But, now, it is a behemoth which is slow, noisy and in the way. The only reasons I keep it are for the bar code software that my wife uses for her book production work and iTunes for my kids with which to sync their ipods. If it was not for those two pieces of software, I would have installed Ubuntu (a Linux operating system) on its months or years ago.
I have no need for it for my personal work and my own business work. I can do everything else online. I listen to music through Deezer (to which I swapped recently from Spotify which, although excellent, requires you to install software onto your PC or Mac to use, and I use Ubuntu), which is a browser-based music streaming service with a smartphone application too.
I have all of my email, calendar, contacts, documents and document creation tools online with Google Docs. My photos are online with Flickr. Creation of logos and manipulation of photos is done with Picnik. The only piece of software that I had to install on my laptop was 'Kompozer' which is free webpage creation software. But, now, this is no longer tying me to installing software because I have started to use the online website creation software, Web Studio Live.
I can run my business accounts online through Kashflow, my CRM through Base, email marketing with Mailchimp and promote my websites through Google+, Facebook and Twitter, Google Adsense and the other search engines.
Therefore, I have no need for a laptop which has a massive hard drive to store all of documents, photos, websites and information. All of that storage on your local hard drive becomes obsolete.
That's why I am now considering purchasing a Google Chromebook. At first sight, they look underpowered and underspecified compared to what we are used to when buying a WIndows based laptop or a Mac. For instance, they have small hard drives (e.g. 16GB). They have 2GB of RAM. But, there's no need for all of that local power when you can store everything in the 'cloud'.
Granted, if you do a lot of higher powered graphical work on your computer, then a Chromebookmight not be for you. But, if you are in business and you travel a lot for work and you need flexibility with how you share your information or create documents, then a Chromebook is worth considering. The first generation is out and looks a little pricey for what you get. At CES 2012, the second generation was launched which look to be good improvements.