June was a big month for the PC.
Intel led things off with the release of its widely-anticipated Haswell processor, calling it the “largest generation-to-generation improvement in battery life in Intel history.”
PC makers took advantage of the Computex expo in Taipei to refresh their lineups.
Sony introduced a 13-inch Windows 8 tablet that lasts 10 hours on a charge, and Dell claims that its new XPS 12 ultrabook will run for nine hours.
Solid numbers – but as usual, it was left to Apple to make a grand statement.
The company did so the following week at WDC, releasing a laptop with longer battery life than either the iPad or the iPhone.
Apple claims that the new 13-inch MacBook Air will offer users up to 12 hours of wireless Web surfing – an estimate confirmed by early reviewers – versus 10 hours on its ultraportable iOS devices.\
The 11-inch version of the Air accomplishes something even more remarkable, and with a battery smaller than the iPad’s (38 watt-hours vs. 42.5), it lasts nearly as long.
The personal computer has entered the mobile era.
With Microsoft's Windows 8, it’s also ventured into touchscreens; one might almost think that the PC is in danger of turning into a tablet.
It isn’t. Computer manufacturers may have adopted the advantages of portability and touch, but in recent years the PC and tablet markets – always different – have diverged even further. These are not two competing form factors on a collision course, but rather, two different ways of interacting with technology, each one useful.