A notebook [ nəʊtbʊk ] ( English notebook , notebook ') or laptop [ læpˌtɔp ] (from the English " laptop " literally for "on the lap", translated "lap computer"), rarely also a folding computer , is a special design of a personal computer that is one of the mobile devices . It has the following basic properties:
- A keyboard is integrated flush with the surface in a flat, rectangular housing . In the alphanumeric area, this has the key center spacing of 19 mm required by ISO 9241-410: 2012-12 for efficient typing (smaller keys are called a subnotebook ) and has a keyboard assignment according to ISO / IEC 9995-2 , e.g. B. QWERTZ for the German-speaking area of application.
- A screen of similar size is movably attached to this housing and can be folded onto the housing in such a way that the screen surface and keyboard are on the inside when closed, making the entire device transportable without any special protection requirements. The joints hold the opened screen in every position through static friction without any further mechanical support; the entire unit is still always tip over , as the weight-intensive components are arranged together with the keyboard in the base housing.
- The device can be used anywhere. The power supply is provided by accumulators .
In terms of size and performance, notebooks are between the larger desktop computers and the smaller tablets by today's standards . In the 2010s, notebooks came close to classic desktop computers in terms of performance and took market share away from them.
At the end of the 1980s, Toshiba introduced the term notebook in order to be able to better market particularly compact and light (like a notebook) devices. In the meantime, the terms notebook and laptop are largely used synonymously in German-speaking countries, with the term notebook tending to be used for the medium-sized versions. Laptop ( of even the ) refers to the fact that the mobile computer fits on your lap.
In the English-speaking world, the term laptop is common; Notebooks and notebook computers are also used.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the term clamshell computer appeared in German-speaking countries and is also used as an example in linguistic texts. Efforts in language care to replace the Anglicisms “notebook” and “laptop” with this name can meanwhile be regarded as unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the Verein Deutsche Sprach e. V. awarded its negative prize “ Sprachpanscher of the year 2013” to “den Duden ” with an explicit reference in the reasoning that the word “clapper” is not listed in its current edition.
Differentiation from other terms
The term netbook has been used since 2007 for a significantly smaller device without an optical drive, the buttons of which can also be too small for use in the ten-finger system. The term has hardly been used since around 2011, tablets and convertibles replaced netbooks.
The term portable usually denotes a device with the technology and dimensions of a desktop computer , whose mostly suitcase-shaped housing is designed for regular transport and in which a screen is mostly immovably integrated (especially in older devices with picture tubes ). In contrast to notebooks, such devices are usually dependent on external power supply and do not necessarily have a keyboard that is permanently connected to the device. Due to their size, certain expansion cards of the formats common at the time of production can usually be installed for desktop computers. Today (2013) computers of this type are only used for special applications (e.g. military) where notebooks cannot be used.
The term mobile computer generally refers to a portable computer intended for use at different locations .
The verbal horning term Schlepptop found its way into everyday German language . This possibly originated in the early days of mobile portable computers, which looked like a suitcase and weighed around ten kilograms, such as the Osborne 1 in 1981 , the Portable 8810/25 from Nixdorf Computer AG in 1985 (around 8,000 DM ) or the Kaypro II.
The Dynabook is a concept designed by Alan Kay at Xerox PARC in 1972 . It shows a flat rectangular housing, in the surface of which both the screen and the keyboard are integrated in the same plane. Thus, the basic ideas of both the laptop (only without the folding screen) and the tablet computer are formulated in it. Because of the lack of technical possibilities at the time, the concept was not implemented.
One of the first computers to be called laptops is the GRiD Compass 1100 , which was designed by British industrial designer Bill Moggridge in 1979 but was not sold until 1982. This laptop had an impressive 340 kB of main memory at the time , but was not commercially successful due to the lack of IBM compatibility.
In 1986, one year after the Toshiba T1100, the IBM PC Convertible was the first commercially successful notebook with a clock frequency of 4.77 MHz, two 3.5-inch floppy drives, 256 kB of memory, an LC screen and Printer ports. In 1987 the Toshiba T1100 with two 3.5-inch floppy drives and LCD screen cost around 3700 francs in Switzerland, while the T3100 with plasma screen , 640 kB of memory and a hard disk of 10 megabytes cost twice as much .
The first notebook with today's controls was the PowerBook 100 from Apple . For the first time, the user was able to get by without external input devices, as the PowerBook had a trackball and side hand rests. The terms notebook and laptop have now merged and are used equally. The first laptop, which was also officially called the first, was the Gavilan SC, which was released in 1983 and looked a lot like a typewriter.
Notebooks usually weigh between 700 g ( subnotebook ) and a few kg and can be used not only - as the name might suggest - as an electronic notebook , but as a full-fledged, compact workstation computer.
Comparison with desktop PCs
The biggest advantage of a notebook compared to desktop PCs is portability. This enables the notebook to be used in a wide variety of locations - not only at home and in the office, but also when traveling by train and on flights. Furthermore, notebooks can be used in libraries or in the business premises of customers, for example.
Typical notebooks perform inferior to desktop PCs of the same generation for several reasons. In the case of processors, the usable computing power depends heavily on the number of cores (see also multi-core processor ) and their speed. Graphics chips benefit from a higher number of shader units and their own dedicated graphics memory. All of these factors require high energy consumption and the resulting high heat dissipation. While this is not a problem with desktop PCs, it limits notebooks. They have limited space for components and cooling system; their weight is also a critical factor. As a result - depending on the price category - slower clocked or low-voltage processors are usually installed and graphics chips or onboard solutions with reduced performance are used. With optical drives and hard disks, the smaller design and the necessary tolerance to vibrations require a lower speed, which means lower transfer rates. Solid-state drives, however, remove this performance penalty for hard drives.
Since the late 2000s, large-format notebooks with a screen diagonal of over 17 inches have also increasingly been offered. Depending on the orientation, multiple hard drives, two graphics cards and powerful desktop processors are possible. However, the battery life suffers from this configuration, which is often less than two hours in idle mode and is halved again under load. The devices are also very heavy - sometimes over 5 kilograms - and are therefore more likely to be seen as a replacement for a desktop PC.
Even standard laptops are powerful enough today to replace a desktop in everyday tasks. This is also noticeable in the sales figures - significantly more notebooks than desktop PCs are now sold in Europe . In 2008 they made up 55% of all PCs sold (70% for private customers). For tasks such as CAD , 3D - games and rendering provide the high demands on the hardware, desktop computers are however still the better choice.
A disadvantage compared to a desktop PC is that it is difficult to replace and select individual system components. While the buyer of a desktop PC can fall back on a large number of replacement components, with a notebook - depending on the manufacturer, he is more or less dependent on the manufacturer's spare parts. When replacing, problems arise less from the technical specifications of the individual components than from the fact that only components of certain dimensions and connection shape have space in the narrow notebook housing. This manufacturer-dependency usually results in significantly higher costs and longer repair times in the event of a repair than with comparable defects on a desktop PC.
The so-called ruggedized notebooks were designed for use in particularly harsh environments or under adverse climatic conditions, and they are so robust that they are suitable for outdoor and outdoor use. There are fully ruggedized devices that are completely protected against external influences and semi-ruggedized notebooks that only partially withstand certain adversities, such as splashing water on the keyboard ( protection class IP64) or falling from a height of a few decimeters.
These devices are provided with special hardened housings that are impact-resistant and should withstand splashing water and heat. Connection points are protected by rubber to prevent the ingress of moisture. The hard drive has gel or rubber bearings to protect it from impacts - especially a fall on the floor - and is often specially encased to prevent moisture from penetrating, so that in an emergency (computer defect) at least the data is saved are. The resistance of these devices is indicated by the DIN / VDE IP and the MIL-STD of the US military . They are often used when they have to work outside of the office, for example for the police , the military, breakdown services, land surveyors or similar field workers and in an industrial environment, mostly for data collection . It can also be viewed as a mobile version of industrial PCs . Due to their comparatively high price and the partially limited functionality (e.g. with interfaces or graphics performance) due to the special adaptation, these notebooks are less interesting for private users.
Notebook form factors
It is not always possible to make a clear distinction.
- All-round notebook, standard notebook
- Desktop replacement : replaces the desktop computer, is heavy and not particularly portable
- Tablet PC : The screen can be controlled via touchscreen, usually without a keyboard
- Subnotebook : Particularly compact notebook, but with higher performance than a netbook
- Netbook : Very compact notebook (no optical drive , relatively low performance, sometimes with a very slim operating system), which is primarily designed for Internet use
In addition, notebooks are classified according to the screen diagonal, since the size of the device today mainly depends on the screen diagonal. Common notebooks today (2013) have a screen diagonal of approx. 13 to approx. 17 inches , i.e. H. about 33 to about 44 cm. Netbooks usually have a screen diagonal of around 7 "to 11.6".
A convertible is a laptop that can also be used as a tablet thanks to a folding or click mechanism. The input can therefore be made completely normally via the keyboard or, after the conversion, via a touchscreen.
Examples are the Surface devices from Microsoft.
Ultrabook is a registered trademark of Intel for particularly thin and light notebooks with Intel processors . In order to be allowed to bear the name, the devices must meet a number of requirements. These include a long battery life, acceptable performance and tablet computer- like features like waking up quickly from standby.
The components of a portable computer are optimized for mobile use.
The installation of a special notebook processor ( Intel : Intel Core i , Intel Core Duo , Intel Core 2 Duo, Pentium Dual-Core , Pentium M , Celeron M , Atom ; AMD : Athlon XP-M , Sempron , Turion 64 , Turion 64 X2 ; Transmeta Efficeon ; IBM / Motorola G4 ; vIA C7-M) reduces the power consumption, thus extending the battery life with respect to lower-cost desktop - processor . In some mobile computers, however, normal desktop processors are also used for reasons of cost or performance.
Usually in notebooks today TFT - flat panel displays in sizes from 10.4 to 20 inches and resolutions from XGA (1024 × 768 pixels) and UHD (3840 × 2160 pixels) built, almost exclusively in the widescreen formats 16:10 16 : 9. Netbooks connect to the lower end of the scale and are available down to around 7 inches with mostly 1024 × 600 pixels. Screens with a reflective surface are often used, and there are occasional devices with anti-reflective screens. Transreflective screens can only be found in niche applications. It is usually possible to connect an external monitor via VGA , DVI , HDMI or (mini) DisplayPort and use this in addition to or instead of the built-in display.
The most common pointing devices currently used in notebooks are touchpads . Rather seldom (mainly for higher-quality business devices) and manufacturer-specific, Trackpoints are also offered, which were first installed by IBM in devices of the ThinkPad series (manufactured today by Lenovo ), where a red Trackpoint is still installed today.
Before touchpads and trackpoints became popular, trackballs were common as pointing devices.
The keyboards built into laptops usually do not have the usual numeric keypad on desktop keyboards and sometimes the Home and End keys. A dedicated numeric keypad is practically always missing on compact devices; there is enough space for it from a screen diagonal of 15 inches and larger. On smaller devices, part of the keyboard can be reassigned as a numeric keypad using the FN key.However, this cannot be used together with the letter keyboard, as this is then (at least partially) hidden. In many subnotebooks, keyboards with a narrower key layout than the usual 19 mm × 19 mm are used, which may require a certain amount of time to get used to. Laptop keys are easier to press and a lot quieter than the keys on normal desktop keyboards.
Another notebook specialty are the sometimes still available PCMCIA slots (also called PC cards or CardBus) for inserting expansion cards, which are now being replaced by the more modern ExpressCard or have been eliminated entirely. The number of interfaces is usually reduced compared to desktop PCs, so there are no older interfaces such as parallel or RS232 ports and fewer USB sockets are available. The FireWire connection, if available, is only four-pin instead of six-pin on most notebooks. H. does not provide power to the connected devices. The audio interfaces are also often restricted.
random access memory
As of the end of 2013, most current notebook models only offer two memory slots instead of the two to six common in desktop PCs. In the case of very inexpensive devices in particular, it can also happen that a memory module is firmly soldered and therefore cannot be replaced without a workshop intervention. Notebooks also usually use smaller modules ( SO-DIMM ) than desktop PCs, which further restricts the equipment. High-capacity modules in particular are dependent on the use of the latest generation of chips and are therefore comparatively expensive. Registered and ECC memory is usually not available.
Data is stored on hard drives (usually 2.5 inches miniaturized; subnotebooks are more likely to be 1.8 inches) or SSDs (usual formats 2.5 inches and M.2 ). The 2.5-inch disks work around a third slower than desktop disks (3.5-inch design) and offer, depending on the year of construction and height, around 160 to (as of early 2017) 2000 GB of storage space. In the 3.5-inch design, however, up to 10,000 GB are available (as of early 2017). The 1.8-inch hard drives, on the other hand, are again significantly limited and are currently being replaced particularly strongly by SSDs, which have no disadvantages due to their design. A space-saving connection standard (ATAPI-44) was created for the previously installed ATA hard drives, which in addition to the data and control bus also integrates the power supply into the connector strip. A suitable adapter is required to operate a notebook hard drive on a desktop PC (e.g. for data recovery). Today's SATA hard drives in notebook format (as of 2017) are completely pin-compatible with 3.5 ″ drives and only require a mounting frame for use in desktop computers. Notebook disks only use a 5 V supply voltage, which distinguishes them from desktop drives. Most notebooks only have a single hard drive, few devices have several.
Most notebooks do not have an optical drive. Built-in CD , DVD or Blu-ray drives usually meet the slimline standard. The ability to burn CD and DVD is standard (if a drive is available), while Blu-ray burners are still rare and expensive. The overall height of the drives is usually 12.7 mm, although 9.5 mm above the Superslimline standard is also possible. The more compact design goes hand in hand with higher demands on electronics and mechanics, which is why the larger form factor is usually chosen. The specifications for the SATA 6 Gb / s standard also include new connectors for a drive generation that is only 7 mm high. All optical notebook drives have in common that they have to be installed in a manufacturer-specific frame and usually have a front panel that corresponds to the notebook design.
For stationary use, all notebooks have a built-in or external power supply to operate the device and to charge the battery for mobile use. In mobile use, almost all modern notebooks use lithium-ion batteries or lithium-polymer cells for power supply. Batteries with nickel-metal-hydride technology or nickel-cadmium technology were previously widespread. Usual runtimes of notebooks in battery mode are between a few hours and well over 12 hours, depending on the energy consumption and battery capacity.
The batteries can be permanently installed or can be exchanged without tools. Some models can optionally be equipped with a second battery to increase the runtime. The additional battery is often used in its slot instead of the optical drive, but on some models it can also be attached below the main battery and therefore be larger.
The batteries are charged with switched-mode power packs for mains voltage , the on-board voltage socket of motor vehicles or the comparable so-called EmPower socket in commercial aircraft (usually as an adapter to the cigarette lighter plug).
Other possible components
- Card reader for memory cards from digital cameras , cell phones and MP3 players
- Webcam for video telephony
- Fingerprint scanner
- Smartcard readers (e.g. for encryption, electronic signature or HBCI )
- Docking station or port replicator for connecting peripheral devices
- Privacy filter
- Notebook cooler
Common source of error
Many processors in notebooks have a shutdown function if the temperature in the device rises to a higher value than intended. That is why the flawless functioning of the cooling system via the fan is a prerequisite for ongoing operation. A copper heat pipe in the notebook, which absorbs the heat from the power components, leads the heat to a heat sink in the example shown on the right in the picture. The fan can be used to blow air through slots in the heat sink to dissipate the heat from the housing. If the slots in the heat sink are clogged with dust and dirt, the cooling will be impaired. In the borderline case of a total blockage, cooling is no longer possible, the temperature in the device rises, and the computer switches itself off after a few minutes of operation. If the heat sink is visible from the outside, a cut piece of thick paper can be used to make the ventilation slit by slit again. Otherwise, only cleaning the heat sink by opening the device will help.
There are many brands on the mobile computer market , but only relatively few manufacturers who produce for them. This is due to the fact that well-known companies (such as Fujitsu Technology Solutions ) buy the notebooks from contract manufacturers ( Original Design Manufacturer (ODM)) or have them produced “personally” in slightly modified form in order to then sell them under their own name. It is usually difficult to estimate how large your own contribution to device developments is. Many notebook manufacturers have their headquarters and development in Taiwan , while most of the production takes place in the People's Republic of China . In 2011, turnover with notebooks in Germany was 3.837 billion euros .
"Real" notebook manufacturers include (in the order of their production numbers, as far as known - the numbers should be treated with caution and are only suitable for estimating the order of magnitude):
- Quanta (for practically all notebook vendors, currently the world's largest manufacturer with a little over 11 million devices in 2004)
- Compal (for Lenovo (formerly IBM ), Dell , Hewlett-Packard (formerly Compaq ) and BenQ (formerly Acer ), 7.7 million devices in 2004)
- Inventec (3.3 million in 2004)
- Wistron (formerly Acer , now self-employed, 3 million in 2004)
- Asus (sell around 50% of production under their own brand, work as a contract manufacturer for Sony and Apple , but also offer ODM devices, a total of almost 3 million in 2004)
- Arima (1.8 million in 2004)
- MiTAC (1.4 million in 2004, also semi ruggedized on offer)
- Uniwill (1.2 million in 2004; bought by Elitegroup in summer 2006)
- FIC (also active as a private label in some regions, 700,000 in 2004)
- Clevo (makes the Alienware and Voodoo gamer laptops, also for Gericom , 550,000 in 2004)
- Elitegroup / ECS (formerly also represented as a private label, since mid-2005 only ODM)
- Twinhead (also represented as a private label in Germany)
- MSI (previously worked for IBM, now represented as a separate brand; in Germany the brand name Microstar does not belong to this company, but is registered by Medion)
- LG Electronics (until the end of 2004 working for IBM in South Korea under the brand name LG @ IBM . In addition to IBM, manufactured and developed high-quality manufacturer notebooks for Compaq, HP and other manufacturers. Since around 2005 with its own brand and manufacture on the market)
- Vestel (Vestel Digital, part of the group, has been manufacturing notebook barebones both under its own brand and as ODM since 2005 )
Many well-known notebook vendors order laptops from these manufacturers, mainly of their own design (order according to sales figures in 2004, also not exactly exact):
- Dell (2004: 7.9 million)
- Hewlett-Packard (2004: 7.4 million)
- Toshiba ("inventor" of the laptop PC, produces an estimated half of the notebooks themselves, the rest comes from the above manufacturers, 2004: 5.8 million)
- Lenovo (formerly IBM, 2004: 4.3 million)
- Acer (it is particularly difficult to distinguish between in-house design and ODM, some models such as TravelMate 800 are also available as OEM versions from manufacturers; 2004: 3.9 million laptops)
- Fujitsu Technology Solutions (the Lifebooks originate from our own developments and are probably also manufactured in-house. All of the Amilo series have been bought in. 2004: 3.1 million)
- NEC (represented in Germany as Packard Bell , 2004: 2.1 million)
- Sony (2004: 1.8 million; today: VAIO Corporation )
- Apple (2004: 1.7 million)
- BenQ (formerly Acer, now independent; some devices come from their own designs, others have been bought by Mitac, 2004: 100,000)
- Medion (mainly successful in German-speaking countries)
- Wortmann AG
- Logic instrument
Very few notebook vendors mainly manufacture themselves.
- Panasonic (developed in-house and manufactured in a factory by the parent company Matsushita in Kobe )
- Samsung (until recently part of the production was outsourced to Asus ; also active as an ODM producer for Dell (Latitude subnotebooks))
- LG Electronics (allegedly all LG notebooks are produced and developed in-house)
The relationships between producers, well-known manufacturers and private label providers are constantly changing. Manufacturers like AsusTek, MSI or Twinhead are increasingly trying to appear as their own brand, while Elitegroup is withdrawing from it. It is possible that Lenovo will also introduce an ODM series after purchasing the PC and notebook division from IBM.
It is often unclear where the actual final assembly takes place. Many OEM / ODM designs already receive their entire regional equipment (keyboard, manuals ) during production in Asia . Others are delivered as barebones (without memory, CPU, hard disk, sometimes also without ODD or without display) and then in regional factories (for example Fujitsu Technology Solutions in Augsburg for the Lifebooks, Toshiba in Regensburg , Dell in Ireland ) partially equipped according to customer requirements .
|Manufacturing||distribution||Shopping trip||use||End-of-life||summed up|
|Emissions in kg CO 2 e||241.2||29.0||1.4||138.5||- 1.17||399.4|
Most greenhouse gas emissions - measured in CO 2 equivalents (CO 2 e) - arise from notebooks during manufacture and not during use. That would correspond to a useful life of up to 88 years, so that the purchase of a new device pays for itself “energetically”. "The manufacturing effort has so far been systematically underestimated." With regard to the greenhouse gas, three different data bases were selected: EuP Lot 3 , Ecoinvent 2.2 and UBA UBA 2009 research plan : a laptop with ten percent better effectiveness would have to be 33 (according to EuP) to 88 (according to UBA) Years of use. “You can only behave ecologically who has once purchased electronics for as long and as intensively as possible.” Klaus Hieronymi, responsible for sustainability at HP , says: “[…] the situation when using raw materials is slowly easing”. Toxic agents are being replaced as far as possible and expensive metals are being used to a limited extent, such as copper instead of silver. However, the ores are becoming poorer and less accessible: for copper, up to 700 times as much ore has to be used as a few decades ago.
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