Down with the thickness?

Amid the bustle and excitement over the consumerist orgy known as Black Friday (which is now extended through the American Thanksgiving weekend to Cyber Monday), I’ve been browsing deals on laptops.

I don’t particularly need one at the moment, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to look. My 5 year old desktop computer has been a venerable workhorse, and continues to work well for almost everything I need – for now. However, it’s stationary. I can’t use it anywhere but at home.

I’ve never owned a laptop before (though I have used friends’ laptops at times), but the thought is appealing. I would be able to live out my hipster fantasy: sit at one of the numerous neighbourhood coffee shops and espouse on random subjects, or just browse the web more comfortably than on my phone. All while sipping a cappucino and smiling at the strangers around me. Or recline on a train speeding through the verdant countryside, as I write emails and listen to a streaming podcast through my headphones. (I missed not having a computer on my recent travels, though I made do without one.)

Then there’s the question of what type of laptop. While any mainstream laptop would suffice and really isn’t all that heavy to carry around, the advertising for sleek new ultrabooks (thin laptops) is hard to ignore. I blame Intel for proselytizing to me the same qualities in a computer that magazines, music and movies have done for years in regards to women: thin, light, attractive, and fast. They’re also expensive (the ultrabooks).

I imagine in a few years, all laptops will be as thin and lightweight as ultrabooks are currently; the debate over thin and light versus durable and powerful will be rendered moot faster than you can turn on an ultrabook.

For now though, something a bit thicker (or just “normal”) may be best. It might be just as sexy. Saving the extra money certainly is.


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