×

ExecuTech: Keeping Execs Plugged in With Microsoft’s Surface Pro Tablet, More

Tablets Give Mobile Office Space Slim Trim

The workplace could soon look a lot different.

Shipments of PCs are declining at a faster-than-expected rate, according to a study by research firm IDC. The popularity of laptops, notebooks, Ultrabooks and tablets is largely to blame as more employees go mobile.

“As the market develops, usage patterns and devices are evolving,” says Loren Loverde, program VP for IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Trackers. “Many users are realizing that everyday computing, such as accessing the Web, connecting to social media, sending emails, as well as using a variety of apps, doesn’t require a lot of computing power or local storage. Instead, they’re putting a premium on access from a smaller devices with longer battery life, an instant-on function, and intuitive touch-centric interfaces.”

That’s good news for Microsoft as it looks to boost sales of Windows 8, designed for the new line of touchscreen computers from a variety of manufacturers whose devices are powered by the operating system.

Its Surface Pro, the most powerful tablet on the market, is designed to handle much of the computing needs in the office — from word processing to Photoshop — and easily connects to larger computer monitors, and TVs, making it perfect for presentations. Because it’s a tablet, there’s no need to remove it from a carry-on at an airport, a bonus for frequent fliers.

Overall, it’s a sturdy little device that symbolizes the changing face of the ever-mobile workforce that is moving away from bulky desktops. But it comes at a steep price: $1,000. A cheaper Surface RT is $600, but lacks the capability to install software packages via download; it can only run apps designed for tablets.

The pricier Surface Pro, at 10.6 inches, has a screen that’s larger than the footprint IDC expects to prove more popular in coming years. The firm predicts tablets with 8- to 11-inch screens will make up 43% of tablet sales this year, shrinking to 37% in 2017. Best selling devices will be smaller than 8 inches. IDC expects tablet shipments to exceed portable PCs this year, and top all PC shipments by 2015. Around 229.3 million tablets are expected to ship in 2013, up 58.7% over 2012.

The big driver will be price: The average price for tablets is expected to decline by 10.8% this year to $381; PCs will drop to around $635.

Smaller isn’t necessarily better, though. While tablets are good for consuming video or simple tasks like email, they’re not the best for much else. That’s good for Hollywood, banking on online video as the next major moneymaker. Mobile users are expected to consume about 10 hours of video a month in 2017, up from an hour in 2012, according to Cisco.

Ready Set Mic

Rodemic.com/mics/ixy – $200

Rode’s iXY is one impressive little stereo microphone that attaches to Apple’s iPhone or iPad and captures HD quality audio, and outputs recordings in various formats or publishes them to Soundcloud, Dropbox or an FTP site using its Rode Rec app software. In other words, it’s perfect for any filmmaker looking to record on the fly.

Always Connected

Wi-fi.org | Wballiance.com

Searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to may be a thing of the past starting in 2014. New standards being developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance (Hotspot 2.0) and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (Next Generation Hotspot) will eliminate the need to sign in using a username and password or enter payment info to use the Internet. The new protocols will seamlessly manage automatic roaming connections between cell phone carriers and Wi-Fi hot spot operators once trials are completed with major providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, China Mobile, BT, NTT DoCoMo and Orange sometime early next year.

Perfect Seat

Seatgeek.com/mobile – Free

Treating clients to tickets to events can be stressful if you’re not sure where the seats are, but the Ashton Kutcher-backed SeatGeek app is the latest to provide an interactive solution to the problem, offering detailed interactive maps of concert and sports arenas along with available tickets from more than 120 ticket resellers including eBay, TicketsNow, Ticket Exchange, StubHub, Craigslist and Ticketmaster.

 

Electric Ride

TeslaMotors.com – Less than $40,000

The Tesla Model S is one fancy, high-tech ride. But at $58,570-$106,570, it’s pretty pricey for most drivers. Tesla chief Elon Musk wants to produce a cheaper vehicle to join its S and upcoming Model X crossover by 2017 as “a great, affordable electric car,” he says, priced below $40,000 with a range of 200 miles on a single charge to compete with Nissan’s Leaf. The interior will no doubt feature the massive iPad-like interface Tesla is known for.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

  • Pod Save America Hosts on Trump

    'Pod Save America' Hosts on Trump, the Democratic Primary and What's Wrong With Cable News

    Like many Democrats, Tanya Somanader was blindsided by the 2016 presidential election. A veteran of the Obama White House and a former speechwriter and digital specialist for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Somanader was gearing up for a Hillary Clinton administration. Instead, she had to grapple with the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. “A lot [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein to Be Arraigned on New Indictment

    Harvey Weinstein is set to appear in court on Monday for an arraignment on a new indictment, the Manhattan D.A.’s office said Thursday. Prosecutors announced last week that they would seek a fresh indictment, which would allow actress Annabella Sciorra to testify at Weinstein’s trial. The move came after Justice James Burke ruled on Aug. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content