Thin Is (Still) In

Some reactions from one of our customers to what he saw at Day One of IDF Taipei:

On any typical business day, everyone wants to carry a notebook that is light and thin. But what component should be gotten rid of first if you want to slim down the current form factor?

It’s the LAN port, according to Mike Trainor, who talked about the mobile platform trends at IDF conference here in Taipei.

That’s a very interesting idea. After all, when you can get access to the Internet via Wi-Fi, WiMax or 3G, the LAN port for broadband cable is probably just an afterthought.

I marveled at one of these ultra-thin notebooks on the showcase booth. It sure is beautiful and stylish enough.

But my guess is that notebook sans LAN port probably won’t be available too soon, as we still see mini PCI modem port (for dial-up) on most notebooks. We usually won’t opt for dial-up if we can get broadband or Wi-Fi, or even 3G. But you still feel it’s safer to keep these “legacy” ports around, in case you really run out of other options.

One other notable technologies for slim notebooks has got to be solid state drives. Without getting into technical details, Mr. Trainor demonstrated on the stage how fast it was compared with conventional hard disk drive.

A solid state drive runs three times faster for the same computing task to be performed on a hard disk drive, according to him.

That’s very good news if you constantly need to handle large amount of files. The bad news is that the technology won’t be realized for another five to ten years before it really goes mainstream.

3 Responses to Thin Is (Still) In

  1. Igor says:

    Mike Trainor is not the brightest soul it seems.
    Why on Earth would you want to dump LAN port from a notebook? Especially if it is a 1Gbps port? What other option can give you that kind of content transfer speed? Firewire? Close, but only 1394b, not those legacy 1394a we keep seeing in notebooks and desktops as well.
    If you want a gaming laptop, are you going to get low latency needed for network gaming using Wi-Fi? I wouldn’t say so. At the QuakeCon 2007, they used 10Gbps wired network.
    Finally, if you care about your data, why would you ever want SSD drive? First of all, SSD doesn’t have unlimited rewrite capability. Just Windows constant paging and registry access would waste a SSD drive using current flash RAM technology in no time, never mind actually doing something more serious on it.
    Another thing that SSD isn’t good at is data retention. If the chip gets fried electrically, then any data that was inside gets lost forever. With regular HDD, as long as the plates aren’t physically damaged, data recovery is possible.
    By the way, there are so many other options to reduce notebook size. One of them would be reducing the size of the optical drive. Using mini CD/DVD/HD-DVD/BluRay format would save a lot of space and with higher media capacities would work equally well. I would welcome that on desktop too. Optical drive size of a 3.5″ floppy with a slim caddy so the disk is always protected would be wonderfull even on desktop.
    Just my .02