One of the fiercest and longest-standing debates of all on the subject of technology over the past few years has been that of tablet PCs versus laptops. Most have their own opinions on the subject and some of these are very heated opinions to say the least, but is it really possible that tablets will eventually push laptops out of the market altogether?
Well, if you were to go on the statistics alone then you’d be inclined to believe it is indeed going to happen. Since tablet PCs hit the mainstream three or four years ago, the general PC industry…which includes laptops and notebooks…has been on the decline. From 2012 to 2013, the plummet was such that analysts started predicting the end of the global PC business in a matter of decades. They didn’t just see tablet PCs taking over – they saw them exterminating the competition.
However, the rate of decline in the PC industry has tapered off a lot as of late, once again calling into question what the future has in store for tech-heads.
Hybrid Device Expansion
Now, given the fact that there’s such an epic difference between typing on a notebook and hitting the screen of a tablet PC, we’re unlikely to ever see the end of the physical keyboard as we know it. As such…and while accessory keyboards are all well and good…it’s more likely that hybrid devices are going to become the biggest thing since sliced bread over the coming years. These are the machines that look and function like laptops, though come with a removable touchscreen a tablet that can be plucked off and reattached at will.
Technically speaking these offer the best of all worlds, though at the time of writing are not only rather bulky and heavy, they’re also on the expensive side. Which means that while folk can pick up a 7-inch tablet PC for £99 and a cheap laptop for £250, they’re unlikely to shell out £450 on a high-end hybrid.
That being said, hybrid devices do indeed have the potential to cause a real problem for the traditional laptop industry, though rather than replace it as such, it will be more a case of laptop makers modifying their strategies and producing hybrids of their own.
An On-going Divide
No matter which way the hybrid market goes though, chances are there will never be a day when tablet PCs and laptops don’t exist at the same time. The reason being that there is such a huge divide between the two in terms of what people buy them for.
Take for example dedicated gamers – you can pick up a laptop PC for close to £2,000 that will run every PC game on Earth to its full potential, while even the most powerful tablets don’t come close. And while tablet PC power and prowess is growing by the day, so too are the highest-end laptops on the market.
As such, the divide between the two will continue indefinitely as each time one side of the fence takes a step forward, so too does the other. Which for the meantime at least means there’s really only one way to enjoy the best of all worlds…buy both!