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Laptop Design For Disassembly

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  • by optikos (1187213) on Monday February 21, 2011 @10:56AM (#35267746)
    until at the premium-model level
    • And size. The whitebox laptop has been a dream for a while now. Mainly because fitting more power in less space means propitiatory components. The fact that this includes vendor lock in is just gravy for them.
    • For low end laptops the priorities are cost and "headline specs" (aka what the salesman uses to sell the machine). The premium lines add less obvious specs like size, weight, appearance, robustness etc to the list of important things.

      Ease of teardown and interchangability of components are somwhere a long way down the list.

    • by hey! (33014)

      Sure, but that's an example of what behavioral economists call "present bias". The consumer is happy if he gets his all-in-one laptop for 10% less than an equivalent modular one. The hardware vendors are happy when eighteen months from now you buy a whole new laptop when a $15 inverter board fails.

      A modular laptop is something I've wanted for many years, and I'd happily pay a 33% price premium to get it, but it won't ever become a reality without some kind of regulatory intervention. Present bias works in t

      • by foobsr (693224)
        At least, there is alredy a Patent 5539616 (among others).

        I also recall that there were 'modular' laptops a long long time ago, but apparently these did not sell.

        CC.
        • by hey! (33014)

          I also recall that there were 'modular' laptops a long long time ago, but apparently these did not sell.

          Probably because "a long time ago" was a bad time to do this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 21, 2011 @10:58AM (#35267764)

    Good luck with that.

    Laptop manufacturers (yes, all of them) want to make disposable machines. Not only is it cheaper to make them that way, it encourages users to buy new rather than upgrade.

    In the past, computer makers had to cater to the geek market, and the geeks wanted to be able to tinker. Although the Slashdot crowd refuses to accept it, the geek market is tiny relative to the mass market.

    • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:05AM (#35267848)

      A more-important factor than disposable is "small".

      It's hard to squeeze all those functions in a notebook-sized chassis unless you use every millimeter of space. Modular designs like Desktop PCs or PC/104 waste precious space.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You could make a modular computer that wouldn't really waste any more space, but it would cost a lot more to design. And because we live in the real world, it would cause more problems than it would solve. Most people don't want to reconfigure their computer. Most people will never upgrade their computer.

        Perhaps one day when we all have more CPU power than we need we will get a universal backplane. But until then, the march of progress ensures that any such thing is doomed to become outdated. PCI-E is the c

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          People always need more memory or more disk or a better video card.

          Part of this is driven by designs that were "too cheap" to begin with and quickly become obsolete.

          Not everyone buys the cheapest crap available. For those that don't, being able to keep an expensive device useful longer is valuable.

          Simply being able to separate the "PC" part of the laptop would be very useful.

          • by tepples (727027)
            RAM and disk are already upgradable behind a panel even on a netbook. Video cards are for 3D gamers, and if some reports are to be believed, the majority of 3D gamers are moving to consoles and cellphones anyway.
            • ... the majority of 3D gamers are moving to consoles and cellphones anyway.

              I'm not sure what it is, but something seems very, very wrong with this statement.

          • People always need more memory or more disk or a better video card.

            No they don't. Lots of people buy laptops, use them quite happily for four or five years with zero upgrades (other than perhaps an external drive for backup) and then "trade up" to a new model.

      • by olau (314197)

        I've opened a couple of notebooks to fix things on them, and I don't think you're necessarily right. There's plenty of space in there - not compared to a desktop pc, but still enough that it isn't a totally packed mess (I've opened a Mac mini, and that was a mess). Heck, it's not about total innovation, it's just about standardizing certain physical features so you can replace them. Memory and hard disk are already standardized, we just need optical drive, motherboard, maybe even screen and keyboard?

        Being a

        • Unless something's changed since the last time I was messing with notebooks regularly, optical drives are already standardized: slim ATAPI and slimline SATA. Although a lot of manufacturers put their optical drives into proprietary housings/brackets/modules, the drives themselves follow a design standard and anybody with a screwdriver can usually swap them out regardless of laptop model.

          There have also been (rather half-assed) attempts to standardize mobile graphics like nvidia's MXM and AMD/ATI's AXIOM.
      • Imho, the only real obstacle should be form factor standardization.

        MacBook Airs [apple.com] are now fairly simple on the inside, users obviously cannot replace the flash drive, memory, cpu, gpu, etc. given they're all parts of the main board, but batteries, screen, and main board could be user replaceable parts, and the fans could be cleanable. I doubt you'd sacrifice much space making the flash, ram, cpo, and gpu all user replaceable too.

        Why should more than one company make a MacBook Air however? You need enough sp

    • This is not about appealing to the geeks. It is about appealing to the greens. The funny part is that it is really no more green that a regular laptop.
      • by naz404 (1282810)
        How about building computers that are meant to last instead of being meant to be thrown away and "recycled" after 3 years?

        They don't make computers the way they used to. Older 486s and Pentium 1s were sturdier and lasted longer.

        Goddam culture of waste. Green my ass.
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > How about building computers that are meant to last instead of being meant to be thrown away and "recycled" after 3 years? ...then you will likely want to upgrade something or perhaps just replace a broken component.

        • How about building computers that are meant to last

          That wouldn't work because of Wirth's Law [wikipedia.org]. As computers become faster, new versions of software become slower due to new features or due to new language or library features that trade off programmer time for runtime. You can't upgrade the software because the new version's system requirements exceed your hardware, and you can't keep using your existing software on a public network because someone has discovered a critical security defect after the software's announced end of life.

        • by Duradin (1261418)

          My company-that-/.-loves-to-hate laptop is two months short of 5 years and if it wasn't for upped requirements for the games I play I still wouldn't be considering a new one yet.

        • How about building computers that are meant to last instead of being meant to be thrown away and "recycled" after 3 years?

          I'm writing this on a Dell Inspiron 4100 laptop from 2001 - A P3 with 768 meg of RAM running streamlined XP. Works perfectly well for most things. Runs Office 2000 very well, plays DVDs well. About the only things that run very poorly on it are the 'new' Slashdot and Firefox. IE 7 works fine. as does Chrome.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Funny thing that is. The greenest thing you can do is double the life of a device. When you do that, you effectively cut the energy and resources for manufacturing in half as well as the transportation costs and sales overhead. Finally, you cut input to landfills in half (let's face it, they don't actually recycle those things, they just send them off to a "recycler" in a country that doesn't actually regulate dumping).

        Manufacturers tend to advertise "green" based on practically anything but that. They are

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by captainpanic (1173915)

      Good luck with that.

      Laptop manufacturers (yes, all of them) want to make disposable machines. Not only is it cheaper to make them that way, it encourages users to buy new rather than upgrade.

      In the past, computer makers had to cater to the geek market, and the geeks wanted to be able to tinker. Although the Slashdot crowd refuses to accept it, the geek market is tiny relative to the mass market.

      You must mistake the laptop market with the Apple market, and users by Apple-customers.

      Almost all laptop users understand that they at some point would want a bigger harddrive, but don't necessarily need a new screen. And that would actually convince people to upgrade some hardware while they would never buy a new laptop (not yet), which means some people will see a business-model in this idea.

      • aaand the HDD & wireless card are the two parts in most laptops that are standardized & replaceable... Some models the HDD has only 2 screws, Many it has it's on door, some you have to dis-assemble the machine to get at it, but almost all use a standard 2.5" SATA.

        • by hitmark (640295)

          MXM graphics boards?

          still, Shuttle showed of some laptop board shapes that they hoped to push as "standard" a year or so ago.

          Not sure if it got any traction so far tho.

      • by anethema (99553)
        Both apple laptops and my big fat gaming laptop have very easy to replace hard drives. My 2008 Macbook anyways had one panel with a clicky switch thing that let it go. You then had battery and hdd access easily.

        My g73 has an access panel with 2 screws, then you can see ram, hdd, pcie, and some of the (replaceable) video card.
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...except Apple products are THE WORST when it comes to being servicable.

        They aren't any more reliable either. Or any better at standing the test of time and not becoming quickly obsolete even if they don't break.

        This would be an obvious area for Apple to "innovate" in.

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          Have you ever owned or opened one up to service one?

          I've stripped down multiple Apple laptops, from the G3 and earlier generation up to the Intel era. They're no more difficult to service than PC laptops, and no quicker to go "obsolete" compared to PC laptops. The metal (and thick polycarbonate bodies of the old ones) they use are pretty rugged in the notebook arena (especially compared to the plastic bodies of many PC laptops), although they are clearly not indestructible and a couple of models have had "c

          • Open up a 2nd Gen iBook G3/G4 and get back to us. The machine is built around the hard drive and requires removal of about 3-4 different screw types in the process. The Powerbooks are a breeze in comparison although the Albooks did have screws that were easy to strip if one wasn't careful.
            • by jo_ham (604554)

              I did a G3 iBook - had an old 600Mhz G3 and replaced the HD a couple of times.

              It eventually gave up the ghost when someone cracked the screen hinge mounting and I figured it was time for an upgrade.

      • I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at, but you do realize that MacBooks are easy to upgrade. It's not any harder than doing it on POS Dell machines. Yes, you have to go to Mac Fixit to see just how it comes apart instead of randomly attacking screws on the bottom of the case, but it's not difficult at all.
      • by houghi (78078)

        And if they need a new HD, they buy a new portable or in some cases an external HD. I am able to replace the HD in my portable, but even I would most likely just buy a new one. In fact, that is exactly what I did.

        Also because when I need a bigger HD, I will also want a faster one.

    • by Junta (36770)

      That thing is a relatively chunky system even compared to some laptops in the market that are lamented as too large.

      A manufacturer would find a customer base that rounds to zero with an offering like this.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Yet I would accept a bit bigger and a bit more expensive laptop if it was modular. I suspect I am not the only one. Also think that there is a third world market that puts a high price on the repairability of items and cares less about weight or performance. A school that knows it can easily (and quickly, not everyone has a Fry's nearby) repair the 30% of laptops that will be broken every year is probably ready to pay 15% more for each.
  • by Aggrajag (716041) on Monday February 21, 2011 @10:59AM (#35267782)
    This would mean cheaper assembly costs for manufacturers.
    • by 517714 (762276)
      I am afraid not. When designed for multiple cycles of assembly/disassembly the screws have to be larger, and the length of engagement increased to reduce the chances of stripping the threads. The laptop cannot use screws engaged into plastic, inserts or stronger material is required. This is a great idea in theory that just won't translate to reality.
  • The totally separable keyboard concept alone was really cool. If there was a laptop out there using that, Id buy.
    • Yes! It could allow me to be further away from my small screen. Ahhh... Wait a minute. :) And before you say external monitor, let me remind you of external keyboard, and wow, it is not a laptop anymore.
      • Not all laptops have tiny screens. Take an example of a lap-jack. A lot of offices provide them for their laptop workers. With every lap-jack there is a regular keyboard littering the table that you generally cant bring along. Placing your laptop at eye level and keeping the keyboard on your desk is ergonomically sanest thing to do. Your neck will thank you for it. And a laptop like this would allow you to do it anywhere, where there is something rectangular(books, packaging box, whatever) to put under the
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Funny)

      by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:21AM (#35267978) Journal

      If there was a laptop out there using that, Id buy

      It's called an iPad. The keyboard is so separated that is isn't even included by default.

      • The iPad is explicitly not designed to do much of what I do on my netbook. By explicitly, I mean Apple's developer agreement prohibits any application that does it. So I've chosen not to replace my netbook with an iPad.
        • You've lost me. The iPad accepts any Bluetooth keyboard. What has "Apple's developer agreement" got to do with an external keyboard?

          • by tepples (727027)

            The iPad accepts any Bluetooth keyboard. What has "Apple's developer agreement" got to do with an external keyboard?

            Keyboard or no keyboard, the applications that I would want to run are still banned from the App Store.

    • That was neat indeed, but otherwise the laptop doesn't convince. The single biggest problem I see with it is that is it the complete opposite of sturdy; usually laptops go through all kinds of rough spots, drop down from tables, have cats/dogs/etc jumping on them and so on, and this thing would come apart. And if it comes apart while running it could seriously damage the parts, especially the screen itself would be in danger.

      I don't mean to bash their efforts though, I would love a laptop that is easily dis

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by suso (153703) *

      The totally separable keyboard concept alone was really cool. If there was a laptop out there using that, Id buy.

      No its not. Just buy a wireless keyboard. The fact of the matter is, the only things that a consumer can't replace in a laptop is the screen, CPU and mainboard. I mean easily. The harddrive and ram are easily replaceable by anyone who cares to. This is basically just a feel good video of a trio of college students who don't understand the market well enough to make something useful.

      • Reason, why I have a laptop and why I like the separable keyboard is portability. There aren't that many wireless keyboards made for portability. There are some, certainly, but they are hardly common and they would still be an extra item in my laptop bag that already contains my wacom tablet, a mouse and all the assorted cabling. An extra wireless keyboard I would need to power by some external means at least occasionally too so I would be hauling a battery charger and spare batteries or the charger for the
      • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by olau (314197) on Monday February 21, 2011 @12:35PM (#35268686) Homepage

        The fact of the matter is, the only things that a consumer can't replace in a laptop is the screen, CPU and mainboard.

        And the battery. And the keyboard. And the optical drive...

        Sure, for these you can still get a spare part. At least as long as it's new and not too obscure. That's different from being able to replace it with something new and different, though. I think this sounds like a fantastic idea. Cheaper, more flexible hardware. If somebody would force it down the manufacturers' throats I would be happy. :)

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          All the optical drives in laptops are pretty standard parts.

          I have dropped a few random whitebox ones into people who wanted upgrades on their old powerbooks that didn't have DVD-R drives.

        • If somebody would force it down the manufacturers' throats I would be happy. :)

          Commie. Socialist. Your mother wears army boots.

          Now that I've insulted you, let me just point you to the error in your thinking. You WANT "somebody" (a governmental agency, perhaps) to first figure out what's 'cheaper and more flexible' and then force everyone to follow that, and only, that program? You want a COMMITTEE of a GOVERNMENTAL agency to figure out what's 'cheaper and more flexible' and then force everyone to follow that, and only that, program? You want a some LOBBYIST talking to a COMMIT

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        No its not. Just buy a wireless keyboard. The fact of the matter is, the only things that a consumer can't replace in a laptop is the screen, CPU and mainboard.

        You forgot RAM. RAM is usually at or near the max of what the machine is capable of holding if you buy the machine in a 'capable' configuration. The "default"/minimum for the machine is usually half that. It gives you very few upgrade options. Considering laptops are usually roughly 2/3rds as capable (or less) of a comparably priced desktop (disk speed, CPU, RAM/RAM upgrade options), there's not a lot that can be done to make it go another mile when it's time to replace it.

        Also, consider that laptop display

      • the only things that a consumer can't replace in a laptop is the screen, CPU and mainboard.

        Power sockets. Power sockets are the #1 repair request I get on laptops. It's insane how much I have to charge for replacing a $3 part to make it worth my while to open up a laptop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:06AM (#35267858)

    Reading TFA it quite clearly says "Students from Stanford and Finland's Aalto University", so a much more proper way to say it would've been "Stanford and Aalto University of Finland". (since most of the readers have probably never even heard of Aalto University) How would the summary of "Aalto and United States cooperate on project to..." sound?

    • by shking (125052)
      Your wording makes it sound like "Stanford and Alto" is a university in Finland
  • by fermion (181285) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:15AM (#35267944) Homepage Journal
    Quick connects are heavier and take space. Even without quick connects, one either builds for compactness or ease of disassembly. The later always involved compromises in the former. Laptops are often used in public spaces. Anything that can be removed easily can often be removed even when the laptop is secure. While a battery that can only be used on a certain computer might not be valuable to everyone, memory and harddisks and other things might be,

    This type of machine will appeal to a select group of people. Desktop macs starting in the late 90's were more easily expandable and easier to work on than any desktop PC. A single latch opened the machine. Hard drives were exposed at the bottom, memory was right there. No one cared. For a long time the powerbooks were reasonable easy to work on. Once the cover was open, secured with Torx, it was pretty easy to replace a hard disk, replace a keyboard, replace an wireless card, replace pretty much everything. Just like all machines, though replacing anything would be 10% the cost of the machine, so many opted to buy a new machine, or get Apple Care for 15% of the machine and have Apple fix it for three years, which would mean a four year lifetime.

    But then no one cared preferring to buy a cheaper machine even though it was less elegant to upgrade.

  • Thinkpads (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:21AM (#35267980)
    They could use Thinkpads as the base for thier idea
    Almost all components, except the Processor,Motherboard and screen are CRU's
    Making the Screen and Processor a CRU shouldnt be too difficult(Its not very difficult as of now either), cant say about the Motherboard.
    By Thinkpads, I mean the real thinkpads(T,X,W Series)
    • by story645 (1278106)

      The screen, CPU and system board are often FRUs too, and the assembly instructions are even in the manual (which could be better, but at least exists). You can pretty much do a full gut/rebuild if you're inclined to (or like me and like your thinkpad tablet and don't much like the other options on the market.)

      • FRU and CRU are different things..
        FRU= Field Replacable Unit -- Does not need special equipment to replace, though it may require specialised skills
        CRU = Customer replacable Unit -- Very simple to replace, something like a max of 4 screws..(dont remember the exact definition)

        OT: Saw an old Thinkpad, one of the models with folppy drives functional with Win 95 a few weeks back..
  • Apple, really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ugen (93902) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:35AM (#35268118)

    I know Mac is a magic word and answer to world peace and all. And the song is cute.

    But really, do they have a clue? Did the guy try to open up a Macbook? It's worse than his HP. The official Apple answer to cleaning the fan is to buy a new computer :)

    • Was thinking exactly the same thing - replaced a hard drive in an MBP last year, 32 screws... all Philips, except the last 4 were torx. Didn't have the right size, so had to go into town the following day to complete the job. At least it was a relatively standard size though, unlike the screws they're using on their newer models... Someone is selling the screw drivers here [ifixit.com] though.
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        The new ones are really easy.

        The toughest one I've done is the 12" Powerbook and even that's not too bad. Certainly it't on a par with the HP laptop in the video though - it's not like taking a laptop apart is like replacing the batteries in your TV remote.

    • Seriously? The current model MacBook is pretty easy. Just open the bottom and everything is there- no hidden screws.
    • I know Mac is a magic word and answer to world peace and all. And the song is cute.

      But really, do they have a clue? Did the guy try to open up a Macbook? It's worse than his HP. The official Apple answer to cleaning the fan is to buy a new computer :)

      Right. That's why there are dozens of posts here (and hundreds on previous threads, we've really attacked this poor little meme before on many an occasion) discussing stripping MacBooks. Yes, you have to do it in a sequence. No, you can't just start unscrewing things until the correct module falls out of the bottom (typical Dell / HP dis assembly protocol). It's not hard. There are even instructional videos. Get over it.

  • by advocate_one (662832) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:37AM (#35268144)

    before the manufacturers will do it... same as the WEEE regulations had to come in before they would finally take back their broken items... it will take legislation to force them to design for disassembly and design for repair... currently, they hide behind other product liability regulations where they can use "scary" labels and weird proprietary fasteners to prevent the owner from taking the machine apart...

    my new netbook has a "warranty void if tampered with" label over one screw hole which effectively prevents me from swapping out the hard disk and sticking a new one in to put a clean Linux install on (thus keeping the original disk ready to slip back in if needed).

    Being a fully "qualified" geek who has built systems from scratch since almost day one of the personal computer revolution this sad fact really annoys me as I'm perfectly competent to fix things if I can get at them...

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Or you could plug in a USB hard disk, dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt//disk-image bs=4M.

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      nothing requires legislation.

      There is plenty competition out there in the computer market to have whatever you want and prices reflect the differences.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:39AM (#35268162) Homepage

    Many others tried the "modular" laptop design. result, everyone ignored it. there is no video card standard, there is no formfactor standard, no screen standard... etc...

    So we get the mildly upgradeable laptops, most do away with a processor socket and go with a bga soldered to the board to save $0.32 per unit made eliminating processor upgrades.

    It's a great exercise in though and design, but in reality cheap and custom is what everyone will stick to.

    • by robot256 (1635039)

      So we get the mildly upgradeable laptops, most do away with a processor socket and go with a bga soldered to the board to save $0.32 per unit made eliminating processor upgrades.

      High-speed sockets are expensive, and a mobile CPU socket would probably be at least a few dollars in quantity nowadays. The bigger problem is it would add thickness, weight and failure points.

  • by John Napkintosh (140126) on Monday February 21, 2011 @11:40AM (#35268168) Homepage

    Maybe not quite as modular and able to be disassembled as what the they're going for in the article, there is at least one manufacturer called Clevo out there making barebones, totally upgradable laptops at the premium level. Granted they use mobile components, but CPU and GPU are discrete, up to 3 hdds and 4 sticks of ram in some cases, a mini pcie slot, etc.

    They actually offer one that allows you to use desktop i7 processors.

  • by Confused (34234) on Monday February 21, 2011 @12:06PM (#35268386) Homepage

    What a piece of clueless high-school optimism this project is.

    They wrap the innards of a netbook into the a casing regular size casing. Look at the space wasted on the fastenings for the screen bezel and the additional thickness added by all those thick plastic sheets between motherboard and keycaps. With that much space and weight wasted, at least they could have gone on the full eco-trip and made the casing out of cardboard or recycled wood. They totally miss the main selling point of a laptop: Small and light.

    At least the project leadress was blond and pleasant to look at. But to improve the video, they should have cut the scenes where the geek or the invention appeared.

    To sum it up: rather worthless - except for blondie if one is attracted to the type.

    • by dejanc (1528235)

      They wrap the innards of a netbook into the a casing regular size casing. Look at the space wasted on the fastenings for the screen bezel and the additional thickness added by all those thick plastic sheets between motherboard and keycaps. With that much space and weight wasted, at least they could have gone on the full eco-trip and made the casing out of cardboard or recycled wood. They totally miss the main selling point of a laptop: Small and light.

      To me, that laptop seems very compact. I suppose they u

    • hey totally miss the main selling point of a laptop: Small and light.

      I was thinking much the same thing. Plus, rest assured that if it comes apart that easily on the workbench... it'll come apart even faster when you drop it or when it gets knocked off a desk. Not to mention those kids of 'slip fasteners' (or whatever the technical terms is for things held together by friction and a modest amount of spring tension) tend to wear out and loosen pretty quickly under real world use.

      To sum it up: rath

  • A similar story has been at SlashDot already at November: 2010: Bloom Laptop Designed For Easy Disassembly [slashdot.org]. Though these projects are still not available in the shops. In the meantime you can have a look at these free do-it-yourself disassembly guides for laptops and notebooks [repair4laptop.org].
    • by hey! (33014)

      DIY disassembly isn't for everyone, and even where it is possible the guides are not always available, but your mention of this gave me a brainstorm. A professionally molded modular kit might be very attractive to the kind of hobbyists who play with small form factor enclosures.

  • A friend of mine had a laptop from Dell with a modular slot that would accommodate a 3.5" floppy drive or a slot-load CD/DVD disc drive. The laptop package came with both and promised other accessories were available.

    Aside from this, hdd, and ram; what else would you like to upgrade in your average laptop? I have seen Gigabit Ethernet via ExpressCard Slot [ebay.com], clunky video card solution [sewelldirect.com] and a few vendors sell USB 2.0 sound cards that beat laptop audio for performance.

    These are certainly clunky solutions that

    • Things I would like to upgrade in my laptop that aren't normally upgradeable:
      * motherboard (I'm OK with video chipset being on this)
      * cpu - a few models allow this, but the upgrade path is very narrow
      * LCD - it is offered as a factory option for some premium laptops

      You can argue all you want about how difficult it is, or how "clunky" it would be. But I believe such arguments indicate a lack of imagination.

      • The principle selling point of a laptop is portability. If you get away from being portable you might as well have a desktop. "Entertainment" laptops already push this boundary with some of them being very power hungry(better be plugged in constantly) and/or weighing as much as 15lbs. Weight may be an issue on its own, but consider other things you might be carrying and it could be cumbersome
  • You're gaining easier upgrading, recycling, and service. None of these directly benefits the manufacturer.

    What you are giving up:
    - lower cost
    - smaller size
    - greater durability

    And to a lesser degree these designs usually have fewer built-in features because space cannot be fully taken advantage of to cram in little extras like bluetooth or surround sound.

    We've seen this idea pitched a few times here before and nobody wants to talk about all the tradeoffs they'll have to make. Manufacturers don't like it. I

  • I get through laptops pretty regularly, (life on the road + 4 kids), so don't buy expensive ones - cheapest with the biggest screen. Then I swap out the big memory and hard-drives that I used to upgrade the fried one. Easy to do, since most laptop chassis from big manufacturers are designed to be easy to build to order...
    I find that cheap laptop + home upgrade = plenty fast PC for peanuts...

  • tiny social democrat country. big innovation. thank you.
  • It's not up to the level of geek fantasy what-a-white-box-laptop-could-be. However, for practical purposes, if you get one of the big-chassis Thinkpads or Dell Latitudes (in the case of Dell, this would be a Latitude E-series today) then a ton of parts are interchangeable and upgradeable between models in the same chassis series. And it's been that way since the Latitude C-series at least. They're a lot easier to work on than the consumer-model laptops, too.

    These days I just buy disposable junk like ever

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