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The future of the desktop is a tabletop

Mark Hachman | Feb. 11, 2014
One day, the future of Intel's desktop business will lie within something that looks like the Microsoft Surface. No, not the tablet--the older, tabletop version. Remember that?

"It's gone from a non-existing category in 2012 to over a million units sold last year...and I bet we see more than 50 percent growth this year," Graff said.

The irony here is that while the NUC uses a traditional "desktop" chip, the portable AIOs that Graff identified as the future of the desktop PC do not. In fact, the Lenovo Flex 20 spec sheet reveals an Intel i3-4010U inside — a mobile chip. Which says something.

PC gamers know that the traditional tower configuration hasn't gone away. But for everyone else, the "desktop" PC is becoming smaller, more portable — and, eventually, more mobile.

Eventually, the NUC could be reshaped into a form factor similar to that of the modular ICE xPC (although Intel hasn't said it would do so). Within a few years, consumers could choose between systems that use either a more powerful "desktop" processor or a lower-power mobile chip — and slide either into a backpack.


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