You Don’t Care About Thinner Anymore

by | Feb/21/2013

As the future becomes reality, what features will executives and workers demand? Users, including busy executives like you, know that laptops are now thin enough, fast enough, and lightweight enough. So, what do manufacturers have to improve in order to win your business?

Recently I visited with one of the top engineers working with product design and development at Intel. It is interesting how much “Intel” has influenced all of our lives for decades.

He surprised me when he said that, once a laptop is 18mm thin, users don’t care about having a computer that is thinner than that. Today’s computers are “fast enough” to run applications (except for big servers—they will always need speed). Many applications “run in the cloud” anyway. Additionally the weight is light enough that other priorities take over.

“So what’s more important than thinness,” I asked. He said there are three things that people want, in this order:

First, and this is the big one, is battery life. Users want to maintain the same “thinness” and same light weight, and they want their computer to work for at least 12 hours without needing a charge. Basically, grab the computer in the morning, use it all day at your desk, around the office, at lunch, on a plane, in the hotel, etc. without ever needing to recharge. This might be working and/or playing. Writing letters, working on email, using the Internet, watching videos, using social media, and perhaps even playing games—that is what users want to do all day.

Second, the next lower priority, users want a better screen. This mimics televisions—people always want higher resolution with more vibrant colors. Sure this helps gamers, people who watch videos, and even business users who need the sharpest screens to reduce eye strain and improve the entire work experience.

Third most important, beneath the other two, is “the radio.” Users want to be able to connect their device to the many different flavors of Wi-Fi, have access 4G, and use other budding technologies in the future such as WiMAX which may be replaced by LTE. In today’s world, “being connected” is what it is all about.