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  2. › wiki › LaptopLaptop - Wikipedia

    • History
    • Etymology
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    • Comparison with Desktops
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    As the personal computer (PC) became feasible in 1971, the idea of a portable personal computer soon followed. A "personal, portable information manipulator" was imagined by Alan Kay at Xerox PARC in 1968, and described in his 1972 paper as the "Dynabook". The IBM Special Computer APL Machine Portable (SCAMP) was demonstrated in 1973. This prototype was based on the IBM PALM processor. The IBM 5100, the first commercially available portable computer, appeared in September 1975, and was based on the SCAMP prototype. As 8-bit CPU machines became widely accepted, the number of portables increased rapidly. The first "laptop-sized notebook computer" was the Epson HX-20, invented (patented) by Suwa Seikosha's Yukio Yokozawa in July 1980, introduced at the comdex computer show in Las Vegas by Japanese company Seiko Epson in 1981, and released in July 1982. It had an LCD screen, a rechargeable battery, and a calculator-size printer, in a 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) chassis, the size of an A4 notebook.I...

    While the terms laptop and notebook are used interchangeably today, there is some question as to the original etymology and specificity of either term—the term laptop appears to have been coined in the early 1980s to describe a mobile computer which could be used on one's lap, and to distinguish these devices from earlier and much heavier, portable computers (informally called "luggables"). The term "notebook" appears to have gained currency somewhat later as manufacturers started producing even smaller portable devices, further reducing their weight and size and incorporating a display roughly the size of A4 paper; these were marketed as notebooks to distinguish them from bulkier mainstream or desktop replacementlaptops.

    Since the introduction of portable computers during the late 1970s, their form has changed significantly, spawning a variety of visually and technologically differing subclasses. Except where there is a distinct legal trademark around a term (notably, Ultrabook), there are rarely hard distinctions between these classes and their usage has varied over time and between different sources. Since the late 2010s, the use of more specific terms has become less common, with sizes distinguished largely by the size of the screen.

    The basic components of laptops function identically to their desktop counterparts. Traditionally they were miniaturized and adapted to mobile use, although desktop systems increasingly use the same smaller, lower-power parts which were originally developed for mobile use. The design restrictions on power, size, and coolingof laptops limit the maximum performance of laptop parts compared to that of desktop components, although that difference has increasingly narrowed. In general, laptop components are not intended to be replaceable or upgradable by the end-user, except for components that can be detached; in the past, batteries and optical drives were commonly exchangeable. This restriction is one of the major differences between laptops and desktop computers, because the large "tower" cases used in desktop computers are designed so that new motherboards, hard disks, sound cards, RAM, and other components can be added. Memory and storage can often be upgraded with some disassembly,...


    Portability is usually the first feature mentioned in any comparison of laptops versus desktop PCs.Physical portability allows a laptop to be used in many places—not only at home and the office but also during commuting and flights, in coffee shops, in lecture halls and libraries, at clients' locations or a meeting room, etc. Within a home, portability enables laptop users to move their devices from the living room to the dining room to the family room. Portability offers several distinct adv...


    Compared to desktop PCs, laptops have disadvantages in the following areas:


    There are many laptop brands and manufacturers. Several major brands that offer notebooks in various classes are listed in the adjacent box.The major brands usually offer good service and support, including well-executed documentation and driver downloads that remain available for many years after a particular laptop model is no longer produced. Capitalizing on service, support, and brand image, laptops from major brands are more expensive than laptops by smaller brands and ODMs. Some brands...

    Market share

    Battery-powered portable computers had just 2% worldwide market share in 1986. However, laptops have become increasingly popular, both for business and personal use. Around 109 million notebook PCs shipped worldwide in 2007, a growth of 33% compared to 2006. In 2008 it was estimated that 145.9 million notebooks were sold, and that the number would grow in 2009 to 177.7 million. The third quarter of 2008 was the first time when worldwide notebook PC shipments exceeded desktops, with 38.6 milli...

    The list of materials that go into a laptop computer is long, and many of the substances used, such as beryllium (used in beryllium-copper alloy contacts in some connectors and sockets), lead (used in lead-tin solder), chromium, and mercury (used in CCFL LCD backlights) compounds, are toxic or carcinogenic to humans. Although these toxins are relatively harmless when the laptop is in use, concerns that discarded laptops cause a serious health risk and toxic environmental damage, were so strong, that the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) in Europe specified that all laptop computers must be recycled by law. Similarly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has outlawed landfilldumping or the incinerating of discarded laptop computers. Most laptop computers begin the recycling process with a method known as Demanufacturing, this involves the physical separation of the components of the laptop.These components are then either grouped into mate...

    The ruggedized Grid Compass computer was used since the early days of the Space Shuttle program. The first commercial laptop used in space was a Macintosh portable in 1991 aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-43. Apple and other laptop computers continue to be flown aboard crewed spaceflights, though the only long-duration flight certified computer for the International Space Station is the ThinkPad. As of 2011, over 100 ThinkPads were aboard the ISS. Laptops used aboard the International Space Station and other spaceflights are generally the same ones that can be purchased by the general public but needed modifications are made to allow them to be used safely and effectively in a weightless environment such as updating the cooling systems to function without relying on hot air rising and accommodation for the lower cabin air pressure. Laptops operating in harsh usage environments and conditions, such as strong vibrations, extreme temperatures, and wet or dusty conditions differ from th...

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