Form factors of change

Jun 03 2014, 05:00 IST
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SummaryNew form factors are changing the way we use desktop computers

The way we are using desktop computers is changing like never before. These days they are entertainment systems, charging ports for our other devices for which they also act as control centres and the data dump of the entire household. But soon even these use cases might become old-fashioned, thanks to the new form factors ushered in by Windows 8.

If you thought these new form factors are limited to Ultrabooks, convertibles and hybrids then you are mistaken. Just adding touch screen to desktops has changed the game so much. So, you can well imagine what it will be when you add the ability to change the form of the computer to this mix. For me, a perfect example of what this can do is the Lenovo A730 all-in-one desktop. To start with this device can fold back flat and be a 27-inch touchscreen computer (or tablet, if you prefer that). Just that makes it the largest interactive gaming board you can bring home to spend a fun weekend with the kids. Plus, the screen can stop at multiple angles on the way to becoming flat, becoming a touchscreen piano or just settling itself as a high-end POS device. And just to make things interesting, it can become a HD television if needed. The possibilities are endless.

Shailendra Katyal, director (HSB) of Lenovo India, says what we are witnessing is a gradual evolution of the desktop into an all-in-one with a touchscreen. Technology, at one point of time, was dividing people, but now it is bringing them together, he says, explaining how the new form factors were, for instance, prompting a lot of parents to spend more time with their children.

It helps that children are taking to technology more easily, especially with the advent of touch. There are no longer learning barriers that prevent them from using computers at a young age. With touch, even a one-year-old can start using the PC to play a game or start learning the alphabets, without ever knowing to use a keyboard.

In fact, touch is also opening up computers to people who would otherwise never go near one. An ideal example is of old parents who use laptops and tablets to engage in Skype chats with their children and grandchildren in other locations. On a touchscreen device, this becomes a one-touch operation. In fact, HP launched such a device over a couple of

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