Articles about Post-PC Era

More gloom for PC makers as European sales slump by 20 percent

european flah graph down

As my colleague Wayne Williams reported earlier today the PC market is continuing to shrink at the hands of tablets. Further confirmation of this, just in case you needed any, comes from a Gartner survey showing that the PC market in western Europe slumped by 20 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

All PC segments in Western Europe declined over the quarter. Mobile and desktop shipments dropped 23.9 percent and 12.2 percent respectively. PC shipments in the professional market declined by 13.5 percent, while the consumer PC market decreased 25.8 percent in the same period. This equates to a 19.8 percent drop overall

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The good ship PC continues to sink -- all aboard the tablet lifeboats!

Titanic sinks

The worldwide PC market continues to experience few signs of growth, with a healthy increase in global tablet shipments merely helping to offset the continuing descent of traditional desktop and notebook systems, according to independent analyst firm Canalys.

While tablet shipments saw a 42.9 percent increase compared with this time last year, desktop and notebook shipments fell 7.4 percent and 13.9 percent respectively. Total shipments for PCs (Canalys lumps desktops, notebooks and tablets together) delivered a 0.3 percent growth for the year.

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Intel announces Education Tablets -- powered by Android and Atom

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Tablets allow students to leverage technology to improve learning. An iPad for instance, can offer a more immersible experience when compared to a paper textbook. While there are many educational based applications for Android and iOS, there hasn't been a serious education-focused tablet from a major manufacturer -- until now. Intel has announced a new line of Android-based tablets designed for learning.

According to Intel, the tablets "...available in 7-inch and 10-inch sizes, are designed specifically for education and built to meet students' needs. The multi-touch display and e-Reader software enable students to access rich online content. Ultra-portability allows them to take the device to the field to capture data with the built-in camera and analyze it with Intel Education Software. They can collaborate with their classmates, while comparing their findings to others on the web".

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Surface sales are pathetic

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It feels like repeatedly kicking someone when they’re down, but there’s really no other way to describe Windows tablet sales -- both RT and Windows 8 Pro -- other than pathetic and embarrassing for Microsoft. Which is a shame. Surface is a great tablet, Windows 8 on Surface is a good operating system, but people just aren’t buying the device in any great numbers. Well, pre-fire sale at least.

According to a new report from IDC, just 200,000 Windows RT tablets shipped in Q2 2013 (even the ailing BlackBerry PlayBook managed 100,000), and there’s no good news for other Windows tablets either as IDC reports just 1.8 million devices shipped with that OS onboard. Apple, by comparison, shipped 14.6 million iPads in the same quarter.

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Windows 8 and RT tablets lagging far behind the competition

man binoculars distance

Windows 8 is an operating system designed for touch PCs, but it's struggling to find a sizeable audience on them. PCs as we know them are on their way out, and tablets are the future, as we've been told time and again by analysts. Figures from the likes of Gartner and IDC clearly back up this sea change.

So if people aren't buying into Microsoft's new OS on regular PCs (with or without touch) then they must be scrambling to buy tablets running Windows 8 and RT surely? Well things don't look too rosy for Microsoft there either.

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Now TV box is cheap alternative to Apple TV for UK viewers, but with a catch

Now TV

Like the idea of Apple TV but feel the hardware is a little expensive? Today Sky releases its Now TV Box to UK fans for the ultra-low price of £9.99. This is significantly cheaper than Apple's flagship streaming device, and even manages to undercut Google's Chromecast. With the price tag including not just the device itself, but also delivery, there's got to be a catch, right?

The WiFi streaming box provides access to on-demand content from the broadcasters such as Sky, BBC and Channel 5, including sports and movies. There's also the option of using apps such as Spotify and Facebook to transform a regular TV into a smart TV. So far, so couch potato.

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British women enjoy fondling 7 inchers (and larger)

British girl with tablet

According to YouGov's latest Tablet Tracker report there are more women owning tablets than men in the UK. The study says that in May, 52 percent of the country's touchscreen computers were in female hands, an increase of nine percent compared with the same time last year.

Over the same period, the share of tablets owned by men fell from 57 percent to 48 percent. There’s no equivalent report for female tablet ownership in the US, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it following a similar trend. Tablets are ideal for women.

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Don't blame Windows 8 for terrible PC shipments

Finger Pointing

It's no secret that the PC market has slowly taken a turn for the worse. And, if we're to believe what research company IDC said in late-May, it's not going to get any better anytime soon, with shipments predicted to drop even further, by 7.8 percent this year. Furthermore, tablets are expected to out-ship PCs by 2015. Unquestionably, the future appears gloomy but, according to Gartner, the culprit is not the controversial Windows 8, as some pundits believe.

Gartner just released its latest report on the state of the PC market, which shows that Q2 2013 shipments -- which top 76 million units from all vendors, combined -- have declined by 10.9 percent compared to the same period, last year (when shipments exceeded the 85.32 million mark). "The sharp decline in the second quarter of 2013 was partly due to the shift in usage patterns away from notebooks to tablets, and partly because the PC market was exposed to inventory reductions in the channel due to the start of the transition to new Haswell-based products", says Gartner principal research analyst Isabelle Durand.

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HP Slate 21 -- Android invades Microsoft territory

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Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! Only days after selling my Nexus 7 and preparing for a life without tablets, HP pulls me back by announcing the Slate 21. The HP Slate 21 is a tablet masquerading as a desktop -- a 21.5-inch touchscreen tablet with kickstand, keyboard and mouse. This unique all-in-one form factor has me very intrigued. However, this is not the first time we have seen Android being used in an original way. Just last week, Samsung announced the convertible franken-tablet ATIV Q.

While the Samsung ATIV Q is designed to merge Android and Windows, the HP Slate 21 is designed to put a dagger into the back of Windows. Make no mistake, this is a huge blow for Microsoft. While this isn’t HP’s first Android device, the Slate 21 is its first to directly compete with Microsoft on the desktop. Since HP is a close Microsoft partner, it will be interesting to see how their relationship will be affected.

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Samsung ATIV Q -- Android and Windows 8 get married

samsung ativ q

Owning a tablet is a given nowadays; it seems like almost everyone either has one or wants one. However, deciding which tablet to buy is problematic -- how can a consumer choose which tablet operating system is best? Between iOS, Android and Windows 8 you really can’t go wrong -- all three tablet-friendly operating systems are mature and stable. However, Samsung is aiming to make your decision much easier. The electronics giant announces the ATIV Q which combines Android and true Windows 8 (not RT) on the same device. To quote R. Kelly and Jay-Z, "welcome to the best of both worlds".

According to Samsung, it is "addressing consumers' desire to access Android apps on a Windows-based PC, the ATIV Q allows users to experience both Windows 8 and Android (Jelly Bean 4.2.2) on the same device. Users will not only get access to Android apps via Google Play but also be able to transfer files, to share folders and files from Windows 8 to Android, truly marrying the mobile and PC experiences".

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The Post-PC world is too slow for me

slow tablet tortoise head

I use AVG AntiVirus Free to keep my PC clear of infections. Every so often the software pops up a little message warning me when one of my browsers is consuming too much memory, giving me the chance to restart the greedy program and free up resources. Just now it popped up a message telling me Firefox is using 1GB of RAM. Five minutes before that it notified me that Chrome, which I'm also running, was using 1GB as well.

If I fire up Task Manager and take a peek I see both of those memory hogs have nothing on Photoshop which is also running and has 30 x 12MB photos open, requiring it to use 2.6GB of RAM. I have 20 other programs on the go at the same time.

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Acer Aspire R7 Star Trek edition goes up for auction

Acer Aspire R7

To celebrate the theatrical release of Star Trek Into Darkness, Taiwanese PC maker Acer partnered with Paramount Pictures to create a limited Star Trek themed edition of its Aspire R7 touchscreen notebook. Just 25 of these special R7’s were produced, none of which were made available to the general public.

Until now. Acer is putting one -- and just one -- up for sale on eBay, with all proceeds going to two charities -- The Mission Continues and Save the Children.

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Wearable cloud tech makes users feel more self-confident, clever... and sexy?

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A study by CAST in conjunction with Rackspace reveals that users of wearable technology -- such as the Nike+ FuelBand and Jawbone UP -- feel using such devices boost their intelligence levels. The study looks at residents of the UK and US, and finds the wearable tech users not only feel cleverer, but also more self-confident.

These are not the only benefits the study unearths. US participants were generally rather more impressed with the benefits of wearable technology -- 71 percent of American users felt their health and fitness had improved as a result of using such devices, compared to 63 percent of those in the UK. More than half (53 percent) of US users believe wearable tech helps to improve intelligence, compared to just 39 percent of UK users.

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Asus announces MeMO Pad HD 7

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Today at Computex in Taiwan, Asus announced a lot of new products, including a new MeMO Pad HD 7 tablet.

The Android device is 10.8mm thick and weighs just 302g. It packs a 7-inch 1280 by 800 IPS display with 170-degree wide viewing angle. The device is powered by a Qualcomm quad-core processor, has 1GB of RAM, and features a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera and an optional 5 megapixel rear facing camera.

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Asus unveils new Transformer Pad Infinity

New ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity_1

Earlier today at Computex 2013, Asus Chairman Jonney Shih revealed a new Transformer Pad Infinity. The refreshed Android tablet/notebook boasts a 10.1-inch screen offering a massive 2,560 by 1,600 resolution. That’s higher than the iPad 4’s 2048 by 1536 retina display.

The device is powered by a quad-core 1.9GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, and comes with 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. You can increase the available storage via the SD card slot built into the companion dock.

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