Feb 08 AT 9:53 PM Taylor Wimberly 90 Comments

Can an Android 4.0 device replace a desktop PC?

transformer-prime-dock

Is Android 4.0 mature enough to replace a desktop PC? I’m writing this post with Chrome Beta for Android on my Asus Transformer Prime and I think it’s almost there. Previously I was disappointed with the Browser performance on the Prime, but the recent software updates to Android 4.0.3 combined with the Chrome browser are starting to live up to my expectations.
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Before there was almost no way I could get any real content creation done on the Prime, but it is now passable. The performance still does not match my Samsung ultrabook, but I have noticed great improvements since I first gave this a try last year. The keyboard lag with heavy web apps like WordPress is gone, scrolling is smooth, and my Logitech USB mouse works great.

I'm not the only one that thinks Android 4.0 is passable as a desktop operating system. Android enthusiast Christian Cantrell hooked up his Galaxy Nexus to a computer monitor, wireless keyboard with touchpad, and speakers to demonstrate the user experience. He notes that Android 4.0 has most of the functionality he could need, but the performance of the dual-core OMAP4460 in the Galaxy Nexus leaves a little to be desired.

Most Android manufactures have not really tried to push the envelope for this type of user experience, with the exception of Motorola. Their Atrix 4G was ahead of its time, but it clearly hinted where Android was going. We predicted over a year ago that Android, Chrome, and Google TV would merge onto a single device, and we are almost there.

Motorola's webtop experience and lapdock accessory were both cool ideas, but the final experience just sucked. Now that Google is taking over Motorola and hardware continues to advance at a rapid pace, we will finally see Sanjay Jha's original vision come true. Your smartphone will become your most personal computer and eventually replace your desktop or laptop PC.

ASUS is likely to be one of the first companies to produce one of these so called ultraphones. Their upcoming Padfone will dock into a tablet, that can dock into a keyboard, that can connect to any display. This modular design will be copied over and over by every other OEM.
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We might still be another generation away from mobile processors that can deliver the PC-like performance we crave, but there are software solutions to fill the gap. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang demonstrated this at CES. Apps like Splashtop provide a virtualized OS that delivers the same exact experience you would expect from a desktop PC.

As I wrote yesterday, I still think Chrome will one day overtake Android as Google's platform for connected devices, but that could be a decade away. Over the next five years, I see Android becoming the number one operating system on all web clients.

I realize this might sound crazy and Windows still has 70-80% market share depending on the source, but who would have predicted that Android would become the top smartphone OS as fast as it did. Smartphone sales already overtook client PCs in 2011, and that trend will continue to accelerate.
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What do you think the Android ecosystem needs to deliver before you would give up your PC?

Via: Reddit

Source: YouTube

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.youtube.com/emogamer Christopher Chavez

    I was actually having this exact same convo with my gf the other day. Google has successfully managed to conquer the smartphone market with a mobile OS. Now they’re working on the tablet market with a tablet OS.

    There has to be SOMEONE at Google who is planning for a full fledged desktop OS. It’s the only place they can go from here. I feel like all the chess pieces are in place. Only thing holding back Google right now is Chrome OS. I don’t see the point in it =/

    • 666

      Android has a very minimal impact on the tablet market, what makes you think they can take on the desktop? They have carriers and OEMs with phones, not the same with tablets or laptops.

      • Dikembe

        37 percent since Christmas is small?

      • Jason Ivers

        Wait until there is an integrated version, that allows you to use NFC (or whatever similar technology) to send your display to any compatible screen (TV, monitor, whatever), and the phone is smart enough to identify screen size and give you the appropriate interface… I’m guessing it won’t be long, a couple years at most.

        Then having Android (or at least “Android-compatible”) will be huge… it will work across most screens, from whatever manufacturer.

        • Josh

          The way I’d implement this, all peripherals could be grouped. Tap the phone to a keyboard on your desk, and the phone would instantly recognize and begin communicating with the associated mouse, monitor(s) and speakers as well. It wouldn’t matter which device you used to initiate communication. A dock could alternately be used, but shouldn’t be a requirement.

          External monitors would have be treated as a second (third, fourth) display. Perhaps you’d click an icon on one of the external monitors to bring up a mirror of the current screen of the phone, but mirroring alone is insufficient if what we are going for is a full PC replacement. Android would also need to support “windows” (the concept, not the OS) on external monitors. While having a single visible activity at a time is fine for a phone, it doesn’t even come close to cutting it on a PC. I would imagine existing Linux UI implementations could be adapted for this purpose.

        • Paul J.

          Actually Jason, it is called WiFi Direct, and will allow you to access lots of different devices with out the need of any cables.
          I suggest you google it …

      • LG4XHD

        Android had virtually zero market share in phones in 2007. Five years later, 75% of all smartphones run on Android. Only one year ago, 70% of all tablet were iPads. One year later, it’s only 50% and dropping rapidly as Android tablets take over. Android has already taken over mobiles, it is in the process of taking over tablets, and in the future it will take over desktops. Why? Unlike Windows and OSX/iOS, Android is not greedy and does not rip you off. Windows rips you off on the software side. OSX/iOS does a double whammy and rips you off on hardware and software. Android is a gift to humanity from Google. It is free and open source. If you shop around, the hardware you pay for is at cost. The software is free. Therefore, with Android, you get what you pay for. The cost benefit ratio is most optimal if you opt for Android.

    • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

      I don’t own a laptop and I will buy an Android tablet for these exact reasons. Google doesn’t need to do anything with Android 4.0 for the moment (they need to improve, manufacturers need to be as good as Google. As far as I am concerned, a tablet can replace a laptop with ease. Google already has ChromeOS, this is the direction they have chosen, put everything in the Cloud. I don’t believe they will go for a fully fledged desktop OS like Linux, Windows or MAC OSX, at least for the moment.

      • aranea

        That’s what I was thinking. Android tablet with some more improvements can replace a laptop but not a desktop. The tablet/laptop needs to be able to run MS Office properly and be able to connect to a standard projector for me. But I use my desktop as my streaming and download device that runs a long time, I use it to prepare my presentations and for image processing (sometimes files are several gbs). So yes to everyday use no to a desktop.

        • Homer

          It doesn’t need to run any Microsoft software. To be honest, the fact that it doesn’t is one of the “breaths of fresh air” that Android delivers.

          MS Office is no longer ubiquitous. There are plenty of great 3rd part productivity software designers out there and it’s about time the world not only moved to an open platform (Android), but also to open formats, but for text, PDF and also for video and audio. The wrapper or format of any media should not be a technology selling point and it’s probably the biggest thing that has held back device cross co-operation which drastically limits the user experience. That time has passed.

          The time for open-ness is here, and along with it real innovation, such as this article suggests.

          New useful devices and new useful software. I for one don’t need the same re-dressed technology with the same re-dressed UI’s that we’ve been forced to endure for 30 years and for the first time in a very very long time technology and where it is going and what it will do for us is looking exciting again.

          I can’t wait to see where Android goes in the next 10 years and MS (busy taxing device makers with extortion based on false patent claims), do not need to be a part of the future or computing, lest it be far less than is possible.

        • asdf

          desktops or even laptops are only needed for if you need to run a specific high-end software such as movie editing, animation software or games. For the average brwose the web/ type-up some document user all you need is to hook up a usb keyboard to a tablet. you don’t even need any software just go to googleDOCS

        • LG4XHD

          There is no need for Microsoft Office. It is unfortunate that most businesses have locked themselves into Office. Great cost savings could be realised if these businesses switched from Microsoft Office to the free and open source OpenOffice.

          OpenOffice can open DOC files, and Microsoft Word can open ODF files, so the two can work together.

  • Max.Steel

    Stop sniffing glue, dude. Not good for your health.

  • spazby

    Not sure it is there yet… I am personally ditching my laptop and replacing it with a tablet but I am not giving up my desktop yet…

    • Adam Curtis

      I am SO close to this point too. If only I would have gotten a touchpad :/
      I saw a preview of ICS on the touchpad, and it looks sexy.

    • honourbound68

      exactly. i have ditched a desktop for a laptop & 24″ monitor. but i find myself using my tablet(s) more at home and at work. I pretty much only use my laptop for spreadsheets and gaming. the tablet will replace the laptop soon enough but it might be a couple of years. build me a tablet that can play diablo3, starcraft2, WoW and I’m in.

      • zedklind

        I totally agree with you there. I’m in the same boat. I used a PC for a while, then upgraded to an i7 laptop with a 24 inch screen. When I got my Asus transformer prime, the tablet was all I used. Netflix, web browsing, news feeds was all done on my tablet and I didn’t touch my laptop for a whole month. Until I started playing wow again…. I tried to setup my tablet to remote I to my laptop to see if I could configure gaming but it was too much of a hassle and too buggy. Give me the new splashtop thd and maybe that will be another story. We definitely need blizzard on mobile gaming though.. haven’t once seen a bad game from them

    • Jeff Pan

      The problem is you cant really run an IDE on a tablet! :P

      • Dave T

        Is that true though? At this moment, perhaps yes.

        But Android is based on Linux.

        Eclipse based IDE’s are written in Java and run in any JVM (including Linux).

        So is it a huge stretch to think that they could get Eclipse running on Android?

      • Homer

        Ever heard of TerminalIDE? In the Android market as we speak.

        https://market.android.com/details?id=com.spartacusrex.spartacuside&hl=en

  • Bob Patterson

    I think you are right that Android and Chrome (and some iOS) will take over some of the PC dominance, but I think it will be faster than 5 years. 5 years is a like 2 decades with how fast Mobile is moving.

  • ranwanimator

    I have a Transformer Prime, but currently no keyboard dock. I’m a graphic designer by trade and while the TFP isn’t able to handle the big files that my desktop can, for everyday web use it is more than adequate. I think as soon as we see full version console and PC games being ported to mobile the transition will accelerate.

    I think we will see a decline of the desktop for home use. Business workstations will take a bit longer.

    • 666

      Android has nothing that can compete with the full Adobe CS suite. Even if it did, 8GB of RAM is barely enough to handle my everyday workload.

      • ranwanimator

        That’s kind of my point. At work I design vehicle wraps and can work at full size on a core i7 with 16GB of ram. Not currently possible on a tablet. At least not possible without remoting into my work computer. But as technology progresses I think we will be amazed at what we will eventually be able to do with a mere “slab” of glass.

  • Jmac203

    This has got to be the worst entry on this site ever.

    • CJ LaFleur

      And you’re one of the biggest trolls on this site ever!

    • Fulaman

      You obviously can’t see the future or know much about computing/technology to say such a thing.

  • Nathan D.

    This looks cool to do now and then but I’m sticking with window 7 until it gives me a good reasons to switch.

  • nsnsmj

    Maybe in a couple more versions down the road. It’s getting there, but I think there’s still a lot that needs to be done for it to be a replacement. Then again, it depends on the user. A lot of people these days spend most of their time in a browser, so for them, it could easily replace their desktop.

  • jsweetser2

    This is just proving the statement foretold by one of Google’s founders back in 1997, “You’re phone will do everything you want it to do, and still fit in your pocket – from open your car, send music to your speakers, and hold your bank account information. It will be the ONLY indispensible device you have.”

    I’m very excited for this, it’s been a very long time since anything really new and innovative has hit the populous, and it’s exciting to see what tablets and smartphones are doing to not only bring information as we’re accustomed to – mobile, but also bring it fast and clean.

    Go android, and Go Google. I’m behind you all the way.

  • greeny42

    To quote Jeremy Clarkson: “WE NEED MORE POWER!”

    • delinear

      To be a desktop replacement, definitely. Still, it’s the way things are moving. I’ve already replaced my desktop PC with a Core i7 laptop (just as much power, slightly more portable) and I’m looking to replace my ultraportable laptop with something like the Transformer Prime.

      For most people who only use their computers for web browsing, email, Facebook, etc it’s probably already a reality. For those of us who need a little more functionality, the writing is on the wall, this is almost certainly going to be a reality in the next few years.

    • Dave T

      I thought that was Scottie from Star Trek…

      Cap’n, I canna’ break the law of physics!

  • ZRod

    It is a given that it will be awhile before tablets will replace work or gaming computers but for most people, tablets do everything and more that they need it to.
    I use my transformer prime for school, the only thing missing for me is something as good as Microsoft Office and is the only reason I still have my laptop turned on.
    When a tablet similar to the prime comes out with Windows 8 tho, that would be again almost perfect. I would prefer a dual boot option tho as Android is better for some things and I’m sure will use less power and resources then W8.

    • Homer

      How is MS office good? The amount of resources it uses is ridiculous and the tool itself isn’t even very good.

      If only someone would go dust off the old wordperfect code and put together a real wordprocessor for Android. No. MS Office isn’t good. Just what you’re used to.

  • Ironzey Lewis

    I love android a lot. 2 weeks ago I bought an Asus Zenbook. This is the first bit of technology that has lived up to the hype. Android is fine for what it is but I can’t see it being better than a full fledged Operating System. With this thing I can plug it into a monitor and do a lot of things all at the same time.
    Until Android can offer that type of simultaneous multitasking I will continue to buy laptops. Having said that, given the pace of Android development, I expect that this is probably going to be my last windows based laptop. In 3 years Android will offer a full Operating System experience.

  • redman618

    I have to tentatively agree. At this exact moment, no they are not ready to expand out to desktop public. With the cloud storage growing and growing your TB collections of hard drives are a dying breed. I cannot see in my foreseeable future getting rid of my PC, I need it to work. Also I would like Google to get all the handset makers on the same page with software updates. Please don’t get me started with all the different skins either. I don’t see the unified front like you do with MS.

  • Mario

    well first of all there is no need. its called a laptop which is just a tablet with a keyboard basically (no touchscreen but that is inconvient for work) . i cant type worth crap on the touchscreen on my prime without making mistakes and i type 60 wpm (after errors) . so then you hook up a keyboard to the prime and what do you know its a laptop almost (no microsoft office makes it really hard to make documents like powerpoint with polaris office)

    • Fulaman

      You can get a keyboard for your tablet, depending on what tablet you have.

  • Taylor

    I bought a Transformer Prime to replace my netbook (which served me very well, haters). The Prime performs better than the netbook, and with Office Suite Pro and the Asus-provided Supernote, it has allowed me completely replace all of the core functions of the netbook. The new Chrome Beta is a huge benefit, but still a bit buggy. When I need to, I can supplement via my desktop at home or work. In addition, I can use Photoshop Touch to some photo editing, but Adobe really needs to round out the features here to improve the experience on high-end devices. I never tried to dun PS on my netbook, for very good reason. So far, I’m coming out ahead.

    • Vyrlokar

      my trusty old nerbook (20 GB asus eee 901) has fianlly managed to stay at home thanks to my OG Transformer. The netbook served me very well (mainly because I used it with Linux instead of windows), but ultimately, the TF101 serves me better. I use it basically to check email/browse/play videos/read PDFs when away from home. Battery life is awesome, and performance is sufficient for this.

      I say that tablets can and will replace netbooks. This is mainly Microsoft’s fault, as by intentionally crippling netbooks, and by boycotting Linux on them, while not providing a resonable netbook OS, it has created amarket gap for tablets. Now, the only thing that remains is waiting for the prices to go to netbook level too.

  • jv

    Nice demo for what appears to be a pleasant user experience. However, it will take a little longer for the business workstation to be completely replaced by mobile os powered devices. Mobile operating systems don’t support the ability to do real creative or development work quite yet. Not to mention that touch as input still has plenty of room for improvement. I deal with a lot of video content in my daily computing tasks, and there’s no way any existing mobile os/device combo could support the functionality and processing capacity that I need to get things done. Not now at least. But more and more browser based IDEs and other creative tools are popping up in the chrome web store with decent capabilities. Mr. Wimberely may be right…as hardware (in mobile devices) and cloud services/applications improve, using your mobile device in tandem with said cloud solutions may be the way to go in the future. Very near future. Cool demonstration nonetheless.

  • KC

    i felt the same deficiencies with HoneyComb. I’ve yet to get ICS V4.0.3 and Chrome Browser Beta, so I can’t confirm as yet. If I’m merely a user, surfing the Net, messaging, etc, the tabelt is good enuff.

    If I’m a developer, programming in Ada 2005, for example, ICS is totally lacking. Yes, Android OS may get there eventually, but rite now, I’m just observing and waiting…. Already I’m using the tablet (HoneyComb) more for daily mundane stuffs, leaving the heavy stuffs to the desktop.

  • fc1032

    Really comes down to what you plan to do.

    So far, a gingerbread tablet has been “enough” to make me leave my windows convertible tablet at home. My main uses are reading PDFs, web browsing and the short games.

    I have had times where I’d wish I was able to plug in a USB or had a real keyboard, the transformer seems to fix those problems. Still, I have managed to live without those.

    However, depending on user, you might be not find this to be sufficient. For instance, I won’t be playing Starcraft on an android tablet anytime soon, nor will the more intensive windows app be compatible. In general, most power users WILL NOT be happy with android as a main machine.

    • delinear

      “For instance, I won’t be playing Starcraft on an android tablet anytime soon, nor will the more intensive windows app be compatible.”

      Maybe, although services like OnLive are aiming to bring more powerful games to less powerful devices. If they can get a service like that working reasonably well and priced competitively it could be a solution for a lot of people.

      And that makes me think, maybe there are a lot of applications people use infrequently on their desktop that could be moved to the cloud. If you only need to use Office once or twice a month, or you only use Photoshop a couple of times a year to touch up holiday snaps, why not a similar service to OnLive that gives you access to Windows software running on a more powerful machine somewhere in the cloud – you just book and pay for the actual time you need rather than buying the software outright and having it sitting around unused most of the time.

  • Matt Glastonbury

    For me the ability to see all the computers and their shares, natively, including NAS file servers, in my local network via the File Manager, and more RAM for a scaled down Photoshop that would enable a transition from laptop atleast.

  • Samir Shah

    The phrasing of question is wrong.

    PCs made minicomputers irrelevant.

    Tablets and smartphones will make PCs irrelevant. Though Ultrabooks and Notebooks (mainly Ultrabooks) have some life left.

  • Leo Young

    This is a complex issue with lots of potential steps along the way.

    I think that Google regards Android as a stop gap measure: Something to build market share. I think the announcement of the new Chrome for Android, shows the direction much more clearly. The future is NO OS. The future will be the browser and the browser will be invisible.

    In the meantime, the browser needs to run on something and HTML 5 etc, still needs time to mature, so there is Android.

    • Homer

      There is no such thing. The correct definition of the “OS” is the software that is required to interface the hardware to the user. There always HAS to be an OS, even if the only application software that it runs is the browser, something still needs to drive the hardware.

      I’m glad that OS is stable and performs well. The cloud will change things, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Like 3D gaming doesn’t negate the goodness of 2D. It will be an addition.

      Not everyone wants to rely on the cloud. I wouldn’t put anything personal out there yet. Companies are even less likely to.

      It’ll have it’s place. But it’ll be a place beside what we already have. No matter how fast mobile and internet communications get, they will never be as fast as locally executed apps.

  • bemymonkey

    Thanks for this article and the link to the video – especially the demonstration of ICS itself as a deskto OS is great (the fact that the back/home/taskswitch buttons are now on-screen was something that had completely slipped my mind)…

    Looks like I might be in the market for a Galaxy Nexus after all… abysmal battery life and stupid AMOLED be damned!

  • jamal adam

    The future is looking bright. Can’t wait to see it happen.

  • cb2000a

    I do all my billing for my business on Android now (phone and tablet). People are amazed at how fast and easy it is to print to a wireless printer using my print program and of course my invoicing program can send pdf files to my client. I am slowly moving away from Microsoft (using it primarily for gaming these days).

  • ericl5112

    For me, no. Android 3.2 replaced my laptop. Too many important features such as coding, photoshop, multiple monitors, advanced games, etc for a tablet to fulfill in a desktop role.

  • ondore

    First Android OS was released in November 2007 and guys did lot of work on it from that time.

    But do not forget – Windows is there from 1982 (yeah, 30 years…) and Win 8 offer us combination of tablet behaviors use and old desktop experience. Plus do not forget dozens of commercial applications missing on Android devices yet.

    Google is in a battle, they have big chances win big share of home users but for businnes users there are missing tools we need for everyday work.

  • Mike

    I have laptop running Windows 7 and an Asus Transformer Prime with a keyboard. The Prime will do most of the everyday things that I want such as web browsing and email. It also has some cool games. I downloaded the beta version of Chrome and that has made the browsing experience much better. The main thing I miss is the right click functions that I now realise i use a lot on Windows. But ICS is getting there and if the recent improvements continue I can see it being closer to replacing my full size laptop. But I have my doubts whether it will ever fully replace it even though I think it is a great machine.

  • Janus

    Battlefield 3.
    I rest my case.

  • Daniel Ba

    Not quite yet!

    Like a laptop PC, an Android device could replace a desktop PC.
    Like a laptop PC, an Android device should be able to connect to standard peripherals via:
    . HDMI: large screen
    . USB: keyboard, mouse, mass storage device, audio device like USB DAC

    If you want the USB audio feature enabled on any Android 4.0 device via official firmware/kernel, please vote (i.e. request to Google) here:
    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=24614

    Vote by clicking on the star

    • Paul J.

      Read up on WiFi Direct .. this is what it is supposed to do ..

  • vid500

    They are on the way to partly replace the PCs, but for real I think it’s a long way to go. Sure android tablets do replace the PCs for the small everyday work like surfing the web, emails,… but for me the important part are powerful programs (PS, AutoCad, 3dsMax,…) and for that the devices are not powerful enough and probably won’t be for some time.
    But I am also replacing my laptop with and android tablet, because it’s lighter, smaller and has everything on it for the little things I have to do on the way. But it can’t replace my desktop for sure. Maybe some day.

  • http://goo.gl/tQ2E wwJOSHdo

    I’m using my Transformer Prime and Keyboard Dock to type this! :D

  • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

    Though I’m using my Transformer Prime with Dock to type this out, when it comes to most of what I do during the day, I’m reaching for my quad core windows laptop or macbook air. Simply put, the Transformer Prime still needs significantly more power to be useful, and the applications available on Android tablets needs to improve drastically.

    Perhaps Google will fix this by coming out with a desktop OS, but the chances of that happening are slim to none, in my opinion.

    As someone above said, when an Android tablet can play battlefield 3, then it’ll be mass adopted. Until Android tablets have that kind of power, they’re going to continue to be niche products (unless they’re Kindle Fire’s, of course).

  • Kaote

    I can agree with this, the Transformer has become my go to tech for travel. I mostly use Documents to go, Autocad ws, google Docs and a few different cloud storage options and have been able to accomplish what I needed to while on the go.

  • thekaz

    I agree.. I’d love to see it, and think we’re close on a lot of everyday tasks, but some power-hungry apps, I think we’ve still a ways to go.

    Of course, I don’t see being able to install Visual Studio on it anytime soon, but if there was a very reliable, well-polished way to remote to my work desktop… perhaps my problems would be solved.

  • Darkseider

    I have replaced my laptop and netbook initially with a Transformer and now with a Prime. Both with the keyboard dock and haven’t had a need for anything else. Now with Onskreen open sourcing Cornerstone it will only be a matter of time before it gets baked into custom ROMs and possibly even the stock Android build. All I can ask for is for some wonderful devs to get a kernel module for external DVD burners to work and I will be giddy.

  • yankeesusa

    It all depends on how you use your desktop. Some people only use the desktop for emails, internet and online music. For this stuff yes it can. But if you use it as your only computer that you do your word processing, picture storing, project making then, NO, it cannot replace it. But android 4.0 is nice and there are a lot of features that make it really nice.
    One thing is that my touchpad goes with me on vacation and my laptop stays behind now. But when I get home i use laptop more. Right now its hard to find something that will replace my macbook pro.

  • aholland1

    This is why I’ll probably never buy another laptop, and not just because work supplies one for heavy lifting like local virtualization. I’ve been saying for a while now we’re probably in the last generation of traditional game consoles, and things like tablets are going to become the new medium for enabling cloud gaming services like OnLive in the coming years. Dual boot with Windows 8 and you’ve got something special there, random as that sounds.

    It’s no longer a matter of if computing will move to this platform, but a matter of when if the world can transition to cloud computing fully for heavy processing tasks before it replaces workstations in the office.

  • aryin

    when we get something twice as great as the prime, it’ll be a desktop replacement

  • topher1120

    The most recent thing I’ve run into that stops me from using it as a laptop replacement is the lack of presentation software. Although I abhor PowerPoint, I could not find a similar solution in Android-world. This would be great, especially with HDMI connectors on most tablets an several phones to connect to a TV or high-end projector.

  • Dan Jones

    I couldn’t possibly ditch my desktop computer. I need an always-connected device, and a smartphone or tablet can’t provide that.

    Also, as a web developer, there are a number of tools that I need to do my job that aren’t yet available for Android.

    Also, I still can’t use my corporate VPN on Android, so I can’t quite do actual work yet.

    Now, if I didn’t download torrents, run a website off of my computer, and had a different job, I could do it without a problem. In fact, I’ve already convinced my wife that her next computer should just be a tablet.

  • http://extolpro.com joshallgood

    I’d love to see this happen! But what about screen size? Wouldn’t tablets have to get much bigger on average? I couldn’t imagine working protools or photoshop on a tiny tiny screen and look at the price diferences of the kindle and the “big” kindle. Those big screens have to be big money! Maybe I’m just getting old and my eyes are going.

  • Alec Waddelow

    Still rocking the Atrix!

  • Joshua Barta

    Windows never caught on as a tablet OS, despite numerous attempts YEARS before the i*ad. The reason? Trying to use touch to navigate an interface designed for a keyboard and mouse just plain sucks. By the same token, using a keyboard and mouse to navigate a UI designed for touch input isn’t much fun either. With a mouse, you have pixel-level precision when “activating” any given UI element, as well as gestures that aren’t possible with touch (hover, right-click, scroll-wheel). Why should we give this flexibility when USING actual mouse?

    Aside from input, proper support for external displays is important as well. External monitors would have be treated as a second (third, fourth) display.The huge icons in the video look pretty absurd right? That’s because it is just mirroring a view designed for a 4.5″ screen with touch as the primary means of input. Not a “desktop” interface. Perhaps you’d click an icon on one of the external monitors to bring up a mirror of the current screen of the phone, but mirroring alone is insufficient if what we are going for is a full PC replacement. Android would also need to support “windows” (the concept, not the OS) on external monitors. While having a single visible activity at a time is fine for a phone and usually for a tablet, it doesn’t even come close to cutting it on a PC.

    For Android to function as a PC replacement, it needs to seamlessly adapt the UI based on how it is currently being used. Android apps already support differing UI based on screen size… the same principals could be applied to support differing input schemes.

  • Hannu Leinonen

    The mobile OS’s are designed for content consumption rather than production what the PC was designed for. When the x86 version of Android comes out bridging that gap is just around the corner.

  • staryoshi

    For the most casual users who don’t do much more than consume media, check e-mail, browse the internet and post to Facebook, sure. For the rest of us who are productivity, gaming, andor application-focused and really make use of the computational capabilities of computers we’re a LONG way off from tablets et al replacing desktops and laptops.

  • mcopeman23

    Android tablets do what netbooks were supposed to.
    They definitely can replace desktops for most people. especially the transformer prime.
    unless you need photoshop or primeire pro.

    I use my main computer less because of the xoom.

  • http://None Javier Bastardo

    I’m just an old-time desktop fan. I don’t even have a personal laptop (I’m planning on my first one to be a Chromebook). Of course I’ve used laptops before but for me nothings beats the versatility and sensation of having a hybrid PC built just like you want it.

    As for netbooks/notebooks, yes I can see Android replacing that.

  • Mr. Briano

    Yes, but, the video doesn’t represent the Android device as desktop replacement. It’s an android device with keyboard, touchpad, and monitor attached. Like my desktop.

  • King Chris Scott

    This is totally the right direction, I can wait to use one device for all my computer needs

  • jimmy

    As much as i like android……microsoft will squash it and apple……..corporate apps via microsoft just arent there for android and im sure will b limited if they do become available. Look around on a train how many people do u c using ms office……..w8 if if lives up to early indications will put microsoft over the winning line.

  • aykutb

    Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Audition. I also would like to have a real MSN messenger.

  • kicost

    I dont think that Android can replace a PC but surely it’s funnier than a pc :)

  • mike pais by searching nero

    I found this asking if Android was on a desktop
    Imagine an almost Unix (like IOS) without that x11 nightmare but with a single WM system
    Android offers that
    I could certainly see a healthy future in embedded systems ATMs Tills that sort of thing

    Imagine no barcodes the till knows what a bottle of milk looks like!

  • Robbert

    “What do you think the Android ecosystem needs to deliver before you would give up your PC?”
    I love my Android phone, but there is a lot missing to replace my desktop.

    * Support for at the very least 3 screens
    * More RAM (4GB minimum)
    * More programs compiled for ARM
    * Much, much faster processors (2×1.2GHz ARM can’t compete with 4x3GHz x86) This is and more RAM are needed for proper multitasking
    * Support for multiple windows instead of “fullscreening” everything
    * Support for the Java Runtime Environment
    * A proper office suite
    * Much more memory (100s of GB instead of tens)
    * Proper gaming
    * And more I probably forgot

    • Robbert

      I use my desktop for programming, surfing, gaming, photoshopping, video editing, IMing and music. Often 4+ of them at the same time, until a tablet or phone can do that there is no way in hell I’d give up my desktop.

  • Cody

    You should all check out what they are doing over at Ubuntu. It J’s essentially what you are talking about. A full desktop os running from your phone while remaining a phone.

    Check it out and cheers!

  • Lalaloo

    Microsoft did something right for my Window 7 lately, perhaps due to competition? Anyway, with flash turned off and normal browsing, CPU utilization dropped to 1% to 5%. Previously,i NEVER saw single digit.

    The point being, what we normally do on a desktop does not demand much, given an efficiently coded OS. You can expect faster and faster clock and more and more cores in a phone, or pad, or phablet or whatever.

    What do I miss with a desktop, which normally has no touch screen, no GPS, no sensors, no camera, no 3G/LTE connectivity? Nowadays when I look at the notebook and desktop PC lineups in a store, they all look outdated. Only ultrabooks with SSD would stir up any passion at all. So the writing on the wall is obvious, PC is dying. Time to short sell Microsoft stock.

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    hey man, you playin’ diablo right now? look for me, pekosROB (#2564).

    Or it could be 346… that’s my # for SCII. Do they use different user numbers??