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The PC's future has never been brighter--because tablets are PCs too

Brad Chacos | May 31, 2013
Don't let tales of plunging PC sales fool you. The rise of tablets and every hybrid in between show how PCs are evolving rather than dying.

In fact, hybrids and convertibles may just be the magic bullet for Windows tablets.

Technological advances are about to make the already cloudy distinction between "tablet" and "PC" even murkier. Mobile processors in the pipeline from AMD and Intel promise laptop-esque power in near-true tablet form factors, reducing the compromises found in first-gen Windows hybrids.

Meanwhile, next-gen processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and Nvidia's beefy quad-core, Cortex-A15-powered Tegra 4 processor are advancing potency on the ARM front, driving Droids and iPads to ever-increasing performance heights. (Have you played GTA: Vice City on a Nexus tablet? It already handles pretty darn well.)

A bright and diversified future
One day, we'll look back, laugh, and wonder how tablets were ever considered anything but personal computers. And on that day, we'll realize how silly all of today's worrying about the future of the PC really was.

Sure, laptop and desktop sales are dropping--but tablet sales are skyrocketing, and tablets are PCs too. By IDC's count, tablets and so-called traditional PCs are expected to sell a combined 743 million  units.

That's a whole lot of computers. Desktops and laptops alone topped out at 363 million in 2011.

Change is never easy. Remember what the shift to laptops did to desktop titans like Gateway and Compaq, for example, and compare that to the woes that Windows and Microsoft's manufacturing cohorts are experiencing now. Giants are likely to fall.

But take heart, even in the midst of all this strife. Tablets are rising, but the PCs you know and love aren't going to disappear any time soon. We're witnessing an evolution, not a revolution--and demand for computers of all shapes and sizes has never been more insatiable.

 

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