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Although some reports of the so-called "post-PC era" have been greatly exaggerated, there's no denying that we're amidst a shift where many people are ditching their desktops and laptops for less capable, but more mobile solutions. For a certain chunk of users -- around a quarter of them according to a new survey -- devices such as smartphones and tablets are functional enough to meet their daily computing needs.
Conducted by the Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz, the survey asked folks how likely they are to replace their PC after it stops working, given the features offered by today's mobile devices. In reply, 4% said they definitely won't buy a new computer when theirs fails, 6% said they're unlikely to replace their PC and 15% said they might not replace it -- a total of 25% who are at on the fence about future PC purchases.
A little over half of the people who plan to drop PCs said they'll do so for the mobility offered by tablets, 38% say tablets let them do almost everything they did on a PC, 34% say tablets are easier to use than PCs, 26% find tablets more comfortable to use, 22% think tablets are cheaper, 19% are interested in mobile apps and say tablets are more functional (this isn't explained), while 15% say they're cooler or more stylish.
On the flip side, three-quarters of respondents said they plan to replace their current computer with another PC when the time comes. Among these users, 66% say PCs are more comfortable to use than a tablet, 58% require a bigger screen than tablets offer, 56% need the extra performance of a full-fledged computer or a mouse and keyboard, 43% rely on PC software and 25% worry about the security of other devices.
Center for the Digital Future director Jeffrey Cole has predicted that tablets will become the primary computing device in the US over the next few years, but he notes that they aren't yet as established as PCs when it comes to productivity. "The tablet has yet to prove its full functionality," Cole said. "As more ambitious work on a tablet becomes possible as software choices grow, more users will move to tablets."
Of note, this report coincides with a PC Gamer article that highlights the growth of the enthusiast PC market. The write-up includes a quote from Nvidia spokesman Ben Berraondo, who notes that sales of desktop GTX graphics cards are growing -- "massively" so when it comes to the GTX 660 and higher models. However, Berraondo also acknowledged that tablets are replacing sales of entry-level computers.
The 4th generation iPad sports a beefier A6X processor for double the CPU and graphics performance (versus iPad 3), an improved FaceTime camera that supports 720p resolution, the new Lightning connector, 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi and the same image signal processor found in the iPhone 5.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD features an 8.9-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display rated at 254 PPI, inside is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor. Other key features include dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, front-facing HD camera, HDMI-out, dual-band Wi-Fi technology with MIMO (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz) and 16GB of onboard storage.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 contains four GPCs with a total of eight SMXs, 1536 CUDA cores, eight geometry units, four raster units, 128 texture units, and 32 ROP units. The base clock is 1006MHz, the GTX 680 also carries 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM running at 6008MHz with a 256-bit interface providing 6.0Gb/s of throughput. Dual six-pin power connectors feed the card's TDP of 195W.
The Apple iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
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