Rest Assured, PCs and Laptops Are NOT Going To Die

I laugh every time I read articles about how tablet computing is spelling the end for the traditional desktop PC and even the laptop computer.

Admittedly, tablets are growing in popularity.  I actually bought one a few months back, an HP TouchPad, which as you may remember was introduced and promptly pulled from production about a week after it’s launch.  This dropped the price, and I was able to recently pick one up for $200.  While I like it, it’s never going to fully replace the PC and laptop that I also have at home.

But, that’s not why I say that PCs and laptops won’t die.

The reason is more simple:


Many of you work in an office, right?  I do.

On every desk there is either a desktop computer or a docking station for a laptop.

There are many people that walk around with tablets, and I believe a few really progressive types have ditched their desktop or laptop, but I’d say that number is probably about 1%.

Our office has roughly 300 people, which means that 3 people have ditched their laptop or desktop.

Meaning that 297 have not and are still using them.

The fact remains that while tablet computing is great for people on the go, and it is great for apps and browsing, many people at spend eight hours (or more) per day at work cannot achieve the same productivity on a tablet as you can with a desktop or laptop.

At least not without paying significantly more.

Yes, you can purchase better keyboards and likely can get external mice and bigger displays for a tablet that can bring the efficiency that tablet computing can’t offer when it comes to word processing or working with spreadsheets, but at that point, a fully loaded desktop or laptop is still much cheaper.

And most businesses are still about making money, and one way of doing that is to keep costs down.

I’m sure there are companies out there that may consider loading up their employees with tablets and ditching the desktops and laptops altogether, but either they are going to pay a bundle in ‘extras’ to make sure that their employees can work more efficiently, or they will see a drop in productivity.

My guess is that number would probably rival the 1% or so tying back to the people in our office who have ditched their PC / laptop altogether.

In other words, there is no direct threat to shut down operations for companies in the desktop and laptop business.  Not that I can see.

Now, if I’m an investor, I do see limited growth in those areas.  I might not be buying up thousands of shares of Dell as would have been a good idea in the 1990’s, but if I already owned them, I wouldn’t be worried about them heading to zero, either.

What do you think?  Will tablets take over the world or will desktops and laptops be around for the foreseeable future?

Disclosure: I own no stock of any company mentioned here.


14 thoughts on “Rest Assured, PCs and Laptops Are NOT Going To Die”

  1. As an uber-biased millennial, I totally think tablets will be taking over the world. Especially with the new Windows Surface tablet – it comes with a legit processor and a built in keyboard. And it won’t cost an arm and a leg (the Surface has a slimmed down version of Microsoft Office, and it’s starting at $199).

    We’ll see what happens… but I think we’re in for another tech revolution.

    • I’m sure we’ll see a few more in our lifetime. It’ll be interesting how it all plays out. I think tablets will go beyond being a fad, but I don’t see them taking over.

  2. Tablets would have to become much more powerful which would be cost prohibitive right now. Maybe in 10 to 20 years it might get close but computers become faster and more powerful every day and tablets are too slow and cumbersome for what I do at work.

  3. I don’t see tablets taking over. They may become even more mainstream than they are now… but replacing laptops, I don’t see that. Replacing paper and pens… maybe. 🙂

  4. I’m on my laptop at work all day, every day. At home, I am on my laptop a few hours a night. Data pulls alone make it impossible for a tablet (at this time) to replace my laptop. I would enjoy having a table to work in combination with my laptops, but overall there isn’t a huge need for it and it would be more a luxury than anything.

    I agree with your analysis 100%!

  5. Nothing can replace my custom built gaming rig :0) Desktop PC can’t be replaced because anyone who’s tried playing a 3D intensive game or work with computer graphics know it’s a headache trying to run it on a laptop, let alone a tablet. I see tablets as a supplement to desktops and laptops.

    • Exactly. They’re a nice tool and fill a niche but I just don’t see them taking over the functionality of the desktop and laptop.

  6. I agree with Liquid. I see tablets as being supplementary, at home and the workplace. My boss and even our CEO have a desktop computer and an iPad. Our CEO even has a laptop he keeps at home for working as well.

    I personally like having my docking station/laptop at work, with dual monitors – I can’t imagine having to work on a tablet at work, even with peripherals. Plus the “memory” space on tablets don’t come near to what’s available on PCs and laptops.

    At home I’m somewhat of a gamer. Hubby & I are currently enjoying Guild Wars 2. The install of the game itself wouldn’t fit on a typical tablet, plus the processing might not be as great (video card, etc) as Liquid stated.

    We do enjoy our iPad (version 1 – got it on sale when #2 came out right after Verizon was able to sell iPads and such and had too many #1’s on hand) for traveling and using the fun apps for our ‘lil guy to keep him occupied in the car. I also have my Kindle Fire for reading and simple apps. But I couldn’t see either of them replacing our PC and Laptop at home. I personally hate typing on either. 🙂

    • Yes, and most tablets don’t have the outputs for video or speakers or other peripherals that you get with the larger desktops and laptops.

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