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If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

Displaying poll results.
I'd start with vastly increased storage
  771 votes / 2%
I'd start with a daylight-readable screen
  4684 votes / 16%
I'd start with a denser display resolution
  4805 votes / 16%
I'd start with a better keyboard
  1885 votes / 6%
I'd start with a better pointing device
  2403 votes / 8%
I'd start with better networking options
205 votes / 0%
I'd start with better battery life
  11171 votes / 38%
You've left out the thing I'd improve first.
  2965 votes / 10%
28889 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

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  • n omore widescreen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @11:25AM (#43348271)

    WTF is up with everything being "Wide" (meaning vertically challenged) screen?

  • by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @11:28AM (#43348295)

    ...but certainly NOT mirror-reflective. Matte screen with higher brightness please!

  • Display Resolution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edawstwin (242027) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @11:30AM (#43348319)
    1366x768 is not usable for any kind of serious work.
  • drivers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by characterZer0 (138196) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @11:33AM (#43348361)

    Use only hardware with functional open source drivers.

  • Upgradabilty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AliasMrAlias (1445453) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @11:41AM (#43348469)

    Not soldering everything together would get my vote. The option to include a discrete graphics card or better processor at some point after purchase would be very welcome. I have a desktop I keep up to date and use a broken down second hand dell for any work that requires mobility (meetings, class etc) because I see no point in investing in a piece of kit I can't improve later on.

  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @11:58AM (#43348651) Homepage Journal

    I have no problem with widescreen if there's a decent resolution. It makes putting two pages of document up (or two documents up) easier. I'm pretty satisfied with battery life, speed, and so on, but the screen resolutions seem stuck. I'm hoping that we'll see a good step up from 1920 resolutions this year when the Haswell notebooks arrive.

  • by Win Hill (1594463) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @12:08PM (#43348771)
    We need at least 1200 vertical pixels, this was readily available 10 years ago, but now is hard to find. We really should be getting much more, rather than much less, so we can read portrait mode documents, etc.
  • Re:RAM! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Altanar (56809) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @12:48PM (#43349309)
    If you're using software in which 16 GB of RAM is way too little, perhaps you should focus more on desktop computers instead. You're trying to use a butter knife to cut a steak.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @01:09PM (#43349553)

    Both in terms of glare reduction/brightness and decent resolution. As far as I know, a laptop is stuck with the screen it comes with and there are no easy workarounds that are intended to be portable.

    The screen in particular because much of the other stuff on the poll is ridiculously easy to fix or workaround, even on existing hardware. This is because you can get spare batteries (or just use the adapter) and exernalize file storage, and things like half-decent wireless computer mice are ridiculously cheap. If the screen sucks, not much you can do about it.

  • Display resolution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @01:49PM (#43349955)

    This applies everywhere, to desktop monitors as well.

    I'm typing this on a 1920x1080 laptop screen (17") with another 22" monitor of the same resolution plugged in. These are considered "high-end" for a laptop, and "mainstream" for a monitor.

    Sometime this month Samsung is launching a *phone* with that resolution. In a 5" screen. It's commonplace for tablets, enough that the higher-end ones go even higher. And yet laptop manufacturers can't seem to make a 15" screen above 1366x768, judging by most of them.

    I remember having a 1024x768 screen back in 1997. Do you seriously mean to tell me we haven't been able to improve monitors beside making them thinner and adding more pixels to the sides?

    * I am of the opinion that 16:10 is a superior resolution to 16:9. It works fine for editing, both full-screen and two side-by-side apps. It works fine for gaming. It plays 16:9 movies with minimal fuss. And it even works fairly well in portrait mode, though not as well as 3:4. If it weren't for the fact that it's usually 50% more expensive for a 10% increase in size, I'd use them exclusively.

  • Stickers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alieneye (86920) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @01:53PM (#43350005)

    I'd start with removing all those dumb Windows and Intel stickers.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:11PM (#43351965) Homepage Journal

    ... at that point, what's the purpose in having a laptop?

  • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @05:36PM (#43352229)

    If you tweak the angle so that the bright spot is no longer on the screen, the light source has little to no effect on the picture.

    Which, more often than not, means that you have to fold the laptop completely and be done with it. In broad sunshine a washed-out matte screen is definitely more readable than an equivalent glossy screen that is reduced to a perfect mirror.

    Glossy screens are completely crap. Their sole purpose of existence is to look nice in the shop to attract "oh-shiny!"-users.

  • by csumpi (2258986) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @11:45PM (#43354803)
    Who are you, Steve Jobs? So even though glossy screens suck outside, inside, and everywhere, you are telling us that they are actually better? Maybe we are just looking at it wrong?

    There is only one reason for glass screen on mobile devices: they are easier to clean and finger grease is not as visible. Other than that, they are inferior in every aspect.
  • by csumpi (2258986) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @12:22AM (#43354915)
    What are you talking about? Is this a post from 2007? Have you been to best buy or staples recently? Every manufacturer has a touch screen laptop (well, almost, Apple hasn't "invented" it yet.). Not only that, you can even get desktops that have touch screens.
  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @09:44AM (#43356811)

    RGBG Pentile displays generally suck at low resolutions, but IMHO would probably be a reasonable way to get 2560x1600 16:10 resolution on a 12-14" display. At that point, the pixel density is so high, the display's physical resolution almost ceases to matter, and you can just scale your fonts as you please & treat it as a virtual 1280x800 display with zero artifacts if you like, even with a terrible scaling algorithm.

    IMHO, 13.3" widescreen is the golden size for a laptop... wide enough for a full keyboard, but small enough to be usable on a plane.

    Speaking of the keyboard... put the cursor keys on a T island at the lower right, with delete to the immediate right (but separated by some open space) of Backspace, make 'insert' Fn+Delete (let's be honest... does anyone actually use Insert for anything besides accidental annoyance), then fill the remaining space between Delete and the cursor keys with home, end, pgUp, and pgDn (pgUp and PgDn slightly above the cursor keys, home and end separated from both delete and PgUp/PgDn by open space. Give it two Trackpoint sticks -- one between GHB, one aligned vertically with GHB below the spacebar... both independent (one for mouse movement, one for vertical scrolling and panning). Finally, build the keyboard with low-profile keycaps above Cherry mechanical switches that are sculpted to account for the laptop's rear being angled up by tilt-out feet. I remember a few laptops from the late 80s that had mechanical-switch keyboards, and most of them actually feel better than the crap keyboards that ship with most DESKTOP PCs today.

    Oh, and build a real powered USB hub into the power supply. Not just for 5v power, but a real USB hub. And make an optional second display with the same panel that latches onto the rear of the laptop's own display for storage and transportation. On a plane? latched on & stowed. Anywhere else? Unlatch, fold out the legs, pull out the USB cord, and plug it into a port on the power supply to enjoy a second display. Maybe even make a third super-deluxe model that has a second panel hinged with the main panel, so that if you're on a plane you could unlatch the external (now third) display, put it somewhre safe, then tilt up the second screen so you have a pair of 2560x1600 screens. The third display would protect the second when clamped onto it for travel.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long


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