What do the laptops today have in common with the laptops launched 5 years ago? The answer would be “almost nothing” because, at the rate things are changing, today’s hot thing becomes the trivial of tomorrow and the obsolete of the day after. It’s not only the quick evolution of technology that has a say in this but also the public expectations: people want innovative and trendy products – factors that put manufacturers into a tight competition to build the product that will become the next trend.
Portability: Good, Better, Ultra
A laptop’s primary goal is to be portable and manufacturers seem to have focused on this aspect a lot lately. Laptops were put on a serious diet and a new species was born: ultra books. The main idea behind ultra books was to make them lighter, faster and more power-efficient than normal laptops, an idea that made manufacturers rely on a combination of innovations, tricks and compromises. However, it was worth the effort, because ultra books are getting more popular by the day.
Performance Gone Green
Computer users are becoming more and more demanding so laptop manufacturers had to keep up with the pace of ever changing expectations. Faster processors were developed but a keen eye was also kept on power efficiency. All the modern processors can dynamically adjust their working frequency depending on the workload, allowing for significantly lower power consumption than their predecessors.
On the graphics side many manufacturers opted to rely only on integrated graphics – a wise choice, considering the fact that the modern integrated graphics are powerful enough to handle everyday tasks while also being lighter on power consumption. Performance enthusiasts will be happy to find out that laptops that come with a discrete graphics card also score good at power consumption thanks to their ability to switch from the discrete graphics card to the integrated one when no graphics-intensive applications are running.
Last but not least, many modern laptops now come with solid state drives instead of the classical mechanical hard drives. Solid state drives come with lower power consumption and considerably better performance at the cost of a higher price.
A long time has passed since computing devices were regarded only as products that will help you get the job done. Although productivity is still important for many manufacturers, design element of laptop computers as carving out an important share of the time put into developing computing devices. Manufacturers pay a lot of attention to this aspect, trying to create laptops that are as slim and attractive as possible. In order to achieve the best aesthetics and to maintain a small size some compromises needed to be made, one of them being the removal of optical drives. Most small-size laptops come with no optical drive because, with the growing popularity of USB thumb drives, optical drives might become obsolete. Connectivity ports also suffered cutbacks so don’t be surprised if you find that an older laptop has significantly more connectivity options than a newer one.
The latest trend is the ‘uni-body’ design – an aspect that made manufacturers sacrificing adaptability in favor of durability and better aesthetics.