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Laptops - what does the industry need to fix?

What is lacking in the laptop industry?

  • 15" is cute, I don't do cute

    Votes: 10 13.5%
  • I don't want [AMD][Intel][Nvidia] components

    Votes: 4 5.4%
  • Not enough RAM by default (potential upgrade nightmares)

    Votes: 26 35.1%
  • No or Tiny SSD (potential upgrade nightmares)

    Votes: 28 37.8%
  • Poorly thought out keyboard layouts

    Votes: 18 24.3%
  • Limited BIOS/UEFI

    Votes: 25 33.8%
  • Limited IO (Not enough ports, no desired port combo, etc)

    Votes: 31 41.9%
  • Lack of professional features (8/10 bit screens, RAID, other miscellaneous)

    Votes: 5 6.8%
  • High prices for the specifications

    Votes: 41 55.4%
  • Other (having to buy through third parties, heat issues, warranty nonsense, LED issues, etc)

    Votes: 36 48.6%

  • Total voters
    74
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Still, localization is important. Few years ago manufacturers/brands paid more attention for such things. Now they only pay attention for their own profit. Today I can find a very few laptops with proper (localized) key mapping and the same thing goes for backlit PC keyboards. What overwhelming majority of manufacturers/brands do today is an perfect example of an extremely rude business practice and total disrespect for the customers and I'm not OK with that. If you up there in the north are used to that - well... shame on you.

Second, it's not exactly a small market. Combined population of Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro is over 21 million if we don't count 5+ million who work abroad - that's for the ŠĐČĆŽ letters. We also use QWERTZ layout which is the most common in the EU, so it really pisses me off when I see QWERTY laptops or keyboards over here.

The thing is that localization doesn't cost much, but manufacturers/brands are so cheap that they remind me of some car manufacturer (I think it was Ford) where they refused to correct a serious safety mistake for as little as 1$ per vehicle and rather decided to pay-out to victims who had a car accident with their cars. I read somewhere about that story long time ago, so I don't remember the exact details. The conclusion is the same - profit, profit and profit. Customers? Sc**w the customers!

For example this is a properly localized backlit laptop keyboard suitable for Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro (old photo, my Dell laptop) - it doesn't have numpad, but that's of far less importance on a 15.6" laptop:
View attachment 142551
I don't actually live "up in the north", but ok.

21 million is a tiny, tiny, tiny market, just like the Nordics or the little island I live on now where a lot of these things are still made, or at least where the makers HQ's are based.
Any market under 100 million is tiny, sorry to burst your bubble, but that's how these companies think.
I doubt most of the laptop makers sell more than a 10 or 20,000 notebooks of each model in your market, so it's simply not worth the investment to them, right or wrong.

In fact, I've been having a look at getting a new laptop and here you only get US ANSI layout with additional characters for the locals and I don't want that, so I've had a look back home, which is a market with rather high buying power, yet it seems to be a very poor selection of available notebooks and part of that is likely down to customization, as these companies don't want to offer too many SKUs, as it just adds cost to them. It's the same situation most model aren't likely to sell more than 10 or 20k units.

QWERTY is by far the most common layout in the EU, again, don't confuse ANSI with ISO layout. Please see attached map.

Green is QWERTY
Orange is QWERTZ
Blue is AZERTY
Yellow is special stuff and Grey is non latin.


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTZ and you can compare with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY

Are you in the computer manufacturing industry? I don't think so from you lack of knowledge. I am and I happened to meet up with the founder of Wooting, which is a keyboard company and had a chat with him about keyboards. Turns out, it's really quite expensive to make keyboard key caps if you want something that isn't standardised. Also, injection moulds for plastic costs quite a bit. Based on projects I've worked on, a mould for a full set of keys for a keyboard, at least if you're talking the kind that is used with back-lit keys, you're looking at something like US$40-50,000. Obviously you make a mould so you can make the extra keys for additional languages, but if you look at the Wikipedia links above, you'll soon see that there's an insane amount of variations on some of the keys on a keyboard, so at some point the devices makers are going to have to make a trade-off, regardless of how it makes us consumers feel. This is why I'm using a "Nordic" keyboard, rather than a Swedish one.

Technically, we both have the same problems, our languages have letters that aren't easily typeable without a customised keyboard. However, this means that we're also going to have to live with the fact that there's either a reduced range of products available, or we're going to have to suffer with a different keyboard layout. I can in fact type just fine on a British ISO keyboard, I just need to remember that I've switched language on and that some things are located in a different position. For example, the brackets () are shifted one key to the right using a British keyboard. Not sure if the same would be true for you using, say a German or Polish keyboard.

Back in the days when I worked as a tech journalist in the UK, someone at the Register went to CES and used one of the computers in the press centre to write an article. He was a touch typist and didn't notice he was using a QWERTZ keyboard, rather than a QWERTY keyboard, so all his Y's were Z's in the story, which he somehow didn't even read through before sending off for publishing. His editor thought it was so funny that they published the story as he'd written it...

I guess this is way off topic now and I'm not sure it's the biggest issue with modern laptops, but yes, it can be really frustrating to use a computer with a keyboard layout you don't like. I have similar feelings for ANSI keyboards, as I can't type Swedish on those in a sensible way, as ANSI keyboards are a couple of keys short compared to ISO keyboards, which makes it impossible to figure out how to type certain things.

Oh and be glad you don't write traditional Chinese.
 
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I disagree, at least for Enterprise class laptops, I don't want users taking ram or SSD's, screws deter them, more than an a tool less design would.
I think once the lids off I'm with you but I would want some screws for security's sake in the lid, personally.
Nah! Security? LOL Do you have people stealing RAM and SSDs out of PCs and notebooks now?

We are not talking about stealing pens out of the office supply cabinet. If one of my employees steals RAM or SSDs out of one of my company's notebooks, they'll be fired on the spot - and perhaps turned over to the police!

A few screws are not going to stop anyone who has bad intentions - not to mention on many notebooks, the drives and RAM are accessible via access covers.

And are we really talking about "enterprise" class laptops? Or personal laptops?

Screws, like padlocks, just keep honest people honest. So do company policies. When I was in the Air Force, when I worked in the private sector, when I had my own business EVERYBODY knew from day 1, stealing from the company was wrong, and a punishable offense.
 
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Nah! Security? LOL Do you have people stealing RAM and SSDs out of PCs and notebooks now?

We are not talking about stealing pens out of the office supply cabinet. If one of my employees steals RAM or SSDs out of one of my company's notebooks, they'll be fired on the spot - and perhaps turned over to the police!

A few screws are not going to stop anyone who has bad intentions - not to mention on many notebooks, the drives and RAM are accessible via access covers.

And are we really talking about "enterprise" class laptops? Or personal laptops?

Screws, like padlocks, just keep honest people honest. So do company policies. When I was in the Air Force, when I worked in the private sector, when I had my own business EVERYBODY knew from day 1, stealing from the company was wrong, and a punishable offense.
It's a deterrent, a deterrent keeps honest people honest, and yes I've seen it plenty of times
 
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Nah! Security? LOL Do you have people stealing RAM and SSDs out of PCs and notebooks now?

We are not talking about stealing pens out of the office supply cabinet. If one of my employees steals RAM or SSDs out of one of my company's notebooks, they'll be fired on the spot - and perhaps turned over to the police!

A few screws are not going to stop anyone who has bad intentions - not to mention on many notebooks, the drives and RAM are accessible via access covers.

And are we really talking about "enterprise" class laptops? Or personal laptops?

Screws, like padlocks, just keep honest people honest. So do company policies. When I was in the Air Force, when I worked in the private sector, when I had my own business EVERYBODY knew from day 1, stealing from the company was wrong, and a punishable offense.
Speaking personally of a personal laptop, Generally if i had a corporate laptop i wouldn't give the slightest shit besides keeping it conventionally safe if you know what I mean.
Your right though, i do agree on all your points but I would feel better knowing a personal laptop needed a margin of effort to get into.
 
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It's a deterrent, a deterrent keeps honest people honest
So is the threat of being fired!
and yes I've seen it plenty of times
If you have seen it plenty of times, then some managers' heads need to roll. This is not rocket science. Stealing company assets is a crime that directly hurts the bottom line.

During my almost 50 year career in IS/IT support, I've been a total newbie trainee, to trainer, to team lead, to supervisor, to senior engineer, to manager, to company owner. At no point along the way did I think stealing from the company was right and at no point did I not know, as company policy, that it was wrong and that consequences would ensue if assets under my watch went missing.

When I was in charge of mobile IT assets (notebooks, pagers, cell phones, etc.), employees had to sign for those assets, by signing the inventory of those assets. Office assets were signed for by that office manager. If they were returned (or annual inventories revealed) missing RAM or SSDs, someone had some "splainin'" to do.

*****

As a technician, I want easy access to the innards - not just for easier repairs, but for proper "preventative maintenance" like cleaning. Many, if not most PC cases are tool-less - with thumbscrews to remove side panels. I see no reason a notebook cannot have a recessed lever on a sliding back cover for easy access too. I hate it when it takes a special tool.

IF we were talking about keeping users out of harm's way (from deadly voltages, for example), then physical measures to restrict or block access would make sense. But that's not the case here (except inside a PC PSU).
 
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So is the threat of being fired!
If you have seen it plenty of times, then some managers' heads need to roll. This is not rocket science. Stealing company assets is a crime that directly hurts the bottom line.

During my almost 50 year career in IS/IT support, I've been a total newbie trainee, to trainer, to team lead, to supervisor, to senior engineer, to manager, to company owner. At no point along the way did I think stealing from the company was right and at no point did I not know, as company policy, that it was wrong and that consequences would ensue if assets under my watch went missing.

When I was in charge of mobile IT assets (notebooks, pagers, cell phones, etc.), employees had to sign for those assets, by signing the inventory of those assets. Office assets were signed for by that office manager. If they were returned (or annual inventories revealed) missing RAM or SSDs, someone had some "splainin'" to do.

*****

As a technician, I want easy access to the innards - not just for easier repairs, but for proper "preventative maintenance" like cleaning. Many, if not most PC cases are tool-less - with thumbscrews to remove side panels. I see no reason a notebook cannot have a recessed lever on a sliding back cover for easy access too. I hate it when it takes a special tool.

IF we were talking about keeping users out of harm's way (from deadly voltages, for example), then physical measures to restrict or block access would make sense. But that's not the case here (except inside a PC PSU).
It happens, I saw it plenty working for a university I'd get a call that a system isn't work come to find out it's missing ram, but it's been sitting on their desk and never goes home. I see it more in desktops right now because they are easier to access and someone can find an unattended unit and grab ram or hdd in 30 seconds. I'm a big fan of now putting a heavy duty ziptie on the case where you'd put the Kensington lock to deter quick thefts and it works.
 
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they need cooling !
baby I'm not fooling

I wonder if plugging a laptop into a stationary liquid cooling station can ever happen.
 
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It happens,
I never suggested it doesn't or can't happen. Workplace theft happens all the time. What I am saying is if someone is intent on stealing RAM or a SSD, 4 little screws are not going to stop them.
 
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I never suggested it doesn't or can't happen. Workplace theft happens all the time. What I am saying is if someone is intent on stealing RAM or a SSD, 4 little screws are not going to stop them.
Yes but after I put zipties, instead of loosing 8-10 4gb sticks of ddr3 every month we dropped to 1-2 every 6 months, one little deterrent made a difference
 

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Cooling is the biggest problem, then lan ports being removed, no video outs, not enough usb ports. 32GB SSDs need to be 100GB minimum. Winblows 10...
 
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Yes but after I put zipties, instead of loosing 8-10 4gb sticks of ddr3 every month we dropped to 1-2 every 6 months, one little deterrent made a difference
Well, I still think you just put a band-aid on a festering wound. The real problem in your organization is management. A couple highly publicized firings due to theft of company property would have taken care of that long ago. Your people need to be signing for these notebooks and be held responsible. And it is your manager and their managers that need to be setting that policy and enforcing it. Not you.

We had a $500 Tektronix oscilloscope disappear once. It was discovered for sell at a flea market. The threat of jail time turned the flea market vendor into a canary and so our employee was in jail - and out of a job.
 

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they need cooling !
baby I'm not fooling

I wonder if plugging a laptop into a stationary liquid cooling station can ever happen.
Did Asus not make like a GX700 with watercooling....someone modded it....something?
 
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Nah! Security? LOL Do you have people stealing RAM and SSDs out of PCs and notebooks now?

We are not talking about stealing pens out of the office supply cabinet. If one of my employees steals RAM or SSDs out of one of my company's notebooks, they'll be fired on the spot - and perhaps turned over to the police!

A few screws are not going to stop anyone who has bad intentions - not to mention on many notebooks, the drives and RAM are accessible via access covers.

And are we really talking about "enterprise" class laptops? Or personal laptops?

Screws, like padlocks, just keep honest people honest. So do company policies. When I was in the Air Force, when I worked in the private sector, when I had my own business EVERYBODY knew from day 1, stealing from the company was wrong, and a punishable offense.
I remember when Toshiba laptops had 174 screws. So 4 or 6 to get the lid off would be fine. I hate the sound of plastic snap retainers
 
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I remember when Toshiba laptops had 174 screws. So 4 or 6 to get the lid off would be fine. I hate the sound of plastic snap retainers
LOL Yeah, my Toshiba has 8 - that's about 8 too many. Oh, I forgot. Those screws are there so I don't steal my own RAM. :rolleyes: :kookoo:
 
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54% Other, the poll shows you missed the mark
Is this an inference that I should apologize for not being an all-knowing god? On an unrelated note your avatar fits your post well.
 

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One and only warning to all. Stop with the bait and snide comments towards each other.
 
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A decent touch pad! All the modern touch pads I have used in modern laptops just suck! The best one I have ever used is this one im on now from a 2008 Compaq Presario CQ60 it just puts them all to shame its so good!

Also more powerful smaller size laptops like 12" laptops with the new 4000 series APU's would be amazing!
 
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This might be interesting to some of you in this thread.

A decent touch pad! All the modern touch pads I have used in modern laptops just suck! The best one I have ever used is this one im on now from a 2008 Compaq Presario CQ60 it just puts them all to shame its so good!

Also more powerful smaller size laptops like 12" laptops with the new 4000 series APU's would be amazing!
Maybe this is for you? :p
 
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1. All laptop must come with Dual-Channel RAM.
2. At least 128GB SSD
3. No unnecessary dGPU, like MX130/230/Radeon 535/520 with Ryzen 5/7 laptop or new Ice Lake Laptop.
 
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1. All laptop must come with Dual-Channel RAM.
2. At least 128GB SSD
3. No unnecessary dGPU, like MX130/230/Radeon 535/520 with Ryzen 5/7 laptop or new Ice Lake Laptop.
This reminds me of my first pc from 2003, it had 120GB hdd. Now we have 2020 and people demand 128GB storage drives in their PCs. WTF has happened, i can't even call it stagnation or moving backwards, this just makes no sense to me and is as illogical as it can be.
 
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2. At least 128GB SSD
You don't install any software on your computers? I'd say at least 250GB these days, as you can't fill up an SSD to the brim or it grinds to a halt.
 
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You don't install any software on your computers? I'd say at least 250GB these days, as you can't fill up an SSD to the brim or it grinds to a halt.
Also let's not forget about ssds slowing down significantly when they are filled over, how much? 70%?
 
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This reminds me of my first pc from 2003, it had 120GB hdd. Now we have 2020 and people demand 128GB storage drives in their PCs. WTF has happened, i can't even call it stagnation or moving backwards, this just makes no sense to me and is as illogical as it can be.
128GB dont sound like that much of storage but better than 5400RPM HDD. 256GB SSD is too much for Laptop manufacture.

You don't install any software on your computers? I'd say at least 250GB these days, as you can't fill up an SSD to the brim or it grinds to a halt.
128GB is enough if you do not have many media files. On my 128GB SSD there is 40GB free with VS2019 Community, 4 launcher, 2games, 4 browser, both MS offiece+ LibreOffice. Though 256GB would be better.
 
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The laptop I want:
  • 17" or larger.
  • 1920x1080 minimal screen resolution though 4K on a 17" screen is pointless.
  • 16GB of RAM minimally (and no oddball RAM pairings like 16GB and an 8GB dimm).
  • 1TB NVMe drive by default though it would be nice to have a BIOS/UEFI level lock that can eject the NVMe drives like floppies.
  • Three NVMe drives with RAID support would not be too much of a stretch on a professional laptop.
  • Easy access to replace drives, dimms and wireless-whatever.
  • AMD only, giving money to Intel or Nvidia is a literal approval of their unethical corporate malpractices.
  • The ability to have all the specs with or without a dedicated GPU.
  • The ability to have a high/low end CPU without some other parts automatically changing.
  • Dedicated macro keys (Logitech G110 on a laptop but with mechanical keys would be a dream).
  • Decent all-copper cooling.
  • Decent clearance on the bottom for solid surfaces for the ventilation to "breath".
  • Any extra pound or two won't kill most people but thickness isn't a big deal; usability is always going to be an absolute win over showing off a "thin-book".
  • Ports that say, "We realize most people are right handed, so we put the ports on the left side" - sorry lefties.
  • USB C ports!
  • 8 core though we're finally getting that this year thanks to AMD.
  • UEFI that is decent, it doesn't need to be from a decked out $900 desktop motherboard but laptop options are pointlessly limited.
  • LED backlit keyboard through the letters (not around the sides of the keys). This is functionally desirable and special LED options beyond color aren't necessary.
 
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128GB dont sound like that much of storage but better than 5400RPM HDD. 256GB SSD is too much for Laptop manufacture.


128GB is enough if you do not have many media files. On my 128GB SSD there is 40GB free with VS2019 Community, 4 launcher, 2games, 4 browser, both MS offiece+ LibreOffice. Though 256GB would be better.
Have you looked at what SSDs cost? I can buy a 250GB retail drive for $30 or so. 120GB drives are barley available any more. A company like HP, Dell, Lenevo or even Asus, would pay less than that. So no, it's not too costly.
Bump it up $10 and you get a half decent NVMe drive.

The laptop I want:
  • 17" or larger.
  • 1920x1080 minimal screen resolution though 4K on a 17" screen is pointless.
  • 16GB of RAM minimally (and no oddball RAM pairings like 16GB and an 8GB dimm).
  • 1TB NVMe drive by default though it would be nice to have a BIOS/UEFI level lock that can eject the NVMe drives like floppies.
  • Three NVMe drives with RAID support would not be too much of a stretch on a professional laptop.
  • Easy access to replace drives, dimms and wireless-whatever.
  • AMD only, giving money to Intel or Nvidia is a literal approval of their unethical corporate malpractices.
  • The ability to have all the specs with or without a dedicated GPU.
  • The ability to have a high/low end CPU without some other parts automatically changing.
  • Dedicated macro keys (Logitech G110 on a laptop but with mechanical keys would be a dream).
  • Decent all-copper cooling.
  • Decent clearance on the bottom for solid surfaces for the ventilation to "breath".
  • Any extra pound or two won't kill most people but thickness isn't a big deal; usability is always going to be an absolute win over showing off a "thin-book".
  • Ports that say, "We realize most people are right handed, so we put the ports on the left side" - sorry lefties.
  • USB C ports!
  • 8 core though we're finally getting that this year thanks to AMD.
  • UEFI that is decent, it doesn't need to be from a decked out $900 desktop motherboard but laptop options are pointlessly limited.
  • LED backlit keyboard through the letters (not around the sides of the keys). This is functionally desirable and special LED options beyond color aren't necessary.
Minimum, not minimally ;)

USB-C is nice and all, but so many companies only add one port and it only does 10 Gbps at best, has no display support and only offers 5V/1A power... This is not how to implement USB-C on a modern notebook.
There should be at least two ports, of which one should be able to charge the laptop, even if it's at a reduced charging rate. Both should support DP alt mode and ideally 20Gbps data rate, pending chipset support. Both should also support 12V/2A power output as a minimum.
Maybe I'm asking for too much, but as laptop manufacturers seem to want to get rid of more and more ports, this is a must. A half arsed implementation isn't helpful to anyone.
 
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