Will tablet PCs overtake normal computers?

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I don't know why, but I got this funny idea that someday, everyone might use tablets instead of desktops and laptops. Their not nearly as powerful, but it still just...bothers me. Maybe because of how much I hated the X10 Airpad I got(and quickly returned) I just don't like tablets. Whatever the case, I'm bugged. I feel stupid asking, but is there any threat of tablets making other forms of computers obsolete?

Eventually in the future yes. In our life-time? Possibly. I mean I thought I could never use laptops for their annoying keyboard and touchpad thing but now I can use both with ease.

It's a long way off if it's coming at all.

Tablets and laptops will probably become the same thing. Basically tablets with attachable wireless keyboards. Think of the current phone market, where some phones are still made with physical keyboards.

In terms of computing power, the difference between laptops and tablets won't be an issue. Laptops have faster processors for now, but a few years of engineering on tablets will resolve that. Fundamentally, laptops and tablets are both limited by the same thing: weak batteries.

That's why tablets won't replace desktops unless we see revolutionary changes in batteries and power consumption. Tablets like the ipad run on about 5 watts of power, and it's common for desktops to use over 500 watts of power. A factor of 100 would take a lot of engineering to change.

isometry:
Tablets and laptops will probably become the same thing. Basically tablets with attachable wireless keyboards. Think of the current phone market, where some phones are still made with physical keyboards.

In terms of computing power, the difference between laptops and tablets won't be an issue. Laptops have faster processors for now, but a few years of engineering on tablets will resolve that. Fundamentally, laptops and tablets are both limited by the same thing: weak batteries.

That's why tablets won't replace desktops unless we see revolutionary changes in batteries and power consumption. Tablets like the ipad run on about 5 watts of power, and it's common for desktops to use over 500 watts of power. A factor of 100 would take a lot of engineering to change.

Whilst battery may be the main hurdle everything else becomes smaller and more efficient in time. Hell my current smart phone can go toe to toe with my 4 year old laptop. Really i think the point of the laptop (its portability) is overrun by the bulkiness of the screen being separate from the hardware.

I know for a fact when my laptop clonks out i will replace it with a tablet (probably in 1-2 years) and that will likely remain my portable computing solution, and il retain my pc for gaming purposes.

Maybe if laptop tablets become more widespread. That's the only thing really stopping me at the minute, along with screen response time and the actual operating systems you can put on tablets (they're crap).

I'm pretty much always going to have some form of desktop though, possibly for use as a server for when I'm actually sticking in one place for more than a year.

I think they will replace workplace PCs and stuff like that. Why have a tablet/laptop and a PC at your desk if you can carry everything around with you and hook it up to a monitor and keyboard if needed?

I dont think the desktop PC will disappear altogether though. Way to many enthusiasts.

I think that will take a while before that will happen. I mean not all softwares is best used on a tablet just yet.

Not so long as the physical keyboard is superior in every way to that of a touch screen.
You could argue you could attach a keyboard to a tablet, but that basically makes it a laptop.

It is possible that pretty much every screen will become a touch screen in the future though.

There is a possibility of tablets becoming popular enough to be a staple in the world.

There is no chance that they will truly overtake standard computers, especially so long as it remains both cheaper and easier for an individual or a company to perform their own hardware maintenance and upgrades on desktops. I cannot speak for others in this matter, but I am very reluctant to pay more for a product that I have to ship back to the manufacturers for every little problem.

It's coming, just like laptops overtook the pc (in terms of popularity). In terms of power though they'll never overtake a desktop because no matter how small you make architecture theres more room in a desktop meaning you can have bigger and more powerful parts.

Considering the rapid advancement of all technologies up to this point, it would be foolish to think that by the time I'm thirty, PC's will be very niche. By the time I'm 40, I'd wager there will be no such thing as a pc.

Good lord, no. P.C.'s are more powerful because they can fit larger cards, can pump more power into those cards and have better cooling. All this means that components will always be significantly more powerful than smaller, hotter, less powered cards which will have a much higher clock ceiling. Sorry, not going to happen.

No, I seriously doubt the tablet will replace the PC. I do see them replacing the laptop very shortly, however. They're just so much more convenient to transport, and that's the entire point of a laptop.

mrhappy1489:
Considering the rapid advancement of all technologies up to this point, it would be foolish to think that by the time I'm thirty, PC's will be very niche. By the time I'm 40, I'd wager there will be no such thing as a pc.

Not really, there will always need to be the flexibility of the PC platform for specialist computing projects (super computers for the next century at least) since it will always be able to pack way more power than portables will.

I'd like to say no because I love my laptop but I'm currently using my tablet and, other than writing essays, I use it for everything now. It's just so much more convenient to use and transport.

Unfortunately I'd say so.

Worst part, touchscreens are my pet hate, they just don't work that well.

I just fear not being able to get a good one. I mean, when do they stop sharing OS with phones?

trollpwner:
Good lord, no. P.C.'s are more powerful because they can fit larger cards, can pump more power into those cards and have better cooling. All this means that components will always be significantly more powerful than smaller, hotter, less powered cards which will have a much higher clock ceiling. Sorry, not going to happen.

Agreed, the thought of playing Crysis 2 on a tablet makes me laugh. Besides I prefer a wired keyboard and mouse, not some stupid touchscreen.

The glorious PC master race will never die out!

TheDarkEricDraven:
I don't know why, but I got this funny idea that someday, everyone might use tablets instead of desktops and laptops. Their not nearly as powerful, but it still just...bothers me. Maybe because of how much I hated the X10 Airpad I got(and quickly returned) I just don't like tablets. Whatever the case, I'm bugged. I feel stupid asking, but is there any threat of tablets making other forms of computers obsolete?

Yes, and I don't think it's a threat at all.
Laptops were shit at one point as well but they're more convenient than regular PCs so these days, most people are using laptops.
Tablets are even more convenient than laptops so they will probably start pushing them out of the market at some point. They're still relatively new so it will take time before most companies will get good at designing and making them but they're getting there.
Complaining about them is, to me, kind of like complaining that memory sticks are pushing CDs and DVDs out of the market.

If they can stuff the same power into a Tablet as is in my $1500 Gaming PC...

...I still wouldn't buy it

Why?

TheDarkEricDraven:
I don't know why, but I got this funny idea that someday, everyone might use tablets instead of desktops and laptops. Their not nearly as powerful, but it still just...bothers me. Maybe because of how much I hated the X10 Airpad I got(and quickly returned) I just don't like tablets. Whatever the case, I'm bugged. I feel stupid asking, but is there any threat of tablets making other forms of computers obsolete?

Eventually, yes, with a few exceptions.

Tablets are just easier to use than desktops or laptops. You can write on them, and they are becoming more powerful (I have an Asus EP121: 1.66Ghz i5 cores with 4GB of RAM and Win7).

They take up far less space, replace loads of otherwise heavy and awkward portfolios/books/magazines/etc. Even better, all that really needs to be done is to standardize (or even just use USB) peripheral use.

Imagine going to the city library and simply plunking your tablet onto a dock with a keyboard to type up an essay using the books you found through their wifi access. Imagine just unplugging the keyboard from your tablet and being able to take critical documents home with you from work.

It's extremely cost-effective for businesses and schools/institutions to just provide the docking stations instead of the entire computer, and it's easier for the users since they don't have to shuffle between OS's and file formats.

The only exception is going to be anything that requires top-end performance. Gaming, encoding, or simulations. Those will still require massive beasts to chug along with brute force.

For 90% of the activity a person does on the computer, though, tablets are just fine. The problem for you might have been that you either couldn't afford the tablet you wanted, or didn't know which tablet you needed.

It's no use getting what are basically fancy entertainment devices to do actual work. iPads aren't conducive to Excel or OneNote, for example. It's also no use getting a $1500 tablet just so you can watch YouTube.

In university research, where I am employed, i'm seeing a trend towards tablets. I've only seen one person ever successfully project a presentation from a tablet, however. I won't be getting rid of my workstation, though-- its tough to type a huge document and do intensive editing and figure modification on a tablet. Gotta have the big screen and mouse.

Not until they figure out how to make touch screens 100% accurate. I have never pushed the "W" button on my keyboard and gotten an "A" in return, but I have on my touch-screen phone. Lots.

While this is fine for texting and searching the web, any lengthy text writing is simply out of the question; It would double the amount of time I take because of constantly having to correct errors or just because i'm having to go slower.

Honestly, I don't think Tablets are going to stick around in the same way the laptop has, or the smart-phone will. Currently I think that it's popular and in-use PURELY because it's an Apple Product, rather than it offering any significant advantages over laptops (Which are getting thinner and lighter by the year).

They're no more portable than laptops
They're no more functional than laptops
They're no more powerful than laptops

It's a superfluous gadget. So it might be fun and nice and all that, it's not all that useful and it won't be until you can print Tablets off like paper.

tablets will replace laptops, but i cant see them replace desktops ever, as i see it yes tablets will get better and better but at the same time so will desktops and they will still be able to handle things that portable devices just cant

SciMal:
They take up far less space, replace loads of otherwise heavy and awkward portfolios/books/magazines/etc.

This is the big one for me. In my purse, I used to carry the following at all times:

The current book I am reading
The next book I plan to read if I am close to finishing the other one
Notepad
Sketchbook
Calendar

All of those have replaced by my iPad. Now imagine if I'd had one of these when I was in school? How much did all of those books weigh? My backpack had to easily be over 20 lbs. if I had to bring all of my books home. Or put them in the same two pound device that is already holding everything else. From an ease of use standpoint, it's a no-brainer. People say the internet has killed printed media. What the internet alone didn't finish off, the tablet will. Printed books, magazines, et cetera will become a novelty soon, because there is no reason not to make this switch.

For me defiantly not I could not use a tablet to work and not even for one reason but at least 6 or more. Tablets simply could never work for me and the work I do.

Besides the few things a tablet is good for a netbook is just as effective and twice as powerful and easier to work with because it has a key board.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility of some sort of omniplatform at some point in the future.
A screen that's denser and brighter than the best we've got now, such advanced hardware that it can become standard for all end-user computing purposes (I think we'll reach a point where game developers will decide not to make DA CUTTINGEST EDGE GRAPHIX because it's so good already and too expensive to go deeper with such little visible improvement), and it'll have either a wireless physical keyboard, or some sort of neural implant so we can just think the words into the text entry box.

Experiences far deeper and more beautiful than Crysis will be run on these standardized devices, and we'll have little choice for customization out of lack of necessity and because our cruel overlords will not permit such differentiation.

Honestly, I see tablets more as as a multimedia device than anything else. A device useful for the every day Joe who isn't that much into computers but just wants to listen to some tunes, browse the internet, chat with people, whatever it is you do.

However, I honestly doubt tablets would ever replace desktops all-together. PC-gaming will probably stay (mostly) on desktops due the sheer power-consumption of these PC-gaming rigs aswell as the high amount of customisation that people enjoy in these machines.

Same goes for a LOT of software companies. I honestly doubt you'd see many programmers thrilled about writing thousands of lines of code on a tablet. Hell, most programmers I've spoken to, both new and old, prefer workstations with desktops to laptops already, let alone tablets.

On top of that, there are the personal servers. Do you honestly see tablets doing this?

If anything, you'll probably see tablets being used more as an input device of a PC rather than a replacement of the PC as a whole.

Replacing laptops sure, we're talking about day to day use of the common person wanting the convenience of a computer on the go. But they will never replace the desktop because they will always be behind the curve in terms of raw processing power.

BoTTeNBReKeR:
Honestly, I see tablets more as as a multimedia device than anything else. A device useful for the every day Joe who isn't that much into computers but just wants to listen to some tunes, browse the internet, chat with people, whatever it is you do.

However, I honestly doubt tablets would ever replace desktops all-together. PC-gaming will probably stay (mostly) on desktops due the sheer power-consumption of these PC-gaming rigs aswell as the high amount of customisation that people enjoy in these machines.

Same goes for a LOT of software companies. I honestly doubt you'd see many programmers thrilled about writing thousands of lines of code on a tablet. Hell, most programmers I've spoken to, both new and old, prefer workstations with desktops to laptops already, let alone tablets.

On top of that, there are the personal servers. Do you honestly see tablets doing this?

If anything, you'll probably see tablets being used more as an input device of a PC rather than a replacement of the PC as a whole.

Exactly and that's not even touching on the graphic designers and digital artists who simply will never get the detail and quality they need from at tablet let alone the power.

I dunno. If you watch a lot of sci-fi, like Stargate, Terra Nova, Avatar or even semi-futuristic war films, a lot of them will depict portable tablets as standard, and I think that is a very exciting possibility at least in my opinion.

In terms of replaceming desktops, I highly doubt that, as the smaller and more powerful you make tablets, the larger components that can fit in desktops will always be more powerful. Hopefully, the future will hold tablets that have the capabilities of modern day computers and aren't tied to basic operating systems like iOS or Android, but have the full functionality and usefullness of current generation computers.

Not until laser sensing technology or hologram technology has been perfectly implemented and installed. Seriously, tablets have a very small, specific array of sensible uses and just satisfy a small niche of the market that just want the latest of anything to 'stay relevant.'

I don't know. In my culture, we tend to hold on to things for as long as they work and don't get something new unless it needs to be replaced. Other tend to hold on longer, though.

Laptops probably. Desktops, I doubt it.

For people who work on computers (programmers, 3d animators, engineers working with CAD, etc.) a large screen is important for productivity.

And playing games on that tiny little screen with no keyboard...shudder...

Also, you will always be able to fit more powerful hardware into a desktop tower because you don't need to scale down because of available space and heat.

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