The built-in obsolescence in most technology products can be frustrating to consumers. This frustration is unfortunately part of the nature of technology. As science finds new ways to make things more efficient, tech companies can focus on creating better products that require different specifications. Most experts indicate the average lifespan of a laptop at three to five years, and even if the device lasts longer than that, its ability to run more advanced software limits its overall usefulness.
Technology, particularly laptops, has changed a lot over recent years. Overall, they’re becoming slimmer, faster and more mobile. If you’re looking to upgrade your laptop soon, it might be worth considering some of the emerging trends in laptop technology so you can invest in a product that you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Powerful workstations vs agile cloud computing
Laptops seem to be moving in two main directions – ultra-powerful computing that values speed and performance, or super-thin, cloud-based laptops that value agility and connectivity.
With people setting up home offices as a result of more flexible working operations, the market is increasingly demanding a computing solution that delivers the necessary power needed to create digital products. Laptops can now have up to eight internal core processes, powerful video cards and can fit all of this tech within a reasonably sleek, slimline design.
On the other hand, there is a demand for laptops to become increasingly mobile and connected. The launch of 5G across Australia this year means that cloud connectivity is becoming essential, and operating systems will need to become agile enough to deliver on these improved efficiencies in tech.
As you consider upgrading your laptop, it’s worth considering where your needs sit along this spectrum. As this divergence continues over the next decade, it’ll be important to choose a laptop that’s right for your needs not just now, but into the future.
One of the main reasons for upgrading your laptop is probably because you’ve witnessed a steady decline in your laptop’s battery life. Manufacturers have promised an “all-day” battery since the popularisation of laptops in the early 90s. While battery-life has improved since the 90s, it still remains a constant challenge.
The good news is that this may change over the next decade. We’ve seen significant improvements in some laptops, particularly Chromebooks, which have demonstrated impressive battery performance. The use of more efficient processors and advances in battery technology may mean users won’t have to worry about charging their laptops every day.
If you’re someone who has grown accustomed to multiple screens for work or personal use, you know how limiting it feels when you use a single-screen laptop. Tech companies are currently scrambling to deliver a product that solves this problem. While dual-screen laptops largely remain conceptual, the most promising design comes from Microsoft.
Their Surface Neo concept is an incredibly compelling window into the very near future of notebooks. If Microsoft can execute the concept well enough, it could be challenging to return to the measly single-screened laptop again.
Augmented Reality Integration
Network advancements in 5G and IoT have laid a solid foundation for Augmented and Virtual Reality to become mainstream. A trend we will see between now and the end of the decade is integrating augmented reality into our laptop experience. Primarily driven by the AR/VR headset market, these devices will integrate seamlessly with our laptop and mobile devices to fundamentally change the way we work. While it’s likely that we’ll continue to use our laptop screens for our primary tasks, information such as chats, notifications and news feeds could exist on an entirely virtual second display.
More repairable laptops
Technology is finally looking at a way to tackle the problem of built-in obsolescence. After seeing Microsoft’s strides with the Surface Laptop 3, other manufacturers are likely to follow suit in making laptops and tablets more repairable.
What this means for laptop users is game-changing. You’ll be able to modify and replace the storage and other key components of your laptop easily, and you might be able to do the repairs yourself. This will ensure that you’re using your laptop for more than just three to five years and means you could be looking at holding onto your laptop for seven to ten years.