10 old features we don't miss on modern laptops, and 3 that we do

We dig up a pile of dated laptops and see what features, ports, and connections have gone by the wayside in recent years.

CNET/Sarah Tew

Scary things lurk in the closets and attics of laptop fans everywhere.

With an average lifespan of three to five years, old obsolete models can gather dust for a long time, and can be as hard to get rid of as the annoying bloatware that probably came preloaded on those very same laptops.

While spring cleaning, your two intrepid laptop reviewers dug up a pile of old laptops from circa 2001-2006--a motley collection straight out of Al Component's Vault. Fortunately, there are several good ways to recycle outdated electronics, from Best Buy's in-store drop-off program to periodic free electronics collection events hosted by NYC's Lower East Side Ecology Center. The City of New York lists resources for local electronics recycling here; check with your municipality for similar resources in your area. (And yes, most will even take things as shopworn as Scott's battle-damaged PowerBook G4 .)

Hey, got any old PS/2 mice? CNET/Sarah Tew

But before we remove the hard drives and send these old laptops into the great beyond, it's worth a look at the various features that have vanished from most modern laptops . Most of these are things we don't really miss, such as S-Video ports and locking screen latches, but there are a few things we wouldn't mind seeing make a comeback.

Check out our list of retired laptop features here , and let us know what you miss--or don't miss--when comparing yesteryear's laptops to today's models.

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.

Dan Ackerman

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal. See full bio

 

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