10 steps in the evolution of portable computing

The Japanese journalists in this image marvel at the latest computing mutation at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a Sony P Series Lifestyle PC ($900). Chris Garcia, a curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., says time will tell whether the 1.4 pound machine with an 8" screen becomes a main limb or side branch on the evolutionary tree of on-the-go computing. The evolutionary trajectory will depend in part on whether people adapt to using niche computers good for things such as e-mail, Web surfing, and instant messaging but not much else or continue to prefer devices that put the power of desktop in the user's lap, which is the dominant trend today.


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