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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Laptops: an end of an era

Laptops started out as lightweight portable PCs, but have succumbed to stiff competition from the Smartphone, Tablet and Phone-Tablet (dubbed Phablet) alternatives.

The factors that have slowly taken the laptops close to their extinction are:
  1. Weight (although portable, lugging them over long distances is not comfortable.)
  2. Fragility (except for the rugged versions, most laptops cannot stand shocks)
  3. Upgrades (very minimal)
  4. Battery Backup (extremely low if compute power required is high defeating portability)
  5. Lifetime (3 years at best, but the next generation replacement is seldom as far ahead as the smartphone class.)
  6. Chargers (These are not standardized and vary heavily across brands and models.)
  7. Serviceability (Time consuming and subject to spare part availability)
  8. Thermal performance (Cooling has always been a challenge, with few laptops cutting that edge for those who can afford them.)
  9. Display (Graphics acceleration for several reasons has always been minimal, rendering them less useful for high-end applications like rendering.)
  10. Wireless Communication (Too few are provided with 3G making them less useful in remote environments)
  11. Recycling (the mechanical design is usually less susceptible to recycling, as is the display, input interfaces and storage - with the core motherboard also getting outdated far too quickly. This coupled with the short lifetime is making them less recycle-friendly.)
  12. Software (Operating Systems constantly requiring upgrades make the "Personal" computing part much costlier and less affordable across most available brands. This is also true of most application software used.)

Monday, 9 September 2013

2012 Arab Spring: Impact on Africa, SE-Asia, Analysis

An observation and analysis of these changes and their impact is based on the data available openly.