Will the netbook save the desktop?

There has been a migration in recent years from the desktop as primary computer to the laptop. As the cost of the laptop relative to its performance specs decreased, more and more people were finding that the benefits of mobility and a small form factor justified moving to a laptop.

Enter the netbook. These are basically laptops that have been shrunk down to half the size. The result has been increased mobility thanks to reduced weight and better power usage. The netbook is a recognition that users need primarily internet access to accomplish most daily tasks. But for most computer users, a netbook isn’t enough to do everything they need to do.

Re-enter the desktop. The limited mobility of a desktop would be complemented by the hyper mobility of a netbook and take the place where a single computer (a laptop) used to exist for some users. Take the netbook with you when you need to go, have the desktop waiting for you when you get back.

I think the possibility exists that we will have a segment of consumers that use the netbook+desktop setup. This could be the redemption of the desktop format, which has been in decline for the past few years at least. What do you think?


Intel laptop for the extremely mobile professional

Intel Metro laptopIntel’s Metro laptop concept is causing quite a stir and for good reason. The thing is a svelte 0.7 inches thin and 2.25 pounds, making it the slimmest and one of the lightest portable computers ever conceived. According to this BusinessWeek feature, Intel may produce the machine as early as later this year.

But why would Intel, the processor company, be designing a laptop?

It’s keen to rev up demand for the computers running on its processors. The device might rely on Intel chips not just for computing but also for memory and connecting to wireless networks. The prototype also incorporates technologies developed by companies financed by Intel Capital, the chipmaker’s venture capital arm.

One side of the exterior features an E Ink display, good for showing you the day’s, week’s or month’s calendar or schedule, which is produced by a company partially funded by Intel Capital. The cool thing about the E Ink display is that it works without power. With a target battery life of 14 hours, however, this probably isn’t such a big concern! Now that’s mobility.