Ben Bajarin, writing for "Techpinions" (http://macte.ch/ZfOzV) predicts that desktops are going to make a comeback and that it's notebooks that are "the past" as tablets such as the iPad continue to grow in popularity. I think he's onto something, despite a more-common line of thinking that the desktop is the past of personal computing as ever more folks move to laptops.
"I see desktops making a comeback due to a role change," Bajarin says. "There is an interesting trend emerging around desktops. Consumer all-in-one desktops (like the iMac) are being designed to be showcased prominently in the house rather than stuck in the den or office. These computers will be very elegant, very powerful, and very affordable. So rather than try to converge a notebook and a tablet, I think a better create a solution is to pair a desktop all-in-one with a tablet."
Under this scenario, when you want a big screen, keyboard, lots of processing power, etc., you would use your desktop computer. When you want a mobile computer you use your tablet. "Plus, if you buy my logic that a notebook is just a portable desktop, then the notebook becomes irrelevant in a desktop/tablet solution," Bajarin adds.
I think this is a great idea. In fact, I'd love to be able to have a set-up in which my iMac is my workstation, so to speak, and my iPad (with an external keyboard) is what I use when I'm on the road, sitting in bed, etc.
For this to work for me, there are several things that need to happen:
° iOS needs better multitasking. If my iPad is to be my primary portable computer, I need to be able to more easily jump between Pages, Mail, Safari and a graphics editing app than I can do now. This should occur as iOS evolves.
° File transfers between my iPad and Mac should be easier. If I create a document in Pages on my iPad, I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to sync it with Pages documents on my iMac (or vice versa). Perhaps this will happen with Mountain Lion/iOS 6.
° There needs to be a better way to add third-party storage to my iPad. An SDXC card slot in the fourth gen iPad would be a sweet addition.
Will these things happen to make the iMac/iPad solution work for me? I think within three years, they will.
Don't get me wrong. There'll always be a market for laptops and notebooks, but for those of us who work primarily at home or an office, the desktop/tablet set-up could be perfect.
-- Dennis Sellers