back to article Booming sales of flippy detachables offers hope to glum PC market

Booming sales of computers and tablets with detachable and rotating keyboards brought some cheer to the ailing PC market in the first quarter of 2016, according to research. Sales of detachables and convertibles rose 40 per cent to 3.6 million units in the first quarter of the year, offering a boon to the shrinking computer …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    At which point...

    ...does a PC become not a PC?

    1. 0laf Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: At which point...

      We had a bunch of senior people who demanded iPads.

      So we checked with them and they really just wanted tablets, they were using 'iPad' in the same way many of us refer to sticky-tape as Sellotape or a vacuum cleaner as a Hoover.

      So they got some Win8 tabs (worked better with the network).

      Then they wanted keyboards for them with track pads.

      Then they wanted mice.

      When asked if they just wanted a laptop (which was cheaper and lighter) they were quite definite they wanted tablets despite only ever using them configured as a laptop.

      1. P0l0nium

        Re: At which point...

        What they really meant was ...

        "We want the company to pay for something we can watch Pr0n on ..."

        They're not called "Fondleslabs" for no reason, and the market is static because everyone already has one that's "good enough".

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: At which point...

      When it runs an OS designed mostly to consume someone else contents instead of mostly producing them - whatever "contents" they are. Just, it is something that didn't exist before somewhere else.

      That's what IMHO defines "Personal Computing".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      My Windows PC has been a detachable for 3 years now

      Best little lapper I've ever had. Nine hours battery life between 2 batteries (one in the tablet, one in the keyboard). Slim, light, with a robust processor and nice fast SSD. Full size HDMI outlet that I hook to a big monitor for my coding and spreadsheeting.

      And when I want to read Kindle-style, I just grab the monitor off the keyboard and go sit on the couch and read it as a tablet.

      Too bad there's no room for a bigger or 2nd hard drive, or I'd put Arch on it too, and get some real work done.

    4. TooManyChoices

      Re: At which point...

      When it run OS-X?

      1. Frank N. Stein

        Re: At which point...

        Wouldn't it be funny if Apple finally produced a "convertible" and it started selling like hotcakes? That's what happened when the iPad was first introduced. It wasn't a new idea (Microsoft created Tablet PC's years before Apple produced the first iPad). And Nadella's Windows 10 strong arm tactics could leave the door open enough for Linux and Mac OS to make gains against Windows.

        1. Havin_it

          Re: At which point...

          Come off it. Did you ever actually *see* a 1st-gen Windows tablet? They were about as portable as a breezeblock, and about as useful unless you took the power brick everywhere with you. The touchscreens were desperately unresponsive as well. Yuk. There's good reason they were a rarity.

          Apple won out because they timed it right; the hardware capability was finally there to make a non-dire product. With convertibles, that ship has largely already sailed. Not that they couldn't leverage a good chunk of the market on the strength of their brand alone, but because they're not first to market this time, there'll be a lot tougher scrutiny from the criticsphere, so they had better not mis-step on the hardware or they'll have their very own Zune experience (which would give me a chuckle).

          1. Troy Peterson

            Re: At which point...

            I had a real "1st-get Windows tablet"... It was a wonderful piece of kit. Still have it in my collection. Amazingly light and amazingly responsive.

            I can't find a good link but if you just Google for a Kalidor K2100 there are lots of pictures.

    5. ps2os2

      Re: At which point...

      When it becomes Politically Correct.

  2. GlenP Silver badge

    We're just starting to move over to tablets-with-keyboards for our frequent travellers. The price point is now down to a level where they're a viable alternative to laptops, and they have the option of taking the keyboard or not as required. We're strictly Windows though, not iPad.

    Part of the reason to change was a lack of decent small-screen laptops.

    Anyone who is mainly in the office and needs something they can take to the conference room, home or occasionally to another site still gets a laptop though.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Laptop sales down

    Could it be because the ones under $1200 are essentially nearly junk? Low resolution shiny screens similar to $50 tablets. Higher end tablets do have far better screens than $600 laptops

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Laptop sales down

      Hmm, mine cost less than $700 and has a 2k touch screen, some fancy audio that I don't use, fingerprint sensor, backlit keyboard, 1TB drive (no SSD) and a Core i5.

      It even has a GEForce graphics capability that the other person I bought the same laptop for really appreciates.

      Sure, not state-of-the-art but hardly junk.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Laptop sales down

        You didn't find it in the UK or Irish High street.

        There are sure to be some decent laptops out there.

    2. 38292757

      Re: Laptop sales down

      My $179 Asus kicks butt . . . considering reverting back to Win 8.1, or Xubuntu, as it uses 1.7 gigs RAM just to hold my desk down.

  4. tekHedd

    All of this is silly.

    So... if it has a touch screen and the keyboard is not attached, it's not a PC. That's it?

    Think. I assume that all laptops will come standard with touchscreens "soon." There's no reason that the keyboard has to be attached--it was a completely separate device for decades. Clearly, tablets and phones are PCs (running various OSs but whatever). At what point will we stop talking about the rise and fall of the PC versus phone, tablet, watch, light switch... it's just silly. All of this is silly. This comment is silly.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: All of this is silly.

      Actually, at the dawn of personal computing, it was the keyboard to be attached to the computer, and the display was often detached. Then came the IBM PC...

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