Notebook computers, commonly referred to as notebooks, are personal computers that are very light. To understand the notebook concept you need to understand what personal computers are.
A personal computer is relatively small and inexpensive, compared with the computers of large businesses and organizations that act as servers or run computer operations on a grand scale. Personal computers are made for the use of individuals or small business entrepreneurs. Many personal computers are used in home offices nowadays. Many rely on notebooks as their only or their additional choice.
Personal computers can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or several thousand. Notebooks are somewhat higher in cost. All personal computers are based on the technology of microprocessing that enables the computer and notebook manufacturer to install a complete CPU on one computer chip. A business can use a personal computer, and sometimes a notebook, for accounting tasks, word processing, desktop publishing projects, database management, and spreadsheets. Notebooks or personal use PCs are often used for gaming, music, and even movies.
Before notebooks, the first personal computers showed up towards the end of the 1970s. The Apple II, launched in 1977, was one of the first personal computers. It became one of the most popular as well. The introduction of new operating systems and new computer PC models seemed a nearly daily routine during the end of the 1970s and into the early 1980s. The IBM PC was introduced in 1981, taking over first place status among personal computers. At this point, with the exception of Apple, many personal computer brands and manufacturers fell by the wayside thanks to IBM’s onslaught.
The result, still prior to notebooks, was the production of IBM clones by other manufacturers. These clones, with nearly the same internal components as the real IBMs, were much less expensive. They used the same microprocessors and could run identical software. While IBM, thanks to price and innovations that weren’t accepted such as the OS/2 operating system, is no longer the preferred PC brand, its notebooks are widely acclaimed.
Now personal computers are divided into two types – PCs and Apples. Personal computers, whether desktops, notebooks, or laptops are designed as single-user machines and run on microprocessors. They can be linked into a network, however, to use several of them together. The power of personal computers varies considerably from one to another.
Notebooks typically weigh considerably less than PCs – fewer than six pounds. They are typically so small that they can easily fit into their own carrying case or briefcase. Notebooks use a flat panel technology to have a display screen instead of the monitor that runs as a separate piece of hardware on a PC. Notebook display screens have considerable variation in display screen quality. The resolution can be either VGA (video graphics array) or SVGA (super VGA.) Designed by IBM, VGA systems provide a text mode resolution of 720×400 pixels, and a graphics mode of either 16 colors (640×480) or 256 colors (320×200.) The latter is the most common. SVGA is a standard for graphics, with greater resolution than the original VGA. SVGA supports a resolution of 800×600, equal to 480,000 pixels.
The computer power of notebooks is actually just about equivalent to that of personal computers. Notebooks have the same capacity for memory, the same CPUs, and the same disk drives as PCs. The small package this power comes in is what makes them more costly than the PCs
One of the most popular aspects of notebooks – what makes them preferred to PCs for many road warriors, is their portability. Notebooks have battery packs installed so they can run without electricity for 2-4 hours before having to be recharged.