For several years, the slow death of the traditional PC has been lamented again and again.
It’s completely justified: PC numbers overall have been slumping and the traditional shots to the system that used to work, such as new operating systems, better gaming technologies and faster hardware, have not been able to pump new life into the sector.
If you are a PC manufacturer, said the wisdom of the crowds, you had every reason to panic.
But why do things fall out of favour? One reason is obsolescence: the technology just doesn’t have a use anymore.
Horses once were so plentiful that their waste were the main health hazards of 19th century cities.
Today a horse is a luxury, not a necessity. Horses are great, but nobody is riding them to work anymore.
Are PCs obsolete? At the start of the tablet era, many thought as much.
Yet over time we have come to appreciate the specific values PCs bring, the most popular being content creation and serious multitasking.
The second reason why things fade is because they don’t keep in step with their audiences.
In the 1970s, the US car market collapsed because it didn’t produce the fuel-efficient cars that the market suddenly demanded during the global oil crisis.
Japanese brands stepped in and have held some of that dominance ever since.
Have PCs lost their way with users? Now we are onto something.
The PC and in particular laptops weren’t necessarily replaced by smart devices, but did grow long in the tooth.
The laptop needed a new way forward and manufacturers had to innovate or die.
Today that trend is clear. Even though fewer and fewer traditional PC systems sell every year, the 2-in-1 hybrid category continues to buck the trend.
By combining the new design logic of tablets with the proven punch of laptops, 2-in-1s created a new avenue to explore.
The data backs this. 2-in-1 sales are continuously picking up.
Said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner: “There have been innovative form factors like 2-in-1s and thin and light notebooks, as well as technology improvements, such as longer battery life. This end of the market has grown fast, led by engaged PC users who put high priority on PCs.”
Many people regard the PC as instrumental to their lifestyle and productivity, reaching beyond what smartphones and tablets can deliver.
When Dell designed the Inspiron 5000 series of 13 and 15 inch hybrid laptops, it wanted a machine that could meet the demands of modern workloads for years to come, along with rich media features and at a great price.
“The Inspiron 5000 is a big step forward,” said Chris Buchanan, director of Client Solutions at Dell EMC.
“People know what they want in such a device. They want speed, security, longevity and ease of use. The hybrid market has shown it holds the ingredients to make that combination happen in the laptop arena. We decided to refine that into our devices and the results have certainly shown we are on the right track.”
Using the latest in Intel i3, i5 and i7 chipsets, solid state drives, Windows 10 touch interfaces and up to 16GB DDR4 memory, the Inspiron 5000 2-in-1 family caters to the expectation of modern PC users. This is not by accident, but a deliberate effort to engineer laptops that make sense today, not five years ago.
As a result the Inspiron 5000 has four different configurations, using a hinge system tested over 20,000 times to ensure it won’t break down in the middle of a deadline.
It is a built-and-tested high-end device, yet at a price most are willing to pay for a laptop experience.
This philosophy works: last year Dell was only one of three PC manufacturers to grow in market share and sales, and only one of two to have three consecutive quarters of growth.
There is no doubt that combining function, value and power in the 2-in-1 market is reviving the laptop for a new age.
Is the laptop dead? No, not at all. But don’t call it a comeback.
The laptop has been here for years. It just needed to reconnect with its audience, as the Inspiron 5000 2-in-1 family does.
This article was published in partnership with Dell EMC.