Android alters all: Now the PC?

The new PC may be a laptop running Android. Far-fetched? Not if HP is doing it.

HP's Android-based SlateBook x2. A Google OS laptop may not be that radical in an Android-centric mobile world.
HP's Android-based SlateBook x2. A Google OS laptop may not be that radical in an Android-centric mobile world. Hewlett-Packard

The Android laptop is coming. Does that mean more market-share pain for Windows PCs?

Hewlett-Packard's upcoming notebook offerings speak for themselves. For $480, there's the SlateBook x2 Android "notebook". At $800, we have the Windows 8-based Split x2.

For me, the choice gets easier every time I pick up the Nexus 10 tablet that I've been using for the last month. In other words, if I'm spending about 50 percent of my time -- and doing limited-productivity stuff -- on the Nexus 10, it's not a giant leap to an Android laptop.

Nor is it a leap in the broader mobile space where Android rules. Combine Android ubiquity with the deep discount consumers get with one of these lappies -- compared with the Windows variety -- and it's an even smaller step.

And it's not just Android. Samsung's $250 Chromebook is consistently ranked as a best seller on Amazon.

Yeah, there's still opportunity for Windows 8/8.1 PCs. I expect a raft of relatively cheap Windows laptops and hybrids when Intel's Silvermont chip hits later this year. So you might see, for instance, a future version of the HP Envy x2 priced below $600 running a quad-core Slivermont.

But as I've said before, market dynamics in the mobile space favor Android. Just ask HP.

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