The venerable laptop is under assault.
The HP Envy x2. Your next PC may (also) be a tablet — you can thank Apple for that.
Leading the assault is Apple — which has no qualms about cannibalising a piece of its own MacBook laptop line with the iPad.
And Apple's tablets will get even harder to resist in October, when it brings out a smaller tablet, which will probably be priced well below US$399.
The AU$249 Google Nexus 7 and the new Kindle Fire, starting at US$199 — or US$159 for the original Fire (that's right Aussies, we're being taken for a ride) — are making it even harder to fork over AU$700 or more for a new laptop.
At the risk of stating the obvious, consumers often opt for the cheaper device, if it seems to meet their needs. So, in many cases — just glance at figures from market researchers and Apple itself — they are choosing a tablet, instead of a laptop. Or postponing the purchase of a laptop in favour of a tablet impulse-buy.
In response, Microsoft, Intel and their partners — who are feeling some existential panic — are trying to curb those buying habits by introducing Windows 8 laptops that also function as tablets.
So, here's my question: would you forgo a tablet for a laptop with a touchscreen?
Or, to rephrase the question: though more expensive than a tablet — likely well over AU$699 — many Windows 8 portables will squeeze a laptop and tablet into one device, potentially obviating the need to buy two devices. Does that seem like the right solution to you?