Acer founder: Ultrabooks and tablets are short-term fads

By on August 6, 2011, 11:09 AM

Acer founder Stan Shih has declared that ultrabooks and tablets are both short-term fads. At the same time, he has urged companies in the notebook supply chain to innovate further and create products with even more value, according to DigiTimes.

Shih specifically referred to Apple's success with the iPad, saying that all notebook players should learn from Cupertino's outside-the-box thinking. He also noted that tablets are just extensions of the original PC, and all further innovation will have to once again start from the PC.

As in other market segments, Acer is trying to undercut its competitors. Shih believes that consumers want products with low price and convenience, and each player will need to face such pressures in the tablet arena. The Acer Iconia Tab A500 (our review) starts at $450 while the Acer Iconia Tab A100 starts at $350.

I'm not sure I believe that ultrabooks and tablets are a short-term fad, but I may have a different definition of short-term. I simply believe they are niche markets that will grow quite a bit in the coming years, until they are replaced by other more convenient form factors.

Both of these types of PCs are really nothing new. They are expected to explode because the price range for both of them is finally at a point where the average consumer can justify it. Computer parts have finally reached a point where they are both powerful and small enough that ultrabooks and tablets can be purchased under the $500 price point, and as we know, that's one of the sweet spots of the PC industry.




User Comments: 25

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KG363 KG363 said:

Acer didn't say that. Stan Shih did. I believe he is retired.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

kg363 said:

Acer didn't say that. Stan Shih did. I believe he is retired.

Yeah, he is. Look who wrote the article though...

Either way, I agree with Mr. Shih.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

They need to do what Walmart does have falling prices let's get this down to $199 to $250. More of these tablets will be sold than just siting there not being sold as much.

Guest said:

Ya, and so are mobile phones. LOL.

He's trying to protect his $tock as Acer is struggling to make a dent in a market that Apple pretty much rules and that is killing crapbook sales.

Zilliak said:

I do not believe they are short term fads. Personally, I have wanted an ultra book since i was 12. The ability to have an ultra thin notebook and have 9 to 10 hours of battery without wifi on is amazing, because i spend hours writing papers and excel spread sheets.

ihaveaname said:

To be honest, I'm still trying to understand why anyone would need a tablet. I agree with this guy; I can't see tablets sticking around.

Guest said:

I don't see my using word processor or coding on a tablet in the near future. Thus far, tablet is only good for web browsing and book reading. Sylie and touch points (fingers) do not replace keyboard, yet. I totally agree with Shih.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I can't do most of my work without a decent keyboard and mouse so a tablet is pretty much not an option for me.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

+1 fps, except for light web browsing / playing videos etc. I don't see much use for these devices.

fimbles fimbles said:

Agree too.

Never seen the point in tablets, no keyboard, crap hardware, limited software..

Give me a decent smart phone or a laptop anyday.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Not sure how useful a tablet would be to me, but I'd like an ultrabook. Why would ultrabooks ever fade away (in the foreseeable future)? Sure the hardware isn't as good as a full size or a desktop, but of course the hardware is getting better all the time, and for right now people shouldn't be doing hardcore video editing on an ultrabook anyway.

Guest said:

they are here to stay, just plug a keyboard, mouse, monitor in when you need them

nismo91 said:

i think ultrabook means slimmer and faster netbook... i cant stand atom these days...

colinf said:

@Guest

they are here to stay, just plug a keyboard, mouse, monitor in when you need them

doesn't that kind of negate the value, and backup the whole fad argument

Guest said:

Tablets and UltraBooks are here to stay for good and will only lob off a further huge chunk of the mainstream PC market share, but they will most certainly NOT kill the PC off. Since any enthusiast gaming and or pro grade multitasking, content creation still has to be done on a powerful PC with mouse and keyboard.

The sad thing is browsing social networks, online shopping, E-mail, watching videos and typing up a word doc from time to time is enough for 80% of population.

How can anyone say the tablet is fad that will pass, it's form factor that is of great convenience in a number of workplace and everyday scenarios that will only get better. It's didn't take off before due the interface,running hot, being bulky, ugly and slow with no appropriate OS.

Otherwise Hello! That tablet is like a piece of paper ready to be worked with, it does not have to be flipped open like a laptop/notebook which can't be conveniently used without setting it down fist.

The only question that should be asked is whether the tablet will eventually take most of the notebooks market share, similarly to how the notebook has done to the desktop. Because lets face it, who needs an additional physical panel that has to be flipped open just to get a keyboard and trackpad, I am fairly sure this inconvenience will be circumvented in the near future with tablets having a pull out or projected holographic keyboard for use on flat surface and mouse like capability.

Guest said:

^ What I said above + it's all heading to simplification and peripheral complexity reduction.

1 not segmented piece > then 2 connected pieces.

RH00D RH00D said:

I see tablets merely being used for consumers that do simply day-to-day activities like social networking, YouTube, email and general web browsing. The standardized desktop PC will not die off anytime soon. I think of it as the "top of the food chain" most other computers are in some way a "daughter" of the desktop PC. The notebook was a daughter of the desktop PC, the netbook was a daughter of the notebook, and tablets are a daughter of the netbook. All these form-factors will co-exist. None will "kill" each other. Each has their own uses.

Personally, I am sticking to desktop PCs because they offer the BEST price/performance ratio and is the most standardized form-factor allowing for easy upgrading.

I play with a lot of these smartphones, tablets, and ultra-thin notebooks like the MacBook Airs in local stores, just to see what the devices are capable of, etc. And although I get that impulse feeling of wanting to buy it, after I REALLY think about it, the desktop PC fulfills ALL of my needs except for mobility. Whereas every other device, tablets, smartphones, etc. can ONLY fulfill the mobility need and pretty much fail on every other need (such as gaming, high resolution/large screens, full keyboards, cost-of-ownership, customization, standardization, performance, ability to run advanced/complex software ex. Photoshop/Lightroom, video editing)

At the end of the day, the lack of mobility of the desktop doesn't bother me too much since I know I shouldn't be on the computer all day anyway, that wouldn't be very healthy!

supertech supertech said:

Tablets are definitely not a fad and anyone who would said that must be living under a rock. This is a huge segment and for those who do not have a tablet, they will not understand the ease of access to information and mobility of these units.

I emphasize all of the time to our customers that tablets are NOT a replacement for full fledged computer or a laptop. Tablets are merely an intermediary unit for access to email, apps, newspaper articles, and more but when it comes to real work, you cannot compare them to a computer. For example, attempting to type an email and include attachments can sometimes take you a 5-10x as long as doing the same task on a computer.

It's all about mobility and this is a very HOT market.

aj_the_kidd said:

supertech said:

Tablets are definitely not a fad and anyone who would said that must be living under a rock. This is a huge segment and for those who do not have a tablet, they will not understand the ease of access to information and mobility of these units.

I emphasize all of the time to our customers that tablets are NOT a replacement for full fledged computer or a laptop. Tablets are merely an intermediary unit for access to email, apps, newspaper articles, and more but when it comes to real work, you cannot compare them to a computer. For example, attempting to type an email and include attachments can sometimes take you a 5-10x as long as doing the same task on a computer.

It's all about mobility and this is a very HOT market.

Agreed, mobility is a big deal.

I realize for most people on this forum tablets are useless, but for everybody else they can be pretty handy, granted not has handy as a laptop but handy none-the-less. Much like mobile phones, when tablets become cheaper allot of people are going to get one, even maybe you

RH00D RH00D said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Agreed, mobility is a big deal.

I realize for most people on this forum tablets are useless, but for everybody else they can be pretty handy, granted not has handy as a laptop but handy none-the-less. Much like mobile phones, when tablets become cheaper allot of people are going to get one, even maybe you

Where would someone use a tablet where a smartphone or PC cannot be used? They kind of seem like a novelty. Like the Wii, it's cool at first, but then "coolness" factor wears off pretty quickly. A smartphone can do many functions of a tablet, plus it is a phone, and is more conveniently mobile than a tablet. And if you're in your home, why not just use the more functional and faster PC? The only thing I see that is particularly appealing about tablets is that they are "new and cool". That's not necessarily a bad thing... But there are just more convenient, and more functional alternatives available.

aj_the_kidd said:

RH00D said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Agreed, mobility is a big deal.

I realize for most people on this forum tablets are useless, but for everybody else they can be pretty handy, granted not has handy as a laptop but handy none-the-less. Much like mobile phones, when tablets become cheaper allot of people are going to get one, even maybe you

Where would someone use a tablet where a smartphone or PC cannot be used? They kind of seem like a novelty. Like the Wii, it's cool at first, but then "coolness" factor wears off pretty quickly. A smartphone can do many functions of a tablet, plus it is a phone, and is more conveniently mobile than a tablet. And if you're in your home, why not just use the more functional and faster PC? The only thing I see that is particularly appealing about tablets is that they are "new and cool". That's not necessarily a bad thing... But there are just more convenient, and more functional alternatives available.

All I said was that they can be pretty handy, mainly for people not on this forum and when they inevitably become cheaper people will get them because they can..... but i probably should have added, after they buy a laptop or PC.

I dont disagree with what you said and i just want to make this very clear, i would not choose a tablet over a laptop or PC. In my experience tablets can be more convenient when performing simple task such as checking emails, browsing the net and kindle. Particularly if your feeling very lazy

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

I still want a nice tablet.... I kind of wanted a windows 7 tablet with a RJ45 port (not wireless only) but an andriod tablet would be okay too, as long as flash is supported in the least.

I've just been waiting for prices to go down... and if people think they are a fad, then prices should be dropping before I know it!

Guest said:

You can try and wrench my iPad out of my cold dead hands.

I can't imagine going back to the old way for comfortably sitting in my reading chair, cafe, bed, bus, train, car .... and reading from my huge library of e-books, browsing the web, responding to the occasional important email, playing one of the many excellent games, Facetiming with my kids etc. etc. without monkeying around with the weight and awkwardness of the little used external keyboard.

Ultrabooks will eventually be completely replaced by the tablet with an optional bluetooth keyboard\touchpad. They already have been for many. The MacBook Air is just a stepping stone until the power/size/weight is there for the Air Tablet.

Apple knows this and so does Intel who are pushing the Ultrabooks simply to try and steer people away from iPads and such for as long as possible until Intel can come up with a viable processor to put in them.

That fellow is either out to lunch or trying to protect his investment a little longer.

End of story.

The only thing I can see that could\will change this all in the near future is a pair of glasses with an awesome high-res screen inside driven by a wireless hip\pocketbox or somesuch. ;)

Guest said:

My tablet is dual-core, overclocked to 1400 MHz and uses bluetooth and USB keyboards and mice with no problem. It's faster to a webpage than most brand new netbooks/laptops too. Is it a PC, well of course not. But I can browse and look up stuff using voice search, control my DVR or media pc, stream audio, news and weather with ease and play the occasional time-waster game without lugging out something bigger than the TV Guide. Battery life is about 10-12 hours and I have been running Honeycomb almost as long as the Xoom has. A community of Android developers hacking new improvements daily is a nice free bonus.

I think tablets are here to stay for a while, just for the display size, but they will get a lot faster and more capable.

Guest said:

Tablets, Facebook and Apple definately fall in to the "bumrash" category.

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