What's next for the laptop?

Summary:The last few years we've seen great advancements in the laptop, from powerful components to small, practical form factors. The laptop has come so far it makes you wonder what the next big thing might be.

Wireless all the way

Wireless connectivity is now a reality, from web connections to peripherals like the mouse. The mobile laptop is a form that shouldn't be tethered to anything in its purest form.

Imagine coming back to the office, pulling the laptop out of the bag and when its set down on the desk amazing things happen. The laptop begins charging the battery wireless, the external monitor on the desk fires up and connects to the computer. The mouse setting on the desk fires up for use with the laptop, as does the full keyboard.

Dell Latitude Z
Dell Latitude Z -- Image credit: Dell

This is not farfetched, we've seen attempts at this in the past. Wireless USB was demonstrated several years ago to handle wireless peripherals as we've described, but it never went anywhere. Dell produced the Latitude Z that worked with a wireless dock for connecting wirelessly to an external monitor. The Latitude Z also had wireless charging. Unfortunately it was ahead of its time and never went anywhere.

Maybe the hardware can now handle all of this wireless connectivity. Having the scenario described above become a reality would be a big step forward for the laptop, especially in the workplace.

What do you think?

These are just a few technologies that stoke the imagination. What do you think we might see in laptops in the near future? What would you like to see? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Topics: Laptops, Mobility


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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