General discussion

Instant-on Desktops, do they exist?

I've owned an iPad for a while now, and one of the things I always bring up when faced with the usual Apple haters is that, for all it's shortcomings, the iPad (and smaller iPhone cousins) have one undeniable advantage. They boot up in around 1.5 seconds. Absolute instant-on, and I'm using the 1st-gen, I'm sure the 2nd ones are even faster.

I hear Apple took this technology (which I think is basically just an entirely solid-state design) and used it in their macbook air. I've never booted one of those up though, so I don't know if it is as blazingly fast, but it seems quite quick at any rate.

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Not yet, not a far as I know

But check out the first post in CNET's newest forum for the Chrome OS, the post announcing the forum by our Admin Lee;;threadListing

Looks like Google is introducing a Chromebook system June 15.

I think it is going to be very different. Everything is held in the Cloud, and nothing on the computer itself.

If you watch the video in that link, keep going, because the next video in the stream will be CNET's own initial review of the Samsung netbook with the new Chrome OS.

Hope that gives you some ideas.


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No... The new MacBook Airs all have SSDs instead of HDDs which means they boot VERY fast, but it's far from an instant on. Technically, the iPad never really shuts off, which is why it can turn on so fast. It's in more of a sleep/suspend mode.

But to do even that much requires a whole lot of highly customized circuitry for the iPad, which is really a lot closer to an iPhone or iPod Touch than a Macintosh computer.

The idea of the instant on computer has been kicked around for years, but no one has managed to make it cost effective yet, so it remains in the labs of researchers instead of in computers.

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Ah, I see...

Shame, I guess I'll have to wait for a truly TV-like experience in my computer setup.

I just like that the iPad responds in a similar way to opening a book (click and it's on). I was hoping to have a computer that responds in a similar way to a TV (push a button and you can start watching stuff).

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Must it be a desktop?

That Samsung and the Apple Air laptops power up in seconds.

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Yes but...

They're not really work-stations. Especially in the number of USB ports or screen-size.

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"work station"!

Now we're talking.

Why not some fast desktop with solid state drives and use sleep or hibernate?

That's now. It's today. It's as instant as it gets.

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That's the real great question though,

Do you shut off when not in use or use sleep/hibernate. I've heard everything from "it eats up a tremendous amount of memory" to "It will kill your hard drive". The only negative I've personally seen when using a sleep-only approach is that it will on occasion start an update in the middle of the night, waking me up with the (albeit soft) humming and blinking blue lights. That, and sometimes when waking him up from a long sleep, the computer would lock up or something, and I had to flick the power switch on the back to pull him out of it.

I'm guessing (hoping) this last one won't be as big an issue when I go SSD.

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I've used hibernate for over a decade.

Not one dead drive.


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