Alternatively called a notebook, a laptop is a portable computer that is more efficient and nearly as powerful as a desktop computer
Portable computers run off AC power or batteries such as NiMH, NiCad, or Li-ion packs, for several hours. Similar in operation to desktops, laptop computers are miniaturized and optimized for mobile
use. Laptops run' on a single battery or an external adapter that charges the computer batteries. They are
enabled with an inbuilt keyboard, touch pad acting as a mouse and a liquid crystal display. Their
portability and capacity to operate on battery power have proven to be of great help to mobile users.
Fig. 1: Laptop Computer
As shown in the picture, the laptop computer has everything needed for normal operation. It has an LCD screen, keyboard, and touchpad. Although a laptop may have multiple external devices and cables connected, no external connections are required for standard usage.
Today, most laptop computers are becoming thinner and lighter to help compete with other devices, such as tablets. Some laptops, especially those with smaller form factors, may also be called notebook computers.
Intel also sells a line of ultra-thin laptops under the name Ultrabook.
What was the first laptop or portable computer?
The IBM 5100
is the first portable computer, which was released in September 1975. The computer weighed 55-pounds and had a five-inch CRT display
, tape drive
, 1.9 MHz PALM processor
, and 64 KB of RAM. The picture is an ad of the IBM 5100 taken from a November 1975 issue of Scientific American.
Fig. 2: IBM 5100
The first truly portable computer or laptop is the Osborne I, which was released in April 1981 and developed by Adam Osborne. The Osborne I weighed 24.5-pounds, had a 5-inch display, 64 KB of memory, two 5 1/4" floppy drives, ran the CP/M 2.2 operating system, included a modem, and cost $1,795.
The IBM PCD (PC Division) later released the IBM portable in 1984, its first portable computer that weighed 30-pounds. Later in 1986, IBM PCD announced its first laptop computer, the PC Convertible, weighing 12-pounds. Finally, in 1994, IBM introduced the IBM ThinkPad 775CD, the first notebook with an integrated CD-ROM.
In the December 8, 1985 New York Times, an article was published by Erik Sandberg-Diment, who stated the average user would never want a laptop.
The first Apple laptop, the Macintosh Portable, was released in September 1989. Due to its size and cost (roughly $6500), it was not popular. Apple changed its approach to laptop development and, in October 1991, released the PowerBook line of laptops. They released the PowerBook 100, PowerBook 140, and PowerBook 170, which were better received in the computer market.
What are the different parts of a laptop?
There are several parts of a laptop, as shown below.
Other laptop parts
- Screen (e.g., LCD)
- Ports (left side and right side)
- Power button
The following list includes other components of a laptop and are not shown in the picture above.
- AC adapter
- Logic board
- Storage device (e.g., HDD, SSD, M.2)
- Optical drive
- Wireless card