The performance, capabilities and performance of laptop computers have for many years been lagging behind the desktop, but all that is changing.
Today’s advanced laptop computers are noted as having equal capabilities as modern desktop PCs, although there is often a noticeable time delay for the top models. Over the past decade, the difference in processing power and performance between laptop computers and desktop PCs has narrowed considerably.
At the beginning of 1995, the difference was around three to six months. Customers today insist that their laptops have similar capabilities and specifications as their desktop and also demand more features and processing power. In other words they want the things that make mobile computing painless and hassle-free. As well as becoming a replacement for a desktop PC the advanced laptop computer should provide the same flexibility in configurations and expandability.
A fully featured laptop uses advanced technologies such as mobile Pentium, PCI, plug and play, lithium-ion batteries, and hot docking to give users the same capabilities as their desktop computers. As users became familiar with their laptops they demanded that their mobile computers have the same functionality as their desktops. Thus began the emergence of ever more faster processors, high resolution wide-screen displays, bigger hard drives and multiple external devices.
The advanced laptop computer of today features capabilities such as instant-on. Instant-on is a feature that allows users to put their laptop into a power-conserving state and later resume working exactly where they left off. Advanced laptop computers focus on size, power, compatibility and performance. Some of the main objectives of advanced laptop manufacturers are power management, performance and compatibility. These manufacturers are fully aware that their customers expect their products to not require frequent recharging. Power consumption must be managed wisely, otherwise the heat generated by the components could affect reliability, functionality and ultimately, customer satisfaction. Their products are also expected to achieve other goals, such as reliability, quality and user convenience.
The keyboard controller of an advanced laptop performs many tasks so that the Pentium CPU can remain focused on compatibility and performance. Some of the tasks performed by the keyboard controller are – keyboard scanning, support for three PS/2 ports, status panel control, battery charging and low-voltage monitoring, communication and tutoring, temperature sensing and thermal feedback control, docking station control and power on/off control.
Because of the highly complex jobs it has to undertake, the keyboard controller of a laptop computer is based on flash memory so that the programming can be altered in the field as well as the EEPROM and system BIOS.
The next decade could well see laptop development overtaking that of the desktop PC.
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