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Is it a laptop? A tablet? Whatever, PC makers just hope you'll buy it

James Niccolai and Michael Kan | June 8, 2012
One thing apparent at Computex this week is that computer makers really aren't sure what consumers want in a PC, and they're throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

The designs here highlight a basic difference between Microsoft and Google on the one hand, and Apple on the other. Apple -- which doesn't attend Computex -- spends years designing a small handful of products until it releases something it thinks is perfect. Microsoft and Google provide software, tools and some guidance to a multitude of vendors, and let them compete on the implementation.

The result is more variety in the worlds of Windows and Android, and sometimes lower prices, but whether the products here will be more successful remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: It's become hard to say what some of them are.

"It's hard to say what's a tablet and what's a notebook now," said Gartner analyst Tracy Tsai. "Every notebook is a tablet, or every tablet is becoming a notebook. It's all mixed together."


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