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Desknotes are crosses between desktop computers and notebook computerss, building on the long tradition of niche market computers in a keyboard by combining a desktop CPU with a notebook-style case and screen to form an easily transportable two piece system (base/display comined and power brick) instead of three part (base, brick and LCD).

The forefathers of this class of computer were the luggable computers that were sold in the early-to-mid 1980s like the Osborne I and the Commodore Executive 64 (SX-64) computers. These computers had the CPU, the display, the floppy disk drive and the power supply in one box, with a keyboard which worked as a lid for the computer. The computing power for these units was similar to a desktop computer of that era and even the Commodore Executive 64 could do what the standard Commodore 64 desktop unit could do. They were set up and packed up in a similar manner to a sewing machine, and could be easily used wherever one wantoed to use it. Also, they were designed to he easily transported from place to place.

Positive factors include the easier portability and often the choice of running the latest desktop CPUs, without the lag time between new desktop chips and power-reduced notebook versions. Prices may be lower than notebook computers in the market at the same time.

Negatives include the limited expansion options, comparable to a desktop replacement notebook, and usually the requirement to use costly and size-restricted laptop hard drives instead of desktop price, performance and capacity 3.5" hard drives. They usually lack the ability to accept standard PCI expansion cards, something which can be a problem for people who want to use their desktop computer as a digital personal video recorder. Video options are usually limited to notebook computer designs of limited performance, though comparable to motherboard-integrated desktop computer offerings. Upgrades are usually very limited compared to desktop computers, not including complete motherboard and CPU replacement to switch to the latest generation and preserve the investment in the chassis and display. Some desknotes do not include battery power as standard, and some do not include PC-Card support. They have the same limitations on serviceability as laptops, through the inability to use low cost, completely generic parts.

Routine built in features on high end notebook computers are usually available on desknotes: modem, LAN and TV-out functions, USB, WiFi and bluetooth ports.

Systems with greater expansion capability are compact desktop computers and desktop computers.

Manufacturers of desknote computers include: