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Laptops fever. Technology and concept have made up thousands of laptop designs in history. Some are best, some good, some bad, and some worst too, as per user usage. See the top 5 collection of best and worst laptop designs of history. Starting with number 5 for each.
Worst-5- Velocity Micro NoteMagix L80 (2006)
The Velocity Micro NoteMagix L80 is one of those notebooks that makes you question the sanity of its designers. It’s bad enough the system’s plain, black chassis comes straight out of Generic Notebook Design 101, but what thrusts this notebook into the realm of the visually offensive is the low-end copper strip that lines the keyboard’s perimeter. It makes the NoteMagix L80 look as though it were manufactured about 30 years ago, or that part of the machine was ripped away to expose the copper finish. It’s a shame that the notebook is so unattractive, as it packs some solid muscle under the hood with the included Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 GS graphics card and a speedy 2.1-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, but if you place any value in appearance, it will be hard to appreciate the power.
Best-5- Sony VAIO R505 SuperSlim Pro (1998)
As more people go mobile, slim notebooks are becoming increasingly popular. But when did the slimming phenom start? In 1998, when Sony announced the Sony VAIO R505 JSP SuperSlim Pro. It impressed the mobile tech world with its style and slim, one-inch-thick frame. That tiny frame packed a lot of power: a 30GB hard drive, 850-MHz Pentium III processor, and 256MB of RAM. (Remember: This is 1998.) Alas, Sony had to sacrifice the optical drive to get the system that slim. The R505 also boasted an eye-catching silver-purple lid and a bright purple touchpad and mouse buttons that tech fashionistas drooled over.
Worst-4- Sharp Actius RD3D (2003)
We’re all for pushing technology to the next level–but we have to question Sharp’s motivation for developing the Actius RD3D, other than to prove it could. Although it was the first laptop with a 3D display, the proprietary technology, which used a 15-inch XGA panel and a parallax barrier, didn’t always produce realistic three-dimensional images as much as it generated a lot of vertical banding, ghosting, and eye-strain. Of course, it didn’t help that this notebook weighed ten pounds and didn’t have Wi-Fi. But the death blow for the RD3D was the lack of 3D-optimized applications. You know a 3D notebook is a niche play when one of the included apps is a molecular viewer.
IBM 701C TrackWrite (1995)
Back in the day when we had to endure small, cramped keyboards, IBM thought it would ease the burden on our collective wrists and fingers by coming up with the TrackWrite folding keyboard. Nicknamed the “Butterfly Keyboard,” it was split into triangular-shaped pieces that meshed together like puzzle pieces to form a complete, full-sized keyboard as the notebook was opened; when the lid was being closed, the halves split and slid back into place. With the arrival of wider notebooks with more spacious keyboards, the TrackWrite quickly became obsolete, but it was certainly a winning idea that many still remember fondly.
Worst-3- IBM ThinkPad TransNote (2001)
As notebooks became more mainstream, many people found themselves debating the use of good old paper-and-pen versus the mighty PC. IBM attempted to please both camps with the IBM ThinkPad TransNote. The TransNote came in a folio case that featured the ThinkPad computer on one side and a standard 8.5 x 11-inch paper notepad on the other. The notepad sat atop an electronic digitizer that translated notes taken with a special pen for use in the PC. User notes could be organized into files and folders on the computer side; even searched through using keywords. While it certainly sounded like a good idea, the Tablet PC, which debuted the following year, was more in keeping with technologic evolution. The TransNote was more of a mashup of the new and the old. Plus, the digital pen was rather thick and proved uncomfortable to use with extended use, and the whole contraption had a massive 23 x 12.5-inch footprint.
Best-3- HP Pavilion dv2000 (2006)
There’s a reason why HP has become the top notebook manufacturer in the United States; besides being consistent performers, the systems in the Pavilion line simply look sweet. The company’s design renaissance began with the dv2000′s debut, which featured a stunning piano-black glossy coating and the wavy HP Imprint design. This pattern was the precursor to the recently released Radiance and Dragon patterns. If you doubt the impact of HP’s designs, take a look at what Dell and Gateway have done to move beyond stale pedestrian design for something more slick and eye-catching. Both companies have followed HP’s lead, Dell with more colors and Gateway with an in-mold design of its own.
Worst-2- Dell Inspiron 5150 (2003)
Bad design doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to a product’s exterior. Take the Dell Inspiron 5150, for example: This notebook’s heatsink was improperly designed and resulted in dust being sucked through the vent, which prevented the system from properly cooling. The overheating was so severe and prevalent in these models that in September 2006, a class action was made against Dell on behalf of Inspiron 5150 owners. They saw a settlement that resulted in 100 percent cash reimbursement for repairs.
Best-2- Apple PowerBook 500 series (1994)
Notebook newbies may take the ubiquitous trackpad found on their systems for granted, but those of us who have been tech geeks for more than a decade remember when trackballs were the only way to navigate the desktop. Trackballs went away when Apple designers emerged from their labs with what would go on to become the de facto notebook control method–the trackpad. Without any moving parts, the trackpad was far less likely to fail than the trackball, and the single mouse button used for clicking onscreen objects made the PowerBook 500 notebook the prototype for today’s notebooks.
Worst-1- Apple iBook (1999)
The first-generation Apple iBook was one of those love-it or hate-it designs–we choose the latter. Featuring translucent colored plastics (Graphite, Tangerine, Blueberry, Indigo, or Key Lime), and a handle built into the hinge, it resembled an overgrown makeup compact. While Apple went on to produce the sweet-looking iBook G4 (in which we can see some of the sexiness of the MacBook), this machine, despite being the first notebook to house an internal wireless connection, gets the thumbs down for design.
Best-1- Acer TravelMate C100 (2000)
Before the Acer TravelMate C100, Tablet PCs looked like, well, tablets. They were flat, one-dimensional systems too clunky to do more than just jot notes, and there wasn’t software to organize your notes. Tablets needed organization, and that came with the debut of the TravelMate C100, the world’s first convertible Tablet PC. (The simultaneously released Windows Tablet Edition OS added the much-needed software component.) By adding a rotating hinge to the laptop’s 10.4-inch display, Acer gave mobile professionals the ability to swivel the display and lay it flat over the keyboard when taking handwritten notes or to use it like a regular notebook by typing on the standard keyboard
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