My grandmother reminds me that she got a laptop in the late eighties, [1] it's massive by today's standards (particularly in comparison to my 12 inch thinkpad), but it had a great keyobard, and she remembers using it rather effectively. It had WordPerfect 5.1 back in the day but I think it also had StarWriter/StarOffice (which, the astute will recognize as the predecessor code-base for today's Open Office). It probably weight ten or fifteen pounds, and I think she even brought it between work and home several times a week (using a luggage cart); but this was before her days on the Internet, and like all good things this laptop has gone to the land beyond.

For my college years, and a few years after I was a laptop-only computer user. It didn't make sense to have a computer that I'd have to move so damn frequently, and it wasn't like I was playing games or anything that would require desktop, and I loved having only one machine to keep current and up to date. It seems like laptop-only is a definite trend among the Internet-hipster/start-up monkey crowd. And it's admirable, and for these folks (who are likely, and appropriately, Apple users) a laptop-tax of 400 dollars isn't too much for people who have already bought into the Apple tax.

And then, along came the "netbook" phenomena, which posits that most of the time we don't really need a desktop-grade laptop when we're on the run. There's a lot of merit to this model as well. We don't really need to carry around powerhouses to check our emails in coffee shops, and for folks like me for whom the vast majority of our computing is pretty lightweight, building a system around a primary desktop computer and a sufficient but not supercharged laptop makes a lot of sense.

So what kind of laptop system do you use?

[1]Turns out it was a toshiba t100. Here's another picture/account