When we hear the word `notebook` the first thought that strikes our grey matter is a writing device in the form of a book usually made of paper. We generally imagine it in various forms like notepad, writing pad, or simply a scrapbook. Its use is generally determined by its size – not forgetting the general saying `the smaller, the better`.
The concept (of notebooks) which started as a collection of leaves somewhere in ancient Rome has today taken the shape of a latest electronic device called the `laptop`. Laptops were named `notebooks` probably because of their small size inspite of the fact that originally they did not have any note-taking ability.
Initially laptops had integrated screen and keyboard and were more like `suitcase computers` but with advancements in technology they kept getting smaller in size with enhanced features. Laptops were referred to as notebooks when they had condensed in size comparable almost to a paper notebook. Moving a step further we got something called PDA`s (Personal Digital Assistants) which were a little larger than portfolio notebooks and were named `notebook` to differentiate them from general laptops. In common man`s words these were called `Palm tops`.
The quest for comfort did not end with the PDA`s. Moving a step further we got a much better and advanced version of PDA s called the `Tablet PC`s`. Tablet PC`s are laptops or rather notebooks that have a special pen and software with which we can interact with the screen directly. So it was a kind where we can actually write on with a pen – a real master piece in the world of science! Here the screen itself is used as the Input-Output device rather than the Mouse or the Keyboard. Moreover these PDA`s and Palmtops use flash memory and they do not use the same OS or hardware as used by the typical laptop and notebooks.
Today notebook refers to laptops that can have their windows reversed to make it into a notebook and can be written on like a tablet. It can be used for making handwritten notes in class or to make sketches and drawings that can later be used as notes.
What makes the notebook indispensable is its portability, efficiency coming next to it. Today we are not under the constraints of working for fixed hours in office; our work can come home with us, thus, providing us with a more comfortable and relaxed environment. Other than that the notebook occupies the least possible space on the desk and saves us from the tangles of wires. To top it all the sleek, sensuous look of the portable notebooks makes it the most desirable asset today.
As the saying goes, if you want to gain something you should be ready to lose some too. Here the losing factor comes in the face of money. This piece of sophisticated technology is twice as expensive as its desktop counterpart or sometimes even more than that. But since all good things come in small packages, the notebook as well should be accepted with its exorbitant price realizing the fact that it is paving the way for a simpler and efficient future.
Despite the notebooks being smaller and elegant, it is a bitter fact that it can never completely take over the desktop. The reason being the deficiency of space to fit in all the components and the lack of escape routes for heat. Moreover upgrading the hardware in a notebook becomes an overpriced task and can be done much easily and reasonably in a desktop.
Inspite of these various shortcomings the fact remains that the era of literature and arts has been succeeded by the scientific era with computer being at the centre of this renaissance.