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Rebooting the PC industry: Tablets force a shift

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The biggest problem for PC manufacturers is that you don't really need to upgrade your PC so often anymore. I have a workstation from 4 years ago that still runs pretty much everything I need, and my 6 year old laptop is still useful. The hardware is good enough now that there aren't the seismic shifts in compute power for the home user like you saw in the 80s and 90s.

Tablets and PCs are pretty distinct to me - I can't see too many people buying a tablet without having a PC as well.

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the ideal machine is a tablet-sized, light PC, with the full works (lots of local storage, superfast, supergraphics, superconnected). don't like the idea of depending 100% on the cloud like google wants me to with stupid chrome-books, nor slave to mr superrich apple-jobs. prefer to have local backup & many cloud backups, always. if pc industry moves in this direction, they'll survive, i think.

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That has presented the industry with a classic business problem: how to find new ways to sell an established product

That's not the problem. The problem is the market is saturated. New ways of selling will not change this fact.

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I mighty consider a tablet if I can also plug many external devices(USB) into it as well as a LAN-cable. Sorry, not into Wifi and Bluetooth(all the raves) as those are very big security risks.

I do need to type a lot so I prefer a full keyboard, etc. Call me old-fashioned but I learned to type on a typewriter.

So while the tablet might have the power and all the nifty stuff I still prefer a PC for the daily grind as I can customise my keyboard, etc.

Sin short there won't be much difference between a tablet and a PC as I would still use my HD TV as a Monitor anyway.

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Whenever I use a tablet I always wish I had a keyboard... I don't think a laptop can be replaced until they think of a better way to input into a tablet

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Clicking here and there and pushing buttons is all the fun about PCs. Plus, not being able to put external devices on it, is a major setback and that's why I won't get one.

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They're not cheap, but I certainly am happy with my MacBook Air, which has a full-size keyboard, good graphics and plenty of memory to run software. (And fairly long battery life.) And it only costs about ¥25,000 more than the most expensive version of iPad.

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So does this mean the new "Interl Core i7 27" iMac's" will be coming down in price? Fingers crossed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Above should say Intel not Interl :)

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Apple is a giant so they can market whatever n however they want to sell their products to beat PC.Everything is paid for reviews and projections for future sales.Apple is toooooooo Expensive compare to PC.

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I've seen tablets most with games for kids or for businessmen who don't work out of an office, but on the road a lot. Seems to work pretty well for them. Personally I have no use for a tablet in my daily life as it is right now.

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First of all, I have a tablet (though not one you've heard of: the Archos 101), I like tablets.

That said, the "post-PC" stuff seems absurd to me. Tablets are mainly toys. Yes, they're fun to use, you can pinch and zoom for hours and not get tired of it (or maybe that's just me...). But ultimately, their strength is their weakness, they're made to be used on the move, but as soon as you sit down, give me a laptop or a desktop instead. So much more versatile, and more powerful. And you don't have to keep holding them all the time.

Tablet PCs have been around for a long time, I mean those running real complete OS like Windows. They have never been more than a drop in the ocean, for a reason. When you need to do serious stuff, nothing beats a keyboard and mouse. The present crop of tablets, from the iPad to the XOOM and the Galaxy Tab, can't hide the fact that they are big smartphones, with all the advantages and disadvantages that implies.

Can tablets ever replace PCs? Except for the people who did nothing on their PCs but surf the internet, read e-mails and access social networks, I would say no. Even if that's 80% of what people do on their PCs, they still want a way to do the remaining 20%. The iPad is even now, despite Steve Jobs saying it was a post-PC device, dependent on PC (yes, macs are personal computers too), which is quite ironic. (as an aside, Android tablets aren't remotely as dependent on PCs as the iPad is, I haven't connected my Archos 101 to my PC yet, but I digress...)

So PCs will always have a place, and a major one at that. But their sales may weaken a bit as some people divert some of their money for luxury items to tablets instead of new and more powerful PCs. The problem is overblown by the mentality of investors: "if you're not growing, then you're dying", which is often at best a self-fulfilling prophecy (company retracts a bit, or grows a bit slower, investors panic for no reason, stock value plummets, company crashes, see RiM).

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Tablet PCs were already in the market years prior to the iPad launch. The iPad is more a gimmick that it is anything new - or useful for that matter. Tablets have become faster and more savvy, but as nothing more than an oversized, glorified smart phone, they're not going to replace desktops or laptops anytime soon. While tablets have filled in a gap for mobile users, it has not made as great a dent or shift in the desktop market as this article purports.

Desktop computer sales were already on a steep decline prior to the emergence of new tablets. Yes, the need for upgrading has plateaued, and the longevity of the machines themselves has also improved. However, the technology itself has stagnated. Engineers have hit a brick wall when it comes to computing hardware innovation. Thus the sudden shift from simply trying to make things more powerful to making them more compact, mobile, and intuitive.

Take a look at GPUs for instance. Software technology is actually ahead of what current graphic cards can render. It has been this way since at least 1995. The same bottleneck has held true for CPUs for years as well, at least since the birth of generation-2 multiple-core units. The latter, aside from the obvious mass advertising and user-info-siphoning opportunities, is one of the biggest reasons why cloud computing is being pushed as the "next big thing". Cloud computing is not new. Parallel processing through arrayed or networked CPUs has been around since before the WWW became a household concept. I'm sure most people bothering to read this article have heard of SETI.

One thing the article doesn't mention is gaming consoles. Gamers take up a very large chunk of the PC consumer body. With the massive influx of titles and developer efforts into the console market, the PC gamer is a bit of a dying breed. As well, since fewer titles are being developed for the PC itself (and with developers beating the dead horse in terms of PC-based MMOs with old rendering engines), the need for upgrading is delayed even further.

The market has not exactly shifted, and it's certainly not due solely to tablets. Manufacturers simply run out of things to sell and people to sell to. This is exactly why they're turning to emerging markets -- ie. growing economies in developing and booming countries.

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PC baced on x86 is not effective (speed, energy) by compare with some RISK (ARM, AVR32, PowerPC...). Also SW is not effective too.

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@tokyokawasakiAug. 16, 2011 - 06:01PM JST

So does this mean the new "Interl Core i7 27" iMac's" will be coming down in price? Fingers crossed.

Forget about it! Mac never be cheap. :D May be Apple Mac Mini? ;)

0 ( +0 / -1 )

So does this mean the new "Interl Core i7 27" iMac's" will be coming down in price? Fingers crossed.

Mac is fashion, so highly unlikely. Apple didn't become the number one company in the world by competing on price, that's for sure.

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There were pads before the iPad.

There were MP3 players before the iPod.

They weren't much use.

Apple is so way ahead in this, it's going to be a long time before anyone catches up.

My iPad is in my bag everywhere I go. And if I have a lot of typing to do, I take a Bluetooth keyboard.

I'm sure that each person has his or her needs, but mine certainly don't concern fashion.

I don't need to look cool.

I just need something that works, that's light and easy to carry around, that will access the internet, email, tune my guitar, calendar, addressbook, skype, show/edit photos, carry books and sheet music, play music and audiobooks, play games, hold and display English lessons, that I can use for vector drawing, sketching, edit movies and that functions as a recording studio/synthesizer/music sampler (Garageband).

That doesn't greet me with blue screens of death, freeze, crash or get infected with viruses.

And that has a battery that lasts a full 10 hours.

iPad!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There were MP3 players before the iPod.

They weren't much use.

Uh, yeah they were! I had an Archos HDD based player a full year before the iPod was released. It was great. There was nothing better in the iPod except the styling, and the iPod was much more expensive.

I just need something that works, that's light and easy to carry around, that will access the internet, email, tune my guitar, calendar, addressbook, skype, show/edit photos, carry books and sheet music, play music and audiobooks, play games, hold and display English lessons, that I can use for vector drawing, sketching, edit movies and that functions as a recording studio/synthesizer/music sampler (Garageband).

That doesn't greet me with blue screens of death, freeze, crash or get infected with viruses.

And that has a battery that lasts a full 10 hours.

Sounds like my laptop running Linux, except it has a full keyboard and I can put whatever I want on it without Steve Jobs looking at me in disdain. Oh yeah, and it was a lot cheaper than the iPad!

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Smorkian - My description of an iPad may sound LIKE your laptop running Linux.

But "SOUNDS LIKE" and REALITY are very different things. Actually handle one and use one for a while and you will see that there very little similarity.

I'm sure your Linux laptop can do many of the things listed above and, if you don't mind futzing around to get applications up and running, I'm sure it's great for you. I understand that there is fun in tinkering. Personally it isn't my cup of tea. I like to use my iPad or iMac to get things done without distractions.

There is NOTHING on Linux with the ease of use as Garageband, iMovie and iPhoto.

I've used Picasa, for example and find it unnecessarily complicated.

The size and shape of the iPad make it ideal for:

Placing on the music stand of a piano (no laptop could do that). Placing on a table, so that the class can see an illustration, watch a movie or demonstration or read the lesson. Students can pass it around without me worrying that someone's going to drop it and the computer and the screen part company. Carrying around.

Have you seen one? Held one? Very thin. Very light.

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But "SOUNDS LIKE" and REALITY are very different things. Actually handle one and use one for a while and you will see that there very little similarity.

John, I have used one. I like the new Galaxy Tab better, honestly, but I don't see the need for either when I have a nice, cheap, light laptop running Ubuntu. I have no need for Garageband but there are plenty of good movie and photo apps for Linux. I use Bibble for my photo processing (available Linux, Windows, and MacOS) and it works great. Never used Picasa.

I don't need to tinker with my laptop at all. You download the latest Ubuntu, copy to a USB stick, install. Works as well as installing anything to an iOS device except you can add whatever you want without having to hack the device.

I suspect you have not used Ubuntu before. It's super easy. Software is easy to acquire and install - probably easier than the app store (and yeah, I have used the Apple app store).

Placing on the music stand of a piano (no laptop could do that).

Why yes it can! My laptop hinges 180 degrees, perfect for doing exactly that.

Placing on a table, so that the class can see an illustration, watch a movie or demonstration or read the lesson.

All of which are easier on a laptop.

Students can pass it around without me worrying that someone's going to drop it and the computer and the screen part company.

iPad is made of glass - even Gorilla glass is more breakable than a well made laptop. I've dropped mine a few times with no problems.

Hey, the iPad and other similar tablets (like the new Honeycomb tablets) are nice. They just don't replace a laptop, that's all. Maybe for you they do but they don't for most.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Try typing on an iPad at 35,000 feet altitude with turbulence!!

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