The first computers were humongous creatures. For example, the ENIAC, one of the earliest computers, had 18,000 vacuum tubes, and filled many rooms upon installation. For computers to be regularly and universally used, it was necessary to make them smaller. The desktop computer fulfilled this need as it allowed a computer to be installed on a desk top. However, the desktop computer had its limitations. It was fixed to the desk, at our home or office, and it was not possible to carry it around. Businessmen, journalists, academicians, scientists, etc, need to carry their work from one place to another, and desktop computer offered no solution.
There was a latent need for portability, and this need inspired the laptop computer.
A laptop computer (also known as notebook computer) is a small mobile personal computer, usually weighing from 1 to 3 kilograms (2 to 7 pounds). Laptops are equiped with batteries for mobile use, but are also provided with an adaptor allowing it to used by direct electricity – the battery automatically charges upon such ‘wired’ use. Laptop efficiency and power are comparable with desktop computers, although for the same price laptop computers provide lesser power. Due to inadequate heat dissipation, laptop computers are slower than desktop computers with the same configuration.
Although laptops and desktop computers use similar parts, the ones made for laptop computers are smaller and more compact allowing for more portability and power efficiency. Laptops usually have liquid crystal displays and use SO-DIMM (Small Outline DIMM) modules (rather than the larger DIMMs used in desktop computers) for their RAM. In addition to a built-in keyboard, they may utilize a touchpad (also known as a trackpad) or a pointing stick for input, though an external mouse or keyboard can usually be attached. Laptops have their parts smaller, lighter, less power consuming and otherwise optimized for mobility. For example, laptops have a LCD screen, usually with active matrix display and they have specialized processors, etc. That apart, many laptops have no corresponding parts in desktops, like the batteries, the docking port, the AC adaptor, etc.
Today, laptops have become ubiquitous computing gadgets that everyone uses. The almost similar capabilities and the added advantage of mobility have given laptops a lot of popularity. In this section of the webdirectory, we provide links to various resources, like laptop repair services, retailers, reviews, guides and notes, etc.