After walking all 2 million square feet of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014) in Las Vegas, I can say with 100% certainty that the PC is dead. Basically nobody was showing off standard desktop PCs, goodbye PCs, you had a nice run. The other interesting thing I discovered, with once again 100% certainty is that PCs are alive and well – long live the PC!
One Man’s PC Is Another Man’s Multi-Mode Device
The reason for the confusion regarding PCs probably has to do with definitions. If you define a PC as a big box desktop computer, then yes, PCs look to be dead. On the other hand, if you believe that PCs are personal computers…basically any personal device that allows us to, well, compute – then PCs are very much alive…just in evolved forms.
We like to think that PCs are evolving, not going extinct. Lenovo, who happens to be the #1 PC maker in the world, has gone to great lengths to brand itself as the Multimode computing company. It is no longer enough to have a big box PC that sits on your desk, now your PC needs to function as a tablet, entertainment device or something else. In 2014 PCs need to multitask, but not just on the software front, on the hardware side as well.
The good news is, this evolution of PCs from boring boxes to multimode wonders means that PC like devices are fun, versatile and much easier to use. Here are some examples of new, evolved PCs we saw at CES 2014 –
The Lenovo MIIX 2
It’s a laptop, It’s A Tablet, It’s an Entertainment device….It’s MIIX 2 by Lenovo! As if we didn’t have enough obsessions already, now we are obsessed with hinges and magnets. Take a look at our hands-on video review of the MIIX 2 from CES –
How did they make that hinge? With the MIIX 2 you get a powerful (4th gen Intel Core i5 on the 11″ model) Windows 8.1 laptop, but just bend and pull the screen and you instantly have an 11″ tablet. Pop the keyboard around and place the screen back in and you have a beautiful 11″ entertainment device with JBL sound.
The New 10″ MIIX 2 starts at $499, Due Out March 2014
The New 11″ MIIX 2 starts at $699, Due out in April 2014
The New Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Let’s be honest, ThinkPads have always been know for their dependability and functionality, but they were not winning any beauty contests. That all changes with the brainy and beautiful New Thinkpad X1 Carbon. It is the lightest 14″ Ultrabook in the world, but it is built to withstand whatever you might toss at it. The X1 Carbon has now evolved to have things like a 180 degree hinge, voice control, hand gesture control and a full touch screen. If this is the evolution of the “old PC” – I’m loving it! Take a look at our video preview of the X1 Carbon –
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Starts at $1299. Available Late January 2014
You see what we are talking about? The Tango PC definitely does not look like a PC. Yet, that tiny little box packs some powerful specs. Tango™ is smart phone sized, has a laptop strength CPU and an integrated Gaming GPU. It will run Windows 7, 8 Pro, Linux, Chrome OS and any other OS that is compatible to laptop PCs. Tango is Officeable, Entertainmentable and Gamable.
Tango is currently in the funding process at Indiegogo, so still not clear if it will make it to market, but we played with it at CES 2014 and it was pretty impressive. Learn more at Tango PC.
Lenovo Horizon 2
The PC is not taking this whole “The PC is dead” thing lying down…or maybe it is. The Horizon 2 is a table PC. That’s right, we said Table not Tablet. The Horizon 2 is a beautiful all-in-one 27″ Windows 8.1 machine that can lie completely flat and become a table PC. At just .8 inches thick, the Horizon 2 is much thinner and lighter than last year’s Horizon. When the Horizon 2 is flat, the Aura interface kicks in and you can share photos, play games and basically have a group interact around this Table PC.
Lenovo Horizon 2 is due out in June 2014, Prices start at $1,499.
Razer Project Christine
If we can have concept cars that never come out, why not concept PCs? That incredible object pictured above is the Razer Project Christine. The idea is to allow non-tech geeks to assemble an awesome PC just by snapping pieces together. Think of it like Lego for PCs…but much cooler. Who knows if this will ever make it to the market, but you might as well head over to the Project Christine page and drool over what could be.
If This Is Dying, It Ain’t So Bad
The old PC as we knew it may be gone, but new, multimode PCs are clearly coming along to take its place. All this and we didn’t even touch on the cool Yoga multimode PCs. PCs as we knew them are a thing of the past, but we barely know the PCs of the future (say in your best Yogi Berra voice, it works better).