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  • bigrobsf - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Hi Jarred, you wrote "what’s the opposite of failure? If you answered failure like so many do," but I suspect you meant to write "what’s the opposite of success?" :-)

    Thanks for the overview!
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Thanks...this is what happens when you're tired and write on a plane! :-) Reply
  • Lonyo - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    A failure in the editorial process! Reply
  • BugblatterIII - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Well at least it wasn't mediocre. Reply
  • karlostomy - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link


    You wrote "If you answered failure like so many do, you’re only correct if we’re speaking in terms of the English language antonym."

    Not sure what relevance the success antonym example has, if that is the case.
    This is, after all, an English speaking website with English articles and English readers.

    Perhaps you should rewrite the article in the other language where it makes more sense. Otherwise, what was the point?
  • JarredWalton - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Whoosh! You completely missed the point, but part of that was because I didn't give the lengthy explanation. So let me do that here:

    While success and failure are antonyms/opposites, if you change the way you think about failure then it's not actually a bad thing. If a company releases several new products this year that are trying to do something different, and all of them do poorly and essentially "fail", but in the process they come up with one new killer product that succeeds beyond what they could have expected... were the earlier ideas/iterations failure, or merely missteps on the way to success?

    On the other hand, another company can sit there playing it safe and making the same laptops (or pick another category) that they've always made. They don't end up having any runaway success products, because most of the other companies are also playing it safe, so they maintain the status quo. The result is that their market share drops slightly this year -- not a lot, and not enough to put them out of business (yet), but it drops -- probably because some other company took some risks, made a great product, and gained market share.

    From this second point of view, the opposite of success is mediocrity, treading water, not taking risks, etc. This is what the laptop market (and in general the entire PC market) has largely been doing for years. Along comes a new, unforeseen category of devices -- smartphones and tablets -- and the PC and laptop makers were wholly unprepared. So they then jump on the "me too" bandwagon and try to copy the initial successful products (iPhone and iPad), only they don't really copy them because they cut a few corners, don't invest the time in the overall experience, and they expect to come late and then charge as much as Apple. The tablets and smartphones that are succeeding are doing so by really trying to be better than Apple, at least on some level, without charging quite as much.
  • adambenton1000 - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Another Android tablet maker worth a look at in 2013 is Ainol Electronics - which recently introduced a number of impressive, well-priced Android tablets and is also
    noted for winning Runner-Up for "Best Tablet of the Year" at CES/CNET 2012 --

    One of the first U.S. resellers to carry Ainol - Novo brand tablets is a site called TabletSprint -- and this week the Novo 7 VENUS launched -- a 7 inch tablet with a
    QUAD CORE processor for only $149 that takes on the Google Nexus 7 and other competitors for a lot less and offers a lot more -- with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, a high
    resolution 1280x800 IPS screen, 16GB memory, a 4000 mAH battery, both front and rear camera (2 MP) , a MicroSD memory card slot for unlimited storage, Google Play with access to 400K+ Apps, a MicroUSB port for connection to printers and other electronic devices, HDMI - to view personal videos and to download movies and watch in full 1080p (HD) on to a large screen TV, WiFi, Ethernet, and an option for 3G/4G connection. It's also a great gaming device with its high resolution screen and motion gaming sensor. The site TabletSprint also offers a 7" Compact Case with built-in Keyboard ($22) which easily transforms a tablet into a mini-laptop--

    TabletSprint offers a few other brand new models with most launching in January, including the Novo 10 Hero - a Full-Size 10-inch tablet packed with impressive
    features for only $219--

    TabletSprint also includes $25 in quality Bonus Apps with all tablets available through their site.... And both these new models and a few others available through
    their site are certainly worth checking out and comparing to other major brands.
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Do you get money from them? I don't see a lot of difference between Ainol and the other Chinese brand tablet makers. Cube, Onda, YuanDao/Window, Pipo, Sanei, Cube. They all pretty much source the same hardware (Rockchip or Allwinner SoCs), same displays (720p, 800p, 1080p, 1536p) that is found in competing Acer/Asus/Samsung/Apple.
    Ainol were the first on my radar because they were relatively easy to acquire here in Germany, but the other brands have caught up and are priced more competitively in my opinion.
  • zsero - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Is it just me who thinks that actually sometime (in a few years I guess) this process will reverse and people will realize that they need a real laptop and not a tablet? Or that there is no point of a having tablet if you can manage with a phone and an ultrabook? Reply
  • Lonyo - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Or a phablet and an ultrabook. Reply
  • jemima puddle-duck - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    In 5 years the closest the majority of teens will get to a laptop is the keyboard they attach to their tablets when they want to type long-form. It's a seismic transition, and it's already happened. There's no turning back.

    I'm always suspicious when people use the word 'real', as if we just hold on long enough time will reverse and everything will be comfortable again. Uncomfortable is good. It's progress and regeneration. It's a sign we're getting older and have to start making way. Netbooks weren't a progression because we knew they were a comfortable subset of what we already had.

    Here's a scary thought. This is the first year that there are teenagers that have no experience of the 20th century. The first computer they were passionate about was probably an iPhone or Android phone. It's possible they've never used a Microsoft product (other than an XBox), and see no reason to. That's the world we're in.
  • Malphas - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    It's just you and other slightly delusional folk who think their worldview should apply to everyone. People said the same thing ten years ago about laptops, now it's about tablets. "Enthusiasts" tend to greatly overestimate the computing needs of the general public, which is really just thinks like Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Twitter, etc. which can be handled perfectly well by tablets and apps. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    I have a smartphone (Galaxy Nexus), a tablet (Chinese made, cheap but comparable to other 1280x800 tablets in performance, build quality and features), I have a laptop (11.6", 1st gen Intel Core i3 ULV with an Agility 1 SSD) ad a Desktop (i7 860 @ 3.8GHz, HD7970, 8GB RAM etc.). The desktop gets the most use, when I'm at home I don't use my laptop and the tablet gets used when kids are here to play with or when I'm having a rather long appointment with the toilet. When I'm on the go my tablet and smartphone get used equally in terms of media consumption (watching movies/shows, reading the internet, playing games). My laptop gets used when I need to work on something (rarely) or when I'm staying somewhere longer than one night.
    I wouldn't mind having a tablet replace my laptop, but it needs to be x86 with windows support and an easy way to attach a keyboard and mouse. I want to be able to play my GOG games, flash games and the occasional steam game with it. But if I have to chose between a 900€ tablet with that stuff (Surface Pro) or an 800€ laptop with that stuff (Asus VivoBook U38N) I'd take the laptop in a heartbeat.
  • ET - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    A Nexus 7 with DosBox Turbo can run some GOG games decently. Reply
  • StormyParis - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    I have a cheap laptop and a tablet. The tablet is "nice to have", the cheap laptop is vital. Actually, I just sold my tablet before Xmas, thinking I'd get a Nexus 10... now I'm having 2nd thoughts because I don't really miss it, I can wait for the new gen of tablets that didn't get announced a CES... probably MWC ? Reply
  • NeBlackCat - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    ...where can I get a Windows laptop with a modern DPI @ >1080p and <16:9 ?

    Don't even worry about the cost.

    I couldn't find one.

    Vendors have been producing "me too" models to Intel/MS dictats for years now, that sell in ever decreasing quantities because they aren't offering the market what it wants, which is changing because of the move of some traditional laptop functions (eg multimedia) to tablets and phones. Leaving the more "serious" (formerly desktop) functions to laptops.

    So what do they do? Give us puny laptop screens incapable of doing those functions, increasingly set in "tablet transformer" form factors. And they wonder why sales decline.

    It isn't rocket science, Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. Give me a powerful, well connected, portable laptop with a 15" to 17" IPS screen @ at least 1920x1200, with no additional GPU (it's for getting work done, not gaming) and I'll snap your hands off.

    And a netbook with decent CPU/RAM/interfaces would be nice too. People still have use for that form factor, the problem is has been the puny Atoms.

    Anything like that at CES?
  • Bordee - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Since Apple released Retina Display MacBook Pros with 13-inch 2560x1600 and 15-inch 2800x1800, I began hoping that PC laptop manufacturers would finally start offering >1080p displays on laptops. Much to my display, I've watched one Ultrabook or Win 8 laptop after another released with 1378x768 resolution. It is still hard to find 1080p displays on 15 inch laptops. I'm shocked at the stagnation in PC laptop display quality while there $400-500 tablets with 1200p or 1600p displays.

    One thing that I still don't understand with Intel's Ultrabook push and Windows 8 marketing: why has neither Intel nor Microsoft collaborated with laptop manufacturer in the same way that Microsoft has partnered with Nokia for Windows Phones, to make a drool-worthy flagship laptop? Why isn't there even a single premium (i.e., $1500+ or $2000+) Ultrabook or Windows 8 laptop with a 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 display? I'm sure there would be some demand for such a laptop considering that Apple's Macbook Pro retinas seem to sell pretty well.

    Finally, with PC laptop manufactuers not offer >1080p displays, it give you little reason to need or want to upgrade. I've got a HP dv6t 15.6" 1080p laptop with 16gb of ram, a Sandy Bridge quad core i7, and a decent video card (I don't game on the laptop). For me, there is little point in upgrading from a Sandy Bridge i7 to Ivy Bridge. I'd be much better offer investing in an SSD, which I plan to do down the road. But if better displays were being offered, it would be a different story...
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Actually, Intel got pretty hands-on with several recent Ultrabooks -- Acer's S7 was one of them. It's still not perfect, so Intel may need to get even more involved, but my understanding is that they have actually sent serious engineering talent to some of the OEMs to help with the Ultrabook designs.

    As for higher DPI/resolution displays, I did see at least one laptop with such a display, but I can't tell you who it was from or anything more right now. Best-case, I think we're still probably six months or so away from the 2K displays (2560x1600, 2560x1440, 2880x1620, etc.) showing up in Windows laptops. I hope we'll see at least a couple such offerings when Haswell ships.
  • Gc - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    PCWorld's Lloyd Case says he saw a prototype laptop from Acer. with high DPI display

    [Sadly the prototype's aspect ratio is 16:9 (2880x1620), which isn't great for businesses filling the screen with two-up documents, or squarer presentations of maps or diagrams. (Many business laptops will no longer come with DVD/optical drives, so there's no reason to design them as DVD viewing devices for developing markets.) Many tablets are breaking away from the tired 16:9 cliche --- maybe some tablet screens could be used for notebooks. (Panasonic's 20" 15:10 tablet prototype screen sounds nice for graphics work, though it may take a wheeled briefcase for a road warrior to transport it gracefully.)]

    Microsoft's first priorities have been about getting Windows 8 out the door. Now that it has shipped, maybe they can work on improving support for high resolution displays. It might be a big task to provide backward compatibility for Windows applications.

    [Speculation: I don't know if we can be sure Microsoft will take the same approach as Apple did, halving the resolution dimensions for apps that don't handle such high resolutions (displaying each app pixel with 2x2 screen pixels). That might not handle a variety of resolutions well. Microsoft also may need to standardize how graphics devices handle the high-DPI scaling efficiently, which takes time negotiating with vendors. Microsoft also may need to update some of its libraries, such as ClearType font rendering. Browsers vendors were able to get something to work better in the months after the Apple Retina display came out, but Microsoft would like the display to work well for all apps.]
  • NeBlackCat - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Are these 2K displays any help though?

    Strikes me that, unless you want to go blind, the most logical pixels you want on a "display lots of stuff" laptop screen is around 1920x1200.

    For that, there's no point going further, to multiples of lower resolutions (like 2x the accursed 1366x768) for the physical resolution, because you still only output at the lower resolution, and still can't get "more stuff" on the screen.

    Unless you either adopt non-integral upscaling (quality loss?) or go 1:1 (and therefore blind) if the system allows it.

    For me, someone needs to realise that there's still a demand for 1920x1200 class displays in higher margin products. You don't have to look round many forums on the net to see it.
  • Gc - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Why high-DPI screens? Two thoughts:

    - Printers tend to have at least 300 dpi, and many are 600 dpi or higher. In photo, map, art, etc. printing applications people may like the screen to match the output so they can see the result at the final size before printing.

    - While such high dpi may not be that useful for presenting more horizontal text, I suspect they can be useful for rendering textures, patterns, and lines, such as used in maps. If you made pixels the minimum size that your eye can distinguish at laptop reading distance, then patterns or lines that are not horizontal or vertical will have a larger minimum spacing or uneven spacing. (There might be some relationship to the Nyquist rate for sampling a 1-d signal such as audio, which says the minimum sampling frequency is twice the maximum frequency you want to record. But 2-d seems harder because patterns and lines can be at an arbitrary angle.)
  • NeBlackCat - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Yep I agree and have no problem with high DPI generally. I just don't want the only options for laptops to be low DPI (as now, crap resolution at about 100+ DPI) and very high DPI (= crap resolutions scaled X2 to lots of pixels).

    I want high resolution at moderate DPI too, eg. WUXGA at 1:1 pixels, or about 133 DPI.

    Unless someone has a panel that does WUXGA or QXGA at 1:4 pixels (7680x4800, or 530 DPI at 17") anyway. ;-)
  • Gc - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    You're right, a web search turned up a higher-priced 1920x1200 pixel notebook:

    The current Toughbook 52 specsheet shows a 15.4inch 1920x1200 anti-glare screen, Intel i5 3xxxM (Ivy Bridge), 16GB max memory, many I/O ports for fieldwork, docks available.
    sqrt(1920^2 + 1200^2) / 15.4 = 147dpi
    (I think "Toughbook 52" refers to the shell design. This name has been on the market for many years, while the internal electronics have been updated over the years, so be careful.)
  • kyuu - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    While there was (and still is) a need to get out of the age of the shitty x768 TN panel, there's little reason for manufacturers to push resolutions above 1080p. There's even less reason for them to make a 16:10 panel outside of the workstation market.

    I'm not sure what the big obsession is with extremely high DPI screens on smartphone/tablet/laptop screens anyway. 4K makes sense on ~30" and larger monitors and very large TV screens, and needs to progress. But 1080p on a 5" screen? 1600p on a 10" or even 15" screen? What the hell for? There are others areas in which I wish displays would progress besides just pushing undiscernable extra pixels, such as: going beyond 60Hz, color accuracy/gamut, contrast ratio, black levels, response times.
  • NeBlackCat - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Many people want to do serious work on their laptop. That means spreadsheets, documents, desktops, multiple browser pages, drawings, listings, etc, etc, that aren't artificially vertically truncated just because some manufacturer (*cough^ Intel ^cough^) decided that the most important things was to have a screen that fits a movie.

    Where do such people buy their laptops now? Oops...they can't buy them anywhere.
  • jjj - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Don't give too much importance to tablets, they are just a stopgap device just like netbooks were (the netbook enabled the tablet,showing that ppl will use a cheap,small screen,slower device). The screen tech evolves, the tablet ,as a form factor , is gone and the phone with expandable screen replaces it ( 3D holographic screens , wearable tech are beyond that).
    You are somewhat preaching higher end notebooks and i assume that''s the sin of living in a developed nation but the vast majority of users are a lot more cost conscious.They need a PC ( including tablets and phone in the PC category here) and they'll get the cheapest device that is enough for their needs. A 10 inch tablet at 300$ ,that's where prices are heading, offers a lot more value for the vast majority of consumers than any laptop with a price inflated by better screen,SSD and w/e.
    You also got quite a bit of computational power in new form factors and a push for wireless connections should enable us to connect tabs and phones to external displays a lot easier (for old folks like you).
    You are also assuming that somehow that somehow bigger screens are laptop exclusive but if you think about it that;'s not quite so.We are all used with A4 sheets of paper and that's about 14 inch diagonal so 11.6-13 + inch tablets should be feasible as long as the bezel is thin and the weight is kept bellow 700 grams while playing a bit with the center of gravity of the device (sub 600 grams would be even better) - such a tablet now is possible but the price would be a bit high ( getting rid of layers of glass can lead to lower yields, going carbon fiber frame/case is not cheap) ,non the less it should be doable at a good price soon enough.
    Sadly the desktop is being abandoned too. Intel isn't giving us more cores at a decent price and given their current strategy we might not get em anytime soon. Higher res screens are just not getting cheaper ( 30 inchers are stuck at above 1K$ since they first launched). The category isn't getting any attention and that hurts PC sales and the enthusiasm around PC in general.More cores,,higher res screens at decent prices could at least cause a refresh cycle for gamers and generate buzz around PC.
    But it's late, at this point even the web is getting stupid with so many sites optimizing for small screens and ruining the experience on desktop.
    Old form factors are dead, they can try milking it as much as they can, and they should but the focus should be on how to better the new form factors and how to push the next form factor. Sadly the industry is terrible at innovating ,they are afraid, too afraid to be able to think clearly . You have plenty of example of old technology that went extinct despite many arguing it won't be the case,wishful thinking doesn't change relaity no matter how hard an industry hopes it will.
    Ending this with a fun fact: the best selling product for Logitech is an ipad keyboard.
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - link

    I think this sums up the U.S.A. in the last few decades. And, judging by the gamers I come across from all across the world, most of the the rest of the so-called civilized world, too.

    What's the the name of the book, if you don't mind sharing?

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