back to article Psst.. Wanna Android all-in-one PC? We have the chip tech, says Intel

Intel did its bit for the ongoing “tabletisation” of the desktop PC at its Developer Forum this week: it's encouraging engineers to get cracking on Android-powered “Smart Display” systems to go on sale in 2014. The chip giant’s pitch is that these 17- to 21-inch devices - basically, huge tablets with a keyboard - will appeal …

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  1. Buzzword

    Or just add a $35 Chromecast stick in the back of any screen, job done. The on-going problem with smart TVs is that the "smart" part is out of date long before the display. Case in point: at home I have a flat screen full HD TV from 2007; but I'd barely consider using a laptop from that era, let alone a smartphone.

    1. Pen-y-gors

      Hmmmm....

      I tried that, just got a lot of greasy fingerprints on my monitor, but it didn't seem to respond to touch very well.

    2. Mark .

      But how does "play media files across the network" get outdated in terms of the hardware? If it's powerful enough to do it today, I don't need to upgrade it.

      And if something new comes along (like Chromecast), I'm still free to plug it into my Smart TV too.

    3. Pallas Athena

      From the viewpoint of the manufacturers, the problem is that consumers don't buy quickly enough new displays, so adding some fast-aging technology is a great idea - for them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It sounds so nice

    but I don't think it will work.

    Yes indeed, many PC owners do not do very much with their home PC's - web, email and just a few other things. But I believe many home PC owners EXPECT their PC's to be able to do just about anything they want...and that's the problem. Android applications simply do not do 'full functionality'.

    For example, TurboTax is probably one of the most popular home PC applications. The home PC owner probably bought their first PC to gain functional access to the internet, then opened their first email accounts, then joined Facebook...then started doing internet banking, photo storage, personal finance (TurboTax et al) and then maybe work from home...

    As their experience with their new home PC grew, so did their usage. But when they purchased the PC they knew, had expectations, that they could grow into its full capabilities. Some people will buy an Android home PC and be 100% satisfied with it, that is for certain. But many smartphone owners will scoff at the idea of having a home PC with the inherent limitations of their smartphone - where are the full function applications? Lightroom? TurboTax? Word / OpenOffice / LibreOffice? "Why am I paying good money for a limited device?" will be the refrain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It sounds so nice

      Blah blah windows fat client. Don't worry there will be an android/chrome app, failing that it will be cloud. Didn't anyone tell you it's the 21st century ?

    2. Jonathan 29

      Re: It sounds so nice

      I honestly have never heard of TurboTax before, but I just checked and they have an iPad app, so nope I don't think I will need Windows for that either.

      I am seriously tempted to take the noisy, ugly desktop down the recycling plant, but I would still like something with a keyboard. I just can't decide between a touchscreen and stick or an All in One Android.

      1. Andy Roid McUser

        Re: It sounds so nice

        Also never heard of turbo tax especially when categorised along side such popular apps as office and lightroom.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It sounds so nice

          In the US, everyone, even PAYE workers, even a 17-year old who works part-time at McDonalds, must file a tax return before April 15th each year. Software like TurboTax is pretty popular as a result (and there's a new version every year, because the rules keep changing).

  3. Steve Brooks

    History has shown that forward thinking like this is just so much wasted faffing around, the public decides what the public wants, and no amount of telling them what they want will have any effect. recent examples, 3D TV, MS Surface. The correct procedure is to just keep throwing kit at the great unwashed and see what sticks, I mean who could have predicted that Blackberries would become the chav wannabe communicator or that 7 inch tablets were the way to go.

    You just keep feeding raw materials into the factory at one end and pushing kit out the other end, if the masses like your kit you will make billions, if they don't no amount of telling them they should will stop you going bankrupt.

  4. Ralph B

    Question

    A technonumpty asks:

    - What's the MTBF of an "Out-of-Order Architecture"?

  5. Goldmember

    What makes them think....

    ... this is what the public wants? PC's are in decline because the masses don't want to have to sit at a desk and use a device with a keyboard. Your average punter wants to sit on his or her fat arse on a couch (or on a train/ bus/ plane), and keep up with Facebook or emails using a device they can hold in their hands.

    The software running the device on the desk isn't really the issue, it's having to sit at the desk in the first place.

    And I shudder to think of the horror a tablet on a stand will be if it has a bloody Celeron chip int it..

    1. Mark .

      Re: What makes them think....

      Though that's why I prefer using a PC (in laptop form) than a tablet - using a tablet with a keyboard or stand can only really be done at a desk, and it's simply not as convenient to lay on my lap.

  6. MarkB
    Meh

    Pricing?

    "such systems will ship for between $300 and $400 (£189-£253) "

    Surely you mean "such systems will ship for between $300 and $400 (£300-£400) "...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Pricing?

      You forgot the essential

      + 20% VAT

  7. John Drumm

    Am I wrong or is *everything* turning against Microsoft now? Even once-brotherly Intel seems to be kicking Balmer in the nuts every chance they get.

    1. Roger Stenning

      Not entirely; we also kick rotten fruit to the kerb too ;)

    2. MrMur

      Maybe because MS jumped in bed with Arm, Intel feels they should look-around for themselves.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, its not like Balmer ASKED for it by developing Win RT, did he?

      Or by buying Nokia just when they had a completed Joint venture OS with Intel?

      Or DID HE?

      What goes around, comes around.

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Am I wrong or is *everything* turning against Microsoft now? Even once-brotherly Intel seems to be kicking Balmer in the nuts every chance they get."

      No. Intel's relationship with MS is much longer (and more dysfunctional) than that.

      They just MS to give them a bit more attention, a few more Intel only goodies in the next version of Windows for example, having re confirmed their devotion by producing the deliberately crippled ARM only Windows RT.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bay trail based HTPC box

    If the price is right a Baytrail based NUC HTPC is looking tasty. Don't want one of those silly all in ones though.

  9. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Up

    a portable all-in-one desktop that doesn’t run Windows

    Me! I'll have one! Over here! I've got me wallet out!

  10. Russ Tarbox

    Does $50 difference really make a difference at those price points?

    If it was half the price, sure. But adding what amounts to around 15% to the price for a better spec doesn't seem like an awful lot to me. Once you're already spending $350, what's an extra $50.

  11. James Pickett

    A 21" tablet? Blimey.

  12. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    £189 !

    Until Intel divide that price by 5, all they get from me is a loud raspberry. A pi behind each TV does most of what I need at home, and a remote login to something older does the rest.

    1. Christian Berger

      Re: £189 !

      Well the _big_ advantage of a pi is that it runs normal Linux. You can upgrade or modify it to your needs. That would also be the advantage of an x86/PC based solution, as you could run any OS on it... however the marketing of Intel seems to ignore that constantly.

      The big advantage of the x86/PC architecture is that it decouples the hardware from the operating system. You can just run any OS on any hardware with only minor modification, since you have ways for the OS to enumerate your hardware. ARM does not yet have something like that.

  13. xperroni

    "the clout of Intel when it comes to evangelising new product categories"

    Wasn't Intel trying to push something called a "Mobile Internet Device" a while back? Before they switched to the idea of "ultrabooks" as if that was their form-factor of choice all along? Which by the way isn't doing terribly well either, or so I hear.

    So yeah, you might want to reassess this vision of Intel as a great (or even effective) trend-setter.

  14. Derek Kingscote

    Raspberry Pi

    This thing is proposed to have HDMI in.

    Perfect for a RasPi

    Media Server; Libre Office; Youtube, Gmail, Facebook and Twitter etc

    As was recently asked in a magazine :

    "is there anything a RasPi can't do?"

    Pity they don't do a 10inch version

    Microsoft will start Pooping themselves real soon now!!!

    1. Euripides Pants
      Windows

      Re: Raspberry Pi

      "Microsoft will start Pooping themselves real soon now!!!"

      Given all the U-turns we've seen since the launch of W8/RT/Surface, I think MS is in full BM mode already.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intel

    I noticed on twitter earlier I was getting adverts for Intel and their new announcement. The thing I found interesting was it was worded in a way that was referencing confectionary and sweets and sugary goodness. I can't remember the exact wording, but it made me think of Android. Needless to say I didn't click on the link and didn't know about their Android love in until I read this article later..

    At one point Microsoft and Intel went hand in hand, but now it looks like Intel are 'seeing other people' now that Windows RT has been designed for ARM.

    People say Android can't replace a fully featured Desktop, but Android is getting more and more standard PC like with every release meanwhile Windows 8 is getting dumbed down. By the time 8.9 rolls around I think we will just have four buttons. Stop, Start, Yes, No.

    I think Microsoft are in a tough position because they want to go after consumers and they want the mobile market, but Google are smart and they've taken the mobile market by storm and they are in a place where they can scale Android to the desktop and to the enterprise. There are people working on a version of Wine for Android too, so it's not too far fetched that at some point in the future you could run your old traditional windows apps on an Android Desktop while Microsoft are too busy chasing a piece of whatever pie Apple are eating to focus on what they built their reputation on - Good OSes

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Four buttons in Windows

      Hi', I'm windows 8.8. Did you know that we have removed those oh so old fashioned buttons and now we read your mind and do what you want before you have even thought of it.

      user thinks, fuck you microsoft.

      Sorry Dave, I can't let you do that.

      Here's some soothing music instead bought to you by your Zune Player.

  16. Herby

    That big of a screen...

    ...is a bit "unportable". Look, if you ARE going to do it then you should "go big". Make a desk with a nice full screen embedded in it, complete with touch screen. Call it the "executive desk" and let marketing have at it. Sure you might need to enlist some furniture maker for the wood parts, but bigwigs would gravitate to it. You would escape the need of having a screen on the desk as it would BE the desk. No need for a blotter.

    To those in product development: feel free, and good luck.

  17. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Outdated

    "But how does "play media files across the network" get outdated in terms of the hardware? If it's powerful enough to do it today, I don't need to upgrade it."

    I've found with smart TVs, dvd players, etc., that they typically NEVER update the file formats it supports, so in a few years you'll end up with a set that will not play your H.EVC/H.265 files, even if the CPU in the TV is plenty fast to do so. I'm really not hating on them, they work pretty well at least for some years.

    Anyway, I'd love to get one of these and stick Linux on it, or more likely one of the ARM sticks.

  18. RLWatkins

    VSD220

    But, but... wait. Such systems *already* ship for between $300 and $400. ViewSonic has been shipping them for some time now. Why is this news? Because Intel spoke up about it? Meh.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: VSD220

      "But, but... wait. Such systems *already* ship for between $300 and $400. ViewSonic has been shipping them for some time now. Why is this news? Because Intel spoke up about it? Meh."

      But it doesn't have a label on it saying "Intel inside," does it?

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