Laptops have come a long way from the 1990s and have earned the title of best device thanks to a plethora of models for every need, high product quality and performance and a very long lifecycle. 10 years ago, desktops ruled the world and laptops were for executives only. The laptop took over the desktop in 2008 and we haven’t looked back.
Remember your desktop computer? We kept them for 3-5 years, and they took up a lot of space under the desk. The difference between a desktop computer and vinyl is that in 10 years, there will no nostalgia for desktop computers. Only a few nuts will trade them on eBay.
Laptops have evolved into truly amazing devices. There are too many product categories to list. There are thin, light and powerful Ultrabooks, heavy but insanely fast gaming laptops, bare-bones laptops for under $300, and laptops with state of the art graphics processors for designers.
With laptops, there are 3 major processors – the Intel i3, i5 and i7. Both Intel and AMD sell many processors, but these 3 are the standards. A laptop with an i3 is perfect for regular use – browsing the web, basic graphics, sound and video editing. An i3 won’t cut it when it comes to heavy graphics software or video games but is perfect for a student or someone with simple needs. The i5 is the best choice for most people – much more powerful than the i3, but not as expensive as the i7. An i5 laptop will do everything you need at a good pace. Laptops with i7 processors run very fast and are used by professionals with specific needs – CEOs and executives, graphics designers, audio and video editors. An i7 laptop won’t help you much with Word documents – it will set you back $500 or more as opposed to a laptop with an i5 processor.
Dell’s Alienware 13 sports an Intel i7 processor, 32GB of RAM (!!!), the latest Nvidia GeForce video card, and a touch display for $2,399.99. I wouldn’t mind getting that on the first day of work. That’s about as powerful as you’ll get with a laptop.
Laptops are durable machines. They typically last for 5-8 years. Many people are still running old versions of Windows and have no need to upgrade. Everything works fine. While everyone has a nightmare smartphone story, laptops are the reliable workhorse of devices.
What Product Features Are Missing On Laptops?
The insides of laptops are perfect. It’s the outsides that Product Managers need to work on. What’s missing in laptops is flexibility on the outside!
Let’s start with the screen. Most laptops have a 11-17 inch screen. Sometimes I want to shrink it. Other times, I want to stretch my laptop’s screen. The Stretchable Laptop Screen is a lot more important than a faster processor. Imagine being able to decide the dimensions of your screen while on the go? Choose the perfect size for presentations, reading a book, writing and watching videos.
The keyboard is the next part of the laptop that needs a major redesign. I don’t like the Fn key to the left of the Control key. Let me configure my keyboard, regardless of key size. Laptop manufacturers like to introduce new keys – just as smartphone manufacturers like to impose uninstallable software – and often in the worst places. Come up with a standard for the “flexible keyboard” and let the user choose the keyboard build.
Finally, laptops all have many ports – USB, HDMI and audio are the usual suspects. For USB, many laptops still use USB 2 while many are already on USB 3 and now we have the new USB Type C. Why can’t they give us “interchangeable ports” – like LEGO pieces – so our laptop ports are never obsolete? I would love to pay $19.99 for a new USB Type C port and plug it into my laptop. I’m not going to buy a new laptop for this. I’m sure there is a cottage industry of converter cables, but that’s avoiding the problem.
Laptops will continue to improve gradually, but the stretchable screen, customizable keyboard and interchangeable ports are the 3 new features I’m looking forward to.