10-inch tablets heading for extinction according to Intel exec
The era of the 10-inch tablets has come and gone, the future computing landscape will be dominated by smaller, more portable tablets and convertible Ultrabook type devices, according to Intel exec Kirk Skaugen.
Skaugen, Intel’s vice president of PC Client Group, was speaking at the recent Intel Solutions Summit 2013 in Los Angeles, when he made these comments, according to a ZDNet report today. He suggested the drop off in interest in the “full-sized” slates would not be gentle or gradual but the market share of such devices would “rapidly erode” this year
Attacked from two sides
The popularity of smaller tablets in the 7 to 8-inch diagonal screen size range was one of the first developments to put the brakes on full sized tablet market growth. Where a smaller version of a tablet is available buyers have voted with their feet (wallets). The trend has been that these smaller tablets are dominating, where both sizes have concurrently been available. In the case of the Apple iPad, the 8-inch iPad mini has pulled ahead, even though the full size one had such a commanding lead. The smaller sized, lighter tablets are more “handy” for carrying around, being held with one hand while operated with the other and crucially also significantly cheaper.
Poised to squeeze the 10-inch tablet market from the other direction are a slew of hybrid laptops with detachable displays or other tablet conversion facilities according to Skaugen. All Haswell Ultrabooks will be required to have touchscreen functionality. Skaugen predicted that many smaller 11-inch region variants would have detachable screens while 13-inch or larger varieties would prefer “flip” designs. Also with these new designs reaching the market later this year Windows 8 will perhaps start to be taken more seriously, the Modern UI side of things will become much more useful to many new PC owners.
Extinction is possibly a bit overstated but it's not difficult to agree with the overall thrust of the argument. The primary use for tablets is quick access to web content. That can be done with a 7-8" screen while shaving a bit off the purchase price. In the slightly larger form factor ultrabooks will be capable of serious work and content creation.
However, when small tablets and smartphones come with Thunderbolt-like connectivity, user behavior may change again as these devices will be fully capable of doing serious work when connected to docking stations.