With the iPad HD, it will become crystal clear why Apple's tablet is the fastest growing "PC" segment.
The iPad HD, aka iPad 3, is expected to have:
- Eye-popping 2048x1536 display (versus the iPad 2's 1024x768)
- 4G via Verizon's LTE
- Faster graphics silicon, among other chip enhancements
And all in roughly the same extremely portable package of the iPad 2.
Let's see. Neither the newest MacBook Air nor new Intel ultraportable laptops can boast that kind of display resolution and none offer a standard model with built-in broadband--and certainly not the LTE variety of 4G, which is considered the most promising.
Even on the chip front--considered a big advantage for Intel--Apple graphics chip technology is catching up to Intel's built-in graphics silicon.
And none of the ultrabooks--though considered extremely svelte--are as portable or thin as the iPad.
In short, the iPad is on a tear. Market research firm Canalys made news recently when it said that the iPad has made Apple the largest PC vendor in the world, surpassing Hewlett-Packard. Market researcher DisplaySearch has also made this case.
And a report out today from Piper Jaffray said that productivity applications--a PC stronghold--are moving to the iPad. OnLive Desktop, in particular, is cited.
"OnLive Desktop...gives iPad users Microsoft Office on an iPad...[and] eliminates the need for an [Intel] x86 [chip] to run Windows and pushes the heavy lifting off of the thin client and into the cloud," Piper Jaffray wrote.
While it's the not the equivalent of Microsoft Office on a local hard drive, it's close enough to make it a threat.
So, is the iPad a PC? However you answer that question, the iPad is already setting new standards for personal computing and this will only become more pronounced on Wednesday.