Laptops have come a long way from chunky screens and bulky keyboards. Throughout the years, we’ve seen them become thinner, lighter, and more cutting-edge with their features—whether it’s impressive retina displays or touch screens. This year is no different, as we’re seeing even more innovations making their way to the mainstream. So whether you’re a young professional or a fully-fledged tech geek, here are some laptop trends to watch out for.
Technically, the basic laptop design already folds, but even this feature is quickly evolving. Last year, Microsoft’s Surface Neo was the first to introduce the concept of bendable screens with detachable keyboards. The design is similar to a tablet’s, but its processing power is entirely PC.
This year, Dell is planning to release its own line of foldable laptops called “Concept.” The company hasn’t released much information for it yet, but they’ve posted a couple of photos alongside a possible release date in late 2020. Medium reports that other companies such as Lenovo have also revealed similar plans, with the ThinkPad X1 Fold and “Horseshoe Bend” concepts, respectively.
Taller Aspect Ratios
Laptops typically get smaller and more compact every year, but this time, we’re seeing more models get bigger. During the recent Consumer Electric Show (CES), Dell revealed its newest XPS model—a brilliant-looking device with a 16:10 aspect ratio. For comparison, laptops (save for MacBooks) have always been at 16:9—the perfect display size to view full-screen videos without borders. However, Dell found that 16:10 laptops can fit wider keyboards and bigger batteries. Plus, the taller display makes it possible to see more webpages and documents at the same time too.
Cooling fans have done a decent job of preventing PCs from overheating, but sometimes it’s not enough. This is especially true for gaming laptops which tend to overwork their hardware whenever they’re on. HP outlines how liquid cooling works to diffuse heat from nearly every component in a laptop, instead of merely exhausting heated air from within the device. This is also good for speed since laptops can continue working at optimal performance so long as they don’t overheat.
You’ll get to see this technology in action when HP releases the HP Omen X 2S this year.
Chromebooks may look like a laptop, but their operating system (OS) is closer to a smartphone more than anything. They run on Chrome OS, which is very different from the usual Windows or macOS. Plenty of PC applications don’t work on it, so its purpose is purely for browsing (and typing). This is why most Chromebooks are priced below $300. However, this year, Samsung and Google are looking to elevate the Chromebook experience with the Galaxy Chromebook ($999) and Google Pixelbook Go ($800). While they still run on a Chrome OS, they now feature higher-resolution displays and the latest Intel processors.
Intel 10th Gen
Every year, the world awaits the newest generation of Intel processors. Codenamed “Ice Lake,” 2020 is seeing the coming of the 10th Gen chips—hardware that promises an 18% performance boost alongside Wi-Fi 6 support and Thunderbolt 3 for fast data transfers. Compared to an 8th Gen laptop, Intel claims that you’ll get a “doubling in frame rate” at 1080p, so you can be sure its graphics are top-notch. Its 10mm design is also incredibly good for bulky gaming laptops, as they can finally come out smaller yet much more powerful in design.