The question of whether or not the smartphone will replace the PC has been asked so many times in recent years that it’s hard to keep track of exactly how possible replacing your desktop is right now. After all, could you really go a week without booting up your primary PC? For many “normal” users, the answer is yes. For some of us heavier users that rely on our desktops for their superior multitasking and specific software needs, the day may still come sooner than you might expect.
Several portable projectors on the market today can not only fit in your pocket, but allow your smartphone to expand their screens through them. By breaking free of the barrier of a tiny screen, you can experience Web sites in a greater capacity and give presentations without needing to so much as open a laptop.
Motorola turned more than a few heads when it introduced the Atrix smartphone, a phone that docks into a laptop form factor, expanding its desktop environment from the traditional touch-screen interface to something that works more like a full desktop computer. Seeing this Android-based device switch between a phone and desktop UI in seconds, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a more robust desktop operating system (like OS X or Windows) taking advantage of this concept.
Smartphones have come a long way in the past four years. They’ve gone from being clunky, simple phones that email and have stripped down browsers to full multimedia-capable devices with robust browsers and thousands of available apps. The processing power in these handheld devices has also experienced a dramatic increase, going from extremely low-power chips with barely enough computing power to handle the simplest tasks to dual core powerhouses that surpass the capabilities of top-of-the-line desktops available only five years ago.
Can smartphones replace the PC? I think they already can in some cases. The question next is: what will replace the smartphone?