“A great tablet is better than a cheap PC” says Nvidia CEO

The advent of mobile computing for the general populous started when the laptop became an affordable and suitable replacement for the standard desktop PC. No longer did users have to trade performance for cost or aesthetics for functionality. Finally laptops were, and still are, devices that your parents  could use instead of purchasing a new desktop PC.

Since the release of the iPad however, the tablet market has grown at a phenomenal rate. OEMs like Samsung, Dell and Lenovo all got in on the act, offering Android based tablets at a lesser price than the iPad, and with models such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab getting praise from IT pros and the general consumer, it’s no surprise that Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said in a conference call with analysts that consumers are starting to realise that “a great tablet is better than a cheap PC.

As Nvidia operates in both PC and mobile markets, these are bold and interesting words. With the PC market starting to slow for Nvidia, figures released show that 30% of their revenues come from non-PC chips; the Tegra graphics processor, used in Google Android and Microsoft Surface tablets, is helping offset the slump in demand for the PC graphics chips. Huang added:

Our fundamentals are better than ever. We’re increasing our share. The PC end market is uncertain. We’ll take a rather cautious approach to our outlook.

Nvidia are doing well at juggling the two markets, with the one highlight in the PC market being the demand for PC gaming graphics chips, providing a much better experience than the current generation of consoles and gaming tablets. With Nvidia to heavily invest in a 4G LTE modem chip and its next-gen mobile processor, the future is bright for Nvidia and the mobile market.

Source: VentureBeat | Image courtesy of Tablets Planet

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Would you buy a top of the range tablet over a low to mid-range PC or laptop?

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32 Comments

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Because the first thing gets him good monies from selling Tegra chips and stuff, and the second thing doesn't, because people do away with integrated graphics that, be it Intel HD or Fusion, blow tablet graphics to hell.
I wouldn't personally buy a cheap PC altogether, but other than that both are fine for certain uses as long as it's an x86 tablet we're talking about (which Tegra isn't, ho ho ho).

Comparing tablets with PCs, i.e., laptops or desktops is comparable to comparing apples to oranges. Some people just don't seem to understand--tablets and PCs are oriented to entirely different marketplaces/users.

tablets (especially hi-end ones) aren't that cheap actually, at least in Russia. so even some AMD based laptops/netbooks are much more valuable (actually more powerful, full desktop experience) and still cheaper.

True, I recently needed the cheapest smallest windows computer I could find to use for media serving and net updating... found some nice choices for $250

I love tablets. I have 2 iPads, and one Android tablet. But I love light laptops- I have a MacBook Air. And I have 2 MacBook Pros and several Windows laptops. (Yeah, I need a life. LOL) I also have desktops. The right tool for the right job. I can do most of what I need to on my tablets, but that is not a dominant majority by far.

I don't see any of them as toys. To me, it's more like the difference between a sports car, a family sedan, a SUV, a pickup truck... all good transportation machines, but best at very different usages.

Haha...not even close.. one is a toy.. a companion device at best.. the other is a staple of getting real work done.. unless of course it has win 8 on it

Soon (hopefully), none of this will matter, hardware specs will catch up and battery life will be there as well so that you won't have to sacrifice one for the other. Detachable touch screens will be the standard...and a few years after that "screens" will be redefined in several ways. I think most like the idea of having a tablet for "media" and a "real" machine for work and more serious apps.

I don't know. If I didn't have none, I'd chose the laptop. I can do 200x more on the lappy than on the High End Tablet. Furthermore, laptops are getting cheaper and better by day.

I think he's right too.

I was at future shop yesterday to buy Windows 8 pro upgrade and while the clerk was unlocking the door to get a copy a 40+ yo woman came in and told another clerk she was looking for a tablet and that she planned to sell her laptop and use the tablet only.

I think the desktop/laptop PC will eventually be phased out for everyday use. People who don't need one to play games and/or do office or multimedia work will probably chose to get a tablet instead since a good tablet is about the same price as a cheap PC/laptop.

Surface Pro is not a Tablet but a TabletPC.

However i agree with Nvidia, ARM (not x86 tabletpc), as a raw power, is petty. Nvidia, Intel and many other OEM spend decaded handcrafting the x86 (and amd64) architecture, adding core, optimizations and so on and people asked more and more. However and suddenly, people changed of mind, they asked for a portable device that is limited in power, features and even in software.

Brony said,
Surface Pro is not a Tablet but a TabletPC.

However i agree with Nvidia, ARM (not x86 tabletpc), as a raw power, is petty. Nvidia, Intel and many other OEM spend decaded handcrafting the x86 (and amd64) architecture, adding core, optimizations and so on and people asked more and more. However and suddenly, people changed of mind, they asked for a portable device that is limited in power, features and even in software.

I don't think it's because people have changed their mind or needs, it's because their performance needs are no longer increasing rapidly like they once did. Take Windows 8 for example, which will run perfectly on systems spec'd for Vista or 7, unlike in the past when a new OS often required a new, more powerful system. This lack of need for more power leaves room for tablets with modest specs to compete with more traditional form factors.

mikeyx12 said,

I don't think it's because people have changed their mind or needs, it's because their performance needs are no longer increasing rapidly like they once did. Take Windows 8 for example, which will run perfectly on systems spec'd for Vista or 7, unlike in the past when a new OS often required a new, more powerful system. This lack of need for more power leaves room for tablets with modest specs to compete with more traditional form factors.

That is indeed why the new-hardware (as in entire box) market is drying up faster than the Sahara in summer.

1. Since the round of quad-core price cuts I called the Great Kentsfield Fire Sale (triggered by Apple going XEON as opposed to the LGA775-based Q6600 for the first Intel-powered quad-core Macs), mid-range quad-core CPU pricing (either retail or OEM/tray) has basically been flat. i5-3570K is the same price Q6600 was new after that slash-and-burn.
2. Performance in that market segment has continued following Moore's Law - despite the flatness of pricing. Result - performance for price has gone up.
3. Other than niche uses (and that includes gaming), what is going to tap that power? Q6600, despite its sheer age, easily runs Windows 8 today. (My Windows 8 desktop has a Q6600 in it.) A large part of computing is quite happy with not just the software they have, but even the hardware they have - and that's just consumers. Corporate users? They have even greater incentive to NOT upgrade, and especially in terms of hardware. If you're a non-gamer that spends most of their time surfing the Web, reading e-mail, and writing the odd document (which describes a LOT of us), you no longer need even a notebook - a tablet such as the Transformer Prime or Surface will do. They do everything that used to require a notebook (or even a laptop of the XP/Vista era), but has much longer battery life (and costs much less - Surface is down nearly in refurbished notebook territory).

I think he's right, but that's not really an argument most people have. If you're going to buy a low-end PC, chances are you either can't afford a high-end PC or don't want to pay for one, and a tablet isn't a substitute product for a PC.

I'd personally rather have a high-end tablet than a cheap PC, but that's because I don't want a cheap PC.

Yes. I'd buy Surface Pro, or any Windows 8 tablet with good specs, over a laptop but would I replace my desktop with a tablet? No.

as long as it doesn't have android, which is an OS which is not designed for the pc-replacement needs of the post-pc world.

android is a phone OS. I don't want a phone OS on my tablet. google will never be able to catch up to MSFT's lead in x86 apps.

neonspark said,
as long as it doesn't have android, which is an OS which is not designed for the pc-replacement needs of the post-pc world.

android is a phone OS. I don't want a phone OS on my tablet. google will never be able to catch up to MSFT's lead in x86 apps.


Presumably you are applying the same logic to iOS too in regard to it being a phone OS?

I'd assume that's what he meant. I'd either want a high quality Windows 8 (read: not RT, android, or ios) tablet vs a cheap PC

how about none?
a tablet won't substitute a PC (even a cheap one), but i see his logic: most people just browse Internet, see some movies and music and play some games and they don't need a pc for that, a tablet will suffice, in most occasions; the problem lies on the apps that only exist in the Windows / OSX / Linux word.

Glassed Silver said,
@ poll: F*** no.

(assuming I don't have a good PC already of course, otherwise, yea, pretty much)

GS:mac

If it had Android or iOS then a laptop/PC every time.

The problem is Win 8 makes the tablet/laptop line VERY blurry. For instance a tablet with Win 8 + Core i5 or i7 CPU could easily replace a high end laptop, not just a cheap one. As many of these come with keyboard docks you basically have a Ultrabook with a detachable touch screen.

With a device like the Asus Transformer Book you have something thats easily as good as higher-end laptops, and comes with large screen sizes like with laptops, but you also have far longer battery life from the extra battery in the dock, and up to a 500GB HDD in the dock as well (plus SSD in the tablet).

I'd easily pick that over a laptop. No contest. But it would never replace my PC, as i do serious work on that and need atleast 32GB RAM + tons of cores.

NoClipMode said,
But it would never replace my PC

By PC you mean desktop, right? A laptop is a PC too, so are x86 tablets.