These days it is all about portability and comfort. It is really hard to believe that only a decade ago if you wanted to browse the internet you would need to have a dedicated Personal Computer. Today you simply get your smartphone out of your pocket and you are good to go. Checking email is now a matter of seconds instead of minutes that took in 1999. We have truly evolved when it comes to harnessing technology for our comfortable lifestyles.
Will tablets end laptop market: Background
Laptops were all in rage around 6 years ago, the laptop market was really booming and making strides. But these days there is a distinct decline in that market too. There are many reasons for this decrease in popularity and we will discuss them all in detail. According to my personal observation there are two kinds of people who use laptops, tablets and PCs. They are the casuals and the professionals. The casuals are those who only check emails, log into social sites and watch movies; they use their devices for relaxation, recreation and entertainment. Then there are the professionals, who also do all of these entertaining tasks but also need to get some work done on their devices.
Will tablets end laptop market: advent of the laptops
On post 2000 majority of the casuals and the professionals used PCs for their daily tasks, whether work or enjoyment related. Then came the laptops which were more convenient and easy to use. This made the casuals move to the laptops instead of using the PCs, as laptops became more and more affordable more casuals moved to the platform. The professionals were further split into two categories, the power users and the non-power users. The Power users needed technical muscle for their work and the laptops were simply not powerful enough so they stayed with the PCs. The non-power users (much like yours truly) moved to a more portable solution.
Will tablets end laptop market: Dawn of tablets
These days’ tablets and smartphones are the ones which have captured almost all the casual market. Why purchase a separate device just to log into Facebook is what most of the masses are saying. Movies, chats and socializing all moved to tablets. But the power users remained with the PCs and the non-power users stayed with the laptops. But the casuals didn’t have any reason to stick with the now deemed bulky laptops. Unfortunately most of the users are categories as casuals these days hence the increase in the sales of tablets and decline in the sales of laptops.
Will tablets end laptop market: direction
Will this mean that eventually the tablets end the laptop market? The answer is yes and it is also no. There will come a point when tablets will become evenly powerful as the laptops. That time is also not very far, especially if technology continues to stride at this rapid pace. In 2-3 years the line between tablets and laptops will become so thin that they will be indistinguishable in terms of raw power. This is also happening in some devices and clever manufacturers like Asus are already sensing this change.
Will tablets end laptop market: Hybrids
When the difference between laptops and tablets will become negligible manufacturers will start making tablet/laptop hybrids. The Asus Transformer T300 and T100 are the devices which are already doing this. This will result in the merger of both the platforms and they will become one. There will be no place for any dedicated laptops which are not touchscreens. Microsoft is also aware of the trends and has already made Windows 8 very touch friendly. The era of hybrids is upon us and in very little time every manufacturer will start making tablets with dockable keyboards and at least two operating systems.
Android is one choice for the hybrids while the other will be Windows. Asus Transformer is already doing this in a very reasonable price range. While today we have separate devices for working and entertainment (laptops for serious work, tablets for enjoyment/socializing) there will come a time when these very portable devices will seem bulky to us. I already say that why carry a tablet when you have a laptop and my father says otherwise. We as humans always strive to make our lives easier and making a tablet/laptop hybrid is the next logical solution to the problem we don’t know we have yet.
Will tablets end laptop market: Conclusion
The answer to the question we asked is not going to be in black and white. There will always be a market for powerful gaming/work laptops but the general market will shift the trends. No one likes to carry multiple devices with them wherever they go, this is the basic human nature and we cannot deny it. Apple will also try to come up with their hybrid version of iPad and Macbook as the market evolves. Windows and Android enabled hybrid devices are already available in the market, but their prices are a bit on the expensive side.
When the hybrids become affordable for the general masses, it will be the day when tablets and laptops get married officially. This may come in a year or in three but this will happen soon. So, no the tablets will not end laptops completely but they will become one with each other.