Intel wants to make laptops more
accessible to users and would like to make devices more akin to their
desktop counterparts. With the company's new Interchangeability
Initiative, components including the optical drive, LCD screen,
battery, power adapter and keyboard would all be upgradeable and can be
swapped between notebooks. Hard drives are already for the most part
interchangeable as long as you decide on PATA or SATA.
Intel is currently working with Asus,
Compal and Quanta on development of 11 new notebook designs that will
use the aforementioned interchangeable components. Intel expects to see the fruits of its labors within the next three to five years.
"When your notebook display cracks
on an airplane you are talking about a 10-week waiting period for a
spare part. You are without your notebook for too long," said
Intel director of American Distribution and Channel Sales and
Marketing Steve Dallman.
Given the proprietary nature of
notebook computers and the high cost associated with replacing such
items as batteries and LCD screens, it's a blessing that a company such as Intel is throwing some weight at creating more standardized
configurations for notebook designs. Hopefully other companies will follow.
Now if I could just get a ThinkPad keyboard in an Asus notebook...