by February 1, 2010 0 comments

If devices are to be rated in order of their use in enabling mobility,
laptops would feature on top. However, in recent years mobile phones have become
almost as feature rich as notebooks. Employees are still using notebooks as
their primary mobility device probably due to convenience of usage. This very
reason has created a new category of devices, smart and feature rich mobile
phones and netbooks. Laptops are as powerful as your desktops and can handle
heavy applications like design or development software or a heavy application
that links to your core business application. So what do you choose for
employees who cannot use netbooks due to their computation oriented work but
still want features like battery backup at par with netbooks? This is the
question we would answer in this part. Netbooks came on to the picture because
Intel saw the need for a low cost, low power consuming processor that can fit in
to a portable computing device, to support basic productivity applications
needed by most users. Most netbooks are powered with Intel’s Atom processor,
designed on 45 nm CMOS process. Though it’s based on an entirely new
architecture, Atom has been developed for low power consumption while
maintaining compatibility with Intel’s core micro architecture instruction set.
Before netbooks, getting ultra portable laptops or devices meant a hole in your
pocket. But the question arises who is the target audience for these netbooks?
The answer is if you want a no nonsense device that you can move around easily
with and most of your work revolves around Internet surfing, then go for
netbooks. Smart phones can be an alternative for Internet surfing but their
screen is not optimized for browsing. This only makes netbooks more usable. If
your employees are designers or developers who work on designing software like
CAD or development IDEs like Visual studio then look for other options because
netbooks won’t be able to handle these heavy applications. In this we focus on
notebooks and netbooks, and enlist features of both that are essential and would
help you in deciding to pick right device for employees on the go.

Connectivity options
Netbooks were built as Internet surfing devices. This makes connectivity options
critical for these devices. While buying netbooks and laptops check if they are
packed with Gigabit LAN card for optimal wired connectivity and support 802.11N
standard for high speed wireless connections. One more thing to check out is
WiMAX and 3G support in your netbook, as both these are slated to become quite
popular wireless connectivity standards in the near future. For local wire free
data transfer check out support for the latest version of Bluetooth standard
(Bluetooth 4).

Ultra low voltage processor
Such processors you can increase the battery backup of your laptops by many
folds. In fact the popular Acer Aspire Timeline series laptop with Core 2 Solo
processor (ultra low voltage processor) like SU3500 and LED backlight were able
to give battery backup of 10 hrs which is enormous from any standard.

Webcam plus speakers
Good quality webcam and optimally placed speakers are also important. Both
these come handy not only as entertainment features but also are critical for
video conferencing and video chatting which are the integral part collaboration
suits of your organization.

Battery backup
Battery backup of most notebooks vary between 2.5 to 5 hours with 6 cell
battery which can further be increased with 9 cells battery. It is advisable to
go for 9 cell battery if you move too often. But upgrading to 9 cell would also
mean added weight which is already on the higher side for laptops when compared
with netbooks. Being powered with low energy consuming processor with small
screen size battery backup of Netbooks is more when compared with conventional
laptops. Netbooks give battery backup between 5 to 8 hrs with 3 cell battery;
but if you are ready to carry few hundred grams more go for 6 cells battery with
higher battery backup period.

LED Backlight
Instead of the regular fluorescent lamps that serve as backlights for
typical LCD screen of your laptop or netbook, this new display technique uses
LEDs. This feature not only enables manufacturer produce screens with brighter
image but also helps in enhancing the battery life of laptops and netbooks.

Solid State Drive
To further enhance the power backup of your laptop, you can use SSD instead
of conventional hard disk drive. In an experiment carried out in our labs, we
were able to double the battery backup of a laptop when we changed the
conventional hard disk drive with solid state drive. To know more on this
experiment check out the review of Intel SSD in Dec 09 issue of PCQuest.

No matter how sturdy a notebook or netbook you buy, with the passage of time
you could face problems such as virus attacks to OS, disk crashes, etc. Just
check on the support provided by different vendors. See if the warranty is
onsite or if the manufacturer expects you to carry it to the service center.
Also enquire whether the service is restricted to the hardware only or for the
OS and other apps that it comes pre-loaded with. Find out how much does the
vendor charge for each visit after the product is past its warranty and how much
time do they take to respond.

Enterprise Mobility

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