Computers keep getting thinner

Posted on July 28, 2011

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(WIRED-Christina Bonnington)

Our notebooks, ultrabooks and desktop PCs are all getting thinner — thin enough that Kate Moss in her heroin-chic heyday could have sported something like the 13-inch MacBook Air down the runway and it wouldn’t have overwhelmed her almost nonexistent frame.

It’s no surprise. We’ve been seeing computers slim down ever since those giant room-sized computers that spawned the digital age, and the introduction of the first PCs in the decades that followed.

But for a while, we were continually adding features such as hard drive space, optical drives, SD card slots to our notebooks and PCs.

Now, as storage migrates toward online servers, and media is more likely to be streamed rather than viewed from a DVD or Blu-ray disc, many of those onboard features are shrinking down, or getting nixed altogether.

Consumers are favoring size and portability over a heftier ‘do-it-all’ type machine.

“Size will most certainly be an important driver when consumers look for their next PC or notebook,” especially with tablets at the forefront of consumers’ minds todays, says Desiree Davis, Senior Manager with Resolve Market Research.

The skinny: In recent years, we’ve been seeing ultra-portable notebooks like Apple’s MacBook Airs ditch the optical drive so they can achieve a slim silhouette.

The Mac Mini desktop also lost the optical drive in its latest iteration. And now, both MacRumors and TUAW are reporting that Apple is working on ultra-thin 15- and 17-inch notebooks as well, likely to fall under the MacBook Pro umbrella and hit the market around the holiday season… [read more]

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Posted in: Business, Tech