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cityboi

Will tablets replace laptops & desktop PCs?

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The personal computer seems to be evolving in the early 21st century. People are buying tablets like crazy. But will they ever replace the laptop or desktop? Some say no but I've learned to never say never. As of today, they won't replace them because of their limitations. Tablets don't have cd or dvd drives. They don't have word processing applications and you cant really install current computer software on them. As technology changes these tablets could have these capabilities five years down the road. Many look at the fact that they don't have cd drives but it may be best that they don't. The reason is that cds and dvds are on the verge of becoming obsolete just like VHS and cassette tapes. We are in an age where people are downloading software and music online and anything you want to save can be saved on a flash drive or a memory card. The keyboard is another problem. Its very difficult to type with a virtual keyboard on a smaller screen but there are new technologies that allow lasers to project keyboards on your desk. Time will only tell but I predict tablets will replace laptops and eventually desktops. They are more mobile than laptops and they are easier to connect with smart phones. If the pc does evolve into becoming tablets, Microsoft may be in big trouble and Android may become the next Windows. Ask yourself, do you ever here about the general public getting excited about the latest laptop?

HTC Jetstream Tablet

htc-puccini-att-tablet-leaklead-540x384.jpg

laptop

rent-laptop-ithaca.jpg

this portable hitech bluetooth laser projection keyboard solves the small keypad issues on smart phones and tablets. Or voice command works fine as well.

bluetooth-projection-keyboard.jpg

It also looks like touch screen is here to stay

http://us.gateway.com/gw/en/US/content/zx-series/zx-series

Edited by cityboi

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As they stand now, I dont think they will. The issue isnt technology but how they are being marketed. Tablets, well to be specific slates (tablets can be laptops with rotating screens and pen input), are being driven primarily by the personal entertainment market. Slates are currently phone driven, and being expanded to a larger size. Additionally, little attention is being paid to both business features and software, as well as security and stability issues. This very well may change in a year, with Microsoft coming out with their new OS. It might also change depending on what happens with WebOS - if that survives and if so how.

But you have to be careful about being distracted by form factors and packaging, and look at the technology behind it. Slates and Laptops are still computing devices. They are even pretty simillar if you really think about it - a screen, processor, OS, and input device. Slates have really taken the touchpad to the extreme, but we are starting to see a bit of a reaction with new tablet s coming with keyboards or at least connecting blue tooth keyboards. The innards have gotten a bit smaller and lighter - this is as much due to a change in the old duopoly of Microsoft and Intel as anything else. In fact, the real big development is that we have new OSes which have finally gotten a foothold. So what happens in the future depends a lot more on how companies react than on technology.

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IMO, they will eventually. There is definitely a place for laptops still, but for the casual user, I think tablets will eventually dominate.

My Mom uses an iPad 2 as her only computer. It's great for casual use like email, Facebook, Internet browsing, etc.

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I think the consumer has to get accustomed to using tablets as a part of their daily lives. The technology is there. Its just a matter of improving the tablet and adding additional features that would be needed for home and office use. Most home users will use computers for internet browsing, email, word processing, games and music. Once tablets have the ability to print (maybe some do already) and have word processing programs, laptop sales will fall even more. Tablets are just easier to carry around with you because of their size and weight. The way we use computers is going to be different but it will accomplish the same things. We are seeing a merging of technology as well with devices that combines computers, phone service and television. There is a lot of hybrid technology out there. But the way we upload software is changing. Instead of buying cd software from the store to install programs, you would just install them directly from the internet with the ability to save them on a tablet memory card for back up. In about 20 years there will be no more cds in the market. They will be a distant memory like cassette tapes, VHS tapes and vinyl records.

Edited by cityboi

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Tablets are just easier to carry around with you because of their size and weight.

This is not so much due to the fact that it is a slate as much as it is because it is not based on the Wintel platform. They are all basically computers - the Ipad is simply based on different hardware and a different OS than a Macbook, the Android again uses different hardware and OS from traditional netbooks. Intel now has the Ultrabook spec which is bringing their offerings in line with slates - once windows 8 comes out, if it lives up to its promise, it will essentially be a slate with a built in keyboard. Oops - Asus already has them. So really, Lotta hype over little change, which only goes to prove my other point - that we are less about innovating than marketing.

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Agreed, marketing is key.

More to the point, computers were created initially to make life easier, then they became a tool, then a source of entertainment, and then went back to making life easier.

Tablets are great, but no matter what they're never replace the video editing power of a Mac Pro, the gaming ability of a custom built computer, or trump the ease of use of a standard laptop.

I think the next generation of laptops will all be touch screen, and I'm stoked for that, but in reality there will be no point in time when you will see a desktop go the way of the dinosaur.

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the keyboard will be obsolete in 10 years. They are already making touchscreen desk top computers.

Edited by cityboi

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Touchscreen technology has been around for a while. The problem is it just doesn't work well for heavy typing - thus the proliferation of bluetooth keyboards for tablets. In fact, it's something even our regular laptop user insist on - they need real keyboards because laptop keyboards are uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.

I don't know that the desktop itself will remain as it is. I think you will stil have "power user" machines that are desktop form factor, but I foresee a time fairly soon when all computers are, to one degree or another, portable. Heck, where i work, we are using all-in-one stands now for our computers, using ultra slim form factor PCs.

Still, I know that if ther eis one thing the Pc industry is not it is logical, so what the future holds may or may not be where it would logically be heading.

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Also its very difficult to predict the future in regards to technology. If you look back at the 1950s, people during that time thought we'd have flying cars by the year 2000 and we would have human settlements on the moon and Mars.. Predictions about fashion and clothing were way off. The people of the 1950s really had some outlandish ideas of what we would be wearing in the 21st century. Some predictions were correct. During the 50s people envisions technology in the year 2000 that would allow us to shop at home on television screen. The person at home could scroll through products and decide what he are she wanted to purchase. The idea was basically is simply version of the internet. Today we are able to shop from home on the internet and on home shopping channels..

Edited by cityboi

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So, I have been using tablets for a couple of months now. I have both an iPad and a Asus Transformer (Android). In fact I have periodically tried using them as my sole home device. My users are particularly interested in them, and I have been exploring how they best can be used in a business setting.

I have very mixed feelings on this. Part of me is excited about them - they are mush more portable, and seem to have a lot of potential. and yet, I find myself asking over and over again what I am going to do with this thing? Web browsing is Ok in a pinch,iPad browsers are stable and great for 75% of the pages I go to, but completely fail on the other 25%, whereas the Android browsers crash every 10 minutes but display almost any page. I have tried some notes apps, but find myself asking what I have gained over a simple pen and paper. I really want to find business uses for these, but other than a few specialized apps ,or as audio/visual tools I find them lacking in real productivity.

Do you use atablet at all? What do you do on it? How does it help you?

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So, I have been using tablets for a couple of months now. I have both an iPad and a Asus Transformer (Android). In fact I have periodically tried using them as my sole home device. My users are particularly interested in them, and I have been exploring how they best can be used in a business setting.

I have very mixed feelings on this. Part of me is excited about them - they are mush more portable, and seem to have a lot of potential. and yet, I find myself asking over and over again what I am going to do with this thing? Web browsing is Ok in a pinch,iPad browsers are stable and great for 75% of the pages I go to, but completely fail on the other 25%, whereas the Android browsers crash every 10 minutes but display almost any page. I have tried some notes apps, but find myself asking what I have gained over a simple pen and paper. I really want to find business uses for these, but other than a few specialized apps ,or as audio/visual tools I find them lacking in real productivity.

Do you use atablet at all? What do you do on it? How does it help you?

My day job is an IT Manager for a medium size company with approximately 160 users. We're a manufacturing facility but we also handle our own retail and wholesale of the products we manufacture. Without making this too drawn out, I've more than had it with Microsoft's licensing structure...particularly as it relates to VDI (virtual desktops) with something like VMware or Citrix. I'm making extreme headway into moving almost all of our needs to the 'cloud' whether being served internally our externally.

100% of our users are now using Google Apps at full capacity meaning email, documents, spreadsheets, photos, etc. This coming from an in-house Exchange 2007 solution (we had been using Exchange since 2002 and went through all of the versions including 2000, 20003 and 2007) and a large amount of Microsoft Office licenses. I still have one user that uses Microsoft Access, but that's it as far as Microsoft Office goes (goodbye expensive licenses just to make very small edits to a spreadsheet on rare occasions).

The most used piece of software is our ERP solution which we're planning to be 100% web-based (meaning all functions can be access from a web browser) within two years. I have already migrated approximately 30% of our users to VMware View and they're using Wyse thin clients. Some users I also have setup to access their VM from home. This was my interim solution to make users mobile and save money at the same time. My long-term solution is for ~80% of our users the ability to do 100% of their job via a web browser. At that point I'm either going to deploy a solution like Chromebooks or iPads...or quite likely a mix of the two.

Since we're a manufacturing facility, we have a VERY large space that we cover. I've blanketed over 90% of our facility in wifi for our internal uses and also developed an interim web connector to our ERP system. I now have users that manage our inventory and pull orders using an iPod Touch with a barcode scanner case (I'm using the exact same setup that Apple uses in their stores at the moment). This eliminated the need for a few computers with the advantage that the solution was completely mobile (VERY mobile as in pocket sized).

My long-term goal is to allow our users the flexibility to walk around the facility and still get things done. Having things in the 'cloud' and devices like iPads make this possible this date in age. It does take some effort and it is a treacherous road, but I'm finding that it is possible, even for a company of our size. Now I can't imagine the task of doing something like this for a huge company, but with enough hands it is possible.

I get excited when I think about our users reading/sending email, editing spreadsheets and making transactions from a tablet (with a rugged case of course). I think a lot of companies have the same feelings that I've expressed here and have it on their long-term goal sheet, but I would imagine getting the necessary power to push something like that through for some larger companies can be easier said than done.

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Cloud computing seems to go hand in hand with tablet computing. For me, working in a state agency, I have to contend with a number of data privacy and protection laws. This has a real impact on what services we can use. Google mail, for instance, would cause major legal problems for us due to contract requirement issues. WE have managed to move our students to Gmail, but in doing so have encoutered some security, control, and privacy issues.

We are currently struggling with balancing the need to make our users more mobile versus data security. Conflicting agency audits only complicate the matter, and a few users have shown an amazing disregard for data security, resulting in some serious security issues. I am excited over the potential of mobile ocmputig; I am also getting more and more scared of the potential consequences, both personally and organizationally, of the combination of more open data access and the growing "war" for data privacy and security.

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I think that for office/business purposes an "evolved" desktop wil be the norm for quite some time. Something intuitive, compact, and next gen-esque that is meant to stay put. Now for personal use I think we will see the smartphone continue to transform into a more powerful computer/hard drive that will eventually be able use any smart tv as its display with the touch of a button. I know this is already possible now, I just see it becoming much more common in the coming years.

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Yeah, Windows 8 could be a game changer, if they get around to doing it right.

Current slate tablets seem to be geared too much to socialization, games, and media; while conventional computers are still to complex and clunky. There is a lot of room for a more processing based computer but that is a lot easier to use and less resource heavy. I have been playing around with Win8 now, and it has potential, but right now it seems more to be a touch overlay of news and social feeds on a stripped down Win7 base.

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Yeah, Windows 8 could be a game changer, if they get around to doing it right.

Current slate tablets seem to be geared too much to socialization, games, and media; while conventional computers are still to complex and clunky. There is a lot of room for a more processing based computer but that is a lot easier to use and less resource heavy. I have been playing around with Win8 now, and it has potential, but right now it seems more to be a touch overlay of news and social feeds on a stripped down Win7 base.

If Microsoft puts out Windows 8 in its current form, I'd be willing to bet good money that it will flop for both consumers and enterprise alike. They have so far to go before they are able to meld their two distinct interfaces. Each interface by itself is great, but they're doing a piss poor job at combining them into a seamless experience. What they're creating is going to be an aggravation for anyone who uses it IMO.

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If Microsoft puts out Windows 8 in its current form, I'd be willing to bet good money that it will flop for both consumers and enterprise alike. They have so far to go before they are able to meld their two distinct interfaces. Each interface by itself is great, but they're doing a piss poor job at combining them into a seamless experience. What they're creating is going to be an aggravation for anyone who uses it IMO.

Microsoft lost its mojo when Bill Gates left. The company allowed Apple and Google to get ahead of them in the smart phone and tablet markets. Ironically Microsoft was the first to introduce the modern day tablet but it never caught on. It wasn't as user friendly and cool as Apple's Ipad. As tablets begin to replace laptops and eventually most home desktop computers, Microsoft is going to be in a lot of trouble. They are going to have to start targeting their products to small businesses and companies because those are the only sectors that will still use desktops within the next 20 to 30 years or so. I believe the tablet will eventually replace the personal home computer. Its only a matter of time.

Microsoft's tablet PC in the early 2000s

573px-Tablet.jpg

But Apple created the very first tablet in 1987. It was much smaller and very limited to what it could do. Plus it wasn't in color. It was more like a message/note pad/calendar. But it was one of the first examples of computer touch screen technology.

tablets-applenewton-big.jpg

But the technology leading up to the Apple Newton and IPad began in 1964 with the Rand Tablet. It wasn't a tablet by today's standards but it used a touch interface on a pad

This was very advanced technology for 1964 and it was the precursor to the mouse.

rand.man_at_computer.102630780.lg.jpg

But if desktop computers survive they may look something like this. A screen that curves onto the desk is pretty innovative. No more keyboards or mouse. and the hard drive itself is embedded in the screen. Obviously this is a crude example of what could be the future of desktop computers. This concept uses a projector but a more advanced version would not require projectors and would be just as slim as tablets. This would be very useful in design related industries (graphic design, architecture, ect) But it would clearly eliminated the mouse, keyboard and any other external device that connects to a computer.

futuristic-desktop-computer-design.jpg

Edited by cityboi

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