Sunday, January 10, 2016

When will tablets replace PCs?

It is no doubt that tablets have changed our life entirely. It is not only regarding private life, but also in business. Some people can work using a tablet or a smartphone outside as if they are sitting in front of a laptop. Remember that “nomad working” meant writing an article with a laptop in a café instead of in the office only some years ago. Now, there are fewer businesspersons opening a laptop in a café.

Then, will laptops, as well as desktop PCs be expelled soon from the workplace?

ITProPortal: Is it time for laptops to shut down?

There is broad discussion regarding this issue. In my opinion, a few disadvantages in tablets make it difficult to replace laptops. And I expect it will take some more years for tablets to substitute laptop entirely.

First, tablets equip no keyboards. At present, most people can type letters more quickly with a keyboard than the touch pad. Although modern virtual keyboards have been developed as a good interface, they do not match mechanical ones. To begin with, current disposition in the keyboard was arranged not to be typed so quickly because traditional typewriters could not adapt fast typing. Nonetheless, we dare not to change this strange disposition. Thus, our sense of manufacturing is quite conservative. I do not think a new method of typing will be spread shortly. Maybe voice dictating will be dominant in the future.

Second, tablets cannot take a role of the hub of devices. We copy the data from a PC to a USB memory stick, or vice versa. PC is the mother-ship of a person’s electric devices. Most tablets sacrifice versatility and storage volume for its portability. This relative inferiority to PC will be never overcome. Later, we will place all of the data we have on a cloud storage, and hard disk drives will be possessed only by professional server providers, perhaps. But at present, it is not realistic.

Third, tablets have a difficulty to be used for multiple tasks. It is not attributed to their CPU performance, but the limited side of the display. You can choose a display with a desktop PC as large as possible if you want. Stock trading, video editing, writing an academic article, and many other tasks need a large sized display. Portable tablets have to be connected with a fixed display when we carry on this kind of task. And then, it is simpler to use a desktop PC in such case.

To sum up, I estimate PCs will survive at least for some more years. In the future, of course, we will encounter innovative technology that we cannot imagine now.

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