What exactly is a laptop computer? A laptop is typically considered a personal computer which is portable. It is often small in terms of size and lightweight (although this was not the case when they were first created). Initially these types of computers weighed as much as 24 pounds. Today you can find laptops which weigh as little as three pounds. Laptops have definitely become much easier to take with you anywhere you go while also becoming much more powerful.
Laptops have become smaller, faster and lighter since their inception. In 1971, a man named Alan Kay (who worked for Xerox PARC) created a concept for a laptop known as Dynabook. He envisioned a portable personal computer through which people could communicate with one another. He also wanted the computer to be able to be utilized for educational purposes. Does this sound familiar? Next came the Osborne 1 which most people consider to be the first real portable computer. It became available in 1981 and was much bigger and heavier than most laptops today. It was equal in size to a small suitcase and weighed a whopping 24 pounds. The screen size was only five inches and it contained two 5.25 floppy disk drives (which you don’t find on computers today). The GRiD Compass 1101 was the first laptop to have a “clamshell” design which greatly influenced the look of laptops in the future. It was created by Bill Moggridge in 1979 but wasn’t released until 1982. These computers were utilized in space shuttles as well as by the United States military. The Compaq Portable is considered the first PC clone laptop and was introduced in 1983. It needed AC power in order to operate but could run MS-DOS. Many computers have since been created and enhanced in one way or another but this is how laptops first began.
- History of Laptops: The article from a Stanford archaeologist explains the history of laptops beginning with Alan Kay and Xerox PARC.
- The Long Road to the Laptop: The “Bloomberg Businessweek” website features an article on the history of the laptop in a cartoon format.
- Laptop History: The “Laptop XL” website features a brief explanation of the history of laptops.
- Technology on the Go-The History of the Laptop Computer: The “Random History” website discusses the history of laptops beginning with Dynabook.
- How Laptops Work-Laptop History: The “How Stuff Works” website explains the history of laptops ending with the IBM PC Convertible.
- Laptop History in Photos: The “Top Design Magazine” website offers a good article on the history of laptops which features both text and photographs.
- Tracing the Dynabook-A Study of Technocultural Transformations (PDF): The article from Simon Fraser University discusses the Dynabook and its creator Alan Kay.
- GRiD Compass 1101: The “Time” website article offers information on the GRiD Compass 1101.
Laptop Advancements and the Future
As technology continues to advance what might you see with laptops of the future? There is no doubt that laptops are shrinking in size while becoming faster and more lightweight. Today laptops typically have color screens, webcams and gigahertz processors among many other technological advancements. The ability to send and receive wireless data was a huge advancement for today’s laptops. Tablets and smartphones have branched from laptops and are widely utilized today. They feature touchscreens and tend to be smaller and lighter than laptops. In the future laptops may become more like tablets by having touchscreens instead of or in addition to keyboards. Tablets might soon have attachable keyboards which would make them more like laptops. There are many concepts or possibilities for laptops in the future which include touch-sensitive screens (such as being able to shut down your computer with one finger swipe), dual touchscreens, a sliding design vs. the clamshell design, projection laptops and flexible laptops. No one knows for certain what the future will hold but the possibilities are endless.
- Meet the Laptop You’ll Use in 2015: The “Computerworld” website discusses the future of laptop computers.
- The Future of Laptops- Really Thin and Fast: The “PC Magazine” website explains how laptops are going to change.
- Difference Between Smartphone and Tablet and Laptop: The “Difference Between” website provides you with an excellent article on the differences between the smartphone, tablet and laptop.
- The Transition to Digital Journalism-Tablets: The University of California-Berkeley article provides information on tablets and how people use them.
- Flex Tablet Computer Future!: The “Future Technology” website offers pictures and information on “Flex” Tablets.
- The Future of Laptops in This Tablet PC Era: The “Tech Chunks” website discusses future changes to laptops such as dual screens.
- Future of Tablets in 2012: The “Gadget Marsala” website discusses some of the advancements for tablets in 2012.
- Tablets with Attachable Keyboards-”The Future of Laptops”: The “Window IT Pro” website foresees within five years tablets with attachable keyboards and laptops with touchscreens.
- Ultrabooks are the Future of Laptop Computing: The “Venture Beat” news site discusses “Ultrabooks” and how they are the future of laptops.
- Revolutionary Pen-Size Computer Uses Bluetooth Technology: The “Big Marketing For Small Business” website shows pictures of the pen computer prototype of Japan.