Innovations redefining PC experience in the new normal

March 27, 2021 4:21 PM

Orientation in display technology is the new key for a seamless transition from work to play.

The PC segment has come a long way and is yet halfway when it comes to innovation in this space. (Image: Reuters)

By Arnold Su

The way we consume laptops has greatly evolved over the past few years. We are no longer bound to a bulky 20kg skeleton with limited storage and protruded monitor. With the first laptop developed in 1981, the industry has undergone several makeovers. The transformation of personal computing, whether laptops or desktops, has been largely driven by consumer expectations, especially during the pandemic where there was a drastic shift in laptop usage while spending more time indoors. Consumers have now identified the need to make their living better by upgrading to devices that seamlessly help them stay connected to the world digitally. This was also led by increased usage of online services – E-commerce, gaming, e-learning, digital work environment, video conference facilities, streaming entertainment, and gaming, and much more.

Arnold Su, Business Head, Consumer and Gaming PC, System Business Group, Asus India

Necessity has been the mother of PC invention and the year 2020 was no less than an unexpected roller-coaster ride that channelized many new innovations and trends in the industry. One of the most direct influences was ‘Work from Home’ or ‘Stay at Home’ emerging as the new normal, giving rise to the need for an all-rounder, 2-in-1 convertible, etc. laptops that help you easily transform from work to play mode. Brands today are mixing PCs with elements of tablets and smartphones, making it a one-stop device for both professional as well as personal needs. Besides new chipsets, laptop designs have evolved significantly to include long battery life, efficient processors, flexible design, and a comfortable audio- visual experience. Devices started to get more compact and portable thanks to the lightweight design and thin bezel displays.

Speaking of displays, OLED panels became more mainstream this year. The display panel has emerged to be one of the key elements of a good laptop, as it not just enhances the viewing experience but also ensures good eye health. OLED displays have 70 percent less harmful blue light than LCD laptops. Too much exposure to blue light can affect sleep cycles, and while you cannot have control over your screen time, you can always choose a new age display panel (OLED) to cause less harm to your health. Talking about the experience, OLED laptop displays have far better colour coverage than their LCD counterparts. They offer better contrast with 1.6 times display colour volume compared to LCD laptops, on which colour coverage often decreases dramatically at low brightness. The evolution of OLED panels has brought a wave of ultrafast display response time that offers blur-free sports, video and movie viewing and an uncompromised gaming experience.

While the enhancement of the screen display has developed multifold, there has also been a serious makeover to de-clutter the need for different screens for a different purpose, giving rise to the next game changer in laptop, dual-screen. Brands are constantly re-designing the laptop framework to make consumers’ journey as effortless as possible. The idea of adding another secondary screen to the traditional design, allows users to multi-task from one single device rather than working separately from multiple devices. While other attributes of the laptop are equally important, the display has evolved to take various forms in recent years, from curved to foldable to dual display.

The PC segment has come a long way and is yet halfway when it comes to innovation in this space. The stay at home may have disrupted the many normal we had in our lives but had also made space for a new normal or way of lifestyle, giving rise to many new inventions across categories. A recent IDC report revealed that 3.4 million units of laptops were shipped in Q3 2020, owing to the strong demand for e-learning and remote working, making the quarter the biggest quarter in the last seven years in India. In coming times, the consumption pattern of the users is set to further evolve, opening more avenues for innovation and new developments in the PC industry, by creating laptops that are more powerful and would play an important role in meeting the emerging requirements of consumers. The segment has huge potential and is set to grow multifold in years to come.

(The author is the Business Head, Consumer and Gaming PC, System Business Group, Asus India. Views expressed are personal.)

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