February 12, 2009

Light Laptops

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A couple of days ago, I read on xkcd comics about the Q2010, a laptop that can reportedly put the Macbook Air to shame. Curious, I decided to learn more about it, and from my busy prodding and poking, I found out that the Q2010 really isn’t that great of a laptop.

For starters, let’s look at its specs:

According to CNET, the Fujitsu Lifebook Q2010 laptop’s specs are as follows:

Processor: Core Solo 1.2Ghz

Memory: 1GB

Hard Drive: 80GB

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Now let’s compare it to the Macbook Air data taken from the Apple website:

Processor: 1.6Ghz Core Duo

Memory: 2GB

Hard Drive: 120GB

Weight: 3.0 pounds

Clearly, the only thing that gives the Q2010 an edge is the weight, which at 2.2 pounds, you really aren’t going to feel. But considering the fact that the difference is about 0.8 pounds, there really isn’t that much to gain. The Macbook Air also has a better market due to the amount of fanatical Apple users prostrating themselves in front of Steve Jobs like a herd of sheep. In contrast, the Q2010 is old, having being developed around 2006, has a very low market base, and comes at a whopping 3,000 dollars.

Granted, the Air really isn’t cheap either, but it certainly packs more punch, with more processing power (the Core Duo can handle twice the number of process threads than Core Solo), more RAM, and a bigger hard drive.

But the more I looked at the two laptops, the more this question became apparent in my head: Why on God’s green earth would you buy a light laptop? Is your back that weak that you just can’t bear lugging around an extra five to ten pounds? Do you really have that much stuff in your backpack to warrant something that takes up less than an inch of vertical space?

But I think the point that I’m laboriously trying to get to is:

Lightweight laptops are a gimmick, they’re just another way for us to spend an excessive amount of money on something that could cost considerably less and have a better performance.

FYI – I’m a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, a probable English major. I got interested in building computers when I first bought a copy of Halo for the PC back in eighth grade and realized, after three hours of re-installing, that I couldn’t play it on my ancient computer. One thing led to the next, by senior year I was actively learning how to build a power PC, fight off spyware and viruses, and keep a computer running optimally with an almost nonexistent budget.