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PCs learn new tricks, but can tablet/notebook hybrids resc

  1. #1


    Posts : 738
    1st W10 Professional x64/W7 Ultimate x64 - 2nd Remote system: W10 Insider Builds/W7 Professional

    PCs learn new tricks, but can tablet/notebook hybrids resc


    PCs learn new tricks, but can tablet/notebook hybrids rescue Windows 8?

    Summary: What does a PC maker do when the PC market is shrinking and demand for tablets is exploding? One option is to design hybrid PCs, which can switch from conventional PC to tablet and back again. In this post, I look at clever hybrid devices from Samsung, Dell, and HP.

    By Ed Bott for The Ed Bott Report
    March 13, 2013 -- 01:00 GMT (18:00 PDT)

    No, the PC industry isn’t vanishing anytime soon. But it has reached a level of maturity where year-over-year growth in sales has stalled, and most new purchases are replacements.

    Devices that we traditionally think of as PCs - towers, all-in-ones, and clamshell-style laptops with a keyboard and pointing device - are still selling by the hundreds of millions every year. After decades of steady growth, however, those numbers are now declining year over year, as consumers (and to a lesser extent businesses) choose tablets and smartphones as secondary devices instead of buying an additional PC.

    The net effect? The overall population of computing devices is expanding tremendously, with the mix shifting toward devices that are more mobile and require less management.

    That’s the environment into which Microsoft released Windows 8 last fall. In a world where mobility is king, the single most important feature is the ability to work well as a tablet, when a touchscreen is the only input device. For this new generation, Microsoft and its partners are betting you want that same device to workas a PC when conventional input devices (and maybe a large monitor) are available.

    It’s a bold attempt to redefine the PC. These new hybrid devices have the innards of a conventional PC, making them compatible with existing software and peripherals, while still being capable of acting like tablets.

    Microsoft’s vision of this dual-purpose device is the Surface Pro, which can go from tablet to full-strength PC with a click of its innovative keyboard/cover combos. But it’s not the only competitor in this new hybrid category.

    Last September, at the giant IFA tradeshow in Berlin, I saw three hybrid devices from three of the world’s largest PC OEMs. Each one tries to tackle the same problem as the Surface Pro, with very different design decisions. For the past month, I’ve been using the final, production versions of these three machines in real-world work settings.
    see full 4 page report

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  2. #2


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Those tablet top AIO PCs are kind of weird, kind of cool, and shouldn't have a mechanical hard drive. I played around with the Sony Tap 20 AIO PC, pretty cool though! It's weird to basically carry around a 20 inch tablet, plop it on top of a desktop, then fold it down flat and use it on top of a table. It's crazy weird.

    Very interesting though, it could definitely ignite some demand.

    But I have to say, it REALLY annoys me when journalists or whatever refer to desktops as PCs and laptops and tablets running Windows as two different things. No, if it's running Windows, it is a PC, simple as that, regardless of form factor.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 534
    Windows 7, Windows 8 RP


    The XPS 12 is a very nice ultrabook, I have mine equipped just like the one in the article. My only gripe with it is the fan noise, I had my fan replaced thinking there was a fan problem but it made no difference.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 738
    1st W10 Professional x64/W7 Ultimate x64 - 2nd Remote system: W10 Insider Builds/W7 Professional


    That's likely from being in too confined a space where any sound is amplified to some extent as well as a solid type rattle over a full desktop where there's a lot more air space to absorb or cushion sound from fans. There isn't much that can be done unfortunately.

    As for tablets, smart books, netbooks, etc. those all fall under hand held mobile or portable while desktops and laptops are the usual set up as desktop with external displays and keyboards, mice at times. Someone who lacks space for a full atx case will often add the extras onto a laptop as well as run it with the ac adapter as a workstation. That becomes their home pc.
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  5. #5


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Those tablet top AIO PCs are kind of weird, kind of cool, and shouldn't have a mechanical hard drive. I played around with the Sony Tap 20 AIO PC, pretty cool though! It's weird to basically carry around a 20 inch tablet, plop it on top of a desktop, then fold it down flat and use it on top of a table. It's crazy weird.

    Very interesting though, it could definitely ignite some demand.

    But I have to say, it REALLY annoys me when journalists or whatever refer to desktops as PCs and laptops and tablets running Windows as two different things. No, if it's running Windows, it is a PC, simple as that, regardless of form factor.
    Hi there
    What about a Smart Windows 8 phone connected to a LARGE LCD Monitor using a blue tooth keyboard -- Is that a PC -- to all intents and purposes it probably is but I suppose the Mouse functionality is missing unless you could have a blue tooth mouse as well.

    Touch wouldn't be possible since you would be working on the external screen only with the HDMI adapter.

    Still with the power of some decent smart phones processors you'd probably get a BETTER performance this way than using usually a less than state of the art Corporate or work PC.

    My main gripe is the COST of the surface PRO -- It doesn't bring anything to the table that my incredibly light and portable ACER aspire 11 inch laptop doesn't and the laptop is several hundred dollars cheaper --especially if you include the cost of the physical folding keyboard for the Surface Pro. Portability is comparable for the two devices-- the main difference on the PC you open a lid -- but on a docking station you don't even need to do that. OK the tablet is thinner -- not really significantly in any case and possibly looks more attractive to people wanting to steal things --there isn't a huge market for used / stolen laptops unless they are really ultimate top of the line Ultrabooks.

    For Work and the stuff I do the smaller i3 processor in the laptop is just fine -- and it consumes less power -- so longer battery life - and its simple also to swap the battery if required --try doing that on a Tablet or change the HDD or fit a larger SSD or even add more RAM.

    (I could actually get a SECOND laptop and still have paid less in total for the TWO laptops than for the Surface pro plus keyboard).

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  6. #6


    Posts : 738
    1st W10 Professional x64/W7 Ultimate x64 - 2nd Remote system: W10 Insider Builds/W7 Professional


    Good analogy! I doubt you can actually do much as far as upgrading memory in a tablet, smart book, or netbook for that matter. At least with a laptop or netbook you can choose the OS while smart books, Windows phones, and other similar devices tend to see embedded OSs which can be quite limited at times when comparing prices overall.

    Replacing hard drives as well as optical drives not found on tablets and smart books is another reason a laptop would be preferred as well as seeing a larger display. It''s still easier to connect an external lcd as well as keyboard and mouse or keyboard/mouse combo any laptop over the constant need for replacing or recharging batteries on blue tooth devices.

    If I simply let the blue tooth headset or ear piece for a cell phone sit around long enough when not being used the charge dies anyways! Recharge every time I plan on using either of the two there! I cam imagine the charge on a blue tooth keyboard/mouse or touchpad combo would decharge even faster in some cases!
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  7. #7


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Did you see those prices. $1700 for the Dell device that is a lot less powerful than my $800 Dell XPS 8300 with a 3.6GHz i7, an SSD plus a 500GB HDD, a powerful graphics card, eSata, USB3 and the whole 9 yards. This 'thing' is a real rip-off - hinged screen or not.

    Yes I have no touch and I cannot carry it around, but for that I have my Nexus 7 for $230 - that's a lot more convenient for on the go.

    I wonder who is really going to buy this stuff.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 302
    Windows 7 on the desktop, Windows 8 Surface Pro mobile


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    Did you see those prices. $1700 for the Dell device that is a lot less powerful than my $800 Dell XPS 8300 with a 3.6GHz i7, an SSD plus a 500GB HDD, a powerful graphics card, eSata, USB3 and the whole 9 yards. This 'thing' is a real rip-off - hinged screen or not.

    Yes I have no touch and I cannot carry it around, but for that I have my Nexus 7 for $230 - that's a lot more convenient for on the go.

    I wonder who is really going to buy this stuff.
    Not people for whom a pure tablet will do.

    Something like a Surface Pro is bought primarily as a laptop to take your work mobile, first and foremost. That you don't have to shell out an extra $230 for a tablet is just the gravy.

    Oh.. and its 2lb and can go anywhere.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    That seems like a drab financial purchase to buy an 800 dollar PC, then a 230 dollar phablet and then have to carry two devices around with you. Or even start using the less expensive of the two devices more than the other, it made the 800 dollar PC effectively pointless when a phablet can do those things somewhat ok. Wouldn't it make better sense to combine the two capabilities in a nice tablet PC that costs less?

    That's just my two cents, well spent I should say...
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  10. #10


    Posts : 738
    1st W10 Professional x64/W7 Ultimate x64 - 2nd Remote system: W10 Insider Builds/W7 Professional


    There are tablets and then there are Tablet PCs depending on what you want to spend! $$$$$$$ !!!!

    In comparisons between laptops and Tablet PCs where both can be carried around but depend on battery life over actual dunctionality laptops tend to suffer having a max of 4hrs. averaging a few hours compared to the 6hrs. offered by the tablet. That was pointed out in one blog before 8 even arrived last summer. Tablet PC VS. Traditional PC

    It still depends on what you actually need versus convenience with any portable unit. There isn't any comparison to be made with a desktop since you can expand indefinitely on what a desktop is capable of adding new devices, increasing storage, upgrading each hardware while a portable is self contained with only certain items being replacable to begin with like upping memory a little or swapping out the single drive when possible. With a laptop you can add in a separate video or sound card on many models to get past the onboard limitations seen with integrated this or that.

    The first obvious thing however when selectively shopping for something in one category alone however is reading the reviews! A good review will compare a good number of makes and models to look over like the one seen at 2013 Best Tablet PC Comparison and Reviews
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PCs learn new tricks, but can tablet/notebook hybrids resc
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