Amid the new COVID-19 ‘normal,’ the laptop and smartphone need to merge

Disclosure:  Most of the vendors mentioned are clients of the author.

When the laptop was conceived, the tech industry was attempting to address the needs of a mobile workforce.  These workers often had to travel to remote locations and needed to use familiar hardware at job sites, in hotels, in conference rooms, and other places like coffee shops. 

The new normal we now live in has people mostly working from home, travel has been massively curtailed, and interactions are virtual or communications-based. The priority now is less about mobility and more about staying connected – not only to work but to what is going on around them. Attention is often split between work and meetings and watching their kids, and unreliable networks sometimes gate interactions. Their primary communications device, the smartphone, wasn’t designed for this new normal. 

The notebook now needs the connectivity a smartphone has, and the smartphone needs the screen size and productivity enhancements offered by notebooks. It’s time to merge both into a new blend that addresses this new Pandemic normal.

Let me explain.

Merging the laptop and smartphone

The issue with both devices is that they weren’t designed for a world where working in the office and meeting in person would be more the exception than the rule for otherwise mobile employees. At the same time, 5G networks are rolling out; Qualcomm recently noted that 5G can provide far more reliable performance than the distributed wired networks most homeowners have. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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