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Tech Talk

PC-asaurus to be replaced by tablet

7/24/2013

A universal experience in personal computing is the moment when we sit down to do some work only to discover our computer can barely keep up. You don’t know if it’s a virus, too many programs running or old age, but whatever the reason, there is no mistaking when a computer is officially past its prime.

While the thrifty user will upgrade his or her antivirus protection or computer memory, many take the nuclear option and replace their misfiring machine wholesale. Ten years ago this scenario meant an easy swap: Replace computer tower “A” with shiny, new computer tower “B.” Today, shoppers have platform options galore, and more often than not, they’re ditching their stationary setup.

Compared to 2012 sales, PCs are being overlooked by consumers in record numbers with users opting for more mobile computing options, such as tablets and smartphones. In fact, desktop producing juggernauts such as Hewlett Packard and Dell have seen sales drop 24 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

As for explaining the sales decline, reasons range from Microsoft’s recent revamp of Windows, which scared away consumers, to laptops and tablets offering nearly identical performance to the traditionally faster PCs. While sales are ugly for desktops right now, by 2015, the situation will be downright dire — with the tablet predicted to be the dominant computing platform (excluding smartphones).

So, besides being untethered, why are tablets taking over? Think about what you use your home computer for: surfing the Internet, watching cat videos, maybe some word processing. In reality, only the ardent video-gamers and multimedia creators need the power of a desktop setup, and even that isn’t written in stone.

Maybe you’re not ready to give up the keyboard and 20-inch monitor, but the next time your computer grinds to a halt, ask why? You can print and videoconference from a tablet and hook it up with as many gadgets as your last PC. Plus, you can set it on the dashboard of your car and use it as a GPS (but I highly advise against). CV

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @ResponsiblyWild.                 

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