updated 03:15 am EST, Thu November 11, 2010
Hot laps and sub-par sound the main complaints
A survey of laptop owners done by Wakefield Research on behalf of accessory maker Logitech has revealed that although they enjoy the mobility they get from the devices, the compromises made are a sore spot -- and that sore spot is often located in their laps.
Heat was the number one complaint among notebook users, with 62 percent claiming the bottom of their mobile computer gets "hot enough to fry an egg on it," despite this being factually inaccurate. However, almost half (47 percent) have said that the machine has gotten hot enough that they had to stop working with it temporarily. Others used alternative solutions like placing the laptop on a pillow (27 percent), towel (19 percent) and other methods.
A number of Apple's notebooks over the years also had frequent complaints of excessive heat. In addition to changes over time to try and minimize the problem, Apple also took to dropping the term "laptop" and now studiously refers to all such products as "notebooks." The company also advised against using the products in one's lap, specifically warned against placing the computers on soft surfaces such as pillows that might block the venting and thus exacerbate the heat issue, and never show notebook computers in people's laps in promotional images.
The second most common complaint among notebook owners was poor speaker quality. A third of survey respondents reported tat they have at least once had to give up watching some form of entertainment on their laptop because of inadequate speaker volume, and more than half compared the quality of laptop speakers to antiquated technology like standalone record players or AM radio. The inadequacy of mobile-device speakers was aggravated by the survey's result that most people use their laptops primarily for entertainment, with only four percent using their notebooks strictly for work.
The survey was conducted in late August using 594 adult respondents. The results have a plus or minus four percent margin of error.