The PC is not dead yet, say readers

The PC is still very relevant to many readers in the face of a large dose of Apple news this week related to the iPhone 5 launch.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
The PC isn't going away.
The PC isn't going away. Hewlett-Packard

Don't dismiss the PC, is the tenor of a lot of the responses to a Saturday post where I addressed the coverage of Apple and the iPhone 5 last week.

"For a working man like me, the PC is a serious piece of machine. It puts food on my table. As for the smartphone, the phone is important. No doubt about it. What makes it smart also turns it into a toy. But a toy is still just a toy," -- that's a pretty typical comment I got.

And another: "Actually, the technology in the computers is very amazing. It just doesn't get the same press coverage because everybody (especially CNET) is obsessed with anything having an Apple logo on it."

Below are summaries or direct quotes of selected readers' comments, with added commentary only if necessary.

Key features and/or tech that keeps the PC competitive as pointed out by readers:

  • Games: A reader asked if an iPhone can play Skyrim, Battlefield 3 in high-detail, let alone at all?
  • Microsoft Office: The iPhone can't run a full version of Microsoft Office, another reader said.
  • Backup: "Some day, my phone may break, get lost or stolen. But my data will be safe at home on my PC with redundant backups. No cloud for me," said SigpistolDude.
  • Desktop PC: "The traditional laptop probably is dying, since the primary advantage (over a desktop) has always been portability, and the new devices are better for that. But if I have work to do, I want the best, most powerful tools I can afford. That is a desktop PC, with no compromises for power or portability. Jobs analogy about trucks will hold up," said smallbzznzz.
  • Microsoft Surface: "The story starts by comparing media coverage of the iPhone with ultrabooks and then moves to comparing ultrabooks to MacBooks. So, it would seem only fair to compare the Surface's power and features (when it comes out) to the iPhone. Doesn't seem fair or reasonable that way either," said mouseclick.
  • Display resolution: For the record, I said that "there is no Windows laptop out there with anything close to the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro's 220 pixel-per-inch (PPI) density Retina display, let alone the iPhone's 326 PPI screen." A reader pointed to the 11.6-inch 1,920x1,080 display on the Asus Zenbook UX21a. That has a PPI of about 189. Good point but still short of the 220 PPI on the MacBook Pro. That said, expect to see more PCs or PC-like devices with Retina-class screens. A version of Microsoft Surface is rumored to pack a 1,920x1,080 retina density into a 10.6-inch display.