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  (Source: bloomberg.com)
Google's Chromebook, however, manages to stay on top of its game

PC shipments have taken a hard hit since the advent of mobile electronics like tablets and smartphones, and while second quarter PC shipments show no different, some are managing to see some good in a bad situation -- like Lenovo, which managed to surpass Hewlett-Packard (HP) as the top PC vendor. 

According to a new Gartner report, worldwide PC shipments dropped 10.9 percent in Q2 2013 to 76 million units from the year-ago quarter. This represents the fifth consecutive quarter of decreased shipments. 

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

Back in April, it was reported that PC industry sales had dropped nearly 14 percent in Q1 2013. 

However, Lenovo seems to be picking up in PC shipments. Gartner found that Lenovo passed HP as the top worldwide PC vendor for Q2 2013 with 12,677,265 shipments. HP came in second place with 12,402,887 for the quarter. 

But if you look at just U.S. shipments alone, HP is still on top with 3,957,761 Q2 shipments while Lenovo came in fourth place with 1,515,562 quarterly shipments. Dell came in second while Apple came in third. 

Despite the 10.9 percent decrease in PC shipments, there's one machine that seems to disregard the dwindling conditions of the PC market -- Google's Chromebook

According to NPD Group Inc., the Chromebook has gained 20 to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops under $300 in just the past eight months. The PC seems to be snagging market share and sales while the rest of the market is slumping. 

Chromebooks were introduced in June 2011 and treated like a stripped-down machine with limited abilities. They run the Google Chrome OS and use Web-based applications rather than traditional desktop applications that stay on the machine. 

There are a few different models made by Samsung, Acer, HP and Google (Chromebook Pixel). They start at $199 USD. 

Sources: Gartner, IDC, Bloomberg



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RE: Docks docks docks
By xti on 7/11/2013 11:35:23 AM , Rating: 3
cant wait til i can buy a 10" tablet that does everything a x86 $2k gaming laptop can do.

...patience.


RE: Docks docks docks
By 91TTZ on 7/11/2013 11:52:11 AM , Rating: 3
The reason they're trying to move customers over to new markets is because prices on PCs and laptops have dropped to the point that they're not very profitable to make. Tablets cost more money for the same hardware, so they're more profitable.

If you buy a 10" tablet that does everything a x86 $2k gaming laptop can do, it'll cost more than $2k. Otherwise they wouldn't build it (why make less profit when you can make more?)


RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 12:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
Tablets cost more to make than a laptop of similar spec because of the fact that you've got ~50% less physical space to work in.

There will never be a day when it's cheaper or easier to make something half as big as something else. Physics.


RE: Docks docks docks
By japlha on 7/11/2013 1:24:26 PM , Rating: 5
Subway can build a 6 inch sandwich cheaper than their footlong's.
Did I just disprove physics?


RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 1:52:47 PM , Rating: 1
No, because you're being a dolt. Half a sandwich is half a sandwich.

A tablet with the same specs as a given laptop means cramming all the same electronic functionality into half of the space. Which means lots of problems figuring out the PCB, thermal dissipation issues, having to use smaller/more expensive components...and having close to no space for a battery.

Last time I checked, sandwiches don't need batteries.


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 2:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
Unless the specs were made to fit in half the space.


RE: Docks docks docks
By freedom4556 on 7/11/2013 6:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
No, because to do what he is suggesting would be like ordering a footlong and then putting it in a press to make it 6". Same sandwich, smaller space.


RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 6:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Somehow you'd have to get Subway to figure out how to double the density of the bread, meat, cheese, etc. such that you got the same food value from a 6" sandwich as a 12" sandwich.

So you go on and figure that out, and let us know how it goes.


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 1:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! The only way that statement is true is if the "similar spec" is some hot, greedy system that shouldn't have been put in a tablet in the first place.

Tablets cost less to make. We're paying Novelty Taxes right now.


RE: Docks docks docks
By Samus on 7/11/2013 1:59:49 PM , Rating: 3
reduced size/weight = reduced packing/shipping costs

thats a big deal for products manufactured 12,000 miles away


RE: Docks docks docks
By mjv.theory on 7/11/2013 3:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Just got a very well made 9.7" Android tablet, with quad core A9's (RK3188 on GF 28nm - think Tegra 3.5ish) for £113 delivered ($170), so that includes air mail costs from China. I've played around with ipad4 and note10.1 and this thing is not far off is terms of build quality and performance. Also, after 7 days in transit it arrived 100% charged, so the battery is fairly decent too. Screen is the only compromise, but it's quite acceptable from most angles and very receptive. You can get a retina ips screen (2046x1536) with a quad A7 for another $20, or an exynos 5250 (a la nexus 10) with a retina screen for under $250, if your tablet buying budget stretches to that.

Obviously, I ordering direct from China, so if it goes wrong it's a serious pain/risk to return. Anyhow the point I'm trying to make is that the true cost of tablet manufacture is less than you may think and North America and Europe is only 10% of the world's population....and market, although a more significant chunk of the market profit. I also noticed that some 32Gb tablets are only $10-15 more than the 16Gb versions, not the extra $100 that Apple (and perhaps others) hopes the affluent ignorant will pay for $10 worth of extra onboard NAND.

I've also just built a mini budget PC (custom build in a 6x8x10 wooden box) and that cost around £230 (plus screen). So if you don't want to play Crysis and you don't demand a large screen, a quite decent tablet is half the price and a lot more convenient for most of the world's population.

It's more to do with economics and requirements than physics.


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 3:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
I've been looking at these Chinese devices lately. I very worried about support so my hand has been stayed, but not lightly, as a 1080p phone with Snapdragon 600 for $250 is obscenely tempting. I really wish Google would hurry the hell up and make a Nexus 5 so I don't make any rash decisions.


RE: Docks docks docks
By freedom4556 on 7/11/2013 6:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
... and North America and Europe is only 10% of the world's population....and market ...
That's not true because they aren't the same thing. I'm sure they are selling lots of tablets in Namibia. Especially with technology like tablets, the market is where the money is.


RE: Docks docks docks
By mjv.theory on 7/11/2013 7:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the ....market is where the money is

Perhaps so, and I attempted to allude to this by mentioning the "market for profits". However, recent news articles have highlighted the growth of "no-name" Chinese brands that point to gaining at least 40% of the world market, by volume or turnover?, I don't know. Regardless, as with PCs, the "brand" name becomes less important as the technology becomes ubiquitous, and subsequently, the capabilities and price move toward the volume market.

Apple's, and Intel's, success with profit margins, are disproportionate to the level of "innovation". Apple in particular have succeeded by a combination of supply chain "management" and marketing. Their strengths have been around integration and optimisation and early to market, rather than any real technological innovation as such. Intel's success too is grounded on marketing and market management (i.e. use your position to control competition).

The huge growth of mobile devices based on similar tech and straightforward integration of components, renders the computing market, at best uncertain, and more importantly, on a continuing trend toward the cheapest "good enough" computing solution. Such an outcome may not sit well readers of this site/forums, but is nevertheless inevitable.


RE: Docks docks docks
By nafhan on 7/11/2013 4:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There will never be a day when it's cheaper or easier to make something half as big as something else. Physics.
I've got two rebuttals to this:
Rebuttal 1: integrated circuits are orders of magnitude cheaper and more powerful than something larger could be. New manufacturing methods and new developments in physics often do mean that smaller is cheaper and easier to make.

Rebuttal 2: If you accept that current assembly methods will always be used, the number of consumers whose needs cannot be met with devices that take up much less than half the space of a PC will continue to shrink over time. We're very quickly approaching the point where if pocket-able devices can't do what you need, you're probably doing something that would put you outside of a role that could be considered "consumer".


RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 12:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
cant wait til i can buy a 10" tablet that does everything a x86 $2k gaming laptop can do.


...why?


RE: Docks docks docks
By xti on 7/11/2013 12:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
you ask why...i ask...why not?


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 2:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
Because it's more portable than a laptop, and it'll be cheaper.

Though personally, I'm over the 10" convention. My favorite tablet diagonals are 8" and 12" (4:3). I think of them as "mobile" and "power."


RE: Docks docks docks
By Ammohunt on 7/11/2013 12:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
Keep dreaming..i can build an awesome gaming rig of less than the cost of an x86 based tablet. Besides serious gaming on a tablet is difficult.


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 3:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
i can build an awesome gaming rig of less than the cost of an x86 based tablet.
This is a sticky statement. x86 tablets can be had for $350. Do you mean a powerful x86 tablet? And how do you define "awesome gaming?" Are you including the screen cost for your rig? Tablets include screens.

Next year tablets are going to do some stuff, for relatively cheap, that will kind of f#$% up your mind. AMD and nVidia will see to that; their roadmaps are on-schedule.

It's an exciting time.


RE: Docks docks docks
By Ammohunt on 7/11/2013 3:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 pro tablets specifically; can your $350 Tablet run Crysis? my gaming rig build can <tongue in cheek>. I personally will never use a tablet for any gaming other than perhaps bejeweled. Sorry just not convinced; hows the gaming laptop market coming along?


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 3:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody wants to game on a laptop, lol. That's super niche and super hardcore. They're not that portable.

Most people, however, are interested in tablets. One clever portable gamepad design, and all bets are off.


RE: Docks docks docks
By freedom4556 on 7/11/2013 6:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One clever portable gamepad design
How am I going to hold a gamepad and a tablet at the same time? Do you have four hands? And don't bring up nVidia's shield thingy. Do you want a ten-inch 1.5-pound thing hanging of your xbox controller at an oblique angle? I'm going to be able to play for like ten minutes like that.


RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 6:55:38 PM , Rating: 1
He's an idiot.

Everybody who plays PC games and owns a laptop plays PC games on their laptop. Few have the money or will to buy a "gaming laptop" - but that doesn't mean they don't play games on their laptops. Hell, I have a single-core Sempron laptop around here someplace that actually plays WoW. In low settings. But it plays.

How in the f%ck are you going to play WoW on a tablet? Or any current popular PC game for that matter? Let alone, as you mentioned, hold a gamepad and the tablet at the same time.

"Oh, well if you want to play WoW on your tablet, see, you have to get a Windows tablet so it will install, and then hook it up to a keyboard and mouse so you can play."

In other words - turn your tablet into a laptop.

You play Angry Birds on a tablet. If you want to play *actual* PC games, a tablet is a total non-starter, and always will be. Unless you're enough of a moron to convince yourself that adding a keyboard and mouse to your tablet isn't turning it into a laptop.


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/12/2013 6:21:27 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
How am I going to hold a gamepad and a tablet at the same time?
That's what makes the design so clever.
quote:
Everybody who plays PC games and owns a laptop plays PC games on their laptop. Few have the money or will to buy a "gaming laptop" - but that doesn't mean they don't play games on their laptops. Hell, I have a single-core Sempron laptop around here someplace that actually plays WoW.
I have a laptop. I play PC games on my desktop. I've played PC games on my desktop for the past 25 years. People who play WoW on their laptops don't have any more power in their desktops. Otherwise, they play it on their desktop.
quote:
How in the f%ck are you going to play WoW on a tablet?
How would you play it on a PSP? It's not a mobile game.
quote:
Let alone, as you mentioned, hold a gamepad and the tablet at the same time.
I've always wanted to create a gamepad clamp. It surprises me that no one's done it after all these years.
quote:
In other words - turn your tablet into a laptop.
It's called a convertible, and they'll be breaking down your door next year before you finally realize they're the future.
quote:
If you want to play *actual* PC games, a tablet is a total non-starter, and always will be.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/xcom-enemy-unknown...
quote:
Unless you're enough of a moron to convince yourself that adding a keyboard and mouse to your tablet isn't turning it into a laptop.
The point was never to play everything on a touchscreen, just to make the device more portable. Forget laptop docks, I'm waiting for more tablets to get desktop docks.


RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/12/2013 10:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote: How am I going to hold a gamepad and a tablet at the same time? That's what makes the design so clever.


quote:
quote: In other words - turn your tablet into a laptop. It's called a convertible, and they'll be breaking down your door next year before you finally realize they're the future.


Yes, and I've said many, many times here that convertibles are the *only* form factor that makes any sense. But the thing is, it's a laptop. It's not a tablet. You're trying to talk about using *tablets* for gaming. A "convertible" is essentially a laptop with a removable keyboard. And when you're going to game with it, it's in full laptop mode. So thank you for admitting you're horrifically wrong.

Also, please explain to me how a convertible, for which you have to carry around all the pieces, is more "portable" than a laptop in the first place.

quote:
quote: Let alone, as you mentioned, hold a gamepad and the tablet at the same time. I've always wanted to create a gamepad clamp. It surprises me that no one's done it after all these years.


...that's because it's a moronically bad idea for a host of reasons, not the least of which is destroying your tablet with any amount of ill-advised clamping force.

quote:
I have a laptop. I play PC games on my desktop. I've played PC games on my desktop for the past 25 years. People who play WoW on their laptops don't have any more power in their desktops. Otherwise, they play it on their desktop.


...except when they're not at their desk. Which is what laptops are for.
quote:
How in the f%ck are you going to play WoW on a tablet? How would you play it on a PSP? It's not a mobile game.


EXACTLY. People play *mobile* games on their phones etc. already. That's where Angry Birds goes. You're talking about *gaming* - which isn't Angry Birds. You're talking about replacing *PC gaming* - which is WoW, HALO, Command & Conquer, etc. None of those can be played on a PSP, or on a mobile device like a tablet. You need a keyboard and mouse, if not a real gamepad, to play those games. Which means you have a screen, keyboard, mouse, and maybe a gamepad. Which in mobile form is a laptop - even if you've cobbled it together as a tablet with accessory keyboard and mouse.

quote:
The point was never to play everything on a touchscreen, just to make the device more portable. Forget laptop docks, I'm waiting for more tablets to get desktop docks.


They already have them. HDMI connection to a monitor and USB/bluetooth keyboard/mouse. Done. So - you throw away your desktop yet?

You're just arguing yourself in circles.


RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/12/2013 3:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A "convertible" is essentially a laptop with a removable keyboard. And when you're going to game with it, it's in full laptop mode. So thank you for admitting you're horrifically wrong.
If you take the "keyboard" off of a laptop, it's a tablet lmao. Not quite sure what you're on about. Anyway, I use a gamepad when I play PC games, even on my desktop. It's suitable for every gametype except multiplayer FPS.
quote:
so, please explain to me how a convertible, for which you have to carry around all the pieces, is more "portable" than a laptop in the first place.
It's more portable because it can ever be a tablet. A laptop can never be.
quote:
...that's because it's a moronically bad idea for a host of reasons, not the least of which is destroying your tablet with any amount of ill-advised clamping force.
They invented this thing a few years ago called friction. It lets you hold stuff without megaton crushing forces. It's pretty great. Highly recommended.
quote:
...except when they're not at their desk. Which is what laptops are for.
LOL, yes because people play WoW on the go so hardcore.
quote:
You're talking about replacing *PC gaming* - which is WoW, HALO, Command & Conquer, etc. None of those can be played on a PSP, or on a mobile device like a tablet.
You've obviously never played a Vita before.
quote:
They already have them. HDMI connection to a monitor and USB/bluetooth keyboard/mouse. Done.
And you've obviously never used a docking station before.

There's a difference between playing Devil's Advocate and just being argumentative. You sound kind of silly right now.


RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/12/2013 9:42:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you take the "keyboard" off of a laptop, it's a tablet lmao. Not quite sure what you're on about. Anyway, I use a gamepad when I play PC games, even on my desktop. It's suitable for every gametype except multiplayer FPS.


Uh-huh. But you have to turn your tablet into a laptop in order to play games on it. And good luck playing *any* game *other* than FPS or a racing game with a gamepad. Please show me how you're going to play DDO, or Age of Conan, or League of Legends, etc. with a gamepad. Or a RTS like Command & Conquor. Or...well, anything other than FPS or racing games.

quote:
It's more portable because it can ever be a tablet. A laptop can never be.


*derp* Except that you have to carry around the keyboard etc. in order to dock it up to play games on it. So, exactly *not* any more portable than a laptop. Worse, probably, in the event that you leave the house without your keyboard/dock and realize you can't play your games while you're out.

quote:
They invented this thing a few years ago called friction. It lets you hold stuff without megaton crushing forces. It's pretty great. Highly recommended.


Sure they did, sparky. And there's plenty of people in this world who would crush their tablets with such things anyway. It's a retarded "solution" to a retarded problem. The only brainful solution being using a real laptop, or docking your tablet.

quote:
LOL, yes because people play WoW on the go so hardcore.


And your opinion of people who play WoW has what bearing on anything? The point is valid - you can't play an MMO on a tablet. Period. Not unless you turn it into a laptop with a keyboard and mouse.

quote:
You've obviously never played a Vita before.


I'm starting to think you haven't. How's those ports of popular MMOs and C&C etc. working out for you on the Vita? Reckon you can just whip through your items and actions on an MMO toolbar real well on that...if you could actually see them. Which you couldn't.

quote:
And you've obviously never used a docking station before.


I used docking stations probably before you were born. There's no functional difference to what I stated. The effect is the same.

You lost the argument as soon as you started talking about using the "tablet" with a keyboard and mouse. That's not a tablet anymore - it's a laptop. Which is what I have said all along, many times in the past here on DT. The one and only form factor that makes any sense is a convertible. A plain tablet, without a keyboard/mouse/dock/whatever is UTTERLY USELESS for gaming. And many other things.


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