Computers Finally Get Small And Stylish
from the it's-about-time dept
I’ve always wondered why no one (other than Apple, of course) had any noticeable success with more stylish PCs. For years, all PCs were the standard beige that we all know and hate. In fact, I was impressed years ago when computer makes dared to branch out into black PCs – though, they didn’t seem to really catch on. However, it’s beginning to make sense. PCs tend to go on (or more likely under) a desk somewhere where most visitors aren’t going to see them. Thus, for most people, how stylish a PC is doesn’t really matter. However, now that PC functionality is moving into the living room and homes are getting networked, it’s increasingly likely that a PC will be seen by others – and thus, it’s finally become time for the PC to get smaller and more stylish. The next generation of small, stylish PCs are just entering the market, and it looks like they may finally get some attention in the market place.
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Over in Japan...
Over in Japan, there are already a lot of “small” computers on the market. Panasonic and Sony (to pick two major brands) both have computers with relatively uncompromising specs where all the components are contained within a slightly larger monitor.
So instead of being the typical 1-inch thick TFT, their systems come with monitors that are about 3 inches thick. But that’s it! Sony even gets away with a single cord (the power cord) – excluding an internet cable if required, of course – by making both the keyboard and mouse wireless.
Another Sony range has the keyboard clipped onto the front of the monitor. When the keyboard is pushed up against the monitor (stowing it out of the way) it leaves the top 1/3th of the screen visible and the PC (if on) automatically switches to a clock/calendar display exactly filling that top 1/3. Pull the keyboard down again and the Windows desktop is redisplayed – a very clever twist on the screensaver idea.