Why a laptop is no longer a laptop

Gareth Kershaw

Tuesday 9 October 2018

In trying to keep pace with our increasingly busy, fraught lives, devices have little choice but to keep getting smaller, thinner, and lighter, and yet tougher and more powerful too. It’s a big ask, but a new generation of machines is taking us beyond traditional laptop territory… and transforming business potential in the process. 

Our personal devices are becoming more and more intrinsic parts of our lives.
In fact, if we’re brutally honest, they’re pretty much completely indispensable these days. At home, on the commute, in the office, on the shop-floor, and in virtually every location in between. Everywhere we are, they are.

So here’s the thing: they really don’t get the credit they deserve.

Their days start early. Once they’ve woken us up (which we expect them to) they begin a minimum 18-hour shift (7-days a week) of hard toil delivering our emails, managing our workloads, running our social lives, entertaining us, and much else besides. And we place greater and greater demands upon them all the time.

It’s especially tough for our laptops. Which are expected to do their jobs without complaint while remaining unquestioningly dependable, faithful, and reliable.
And if they do put so much as the tiniest foot wrong? We come down on them incredibly harshly. Not convinced? Think back to the last time your laptop had a sick day. Remember the annoyance? The anxiety? The blind panic? The urge to throw it across the room?

Moreover, they’re now finding themselves competing for user affection with all manner of smartphones, tablets, and other devices, next to which they of course look chunky and overweight.

That means they’re continually under pressure to trim down. To get smaller, thinner, and lighter. And even that’s not enough to keep us satisfied. We expect them to be ever tougher and more powerful too.

In other words, to keep pace and stay relevant, laptops are now having to strike the perfect balance – delivering the portability of a tablet, the connectivity of the smartphone, and the functionality and power of a desktop.

That doesn’t come easily. The smaller and thinner the footprint, the less space there is for the components and the ports and so on that today’s users want of course. The less room for the processing heft that they now demand.


Mobility or power? It’s a trade-off. Something’s got to give.

Or at least it did.


Because a new breed of laptop is now emerging that is tearing up the rule book and taking both form factor and function way beyond the bounds of what we’re accustomed to.  These laptops are redefining the very category to which they belong, and to the point where they perhaps even ought to be given a different name altogether. The super-laptop perhaps.

The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 for example. If we do say so ourselves.

At just 18.4mm thick and with a weight of only 1.7kg, it’s our thinnest, lightest mobile workstation ever. But with 8th Gen Intel® Xeon® and Core™ processors, NVIDIA® Quadro® graphics, a 15.6in touchscreen display, and massive memory and storage options it really delivers where it really counts.

As such machines emerge and transform the sector – integrating powerful new features like 3D cameras, intuitive face recognition and voice and gesture-based navigation, so too will their ability to drive business potential. Especially in areas such as enhanced collaboration, communication, and decision making.

The enormous benefit of users no longer having to decide between power and mobility cannot be underestimated. Giving them both, and much more, the super-laptop ultimately translates into greater power and mobility for the business itself, this new wave of hardware driving fresh, immersive, potent technology experiences scarcely even heard of until recently, much less conceived for the mainstream.

The impact looks likely to be truly ground-breaking.

The point? Simple. Credit where credit’s due. All hail the laptop. It really is super.


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