Tag Archives: laptops

Acer Iconia two screened laptop

Dual touch ScreenI had a go on an Acer Iconia twin screened laptop whilst ambling through an HMV the other day, and it inspired me to make this comment – this should be in contention for one of the worst pieces of computer design ever. Admittedly I played with it for all of three minutes so take my comments with a pinch of salt, but, in brief: it’s just terrible.

It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with the stylings or construction of the device itself – it looked and felt sturdy. But a screen as an input device and a second screen as a screen? What were they thinking?

Here’s a few reasons why this concept will suck totally for a while.

  1. Battery life must be terrible. Laptopmag worked it out at around 2.5 hours but I’m dubious – given that my 7 hour rated Macbook Air gets 3.5 hours the way I use it I can’t see anything like this working for anyone for any period of time.
  2. It’s big, heavy and too bulky for any normal work surface, at home or in the office – unless maybe you’re a designer.
  3. The form factor and the OS make no sense. I’ve commented before about Windows 7 and touch – not there yet. But even if it did (as Windows 8 looks to do), what, would you occasionally hold this thing like a giant book? Stretch it flat and look at it sideways? What? Why? How?

It’s too expensive a novelty. People, if you’re trying to beat out Apple the iPad you’ve got to try harder and come up with better ideas than expensive novelty props.

Laptop advice – get a SSD!

As the unofficial tech support for a number of my friends, colleagues and most of my family, I’m always, *always*, asked what Laptop people should buy.

After a couple of weeks using a new machine with a Solid State Disk (SSD), my advice is fast becoming: get whatever you like the look of, but make sure it has an SSD in it if you can. Sacrifice the storage space for the speed…

Hard disk technology has been largely static for the last 10 or so years – platters spinning like super-condensed long-play records. The things that have moved along include reliability, energy consumption, storage density and the like. However… speed wise, they’ve not progressed substantially. Most consumer drives have platters that spin at 5,400 (slow) or 7,200 rotations per minute (rpm). The read/write and seek times on these disks (which determines, by and large, how fast applications respond when they need to access the disk) are limited by these spin rates.

With SSDs, there are no moving parts – we’re talking the same storage technology used in USB keys, iPods, etc. So a) read and write times are often much, MUCH, faster, b) performance doesn’t degrade over time (no platters to get worn down), c) energy consumption is reduced and d) they deliver much awesomeness. They’re totally worth the extra money if they are an option from your laptop vendor of choice… Oh, and if you get Windows 7, it’s written to take advantage of them…