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Virtual Laptop

Wireless Monitor + Wireless Keyboard + Wireless Trackpad = Virtual Laptop
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,

Rather recently, technology for wireless monitors has started to become available to consumers, though at a premium. At the moment it is probably too expensive for this idea to make sense over just using a laptop with remote computing. Still, the idea itself is rather simple.

A laptop with a monitor, a keyboard, a rechargeable battery, a mouse...but no motherboard, no cd drive, no usb, no nothing. Once you start adding those things, the laptop price will jump. Instead, it connects to your desktop computer (or any desktop, using adapters) wirelessly. The advantage of this is getting all the computing power of your desktop as well as having access to the same setup...without buying a 2nd machine.

aguydude, Oct 01 2008

Wireless KVM switch Wireless_20KVM_20switch
[phoenix, Oct 01 2008]

HP thin client $725 http://h10010.www1....660787-3672816.html
Probably could drop $100 with Linux or CE OS [MisterQED, Oct 02 2008]

MS Smart Display http://www.microsof...isplay/default.mspx
[BunsenHoneydew, Oct 05 2008]

Smart Display: What Went Wrong http://www.zdnet.co...61,120269330,00.htm
Overpriced, overpowered, locked up [BunsenHoneydew, Oct 05 2008]


       I see the Autoboner has left his mark.   

       The problem with wireless monitor/SmartPads or what have you is this: they're basically expensive laptops.
BunsenHoneydew, Oct 02 2008

       This is baked or it was baked several years ago. I liked it for it's upgradability, but it was expensive. I guess you could bake this today with a "netbook" and a Citrix or similar remote access client. The problem is that they are useless in areas without connections to a host PC or server and since the screen is most of the price of a laptop, you can't save much and since they are not popular, what little you saved gets lost without the volume discount, so you are left with an expensive laptop with limited features.   

       Oh, found it, today this is baked by HP as a "thin client" laptop. I'll provide a link when I reach a PC.
MisterQED, Oct 02 2008

       What [aguydude] is suggesting is a wireless keyboard/mouse(/webcam, mic, speakers) in a compact, easy to carry 'round the house or office, package. Since all the horsepower and most of the power requirements are in the big box, you can still play games or watch HD video without frying your lap.
The problem with that is that digital video takes up *mucho* bandwidth and needs to be compressed at the box end and decompressed at the v-laptop end, which means you need a processor... and as long as you have a processor, you may as well use it for other stuff as well.
[+] anyways
FlyingToaster, Oct 02 2008

       My understanding is that a thin client machine is basically a remote-login type machine. This, on the other hand, would be an alternative interface. Admittedly the distinction is weak.
aguydude, Oct 04 2008

       The distinction is far from weak and there are several "flavours" in-between: "smart" and "dumb" terminals, f'rinstance.
FlyingToaster, Oct 04 2008

       //no motherboard, no cd drive, no usb, no nothing. Once you start adding those things, the laptop price will jump.// I'm not sure, but I suspect that the cost of these items is quite small to the manufacturer. Yes, you pay more for a faster processor or a larger drive, but I don't think this is directly related to the actual cost of those things.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2008

       a possible application of this idea is in workplaces such as factories, supermarkets, etc. Clerks and workers can walk around using tiny palmtops to do inventory or other tasks.
doanviettrung, Oct 04 2008

       A similar device could be useful for network administration: simply a portable keyboard, with a built-in trackpad/nub and small LCD text display, 80 rows, maybe 4-5 columns. Use it as a "portable shell" for *nix machines, wirelessly or over USB/ethernet.
Bukkakinator, Oct 05 2008

       If you want realtime fullscreen video over wireless, you need brains (a CPU and RAM) at the receiving end, because the video is going to be compressed to fit into the available bandwidth. Granted, this could be an embedded, dedicated codec IC rather than a full PC CPU.   

       Baked, and completely bombed in the marketplace. [link]   

       Here's my recipe for doing it right:   

       A minimal CPU or microcontroller
Minimal, open OS (embedded Linux)
Hardware video decompression
Open standards for connection (VNC embedded, X sessions)

       By using an existing hardware video decompression IC, instead of a powerful general purpose CPU, OS and software codec, you keep the cost right down on all but the LCD. It should improve battery life too.
BunsenHoneydew, Oct 05 2008


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