Laptop Deconstructed

A look into the components of a portable computer

Jahan Razavi

In 1968, Alan Kay proposed the idea of a personal computer. Now, over 50 years later, these have become a staple of the high-tech world. Known for their lighter weight and more compact dimensions, laptops are in stark contrast to desktop computers, which, while powerful, do not feature the portability of laptops. According to ThoughtCo, the first laptop was named The Grid Compass, developed by William Moggridge and later used by NASA for their space program. In this laptop, data was stored on a bubble memory drive that had a capacity of 340 kB, nearly 24 times less than the current 8 GB of RAM that many laptops offer.

Modern laptops are advancing with the additions of increased speed and battery life paired with decreased weight and bezels (the frame around the display). According to PCMag, the future of memory chips lies in a combination of several aspects. First is non-volatile memory, or memory that survives when power is cut to the module. Another feature is instant-on capabilities, when a computer is booted as soon as the power is pressed. The third is for computers not to consume power when in sleep mode. But what’s inside of a laptop computer? Look down below for a deconstructed Microsoft Surface Pro 3.