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May 17th, 2012

In Part 1, we reviewed the progress of PC technology in 2011 and pointed to the probable advances of 2012 – faster graphics, better tablets but no real increase in CPU potency. Today, we will add some details to the ultrabook tale (mentioned in Part 1), and tell you how a special version of the upcoming Windows 8 will challenge the reigning tablet champ, the iPad rental.

Laptops of the future?

Apple may not have invented the “ultrabook” form factor – ultra-light, ultra-thin, ultra-capable-for-its-size and equipped with a Solid State Drive (SSD) – but its MacBook Air was the first to market. From the original Bondi Blue iMac to the upcoming iPhone 5, Apple products have always carried a price premium, as they are well designed, well made and highly coveted. Now that the Air has the latest Intel chips, plus other upgrades like the super speedy Thunderbolt that debuted in early 2011 on the MacBook Pro rental, its price is surprisingly competitive.

In 2012, we will likely see successive waves of low-priced ultrabooks from the big guns in PC manufacturing. The “sweet spot” for pricing is under $1,000, much less than current high-end “thin and light” notebooks from Sony, Acer and Dell. By the third quarter of 2012, according to more than a few pundits, you’ll have your choice of a wide range of light, high-powered, Windows-based notebooks that will run all day on a single charge while offering the computing experience of a capable PC desktop computer rental.

Windows 8 tablet strategy

According to many of the same pundits that got the ultrabook prediction right, last year was to have witnessed a “tablet transition” with Apple’s iPad pushing the tablet “paradigm” into the mainstream. They got that one wrong, but clearly Microsoft is now taking mobile platforms seriously, so this particular prediction is being recycled for 2012. The “mobile edition” of Windows 8 – for pads, phones and tablet PC rentals – will have a proper touch interface born of Windows Phone and its leading edge UI (User Interface), Metro.

The arrival of Windows 8 also raises questions about the future of the PC, which until now has been based on what’s called the “x86″ processor family. Is a PC still a PC without an x86 processor? The fact is, Microsoft will ship a version of Windows 8 with support for ARM (WOA, Windows On ARM) as well as one for x86 processors, the former for mobile devices and the latter for desktop PCs. It will be interesting to see how it all works out – and we’ll keep you posted!

CRE is ready to supply you with the finest trade show convention rentals as well as whatever post-production gear, high-end A/V equipment, monitors, touch screens, workstations and computers you need to get the job done. Call or e-mail an Account Executive – or use our Quick Rental Quote form – to get the right solution, right now!

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