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Tablets, The New Laptop?

The shift is happening. Tablets are king and 1 in every 5 Americans owns one. Microsoft predicts that the sale of tablets in 2013 will surpass desktop sales. It’s no wonder that PC manufacturers are frantically trying to bridge the gap between tablets and PCs by offering touch versions of their products and laptops that turn into tablets like Lenovo’s new ThinkPad Helix. Microsoft is also trying to capitalize on this shift by launching a Pro version of their Surface tablet hoping it could replace the need for a laptop.

It seems crazy to think that when Apple introduced iPads to the world, people wondered whether there would be a market for such a device. Less than 3 years later, we are asking whether traditional desktops and laptops will continue playing a role in this ever changing market or if the new laptop/tablet hybrids take over and pure tablets eventually fade. What will the personal computer market look like 5 years from now?

In order to attempt to answer these questions, we need to look at what people use their laptops and tablets to achieve. According to a Morgan Stanley Research paper entitled "Tablet Demand and Disruption," 75% of total personal computer usage is spent consuming content such as browsing the Internet, listening to music and social networking. It’s no surprise that people are flocking to tablets given that these devices are optimized for content consumption. The study also finds that Tablet owners are using their PCs less.

I use my iPad about 95% of the time over my laptop for personal use. When I am working however and need to do real work, my laptop is king. iPads are great for viewing information but I could not imagine creating documents or spreadsheets from it. The touch screen keyboard is just not as efficient as my standard laptop keyboard. Some tablets have keyboards, but they are still not as ergonomic and easy to use. My iPad also doesn’t have software like Word, Excel and PowerPoint which I need to use daily.

So can or will tablets eventually replace desktops and laptops? I think that the line between PCs and tablets will eventually vanish as PC manufacturers are able to provide the features and usability people love about tablets on a platform that allows users to produce content. It will take a few generations of these hybrids before getting it right. It will also take software vendors time to build applications that are not only touch friendly but designed specifically for use on a tablet. Alternatively, it may be tablets that get enhanced for content creation. Either way, I think the market will move towards consolidating tablets and PCs.

There will always be a place for desktops, especially in the workplace where mobility may not be important and other features like processing power and screen size are critical. Increased competition in the tablet market will only bring about positive changes like new features at increasingly more affordable prices. For now, tablets are a great option for people whose content creation requirements are minimal and a great supplemental device for others.

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February 14, 2013 Nathalie Thibault Jump to Comments

Get A Jump On New Pivotal Features

Collaboration is king. This was top of mind in our latest Pivotal development efforts and we hope you’ll take notice. Join us May 13 – 16 in Las Vegas for this year’s Aptean Edge Conference to learn more at the Pivotal CRM New Features Showcase.

You’ll discover the latest applications, developed based on direct feedback from Pivotal users like you. This session goes in-depth into the new features in Pivotal Contact Management, Sales Force Automation, Customer Service and Support, and Territory Management applications. Led by Ehab Samy, the architect behind these applications, the session will also provide opportunities to share your thoughts and make recommendations for future enhancements.

More on Edge and the Pivotal track.

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February 13, 2013 Matt Keenan Jump to Comments

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