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The PC monitor is dead. Meet the new smart monitor

Mark Hachman | Aug. 26, 2013
Notebooks, tablets, displays: They're all collapsing into each other, and the rise of the Android-powered "smart monitor" is the display industry's timely response.

It's reasonable to think that, over time, the smart monitor will only increase in capabilities as its price remains relatively firm. Smart monitor makers have a number of ARM processors from which to choose. This fall, Intel is set to debut "Bay Trail," a next-gen Atom chip that executives have said could be designed into tablets priced at about $150. Intel executives we've interviewed recently don't seem to have smart monitors on their radar screens, but that could be because the tablet and convertible notebook markets make more attractive targets.

Two years from now, the monitor sitting atop your desk may still be dumb—but it will probably also be larger. Mau says he believes that the market for large-screen displays will continue to expand from 17- and 19-inch displays to 24- and 27-inch monsters supporting 4K resolutions. And several monitor makers will likely stick with the traditional, "dumb" form factor.

But that doesn't mean that the smart monitor won't succeed. Today, the difference between a tablet with a kickstand, an all-in-one PC, a smart monitor, and a large two-in-one or convertible tablet is really not that much. Over time, those differences may blur and fade out altogether. For decades, home technology orbited around the desktop PC. What monitor makers hope now is that the lowly display will ascend to become the center of the computing universe.


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