Life Story Of A Notebook

By Roberto Sedycias Published 11/5/2007 | Computer

Computing on the move has been a focus area for a lot of Information Technology Companies for years. The idea of being able to work while on the road is extremely fascinating. A notebook, also known as a laptop, which may also be understood as a mobile computer has been the solution for these portable computer related tasks.


It is a little hard to determine which is the first notebook or portable computer ever made. The Osborne 1 is considered by most historians to be the first true portable computer or notebook. This was produced by Adam Osborne in the year 1981. It featured a 5 inch screen, modem port, floppy drives, few bundled software programs and a battery pack. The total weight of the notebook was about 11 kgs. Gradually after this Epson, Radio Shack, IBM, Apple Computer etc. all came out with a portable computer. IBMs IBM PC convertible introduced in 1986 was a true laptop computer. This computer ushered in the laptop area. Since these early models, notebooks have seen tremendous development.

Features and Functioning

Notebooks have the identical major components as Desktop PCs: microprocessor, RAM, operating system, input/output ports, hard disk drives, speakers and sound cards, and speakers. However, all laptops have power management features to extend battery life, or conserve battery power when battery is low. A notebook differs from a desktop PC in terms of power supply, display, and the type of input devices it uses. Notebook processors usually have multiple sleeps, meaning slow down modes which help in increasing battery life and can also run on low voltage. Hard disk in the notebook also functions in the same way as it does in Desktop. These are slower in speed and have lesser capacity.

In addition to hard disks, notebooks also have options for removable disk storage system such as Floppy Discs, CDs and DVDs. A notebook also has various input/output ports that enable you to connect to various peripherals. Most notebook computers today feature built-in modems and Ethernet for external connectivity. Infrared ports for wireless connectivity are also becoming very popular. One of the most critical components in a notebook is its battery as it works on battery power for usage while on move. Battery life offered is different for each device as it depends on the configuration and power management features implemented. All notebook computers come with an in-built LCD screen for display output. For Input, notebooks are featured with built-in keyboards for text inputs. As far as pointing devices are concerned, notebooks use one of the three-Trackball, Pointing stick, Touchpad.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Notebook

The most important advantage of a notebook is its portability. One can work with ease anytime and everywhere. Also, access to wireless networking in public places is making notebooks more and more useful. The counting of disadvantages for a notebook always starts with its high cost. Not only the initial cost, its parts are also expensive and are not interchangeable. Notebooks have a lesser storage capacity and its processor usually works at a lower speed when on battery power. Notebooks are also prone to theft due to its portability.

Future Directions

With falling prices and acceptance of new technologies, we can expect to see a significant increase in demand of notebooks. Vendors are also working on the design of the notebook to make it stronger so that it can withstand jerks and shocks. New technologies are being integrated into the notebooks to prevent failure and data loss. Mostly used by corporate firms, professionals and businessmen, vendors are now targeting students and home users as well because of increasing affordability of these devices.

So the emergence of this new usage category is definitely on the cards. This means there is a huge potential for notebooks in the coming future and the price cuts offered with technological improvements are sure to fuel growth.

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