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5 Ways Your Mobile Device Will Make Your Next Laptop Better [Opinion]

Matt Smith 15-03-2012

5 Ways Your Mobile Device Will Make Your Next Laptop Better [Opinion] padfonedockThe advance of mobile technology is revolutionizing the computer industry. Even giants like Intel and Microsoft are being forced to respond, changing their goals to compensate for continuing consumer interest in smartphones and tablets.


Hardcore PC enthusiasts tend to be disappointed with such devices, but their presence is nothing but positive. Let’s have a look at several ways the demand for mobile devices is pushing laptops to be better than they are today.

Better Displays

5 Ways Your Mobile Device Will Make Your Next Laptop Better [Opinion] ipad3display

When you buy a desktop you have a buffet of options ranging from brilliant high-resolution IPS displays to small and inexpensive monitors.

If you buy a laptop, however, you usually have one choice – a 1366×768 glossy panel with poor contrast and poor black levels. Though adequate, it’s likely to sap some enjoyment from media content. The worst examples endure the screen-door effect, a visible definition between pixels that is all but banished among both desktop monitors Monitor Buying Guide: 8 Tips for Choosing the Right Monitor Need a new monitor but confused by different sizes, resolutions, and types? Here's what you need to know when buying a new monitor. Read More and mobile displays.

For years the laptop industry has not addressed this issue in all but a handful of high-end laptops. That will soon change. Smartphones and tablets are using display resolution as a selling point, and laptops will be forced to follow. If they do not, consumers are inevitably going to wonder why a laptop’s display is inferior to a smaller, more portable device and often a less expensive one.


There’s even some reason to believe the change has begun. Almost every laptop over $1000 now offers a 1080p display either standard or as a low-cost option, and a number of laptops below that price now offer high-resolution options. The HP dm4t, for example, can be purchased with a 1600×900 anti-glare panel for $679.99. I think we?ll see 1080p become an industry standard among laptops.

Improved Graphics Quality

5 Ways Your Mobile Device Will Make Your Next Laptop Better [Opinion] shadowgun

Powerhouse isn’t a word typically associated with a smartphone or tablet, but perhaps it should be – at least when describing graphics. Nvidia’s Tegra 3 is already capable of graphics quality that is on par with the most recent generation of consoles and the iPad has been capable of that level of detail since the iPad 2 arrived. The fact that such a small device can render detailed games without bursting in to a ball of fire is amazing.

It also puts laptops to shame. Most of today’s laptops still ship with Intel integrated graphics. Although far more capable than past versions of Intel’s IGP, there is no comparing the quality of graphics on a laptop equipped with Intel HD and the quality available on a high-end smartphone or tablet. The mobile devices win. It’s not even close.


This can’t continue – and it won’t. Both Intel and AMD are putting significant effort into the improvement of integrated graphics. Nvidia, which has always pushed graphics performance as a key feature of Tegra, has been clear about its desire to build an ARM processor that could compete with x86. They will most likely release the company’s first PC processor in 2014 or 2015, and you can bet that graphics performance will be a selling point.

Say Goodbye To Ports

5 Ways Your Mobile Device Will Make Your Next Laptop Better [Opinion] macbookair

Ports are a major limitation for mobile devices, but they’re an even bigger problem for laptops. It?s no coincidence that newer, thinner laptops like the MacBook Air and various ultrabooks The 5 Best and Most Interesting Ultrabooks From CES CES 2012 focused on the ultrabook. Nearly every major consumer electronics company had one to show – including companies that don’t have much presence in the laptop market, such as LG. Not every ultrabook was... Read More are lacking in ports. There simply isn’t room for them.

Technology like near-field communications remains an infant in the consumer market, but it’s clear that many players in the smartphone and tablet world are eager to see it advanced. Even Intel is on board and has already announced a plan to allow laptop users the chance to automatically enter payment information into websites by placing a supported credit card on a specific area of a laptop.


Wireless devices have already proven that making do with a single port for charging isn’t difficult, and the banishment of ports from laptops will have a number of positive impacts.

The extra internal space available will allow for slightly larger batteries or better cooling. Exteriors will change, as well. Free from ports, engineers will be able to design laptops with heavily tapered or rounded exteriors that reduce weight, decrease perceived thickness and increase rigidity.

No Waiting Around

5 Ways Your Mobile Device Will Make Your Next Laptop Better [Opinion] windows7boot

Waiting is an accepted downside to personal computers. You press the power button – and wait forty-five seconds. You install software  and wait five minutes. You move files – and wait two minutes.


All of these issues are related to the speed at which data is moved to and from storage. Mechanical hard drives have been the standard for decades, but they are too large and fragile for mobile devices. Solid state storage Should You Get A Solid State Drive (SSD)? [Opinion] If you've kept up with some of the latest news about new computer parts, you may have heard about SSDs, or solid state drives. They are designed to replace your clunky, slow hard drive and... Read More is used instead. And that form of storage happens to be incredibly quick.

Apple’s inclusion of solid state storage in the MacBook Air and Intel’s insistence that solid state drives be used in ultrabooks are the first steps towards wide-spread adoption of solid state storage. Mechanical drives will still be around for mass media storage, but it’s likely that you won’t be able to buy a laptop without an SSD five years from today. This will result in more immediate performance, non-existent boot and resume times and faster install/load times.

All Shapes And Sizes

5 Ways Your Mobile Device Will Make Your Next Laptop Better [Opinion] lenovoyoga

Laptops are becoming thinner and lighter as design possibilities improve. At CES 2012 there were several companies, including Intel, which showed design concepts of various convertible tablets with sliding or swiveling hinges. If you also eliminate the need for ports and mechanical drives (solid state storage is more flexible in how it can be packaged) many of the design assumptions made about current laptops no longer apply.

You should expect to see companies begin exploring potential alternatives to the traditional screen-hinged-to-a-keyboard design. You’ll see dockable tablets, smartphones that plug in to docks, convertible laptops with slide-out keyboards, convertible laptops with detachable keyboards, laptops with multiple displays, and more.

The trickle of revolutionary products has already begun with products like the Eee Pad Transformer and the Motorola Atrix laptop dock. So far, these attempts have been immature, but they will be refined and aided by hardware advancements.


The laptop of tomorrow will be lighter, it will have better battery life, it will be more rigid, it will boot instantly, it will offer excellent graphics performance and have a high-resolution display.

All of this may sound too good to be true. Laptops may have become quicker and thinner over the years, but in many ways the laptops we own today aren’t much different from those sold at the beginning of the decade. It’s hard to believe that so much could change so quickly.

Competition is the key. The laptop itself has not had to deal with a competitor since its introduction. A laptop has always been your only choice if you wanted a mobile computer. That’s no longer the case. Tablets, dockable smartphones and ARM-based PCs are going to turn this stagnant segment into a whirlwind of evolution and revolution.

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  1. Roberto
    March 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    im 15 i got a job cleaning hotel rooms for 2 weeks got paid 600dollars was guenoh for my 17 Toshiba laptop which isnt great but good guenoh for me and a 24 tv i then had my mom call my work? and she told a lil white lie telling them that the reason they let me get a job was they thought i could handle my school and work and that ever sense i got the job my grades was slipping and asked them to let me go so they let me go. i only worked 6 days out of those 2 weeks (the weekends) lol

  2. Stephen
    March 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I think there will always be a market for cheap email and web boxes that don't need Tegra 3 graphics and high-res displays. There's obviously a trend upwards and they'll stop making Intel 3000s after a couple of years but not everyone is particularly bothered that their laptop can't outperform a games console.

    • Nkundabagenzi
      March 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      The HP mini 1000 Vivienne Tam edition sriees is small, portable, pink/red,flowery, and cute! Its a very nice laptop and I highly suggest buying one! It IS a bit pricey for a mini though, but it works just as well as a bigger laptop! Its almost better because of its size! (Its a 10.1 inch screen which is not THAT small) Hope I helped!- Nicole <3

    • Matt Smith
      March 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      You will probably receive the graphics performance anyway because the GPUs are being closely intertwined with the CPUs to provide better overall performance and memory resources. We're already at a point where most of the CPUs on the market have a GPU included on the die.

  3. philip john bracamontes
    March 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

    to much inventions kill our budget at all. because of the invention we forgot what really make us happy. as of today people live on Internet. lot of things happened through Internet... i hope they can invent a product to kill POVERTY....

  4. Chris Hoffman
    March 16, 2012 at 4:54 am

    It's really exciting to see so much experimentation with form factors going on, in particular.

    We've come a long way from everyone using Windows on beige boxes.

  5. sibyl
    March 16, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Apple proudcts is usually expensive, I love it, but I never get one. Soon, some my workmates get the new iphone. And they play game together.

    what make me unhappy is China can't sell ipad....
    That mean I can't buy iPad in our country.

    This make me sad:
    Foreigner can get many cheap products from China manufacturers
    But, Chinese can't get the advanced products from abroad.

    BTW, every thing you need to knwo how to choose China manufacturers
    [Broken URL Removed]

  6. Chase
    March 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Why did you give credit to intel for Lenovo's yoga convertible laptop?

  7. Dave Parrack
    March 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    That is absolutely spot-on, though I hadn't thought about it like that before. This is inevitable, and the average consumer will be the winner, so long as price don't rise as the technology improves at a rate of knots.

    I personally hope ports don't disappear to quickly though. At the moment their omittance from the MacBook Air and the like feels like form over function.

  8. VaughnBrandie
    March 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    my classmate's sister-in-law makes $68/hr on the internet. She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her paycheck was $13897 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more CashLazy.com

    • Joe
      March 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      How has he change his mind? The new MacBook ari 11inch has a full kybeoard, is not slow in fact is actually faster than most regular sized notebooks, doesn't run clunky software, turns on faster than your computer that your using for sure. Please tell me how the new MacBook air is a cheap a cheap netbook? The MacBook air is 5x faster than netbooks and has a full size kybeoard and a giant trackpad not a tiny puny one that all netbooks do.sorry but the Macbook air is a notebook