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Gigabyte: Laptops Will Die Off, Desktops Will Rise

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 114 comments

Gigabyte says that iPhones and iPads are killing the notebook market, but this will pave the way for desktops to rule the land once again.

We participated in a small interview session with the management of Gigabyte's motherboard division to find out what sorts of challenges and opportunities the Taiwanese company sees for itself in the coming years. Present at the table was Henry Kao (vice president, motherboard business unit), Tony Liao (vice president, sales & marketing, North America), and Jackson Hsu (product manager, motherboard business unit).

Perhaps the most startling view was relayed by Kao. He said that the desktop market is very important for the next years for the company because of shifts happening in the portable space. Specifically, he forecasted the death of notebooks.

Kao pointed to the explosion of internet-enabled smartphone devices and the rising popularity of tablets. More than any other type of device, he named the iPhone and iPad as game changers for the mobile computing space.

Because of the internet capabilities of said devices, Kao said that users will eventually stop buying notebooks for their mobile computing needs. Instead, everything done away from the desk or even on the road will be through a smartphone or tablet.

"All of those devices, internet connected, will be better than ever," Kao said, adding his prediction that the shift away from notebooks to will take a three to five years. "100 percent replacement won't happen overnight."

What's interesting to note is that both Kao and Hsu walked into the Q&A with iPhones in their hands, and would periodically pick them up off the table to check something before setting them down again. Kao admitted that the problem with smartphones today is that typing into them is still a challenge, but once that gets solved through new features or on different form factors like the iPad, then the importance of the notebook will go down.

To predict the death of the notebook is a bold claim for anyone, but that sort of thinking is one that Gigabyte's motherboard division hopes for. If notebooks were to be replaced by smartphones and other MIDs, Gigabyte is banking on the users still wanting a desktop at the home or office.

"Once those people have those mobile devices, people need performance desktop at home or the office," said Kao. "When iPad launched in the market, Gigabyte already supported iPad's charging requirements."

Besides just capability differences, Kao believes that users aren't ready to commit to cloud-based storage and applications.

"People still want to store their data in their personal systems, not in Google," he added.

With the current trend of notebook sales climbing on top of desktop sales, it'll be interesting to see if mobile devices can shift the tide. Gigabyte believes that the future will still rest on its motherboard business.

"People are still talking about the death of desktop, but they're still around," Kao said.

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Top Comments
  • 48 Hide
    vcbb10 , June 5, 2010 11:30 PM
    I think the internet is going to die.

    See, I can talk out of my ass too.
  • 34 Hide
    Stryter , June 5, 2010 11:27 PM
    Productivity on a laptop is still miles above anything a smartphone or tablet can offer. I can't agree with Gigabyte on this one. Laptops will be around for years to come as they should be.
  • 22 Hide
    littlec , June 5, 2010 11:23 PM
    Says the company that barely sells jack in the notebook market. Sorry Gigabyte I love my motherboard you made me but I will never drop a notebook for a tablet or smartphone.
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    shovenose , June 5, 2010 11:23 PM
    laptops suck. they break easily and are slow.
    however, laptops are way more eco-friendly because they use less power and use less material...
  • 22 Hide
    littlec , June 5, 2010 11:23 PM
    Says the company that barely sells jack in the notebook market. Sorry Gigabyte I love my motherboard you made me but I will never drop a notebook for a tablet or smartphone.
  • 16 Hide
    gpace , June 5, 2010 11:25 PM
    I think not, I'll stick with laptops for quite a while (typing this comment on one).
  • 20 Hide
    salgado18 , June 5, 2010 11:25 PM
    Yeah, right.
  • 34 Hide
    Stryter , June 5, 2010 11:27 PM
    Productivity on a laptop is still miles above anything a smartphone or tablet can offer. I can't agree with Gigabyte on this one. Laptops will be around for years to come as they should be.
  • 13 Hide
    pr0m3th3us , June 5, 2010 11:28 PM
    Gigabyte is my Hero! I love desktops!
  • 48 Hide
    vcbb10 , June 5, 2010 11:30 PM
    I think the internet is going to die.

    See, I can talk out of my ass too.
  • -5 Hide
    FloKid , June 5, 2010 11:38 PM
    I don't have a laptop and probably will never going to get one. They are slow for most things I do on the desktop. Besides the size of the screens is small also. They break easy, and are not upgradable. Price is totally outrageous for the hardware they have in them. Mobile devices will still be in the market for the quick e-mail or what ever here and there, but I do think laptops will become the past soon.
  • 9 Hide
    JonathanDeane , June 5, 2010 11:47 PM
    I sort of agree with what he says. But I don't think laptops will go away. They may drop some in popularity but companies will always need them and some people who simply do not have room in an apartment for a full sized computer will always buy them.
  • 3 Hide
    huron , June 5, 2010 11:48 PM
    That is an interesting argument, but I'm not sure that typical workers need the power that a desktop offers.

    Many of us here at Toms use desktops regularly and love to building them. We see the importance of the power we build into them, but for many business users, even modern specs in a laptop are overkill for basic word processing, e-mail, spreadsheets, and internet browsing.

    I love my desktop, and will continue to build more in the future, but I'm not convinced that if many things move to the cloud, that tablets and smartphones will not be enough for typical users.
  • 5 Hide
    rockstone1 , June 5, 2010 11:54 PM
    I hope the laptop does die- PCs are easier to work with!
  • 7 Hide
    Bluescreendeath , June 5, 2010 11:56 PM
    Desktops, laptops, and netbooks/tablet PCs will be around for a long time...
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , June 6, 2010 12:23 AM
    Laptops will become more powerful and replace desktops, cell phones are replacing the laptops of today. If any of you saw AMD demo their low power(re: Intel Atom equivalent) Fusion CPU playing Alien Vs. Predator at Computex, we can only imagine how much more powerful their full-blown regular Fusion laptop CPU will be.

    PS: Get a docking station for your laptop, voila! you have a desktop.
  • -3 Hide
    pinkfloydminnesota , June 6, 2010 12:32 AM
    They have it completely backwards. So long as software is outpaced by hardware, people will abandon huge desktops, esp. in cities like NYC SF LA Chicago where rents are high and apts are small, and gravitate to laptops that can connect to big LCD screens on the wall.

    The new cheapish ASUS with the 5770 gpu -- called the 5870M or whatever -- runs most games fine -- imagine if they had one w/xfired 5870M chips, why would you need a desktop?
  • 2 Hide
    littlec , June 6, 2010 12:45 AM
    ^^^ I agree, I used to be a hardcore desktop gamer but once I got my ASUS Gamer laptop (G50Vt incase you're wondering) my desktop has been sitting there mostly unused. I'm always on the go and without my laptop I wouldn't be gaming at all.
  • -2 Hide
    Yuka , June 6, 2010 12:47 AM
    I can see the big picture he's pointing out... It's kinda scaring to find truth in it, since I like notebooks a lot...

    When we talk about "portability", there's no way to compare a notebook to a desktop PC, fact. But it's also a fact that nothing is more portable than a smartphone. Like he said, when they correct annoying handling issues, bye bye notebook. What's even more scarier, is that it also means that in a not so far future, we'll be connecting our smartphones to out office's screens and start working on a daily basis of them ._.!

    Cheers!
  • 2 Hide
    Kelavarus , June 6, 2010 12:50 AM
    pinkfloydminnesotaThe new cheapish ASUS with the 5770 gpu -- called the 5870M or whatever -- runs most games fine -- imagine if they had one w/xfired 5870M chips, why would you need a desktop?


    Key word: Most. And that's right now. Software is being outpaced by hardware right now, true. Gaming-wise, software is probably being held back in part by consoles right now. When the consoles finally update, once again software will surge up in requirements again.

    Also, with hardware getting relatively cheaper and cheaper, software will start to use the resources people are getting.

    Honestly, people say we're fine with the hardware we have pretty much every year, but then stuff always comes out that makes it struggle, then new hardware comes out, etc... etc...

    What was it Bill Gates said? Something along the lines of no one ever needing more than 64k memory, I believe?
  • 22 Hide
    brendano257 , June 6, 2010 12:52 AM
    posted_from_my_gigabyte_moboPS: Get a docking station for your laptop, voila! you have a desktop.


    No, you have an over-priced and underpowered 'desktop.'
  • 3 Hide
    littlec , June 6, 2010 12:56 AM
    KelavarusKey word: Most. And that's right now. Software is being outpaced by hardware right now, true. Gaming-wise, software is probably being held back in part by consoles right now. When the consoles finally update, once again software will surge up in requirements again. Also, with hardware getting relatively cheaper and cheaper, software will start to use the resources people are getting. Honestly, people say we're fine with the hardware we have pretty much every year, but then stuff always comes out that makes it struggle, then new hardware comes out, etc... etc...What was it Bill Gates said? Something along the lines of no one ever needing more than 64k memory, I believe?

    Actually dude what he said was a mistake, that laptop will handle ALL games fine, sure there may be a few titles in future that wont run on supermax/hardcore settings with everything turned up but really you don't need that to play. All that means is you wont be able to stroke your e-peen as you play. The point of a notebook is mobility, something that you'll never get from a desktop.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , June 6, 2010 12:56 AM
    I have to agree and disagree with him on this. the tablet market is just heating up, as more and more companies jump on board we will see tablets just as powerful as laptops. killing the laptop off in 3-5 years _no, but within those 3-5 years tablets will be poised to take over mobile computing market.
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