than horizontal scrolling, and I like to be able to view different apps, etc. side by side. So for me, I would rather have more width than height. That said, on a laptop I prefer the smallest screen possible - thats why I have a 12 inch iBook - for maximum portability, not just for lugging around but for using in confined spaces like airplanes or the classroom.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:41AM (#13871194) Homepage
      The worst part is, all the good new laptops are being made with widescreen because little Jane going off to college wants to watch DVDs.

      You're entitled to your own opinion, but that's not the only reason why screens have been moving to widescreen. First of all, vertical scrolling is generally considered easier than horizontal. But also, ask yourself, why are movies widescreen?

      Think about the position of your eyes. Your field of vision is wider than tall. Really, screens should have always been wide. I assume that the main reason they haven't been is that it's harder to engineer CRTs that don't have roughly a square screen, but even "normal" screens are a little wide (when you're talking about 4:3, 4 is the width).

      Now that we have LCDs and are free to make our screens whatever shape we want, it makes sense to me that we'd be looking for screens that more closely represent our natural field of vision.

      • > why are movies widescreen?

        Well, mainly so they don't play well on normal TVs. Early movies
        (citizen kane etc) often had a 4:3 aspect ratio.
        Studios moved to widescreen formats out of fear that TVs
        would destroy cinema.

        There might be an inate perceptual advantage
        too, but I'm not sure if this has been tested.
    • As others have pointed out, it is nice to be able to view two screens side-by-side. At with a 1050-pixel vertical resolution, you still fit a fair amount on screen.

      However, I think as you point out, lots of people do watch DVDs on their computer. I'm a student who's fortunate enough to have a 20 Cinema Display (widescreen, obv.). However, I have no TV. I haven't seen the need to buy a TV. My Cinema Display is crystal clear, plenty big enough for watching movies, and I hook my G5 up to a decent sound system.
    • The worst part is, all the good new laptops are being made with widescreen because little Jane going off to college wants to watch DVDs. I don't want to watch DVDs on my computer, I'll do that on the TV. I want to use it as a computer, and computer need height.

      Well, I use my laptop primarily for work (I'm writing a thesis, a couple of papers and a book chapter on it; I also do image processing on it), but when I got it I specifically bought a widescreen so I could watch movies on it as well. Why would I wa
  • obligatory whine.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheHawke (237817) <rchapin&pelicancoast,net> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:50AM (#13870807)
    You got laptops with 20" screens now, why don't they put larger keyboards on those very same laptops? Those ittybitty chicklet keyboards kill hands for just about everyone I know that use them, save for the odd elf. They got alot of area on the laptop to place additional items like USB ports, relocating that %#$*()&! speaker jack, loads of other items can go in that blank space now.

    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      A lot of laptops now have a layout that uses the same size keys as a standard desktop keyboard, save maybe a few of the function keys. The only difference is that they are short throw keys.
    • My old Amstrad portable PC (not really a laptop, but neither is a laptop with a 20in display) had a fullsize standard 102-key PC keyboard when you opened it. With a 20in screen, you've certainly got the width to do it.
    • The samsung model [cnet.com] in the article summary seems to have a full-sized keyboard. More importantly, it has a detachable monitor, which solves the real problem with using a laptop as your desktop replacement: needing to stay hunched over the keyboard in order to see the screen.
  • Pretty soon (Score:5, Funny)

    by strider44 (650833) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:50AM (#13870813)
    Pretty soon laptops screens will become so big that you won't even be able to carry them around, and you'll have to keep it permanantly on your desk. They'll have to come up with a new name though, I mean if you keep it on your desk, how about instead of "lap-top" call it something like "desk-top"?
    • How about a "portable desktop"?

      At first the idea of a 19" LCD laptop sounded foolish to me too, but if they just stopped limiting it to the "laptop" concept, you could actually end up with a portable desktop machine.
      Add just a bit of desktop-quality hardware whilst keeping weight down and you've got a winner.
      Now let go of the classical book-shape; detachable keyboard/mouse, etc. and you've got a new type of computer.
    • Pretty soon laptops screens will become so big that you won't even be able to carry them around, and you'll have to keep it permanantly on your desk. They'll have to come up with a new name though, I mean if you keep it on your desk, how about instead of "lap-top" call it something like "desk-top"?

      First, they will mutate through a phase of existence whereby they will become heavy, unwieldly, and large. We will call these luggables since they can be relocated but not with ease.

      Then someone will decide we sh

  • Laptops are supposed to be portable.
  • by VoidEngineer (633446) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:52AM (#13870821)
    It's a Good Thing this is going to happen. Why? Well, for one thing, it will also push the Tablet's into getting a little bigger. Oddly enough, Laptops and Tablets still don't screens that are big enough to fit an 8.5x11" full-size 1:1 ratio image of a piece of paper! People ask me if I find my Tablet too bulky (same problem with Laptop, essentially), and I tell them... actually, no, I want a bigger screen so I can write papers in real ratio format. Expect with this increase in size for some manufacturers to also start playing around with swivel screens to allow putting the screen in either landscape or portrait mode.

    Of course, it's also great to have a portable movie playing machine. Nothing wrong with the entertainment side of the equation. I'm just saying that this is also going to push the adoption of swivel displays and increased tablet screens sizes.
    • But, of course, the manufacturers will need to make two versions: US-Letter sized for the USA and A4 for the rest of the world. :-)

      Actually, maybe a third version for the legal industry as well.
  • I like the form factor of a laptop, no messy wires and all that.. but having the screen so low is what sucks most for long term use. Not good for the neck.
    The cool thing about this Samsung laptop is that the screen comes off and you can put a base on it. If its a quick change, and doesnt break after the 20th time you switch it, it should be a good concept. But I wonder what sort of wire goes btwn the screen and rest of the computer while the display is off. It would sort of suck to carry around a regular DV
  • by Shano (179535) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:53AM (#13870834)

    I assume this is being marketed in America?

    The rest of us don't have laps that big.

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:53AM (#13870835)
    Well.... I guess some of us have to make up for our shortcomings somehow (not that *I* have that problem).
  • by RandoX (828285) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:54AM (#13870841)
    I mean really, it's just silly now.
  • by JanneM (7445) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:54AM (#13870842) Homepage
    Don't see these as laptops; they aren't. If you click the link on the Samsung 19" machine, it's obvious that these are rather the heir to the all-in-one portable desktops that were available some years ago (they tended to look like a sewing machine, with a detachable keyboard and a screen behind a side panel).

    You don't lug these around every day, and you're not expected to. Instead, they are space-saving uncluttered desktops without the hassle of cables and multiple beige boxes to move around. You can take it out into the dining or living room to work or play for a few hours with the rest of your household instead of being relegated to some study or den. When it's time to clear the table you can just unplug it and move it away.

    The format just looks rather like a laptop since it's the all-in-one form people are used to by now, and lots of components are made to accomodate it. I would prefer the sewing machine model myself (and Sony has some VAIO's for the Japanse market that are pretty close).
    • I agree. While in general, I wouldn't want to haul that 19" Samsung around all day, it seems like the perfect compromise for a business person. You bring the computer part to the office, where a full-sized monitor awaits you. If you need to make a presentation with a projector, your scren can be omitted (I know PowerPoint let's you have visual cues and extra text on a second screen, but for many presentations that's irrelevant). At the end of the day, you bring home the computer, and can use it at home for
    • Are you talking about the Compaq Portable 386 [computercloset.org]? Those things rocked. Mine still does. Every once in a while I boot it up (with my EGA monitor attached) to play Space Quest 2 in all of its glory. For some reason computers just don't seem as fun anymore...
  • by Vo0k (760020) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:55AM (#13870844) Journal
    My biggest gripe with all "big screen" laptops is that tiny keyboard stuck in the middle of the huge room of the bottom part. So instead of giving us correctly placed arrow keys, full-size enter, Ins/Del placed conveniently, just for websurfing and games on bigscreen, they stuff the remaining rum with numpad. Yeah, great for widescreen accounting and displaying several columns extra in Excel, isn't it? Oh, and yes, and since the numpad took some extra place, and the rest of horizontal space was wasted with inch-wide margins on both sides and some extra column of "custom" keys, stuff all the keys that in a normal laptop fit in a column right from enter, just below it right Control, where you rest your wrists.
  • by multipartmixed (163409) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:55AM (#13870845) Homepage
    Widescreen format may seem like it's aimed at windows users, but it's really a boon for us nerds, too!

    I spend a lot of my day wishing I had a wider display, about another 4", for those stupidly-wide Oracle SQL*Plus queries, other-people's code which uses insane tab widths for indenting (I use two spaces), and so forth.

    Really, I rarely want a widescreen when in GUI land, but wish for one daily as I live in Terminal Land.
  • 'Only' 39%? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    'Only' 39% of the market? That is a huge percentage of a market that exists to make portable computers. Given that the vast majority of people don't need the power offered by today's desktops, the idea of having a device that is small (er), quiet, and can be packed away and transported when necessary, is a significant advantage to most people. Does this indicate a transition from the traditional desktop form-factor to the 'luggable laptop' for the majority of consumers?
  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:57AM (#13870853) Homepage
    If the business people walked around with these things like 80's boomboxes, and doing the moonwalk, I'm going to be sick.
  • by OnoTadaki (914593) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:59AM (#13870869)
    A few months ago I was advising a friend of the family on purchasing a new computer. She was adament that she NEEDED a laptop with a widescreen monitor. After going through why she needed a portable computer over a desktop she had no answer. These new monster laptops are being marketed as full fledged desktop computers with added portability.

    Personally I'd like to see a step in the other direction, something akin the Apple 12 inch iBook, except smaller and less fruit.
    • They do exist. We have a Sony Vaio at work with a 10 inch screen. It truly is tiny. It doesn't lack features though - DVD-RW, Firewire, Bluetooth and wireless ethernet and a decent sized hard disk. It is expensive though - it's more expensive than my 12 inch PowerBook and it still doesn't have a metal case. (That's one of the things I like about the PowerBook - not only is it price competitive with similar form factor PC laptops, but being made out of metal I don't worry about it getting scratched or cracke
      • I have a 12" PowerBook and have found it to be very fragile. Aluminum is quite malleable. Your laptop won't crack, but (1) it'll bend and (2) the plastic ports that line the sides will crack. Apple wants $700 for a new logic board if it finds even one port with any bit of damage during a repair, regardless of anything. Due to a slightly-chipped Ethernet port that still worked, Apple tried to charge me $700 for a new logic board when replacing a busted hard drive, for example.
  • I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Apreche (239272) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:00AM (#13870874) Homepage Journal
    Why would anyone want a laptop so big? The point of a laptop is that it is portable, you can take it with you places. If it's 20"+ diagonally that really doesn't fit in any bag I know. It's one thing if you are using it as a desktop replacement. And it's another thing if you are using it for something like a display in your booth at a trade show. But for a computer you use on the plane, train and other public spaces it's gotta be smaller. Right now the only things that even come close to good enough are incredibly expensive laptops from japan, the small vaios, the fujitsu lifebook p series and the 12" apples. I haven't found any other laptop even close to small enough.
    • People want odd things. I saw someone in a busy London Underground carriage the other day trying to Photoshop a company logo on a 17" Powerbook balanced on their knees.

      Personally, a 12" laptop is the largest I would call properly portable (this post typed on a 15.4" widescreen that I would not like to use anywhere but at my desk or sofa).
    • These aren't the laptops you are looking for. Seriously, these aren't intended to be used for what you want. If you want your laptop primarily as something to use on a plane or train, then clearly you want to go with one of the itty-bitty ones. However for somebody like me, a 20-inch laptop sounds great. My laptop is primarily a desktop replacement that I can use while lounging on the couch. It is also plenty portable enough that I can pack it up to go hang out at the local coffee shop, or take with m
  • by RevMike (632002) <revMike AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:00AM (#13870880) Journal
    This is a direct result of better PDA technology. Devices like the Treo, Blackberry, and ultra-light tablets are allowing the normal business user avoid lugging around a normal laptop and still have access to email and office suite apps. So the pressure to make laptops more portable has been relieved by the emergence of a new market segment and devices specifically aimed at being ultra-portable.

    Meanwhile, the desktop users, all but the l33test gamers, and developers are demanding more powerful transportable devices. They don't need to travel accross the country, but would like the flexibility of using their PCs from their living room or the backyard without sacrificing their big screens and better power.

    The transportable desktop replacement business is naturally growing while the ultraportable segment is shrinking.
  • The most recent issue of Linux Magazine [linux-mag.com] had an editorial article on needing bigger, more powerful laptops. I agree completely - my HP zd7000 laptop sits on my desk at home until I take it to work where it then sits on my desk there. I need it to be powerful and portable, but not necessarily great for working on at an airport waiting lounge. As long as it runs FC4 on VMWare fine, I'm happy.
  • I am not sure if I am ready for a 20" laptop, but I would sure like the choices in the 17" models to increase. Maybe this will drive down the price of the displays and improve the popularity of these models.

  • Not laptops (Score:3, Informative)

    by unoengborg (209251) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:03AM (#13870893) Homepage
    I have a 13" screen on my current laptop. When I'm buying a new one I would probably want it to be smaller rather than bigger. Perhaps 12" with 1024x768 resolution, with a weght that hopfully will be below 1 kg.

    What the article really is saying, is that the end is near for the standard desktop computer. These new large screen semi portable "laptops" will replace them. The price of standard desktops are allready falling rapidly.

  • Laptop gauge (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VincenzoRomano (881055) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:04AM (#13870902) Homepage Journal
    We all hope that Philips [slashdot.org] will speed the technology up.
    Wider screens means also heavier batteries and bulkier carrying bags!
    And also more fragile devices!
  • My wife uses a 12" Powerbooks with a 22" Cinema display, USB keyboard, and USB multi-button mouse. On the road, she has something very compact. On her desk, she has a large screen and comfortable input devices.

    I believe that all of Apple's current Powerbooks come with DVI and I would assume that some PC laptops include it too. It's a great way to have a big screen that you don't have to carry.

  • At last, a status symbol worthy of my small penis size!

    -Eric

  • I think at that point, it's just considered a desktop, but the difference is that you've turned your lap into a desk.

    Could be good for the economy, might up fast-food and candy sales as people try desperately to match their lap to their "laptop"
  • keyboard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CaptnMArk (9003) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:43AM (#13871205)
    How about a full size (except numpad) keyboard with real keys that click.

    Based on www.pckeyboard.com?
  • by phoxix (161744) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:44AM (#13871218)
    Many of these laptops with odd ball screens have a real problem: The native resolution of the screen isn't supported by the video-bios.

    Why is this a problem for Linux users ?

    Last time I checked, Xorg/Xfree86 didn't support resolutions your video card didn't advertise. Which becomes a real PITA because now you are either forced to use the screen with chopped off ends, or full screen with the image being badly stretched out.

    You could use the closed source XiG [xig.com] X server and you wouldn't have these issues. But a) it cost a pretty penny and b) they software itself is kinda dumb. (You'll install their X server, but you won't get any psuedo-rpm/dpkg's to trick the distro into thinking you have a regular X installed. It becomes a nightmare with dependencies.)
    • If there's one thing that's certain, it's that the native resolution of a the screen WILL be supported by the BIOS. Perhaps nothing else will support it but the machine itself always will.

      Of course, having BIOS support for a video mode doesn't mean X, or any other windowing system, will work. If it's new, you can be confident that X won't support it for a quite while. You could do it yourself as long as a driver exists for your video card.

      The usual cycle for X is that new hardware comes out, untested suppo
  • by Matey-O (518004)
    Is this in responce to the fattening of America? (I want a laptop that makes me look skinny)
  • hmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2 AT earthshod DOT co DOT uk> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:57AM (#13871332)
    It's two thousand and freaking five, for crying out loud.

    Can't we at least say 500mm Laptop ?
  • by rubberbando (784342) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @09:20AM (#13871513)
    If we're getting such a wide laptop. I hope they finally put a full sized keyboard with keypad on it. I'm tired of having to either hook up a full keyboard or a usb keypad for full keyboard functionality. My hands feel so cramped on a regular laptop keyboard and the arrow keys are attrotious.
  • Higher resolution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stu_coates (156061) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @09:24AM (#13871553)
    I'd swap my 17" Powerbook for a 12" with the same resolution anyday. The 17" is barely portable but the screen is lovely to work on.
  • Size matters (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KayakFun (720628) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @09:53AM (#13871798) Homepage
    A large-screen laptop will be a status symbol like a SUV: the bigger the better. This is opposite to the miniturization in many other electronics, but with the emphasis on the UI and productivity they are the way to go (boss/partner: are you listening?):
    • designing XSLT with 3 windows of XML, XSLT, and XHTML next to eachother,
    • DTP work (A3 + some dialogue boxes)
    • webdesign
    • GIMP
    • email, if your friends like long subject lines
    • tabbed browsing
    And the subject says it all: size matters (My desktop at home is 23.1", so my work laptop looks like a letterbox)
  • by Quizo69 (659678) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @09:54AM (#13871824) Homepage
    I don't have a widescreen laptop yet, but when I do get one, I'd like to see it with a proper 16:9 display at HD resolution, i.e. 1920x1080, NOT the bastardised 16:10 ratio of 1920x1200.

    Who were the idiots that decided that LCD panels should forego proper TV scale resolutions (4:3 and 16:9) and use the non-standard 5:4 and 16:10 ratios???

    Is Microsoft responsible? Did they ask to have TV resolution plus taskbar addon resolution? I mean seriously - who watches a DVD at full screen width and keeps the taskbar visible? Anyone? Didn't think so, so why make the panels that way? /rant

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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