WEB & TECH / FEB. 09, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Is the PC Dead?

tablet vs laptop

For several years now, people have been forecasting the death of the PC and laptop. These people predict that from the ashes of the PC, the tablet and smartphone will rise. Even though, tablets and smartphones have become amazingly popular recently, are PC’s really on the way out?

Sony Throws in the Towel

Numerous companies have gone out of business, or just sold off the computer side of their company in recent times. IBM for example, sold off the laptop and PC part of its company several years ago to Chinese company Lenovo. Perhaps, ironically Lenovo have managed to turn it into quite a profitable business again. The latest company to give in though, is technology giant Sony, who have just agreed to sell of the PC unit of their business. That unit was mostly producing the Vaio laptops in recent years, but it had become dead weight and was not profitable. Selling the unit would not be an easy decision for Sony to make, having been involved in making computer since 1982. It will also result in the loss of 5,000 jobs. But, given that it has been predicted that Sony will make a loss of £665 million pounds this financial year, it would seem that it is somewhat a necessity, if they require the company to remain competitive.

Sony have said that they are now going to focus on their tablets, camera, PlayStation and smartphones. So this would indeed seem to indicate the rise of the tablet and smartphone. Another area to look at is the ultra- books which can be either a laptop or a tablet.

But does the current rise of the tablet really spell the death of the PC?

Counting Your Chickens before they’ve Hatched

Given that people have been saying for years that the PC is going to die soon, it is hard to take them seriously. Tablets are great and smartphones are also fantastic in their own way, but they are still in their early days. Tablets and Smartphones haven’t really matured enough to take the place of laptops or PCs. It does seem like a good example of people counting their chickens before they are hatched.

Tablets have little storage space and are always trying to be thinner and more efficient. Much the same with Smartphones. Tablets do not even have DVD or BluRay Drives. If we looked at it from a purely gaming point of view, then tablets do not have the graphical capability to run most of the current games. In addition, it would be a horrible gaming experience. The user interface would have to change dramatically in order for people to be able to control first person shooters, or indeed any games effectively with current tablets.

Some people may say that gaming is just for the young, but the gaming age is getting older and older; people are continuing to game as they raise their families and get into their late 30’s and 40’s. In business terms, it does not make sense either as there are few people who enjoy typing on an iPad, or any touch surface. If someone had to write something that was several thousand words long, it would be torture. People still prefer to sit at a desk and type on a keyboard looking at a large screen. While one solution may be to dock your tablet into a station that lets you use a keyboard and screen, it is a bit flawed. If that is the solution, then what is the point in people using tablets instead of the PCs anyway? They would just be saving everyone a lot of money and effort if they kept using PC’s or laptops. If anyone wants to write a long document on their Smartphone then more power to them, because it would be torture no matter what you do.

Pc’s may be becoming less popular at the moment, but who’s to say what will happen in the future. How will a tablet ever manage to beat the raw computing power that a gaming PC or laptop can provide, if it can ever compete at all. Tablets will become much more popular much the same way that laptops have become so popular. But, the concept of the PC or laptop being eclipsed completely is extremely far-fetched. Perhaps it is more of an Apple fanboy wish than anything else; after all they do love their iPads.           

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