Even smart, successful people can get things very, very wrong. Take Apple CEO Tim Cook and the 2015 interview where he stated, “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”
Cook was likely trying to prepare the ground for the all-new iPad Pro that was set for launch but his comments also reflected some desperation. That’s not surprising since after hitting an historical high of over 26M units sold in Q1 2014, iPad sales had begun a steady, seemingly irreversible decline to just over half that number in Q1 2017.
In any case, by intimating that the iPad was a be all/end all for PC users, Cook was dreadfully off the mark. What sparked his blunder? Partly by forgetting Steve Jobs’ vision of the iPad as a “third” device that logically fit between the capabilities of powerful PCs and highly portable smart phones.
Along with that flub, Apple and other overly-ambitious tablet cheerleaders were also undone by the innovative efforts of PC component makers and vendors. Those companies recognized that some PC customers can become frustrated by the limitations of desktop and laptop solutions, and tried to exploit those feelings to their own advantage.
But rather than ignoring those issues or wistfully waving farewell as customers abandoned ship, PC players buckled down and developed innovative and compelling new technologies. While PC sales have dropped significantly over the past half-decade, recent research by IDC suggests the market has stabilized. That’s partly because vendors inspired existing PC owners to stay put and actively brought new customers aboard.
Intel’s launch of its latest 8th generation Core processors demonstrates that the evolution of the PC continues apace. In fact, Intel’s new Core solutions are likely to spark fresh interest in PCs, buoy sales of new systems and drive additional market momentum.
What users can expect from 8th gen Core
So what exactly is Intel delivering that will make its new processors and chipsets so attractive? First and foremost is a significant boost in performance.
In a blog related to the launch, Gregory M. Bryant, SVP and GM of Intel’s Client Computing Group said that the new Core mobile processors designed for thin and light premium notebooks and 2-in-1s will deliver up to 40 percent better performance over last year’s solutions without impacting battery life. That’s a remarkable gen-over-gen achievement by any measure. In fact, Bryant noted that the last time the company delivered a similar gen-over-gen power boost was about a decade ago.
If you take a somewhat longer view, solutions with the new Core silicon will be twice as powerful as 2012 notebooks and also offer customers more capacious memory and storage, and far better-quality displays. That may seem like window dressing on Intel’s part but it takes on strategic weight when you consider estimates that over half a billion PCs over five years old are still in service worldwide, making them ripe targets for upgrade.
What do the benefits Intel delivered mean in practical terms? Here are four points to remember:
- That many owners of laptops sporting the new Core chips will be able to get up to 10 hours of 4K UHD local video playback on a single charge.
- That systems with new Core silicon will easily support increasingly complex immersive content, such as 4K video, a wide variety of games and increasingly mainstream virtual reality (VR) offerings, including those leveraging Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform.
- That editing photos or creating a slideshow will be up to 48 percent faster on 8th gen Core vs. devices powered by last year’s Intel chips.
- That editing video footage on a new Core-equipped system is up to 14.7X faster than 5-year old PC. So a rendering project that required 45 minutes in 2012 will take about 3 minutes on a new notebook or 2-in-1 with 8th generation Core.
In other words, the practical, technical and value arguments for buying new or replacing older PCs has never been stronger.
Which brings us back to Tim Cook’s 2015 question: Why would you buy a PC?
- How about because PC components continue to measurably improve, allowing PC OEMs to continually develop and deliver ever more powerful, capable and innovative products.
- Or because along with conventional mainstream applications, new generation PCs also fully support emerging workloads, great new games and increasingly sophisticated media and entertainment.
- Or because rather than promising that tablets and other niche products are great for jobs and use cases well-beyond their capabilities, PC vendors instead deliver top-line systems that cut no corners, offer no excuses and take no prisoners.
As has been the case for decades, Intel remains central to PC evolution and the PC value proposition. The company’s newest 8th generation Core processors qualify as notable extensions of the company’s past achievements and a stake in the ground for what PC customers—both consumers and businesses—can expect from Intel and its OEM partners in 2017 and the future.
Why would you buy a PC? With its new 8th gen Core solutions, Intel has answered that question clearly and resoundingly. But in doing so the company has also shown that folks claiming the contrary aren’t really honest questioners. They’re just wishful thinking competitors who, with the arrival of Intel’s newest Core chips, are bound for further disappointment.