Tablets will make up half of the overall PC market next year
Desktops aren't going anywhere, but neither are tablets, the latter of which are forecast to out-ship all other PC form factors combined to account for nearly half of the client PC market, according to Canalys. Tablet PC shipments grew 40 percent in the third quarter of 2013, which helped the overall PC market grow 18 percent even though traditional desktop and notebook shipments declined. Amid all this growth is a window of opportunity to monetize the frenzy, just like Intel did when netbooks were all the craze.
Moving to 64-bit could introduce big performance gains in some apps
Intel has a lot of catching up to do in the mobile space. The big dog on campus in mobile is ARM, which powers many of the smartphones and tablets currently available. One thing Intel is looking at to change the tide is 64-bit computing in mobile, which it demonstrated during an investor meeting. The demonstration consisted of an Android tablet with a 64-bit Atom processor inside based on Silvermont.
EVGA today introduced its Tegra Note 7 tablet for gamers. Billed as the "perfect traveling companion," this 7-inch slate rocks an IPS display with a 1280x800 resolution, Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC with a quad-core CPU (and a 5th battery saver core) and 72-core GeForce GPU, 1GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, and 16GB of eMMC storage aided by a microSD card slot for up to an additional 32GB of storage space.
Better buy a case if you plan to purchase an iPad Air
Apple's 5th generation iPad is the recently announced iPad Air, a remarkably slim and light slate that's around twice as fast as its predecessor, yet noticeably slimmed down. Perhaps as a result, it's also a little...soft? We're trying to be nice here, and while most tablets aren't built to withstand drops on concrete, we're a little surprised by a YouTube video showing the iPad Air's display shatter when dropped on some soft dirt (to be fair, there were some rocks mixed in).
Samsung kicked off the week by introducing the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, a tablet intended for both parents and kids alike. It features dual operating modes, including a special Kids mode with a bright, colorful display and a user interface that's intuitive and easy to navigate, and a Standard mode so that adults can use the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 as it was originally intended.
Part of the reason why Microsoft had so much trouble moving its original Surface and Surface Pro products was because it priced them too high. And with the Surface Pro specifically, one could also argue that Microsoft did a poor job marketing the device as a full fledged laptop, but that's water under the bridge at this point. Second generation Surface products are now available to purchase in 21 countries, and so to rid itself of old inventory, Microsoft just slashed $100 off the price of Surface Pro.
During Apple's press event earlier this week, the Cupertino company took advantage of its stage time by taking subtle digs at Microsoft over its Surface strategy and software costs. Apple chief Tim Cook pointed out that Microsoft "tried to make tablets into PCs and PCs into tablets," and Apple made sure to point out the price tag of Windows 8.1 and Office when announcing that OS X Mavericks and iWorks would go the pro bono route. If Apple was hoping to elicit a response from Microsoft, well, it got one.
Nokia's already gone all-in with the Windows Phone platform for its mobile handsets, but up until now, the company didn't have a Windows tablet in its portfolio. That changes today with the introduction of the Nokia Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch slate running Windows RT 8.1 and powered by a 2.2GHZ quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
While Microsoft is still trying to sell the public on its Surface tablets, third-party OEM partners are forging ahead with their own Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 products, including Lenovo, which just unveiled its Miix 2, an 8-inch slate running Windows 8.1 with an Intel Bay Trail-T quad-core processor inside. It's also an aggressively priced tablet at just $299, and combined with its feature-set, this could be the Windows 8.1 tablet to beat.
ARM-based Surface 2 systems won't carry RT branding
Whatever your opinion of Microsoft's original Surface products, one thing most people can agree on is that the Redmond company did a poor job educating consumers on the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT. It's not as though tech savvy users picked up a Surface RT and expected to run legacy Windows apps, but for the mainstream user who doesn't understand that ARM-based SoCs and x86 processors feature completely different architectures, the RT branding could be confusing. Microsoft has now admitted as much.