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Posted at 2:43 PM ET, 03/ 3/2011

Report: Tablets cutting into laptop market

By Hayley Tsukayama

Industry analysis firm Gartner has lowered its PC unit forecasts for the next two years, citing expectations of weaker demand for laptops and other mobile consumer PCs. The firm downgraded its predictions for mobile PC shipment growth to 10.5 percent from 15.9 percent in 2011, and to 13.6 percent down from 14.8 percent growth in 2012.

"We expect growing consumer enthusiasm for mobile PC alternatives, such as the iPad and other media tablets, to dramatically slow home mobile PC sales, especially in mature markets," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner, in a press release.

Simply put, tablets are more portable than laptops and perform many of the same functions for consuming content -- surfing, reading and e-mail -- for which people once used laptops. Gartner said that the hit being taken by the laptop market is partially because of a shift in demand, but also because those on the fence about what device to buy are waiting to purchase anything at all.

Faster Forward readers, you've said before that keyboards are too important to give up, so there's little chance that laptops will be entirely replaced anytime soon. But is anyone on the fence about, say, buying a new tablet or upgrading a laptop? Let us know in the comments.

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By Hayley Tsukayama  | March 3, 2011; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  Mobile, Tablets  
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I am waiting for a Win based IPad type product. Good processor, able to do limited multi-tasking, web, WiFi, email, no cell phone company contract. Those tablet laptops are too big and thick. I wanna hold it in my hand like an IPad, use my home wireless signal and be able to use a hotspot. I looked at the Dell Duo but it's Atom based. Oh, I will pay about 500 bucks. Hope springs eternal.

Posted by: tbva | March 3, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I started looking now, since my HP Laptop started dying (about 7 years old or so). I use an Android phone, so have been following the tablets, but the most important application I'd like to use "on the go" is currently only in Windows, and the developer has said he had no interest in porting for other platforms. Plus there'd be some typing involved, so I'm thinking possibly a netbook, or if there is a Win based tablet that can do the functions I need, maybe that would work. Hopefully my laptop can hold on just a little longer.

Posted by: nighthawk700 | March 3, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen this?
The smartphone becomes the netbook engine; until the thing sitting in your desktop is just a dumb kb+lcd.
Now, what I want is a smartphone smarting up a tablet which can be docked to a nb and/or a desktop or my car's dashboard or wherever your imagination takes you.

Posted by: jorge_mt | March 4, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Tablet or netbook, no dice. My next purchase will be a 14" laptop by whatever manufacturer offers the following specs: 500GB, 4 GB RAM, separate graphics memory, 4USB ports, HDMI, WiFi, bluetooth, i3 or i5 or equivalent processor, optical drive, lightweight, with actual human beings in customer support. I will mate this with a new Blu-Ray Internet ready player. How many portable devices do you want? This is my preference for a combo that offers as many funtionalities as possible. Price: $600 dollars, period.

Posted by: naftaadb | March 4, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm holding off on replacing a 4yo Dell XPS, which is plenty powerful for the number-crunching and heavy-duty writing I do. That said, I would love to get something lighter that could also be a good e-reader, with a touchscreen...but I still need it as a workhorse. I see the iPad (and most of the Android tablets) as little more than a toy, I need something I can also work on. I like the entertainment/internet side of the tablets, but I have definite work basics that have to be met; I'm not carrying around two devices, so the one that lets me do my work is what wins the day.

What I would like is a dual-screen product, so that I could keep one side for doing things while I look at the other side, or I could turn it to use one side as an on-screen keyboard. It also needs to be able to run resource-intensive programs for spreadsheets, datafiles, large documents, etc.

Posted by: atgreen1 | March 5, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

When I feel the need for a keyboard for my 10 month old iPad I use my iMac wireless keyboard. Saw someone in Stsrbucks the other day doing the same thing!

Can't beat the fast ON and OFF of the iPad. It is a great e/mail device and above average browser. BTW, I don't have 3G . . . I use my office/home/coffee shop WiFi.

Jim Helms

Posted by: jim2343 | March 6, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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