The earliest and most important technology event of the year has come and gone, and it brought with it some products and technologies that left our mouths wide open. CES 2015 saw launches and announcements by major and not so major manufacturers, including an overwhelming number of notebooks and tablets.
I attended the show for the 5th time this year, and one thing clear to all PC industry watchers was that CES 2015 was the year of light and sleek laptops.
After losing sales to tablets for years, CES proved that notebook makers got the message from customers loud and clear. Customers wanted lighter, powerful, and sleeker devices, and what we saw at CES was manufacturers addressing that with a focus on design, while maintaining the value proposition of notebooks; power and productivity.
While, Lenovo and Dell, with their Yoga and Inspiron Duo convertibles, set the stage a few years ago for innovations in the form factor, vendors are now taking design to the next level and are making laptops smaller, slimmer, and aesthetically appealing.
HP’s new Elitebook Folio 1020 Special Edition, Samsung’s ATIV Book 9, and Lenovo’s LaVie line are some of the attempts from PC makers that aim to make laptops lighter. All of these devices weigh less than 2.2lbs, which is lighter than the 2.4 pound Microsoft 12-inch Surface Pro 3. Meanwhile, Lenovo’s 13-inch LaVie laptops took it to the next level, with models weighing a mere 1.72 pounds.
Dell started a new wave of thin and light designed notebooks with its XPS 13 machine and is aiming to make its PCs sleeker and more compact. Weighing between 2.6 pounds and 2.8 pounds, the XPS 13 fits a 13.3-inch screen into a chassis of an 11-inch notebook, allowing a wider viewing area without sacrificing space. The world’s smallest notebook, also a recipient of the Innovation Award at CES 2015, measures just 12×7.9×0.59-inches, which is the same size as Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air and is much smaller than Apple’s 13-inch model. So not surprisingly, the rumor mill has it that Apple is working on a new 12-inch MacBook Air that is thinner and lighter than the current 11-inch MacBook Air. And this is only the first wave of products with a focus on thin and light…
Notebooks are a part of a much wider PC ecosystem that also includes other devices such as smartphones, tablets, and desktops, all supporting unique applications. For a while, notebooks lost relevance among users who were looking for portability and the latest generation of forthcoming notebooks is a great example of how manufacturers are evolving design to meet the needs of this group.