Will the PC be this year’s hot tech purchase?

Well, maybe not this PC.

Seriously, though, after years of sluggish sales, PCs bounced back in 2015. This was due to the huge pent-up demand caused by people who didn’t want to buy Windows. 8. Sure, Win8.1 was a lot better, but that wasn’t enough for people who were put off by the crazy gestures and charms and the full-page start screen. Windows 10 was a breath of fresh air, and IT managers rushed to replace aging PCs pretty much the day the new operatin system came out. Since the market for home-based PCs had pretty much dried up, though, we didn’t see a big purchase push from home users.

So, I’d say the PC market actually has some rosy times ahead. Low demand has made powerful PCs super-affordable and so manufacturers can afford pricey upgrades like solid-state drives which customers like. That means that even low-end PCs can be fast, quiet, and last a long time on battery if needed.

The fact is that we’ve learned that tablets make pretty poor PCs, even if you can put Microsoft Word on them. Students and people who travel do need real PCs. I know that when I travel I bring a small laptop and a tablet, even though I could get away with using only one if I had to. There may come a time when people really only want one or the other… but for now you need both. And considering that you probably bought your tablet more recently than your last laptop… it’s probably time for a new one.

So I’m bullish about companies like Dell, Lenovo and Microsoft who are putting out some excellent products for home and business use. I think they have very bright futures ahead of them. I also think that it’s getting easier to do things on a PC that you used to do on a tablet, certainly I do expect low-end Windows tablets to edge out low-end Android ones now that Microsoft has re-committed to making Windows 100% free to manufacturers of 7″ and smaller device. The lure of the tablet used to be that it was malware-free, but Android can be just as dicey as Windows used to be. In the meantime, Windows has actually gotten safer, thanks to better system-wide protection in Windows 10.

The best thing about a PC today is that there’s just so much you can do with it. When it comes to software, there may actually be more tablet apps than viable PC programs, but they’re all limited by the nature of the tablet workspace. PCs do a combination of touch and non-touch programs better than tablets do… quite a change from Microsoft’s lazy touch interpretation of the 2000s.

So, yes it’s true I think the PC market is strong, at least this year. It won’t last forever; just as tablets almost overtook PCs, I think there will be a new product that will overtake both. If I could figure out what that product’s going to be… I’d invest in it and live the rest of my days in luxury. Oh well….

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.