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September 03, 2005

Laptops - They SO are mobile

A couple months ago, I wrote a post, "Laptops are mobile devices, too," where I wondered why product designers haven't taken advantage of laptops mobility, and treat them essentially as desktops. Most folks agreed, except for Thomas Vanderwal, whose comment made absolutely no sense to me.

Anyway, in a feature story in today's Chronicle, C.W. Nevius discusses how people are increasingly taking their laptops with them on vacation. Not in order to work while on holiday, but because the laptop can serve so many vacation-oriented uses, particularly personal email and watching videos. (Which is exactly what I did with my laptop when I was in L.A. the last few days.) Googling shows that this article is based on a survey that has been reported for a while now.


Photo by Stacy.

Posted by peterme at September 3, 2005 09:10 AM

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Comments

I hope that carpet is mobile, you are missing your train.

Posted by: BJMe [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 08:36 AM

Peter on his specially designed rug, praying in the direction of MeccArthur station. It took me a moment to realize where you were; that's what 15 months away from BART will do to a man. ...

Interesting post on human-computer interaction at http://juicability.blogspot.com/2005/09/top-8-reasons-hci-is-in-its-stone-age.html, if you're interested.

Posted by: Paul Kretkowski at September 6, 2005 03:12 PM

What I think Vanderwal was getting at is that if you're not moving, it's not a mobile device.

Here's an analogy. Think about the difference between a granola bar and a picnic basket. Granola bars are mobile food. Picnic baskets are merely transportable. You still have to stop at some point, roll out your blanket, unpack the potato salad and break out your bottle opener. Once you do that, you've given up mobility.

Cellphones are mobile device; you talk while you're walking down the street. PDAs are mobile devices; you can browse and enter information while standing in line. And although laptops can be used as mobile devices, they're more often simply transported from place to place, just as you've done in your photo (complete with picnic blanket).

It's easier than moving your G5 Tower and extention cord from place to place, but that doesn't make it mobile.

Posted by: Jeff [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 08:01 PM