‘Converged-type devices are the new PC’

Comment on this story
iol scitehc juen 4 Computex AFP Renee J. James, president of Intel, speaks during the Computex tech show in Taipei.

Paris - US computer chip giant Intel declared its faith in the future of the personal computer on Tuesday, in a landscape increasingly dominated by super-slim tablets and mobiles.

Speaking in Taiwan on the first day of Computex, Asia's largest tech show, new Intel president Renee James said the firm's PC business was “going well” - but that personal computers would evolve into new forms.

“We do see signs of PC stabilisation globally,” added senior vice president Kirk Skaugen.

“From both a consumer and a corporate perspective things are better - in some of the areas where we've seen negative growth, like Russia, we're even seeing some recovery there.”

Whether personal computers can survive in an increasingly mobile world has been a key question at Computex.

A number of leading players have introduced new 2-in-1 devices - a cross between a tablet and a laptop, with a detachable keyboard - as a potential replacement for the traditional PC.

iol scitech june 4 Computex2 Promoters display the new ASUS Transformer Book V by Taiwanese electronics company ASUS during a press conference ahead of the Computex tech show in Taipei. AFP

“Really these converged-type devices are the new PC,” Paul Spain of New Zealand Tech Podcast told AFP at the four-day event in the capital Taipei.

“And maybe one day, in the not too distant future, your phone will be your PC,” he said.

“You'll have it in your pocket or on your desk and your screen will recognise it.

“With Intel having processors inside smartphones it's quite possible that will happen.”

Others argue that consumers will continue to demand a full range of machines for different uses, including desktops.

“There are some things that desktops still offer, such as easy-to-upgrade components and generally lower costs compared to portable machines - especially when it comes to niche uses like gaming and intensive video-editing,” Singapore-based tech blogger Alfred Siew said.

With the evolution of cloud services which share data between multiple devices, having more than one machine is less of a disadvantage, he added.

While Intel voiced optimism for the PC's future, James acknowledged its machines would have to be “smaller, thinner, lighter” in order to sell.

She unveiled Intel's CoreM processor during a keynote speech at Computex on Tuesday, with designs using the new chip promising both “a lightning-fast tablet and a razor-thin laptop”.

Products using the CoreM will be available later this year, with the first unveiled by Taiwan's computer maker Asus on Monday - the Transformer Book T300 Chi which is a super-slim “high-performance” detachable notebook.

Commentator Spain described the device as a “breakthrough”, potentially able to handle business tasks and gaming as well as the “fun” functions of a tablet, something that 2-in-1s have so far been criticised as failing to do.

Intel has been pushing further into mobile devices and the “Internet of Things” - which connects devices from cars to household appliances online - as it seeks to diversify from the PC market.

James gave a fleeting glimpse of the firm's future plans at the end of her speech in a video which included a smartwatch, face recognition technology and 3D camera software, saying those offerings would be refined further within the next two years. - AFP

Hungry for more scitech news? Sign up for our daily newsletter

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines