Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Android PC - Is just around the Corner

Today, I did a test drive for Windows Tablet, ARM based Windows RT. Compared to my iPad, I found this to be sluggish and worse part is it lacks the choice of good cloud apps. Unless Microsoft puts its big guns behind Windows RT in marketing and get app developers and enterprise customers, Windows RT is heading for extinction. Right now, I see no value in Windows RT.

The x86 tablet - Acer Iconia W700   is better than Windows RT but sluggish - it lacks the CPU power and memory needed to run typical laptop apps - though I found it to be better in performance than the RT version. But when people compare the x86 tablet with the laptops - it lacks performance, and when compared with Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, it lacks the cool apps. So in both ways the x86 tablet comes up short. If I were to choose, I would say the x86 tablet still does not make the cut. I would rather go with an iPad and ultrabook.

The Android Alternative

Few months ago, I reviewed the Android Mini-PC and based on my experience on Android, I think it is the right time to launch an Android notebooks.

Wintel has been dominating the PC market for last two decades and during that period, everyone has developed a strong need for a PC and there has been no real alternative to the Intel -Windows. MacOS is still a niche player and Linux is a non-starter for home PC. Android on the other hand has been a widely accepted platform. The user acceptance of Android plus new technologies - such as 64bit ARM processor & Virtual Desktops, will make Android PC a perfect solution for most home users and enterprise users.

Today's Tablets have few crippling limitations for a content creation - one is the limited data storage and lack of mouse/keyboard for user input & limited display size.

These limitations can be eliminated with a Android notebook: 32/64 Bit ARM processor. (See Big-Little ARM processor),  A 1TB Flash drive to store all local user files. Many users would like to have a BIG local off-line storage. A keyboard/mouse to quickly enter data, and ability to connect large external monitors, plus Wifi+4G connectivity.

Today, users are familiar with Android platform and are very comfortable with the apps. Android platform has a plethora of office/business Apps already available. For power users, Office 365, or the virtual desktop will be a perfect solution.

The Time is Ripe

For years, I have heard various manufacturers tout a low cost alternatives to PC - the thin PC, Sony Surfboard, Freescale smartbook etc. The time is now right for Android PC.

There is a general sense of disgust with the windows world and consumers are clamoring for something new. Personally I know a lot of people who have not upgraded their old laptops - because the newer laptops do not offer anything new. I also have a 6 year old HP running on Windows XP and I see no need to upgrade or buy a new Windows8 ultrabook.

The latent demand for an Windows alternative plus all the new technologies -  64bit ARM, Virtual Desktops, Solid State Flash Drives 1080p display screens - etc have created a perfect condition to launch Android Notebooks!

As on today, there is no Android PC in the market yet. Will Samsung be the first to introduce it? Lets wait and watch.

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