Decrying stasis in the laptop industry, InfoWorld’s Tom Yager and crew have designed their ideal laptop for 2009 given the components are available currently. The project was subjected to the same limitations manufacturers face when whiteboarding a new notebook and introduced only those components that would increase end-user productivity manyfold. The resulting AMD Puma-based WorldBook Ether and WorldBook Meteor [specs, tour, pricing] include an ‘Embedded Smartphone’ system-in-system ARM microcontroller, flash-memory overlay for fast boot, and ATI/AMD Hybrid Graphics for power-saving switched mode.
Designing the Ideal Laptop
2008-07-08 8:15 pmamjith
I think ATI is getting better with their drivers. Same day Linux support and open source drivers from ATI is definitely a good sign.
2008-07-08 9:58 pmRedeeman
yeah well.. same day.. for SOME, lots of people are having issues even getting the driver RUNNING with the 48xx, and for those who does, the drivers are still not supporting opengl properly, leaving stuff such as wine amongst others not working, and naturally xv is broken totally.
The only real hope is the free drivers, which yes, are advancing, and for R500 actually works stable and has proper XV support. But before we see full opengl supports its gonna take time.
2008-07-08 9:43 pmkragil
In 2009 open source ATI drivers will rock if they advance at currenct rate.
2008-07-08 11:08 pmstabbyjones
AMD have really pushed forward on ati drivers and it shows.
i have a HD3870 512mb PCIex card and it’s been running really well with full 3D support.
ATI has gotten better every release and i really look forward to testing them each month. 8.4 supported my card officially and 8.6 gave me a lot more 3D settings to play around with.
As someone who had never owned an ati card i was really surprised at just how good it was. i won’t be Nvidia only from now on.
ATI on linux isn’t as laughable as it used to be.
2008-07-09 1:34 amRedeeman
try run wine… thats right, for almost ALL stuff, it wont work in wine, and the fglrx devs are admitting that they dont care shit for fixing it.. stuff sight as flightgear doesent work either im told..
2008-07-09 3:23 pmapoclypse
Thats not true at all, I was abel to run a lot of my games through wine with no issues at all. GTA:Vice citry ran rather well, Warcraft 3 runs pretty good. Need For Speed: Most wanted runs fine. Sure there are thinsg not supported through wine, but it does work.
2008-07-09 8:31 pmRedeeman
there is a MULTITUDE of things which does not work properly via wine…. with fglrx, whereas it does with nvidia..
Why doesn’t anyone just commercialize the design of the OLPC? I consider that almost perfect except for maybe the size (adult size please), color, and distro. Are companies prevented from doing so by patents? I mean they could share almost everything with OLPC except for size differences but that should be easy to compensate for while still helping to reduce most of the costs.
2008-07-09 12:16 amzima
…and it would be great if more people/companies finally realised how great Trackpoints are, especially in contrast with miniature touchpads used in minilaptops.
Heck, nevermind minilaptops…from what I see around most people who have a chance of using Trackpoint end up really liking it. Large number of them actually ends up using Trackpoint as the main input device.
Contrast that with how many users of touchpad only laptops can’t really use them if there’s no mouse attached (again, from what I see around). Especially hilarious was some recent TV news report about people still working/directing their companies while on vacations…where somebody was actually trying to use a mouse on smooth case surface next to touchpad, with laptop on their lap.
But instead of really usefull things…we get this “bling, bling, bling” proposal, that can’t decide what it wants to be. Quite large, doesn’t look very tough…like desktop replacement. OTOH it also wants to be always on/always with you device (solar panel and smarthpone integrated in the same case)
Edited 2008-07-09 00:18 UTC
2008-07-09 4:14 ammonodeldiablo
When my wife got her Thinkpad, she had me disable the trackpoint. One day, while she was resizing a bunch of photos, she got fed up and whined about how inaccurate it was with the touchpad, how she had to lift her thumb while keeping her pointer finger depressed in order to do major resizes, how accidental brushes while she was typing highlighted other windows and interrupted her typing, how she had to do all of her pointing with her least dextrous finger (her thumb), etc.
I enabled the trackpoint.
One hour of awkward discovery later, she disabled the *touchpad* and has been a trackpoint convert ever since. She refuses to buy another laptop with a touchpad. Ever.
2008-07-09 11:41 amsakeniwefu
I am happy to hear you found some poison for your mouse, but the touchpad beats the mouse any day if you set it up correctly and you take the time to learn it instead of just plugging a mouse in(even old dogs learn new tricks according to the Myth Busters). I can play games(FPS) and move windows around without even moving my hand.
Also, Intel graphics is the way to go with a Linux or OSS laptop although I would probably get an ATI card for a desktop where you can install coolers and replace molten parts easily.
I don’t care about desktop effects but it does that fine and I am currently playing both Linux and ~3 yo or newer Windows games in my free time, and the card works cool and silent.
After the ATI heater finally managed to bake all the components of my old 15″ machine, I wasn’t going to put an nVidia card in a 13″ laptop.
I invested my money in more memory, a LED screen and a faster processor and it pays.
3D gaming, virtual machine updates, and firefox with 60 tabs open won’t slow down or heat up my computer anymore, even when done simultaneously.
All I want in a laptop is a full size full travel keyboard like an old-school Model M (just lop off the arrowpad and move the full numeric pad over) and battery life that exceeds 12 hours and maybe enough mass and proper cooling I’m not worried about lighting the desk on fire – and I’m not that picky about weight. I used to schlep around a Kaypro, a H-168 and a Trash-80 Model 4p… Oh noes, the modern wuss-book weighs in at 11 pounds that’s way too heavy. (seriously, grow a pair)
Hell, I’m half tempted to gut a Asus Eee and stuff it into a old Model 200 or even a Sharp PC-7K… use all that nice extra space for nothing but battery and maybe a desktop scale HDD.
So what do they come up with? A power chomping heat monger X2 processor, AMD/ATI chipset which lags behind the rest of world on performance in every category, a mediocre size widescreen running at WAY too many DPI for most operating systems default settings (to the point it would only be REALLY useful at large fonts/120 dpi in windows), and a SSD – which recently was shown to consume as much if not more power than conventional drives – and in sizes that should jack the price out of reach of the average enthusiast, and some sort of phone nonsense… Right.
My guess, no takers on actually making them.
Edited 2008-07-09 00:05 UTC
I have a better idea: Make ONE machine, and have the dock actually attach to the bottom to form a desktop replacement class machine.
Lightweight portable with built-in wireless and integrated graphics, underclocked processor, and lightweight battery.
Attach it to the base station, and you get bigger speakers, a graphics card, optical drives, a second battery, more outputs, and upon recognizing the base the processor goes back to normal processing power and power drain.
I grant you the thing would end up with the same screen in both modes, since you’re just snapping an extension onto the bottom… but you could conceivably design the keyboard flush to the edge so that a numeric keypad would be available when attached to the dock. It’d look a little odd, but we’re redesigning the laptop here.
Of course there’s also the Datalux keyboard layout, which would allow a full keyboard in a deeper but narrow space: http://www.datalux.com/keyboard_overview.asp
that’s all they could think of? thanks, but i’ll keep my macbook.
now if they’d design an laptop which always stays cool and quiet and which runs for 10 hours on batteries and which is reasonably light and affordable, i might be tempted. even without any revolutionary design ideas.
on the topic trackpoint vs. tochpad: i like the trackpoint, but i also like the touchpad of the macbooks, while i think that the trackpad of all widows-laptops suck. the main problem: the speed of the movement of the pointer doesn’t adapt to the speed you move your fingers with. under osx, you can cross the whole screen with one move across the touchpad or only one cm, depending on the speed. the effect is the same as with a trackpoint: you don’t have to lift your finger. and i also prefer not to have to search for the right button, as there is only one. putting two fingers on the touchpad while pressing the button is easier, as you don’t have to move your fingers.
and this is the kind of design ideas i’m waiting for.
but they come up with this shit:
Touch-sensitive strips on left and right edges of the display enable vertical scrolling and assignable actions
Lid-top display/touchpad and trackpad/touchpad support stylus input for “always on” smartphone functions
Edited 2008-07-09 10:42 UTC
stupid not using intel graphics… their drivers are simply the best…
They shouldnt even bother showing linux under OS with that ati graphics…