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Monday, 6 February 2012

Notebook Computers: A Brief History

A laptop, also called a notebook computer, is a personal computer for mobile use. A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device and speakers into a single unit. A laptop is powered by mains electricity via an AC adapter, and can be used away from an outlet using a rechargeable battery. The veracity of a notebook computer lies in the fact that it’s portable. One can carry a laptop around and carry all the functionalities of a traditional desktop with them. The significant rise in the demand and supply of the laptop is testimony to the growing penetration of a notebook computer over the desktop. It’s a no wonder that modern day laptops are integral for our day to day activities related to the technological world.

However, such integration of a laptop wouldn’t have had come, if not for the works put up by IBM to develop a portable minicomputer in the 70s. For this purpose, the IBM SCAMP project (Special Computer APL Machine Portable), was demonstrated in 1973. This prototype was based on the PALM processor (Put All Logic in Microcode). The IBM 5100, the first commercially available notebook computer, appeared in September 1975, and was based on the SCAMP prototype. The first laptops using the flip form factor appeared in the early 1980s. 

The Dulmont Magnum was released in Australia in 1981–82, but was not marketed internationally until 1984–85. From 1983 onward, several new input techniques were developed and included in notebook computer, including the touchpad, the pointing stick, and handwriting recognition. Some CPUs, such as the 1990 Intel i386SL, were designed to use minimum power to increase battery life of portable computers, and were supported by dynamic power management features such as Intel SpeedStep. Displays reached VGA resolution by 1988, and color screens started becoming a common upgrade in 1991 with increases in resolution and screen size occurring frequently until the introduction of 17"-screen laptops in 2003. 

Hard drives started to be used in portables, encouraged by the introduction of 3.5" drives in the late 1980s, and became common in laptops starting with the introduction of 2.5" and smaller drives around 1990; capacities have typically lagged behind physically larger desktop drives. Optical storage, read-only CD-ROM followed by writeable CD and later read-only or writeable DVD and Blu-Ray, became common in notebook computers soon in the 2000s.

Nowadays, laptops have emerged to the point of 7" Computer which defines a new standard in portability owing to their 7" TFT screen. These 7" Computer symbolizes the timeline and progress of the laptops, from the original IBM 5100 notebook computer to these portable 7" Notebook Computer. And now with mini tablets entering into the picture, one can see a new era of portability, shrinking these 7" Notebook Computer further down to redefine the laptops and ultra portability. To see a selection of these latest 7’’ Notebook Computers .

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