Some 16 years ago while I was working for a large Multinational Pharmaceutical, I made a wild statement – that in time, desktop computers would no longer be the main choice of consumers. I believed that the development of fast, powerful light laptops at the request of large enterprises would usher in an era where consumers started buying them as their main computer of choice. After all – why not? They take up less space, you can take them whoever you want to go, you can easily pack them away, they don’t suffer the consequences of power cuts (as they have a battery, its like having a UPS built-in!). In fact there are so many compelling reasons that when you look at “Consumers” as one large enterprise you can see how manufacturers would flock to research what they might want and why laptops have been flying off the shelves for years.
Apple caught the next vision – the transition from laptop to tablet, and with the invention of the iPad had a killer product. Since it’s launch consumers have been buying tablets as if they’re the answer to a problem they didn’t know they had. Everyone wants one and as time goes by they are getting more and more powerful with Apps that can do almost anything (and in many cases – things laptops have never been able to do!)
However most notably they have created a new divide. While laptops are the jack of all trades, Tablets are the king of content consumption. In other words for 70% of what we want to do they’re fantastic (reading books, watching films, getting email, browsing the web etc) but very few of us would buy or pick up a tablet for content creation. Let me just say before I continue that there are some fantastic apps available for content creation, but on the whole, most people who create documents, presentations, school work etc all use a laptop to do it on because the typical tablet just doesn’t do it all that well. The figures speak volumes – 96% of iPad owners also have a laptop.
What if you had a tablet that worked brilliantly at both? It worked like a tablet most of the time, but it also worked like a laptop when you needed it to? Microsoft have today just launched the Surface Pro 3. Building on the Surface Pro 2 it runs the full-fat version of Windows 8.1, with core i7 processors, as much storage as a laptop, lighter than a MacBook Air – even with the keyboard and lasts longer than an iPad Air’s battery. That’s apart from the new and really quite innovative features of integrating OneNote!
I believe that the time of the next evolution in computing is upon us – the transition from Laptop to tablet. Today you can buy a tablet that can do everything a laptop can do – so why would you buy a laptop?. Go take a look and then ask yourself a question… Why do you need a laptop?