And what kind of computer are you looking for sir?

Posted By on October 18, 2011

Perhaps it is my age … or just not paying attention to the changing terms associated with portability when talking computers, but as I contemplate upgrading my daily computer I realized the terms have changed yet again.

acerultraportableMy first “portable” computer went by the trade name Compaq … but it was basically a transportable. At 28 pounds, it wasn’t really all that portable and things didn’t really improve until the LCD became usable a decade or so later. At that point we saw the development of the laptop and the dockable versions for improved usability. They grew in self-contain hardware stressing the power/battery life issue, but became the standard for computing for many this past decade or so … but slowly gave way to something slightly smaller and lighter … and more portable adopting another term – the notebook computer.

As chips, storage, displays and batteries shrunk, even a 5 pound notebook seemed too large. Online apps and content did way with the higher performance chips for many users and the diminutive netbook arrived, followed by the tablets such as the iPad which have taken hold. But, as was I started looking for my next computer, requesting a keyboard, decent size display and ability to run the Adobe graphics suite for my work, I found out the new term I was suppose to use is now ultraportable.

Good grief … will it ever end?  Now let’s not even get started on the terms for the communication side of things … mobile/car/transportable/bag/cell/smartphones …


Terminology aside, the new breed of lightweight, but powerful, subnotebook or “ultraportable” from the premium priced MacBook Air to the hybrid Acer AspireS are attracting my interest. Time to start looking?


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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