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It turns out that laptop users aren’t as satisfied a computing bunch
as previously thought, and solution providers may find a new market
opportunity in making them happy.

According to the results of a survey, “Track the Yack,” released
today by the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME), laptop
users are suffering from a plethora of problems related to both
hardware and software. Although none of the issues would force the
users to abandon the freedom of being able to work on the go, solution
providers may find a few extra dollars in helping enrich the
laptop-user experience.

The survey found laptop users have five major complaints with their laptops:

Weight/Too Heavy. In sci-fi movies, computers are the size of a
small book, unfold into a full-size system or are projected as
holograms in front of you – all of which would solve the weight problem
of a PC. Unfortunately, in real life, laptops still weigh more than a
small dog.

What can solution providers do? Offer laptop options
that help lighten the load, such as removable CD-ROMs, “mini” units or,
when all else fails, computer bags on wheels.

Short Battery Life. Most PC batteries don’t last longer than three
hours on a good day, and even less under more robust computing
What can solution providers do? Luckily there’s an abundance of
high-capacity PC batteries on the market–including a nifty
solar-powered battery for those looking to go green–that solution
providers can offer as an alternative, or in addition to, the standard
laptop batteries.

Poor Wireless Connections. Finding and keeping wireless connectivity
is a major concern for laptop users, especially those whose work
depends on staying connected even when they’re away from the office.

What can solution providers do? Bluetooth is an excellent option for
laptops that have a difficult time finding and keeping wireless
connectivity. Adapters are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. And
most new laptops come with Bluetooth connectivity included.

Crashes. You know the feeling. You’re hard at work building a
presentation on your laptop when, bam! You’re presented with the
dreaded blue screen of death (re-introduced with Vista, thank you).
Sometimes there’s an obvious and reasonable explanation, and other
times it’s as though you’re being punished by the computing gods. But
it’s not just you – according to Gartner, nearly one-fifth of all
notebook PCs will break down during their lifetime, needing a new
hardware component to fix the failure.

What can solution
providers do? This is where remote monitoring can make sense for a
company. While there are many causes for system failure, sometimes the
answer is as simple as performing system maintenance, clearing the
cache or reformatting the hard drive. Solution providers can offer
remote monitoring as part of a managed service package that also can
include PC configuration, remote support, reporting and, most
critically, backup.

Repairs Are Too Expensive. In this disposable world, the prevalent
mindset among laptop users is it’s cheaper to replace a computer than
fix it. And depending on the problem, it can be true. But as more
companies make the move to go green, more computers will go under the
knife instead of into the garbage heap.
What can solution providers do? Computer repair will be a booming
business in 2009, as the economy and the environment force companies to
rethink their equipment upgrade plans. Solution providers who offer
extended warranties, repairs and repair plans that spread out the cost
of fixing laptops will reap the largest rewards.