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Wednesday, 3 June 2009, 16:20 HKT/SGT

COMPUTEX 2009: All-in-One PC Appears an Emerging Hot Product in '09

COMPUTEX, Taipei, June 3, 2009 - (ACN Newswire) - It is out of the question that the PC market is getting more and more saturated especially in developed countries and areas. PC vendors are always looking for potential market opportunities and exploring new markets and applications. According to market research reports, the shipment volume of notebook PC has already surpassed the shipment volume of desktop PC in second half of 2008. For instance, iSuppli has indicated in 2008 December 23 that the global shipment volume of NB PC has exceeded the shipment volume of desktop PC in Q3 2008, and it is the first time in the history of PC industry, and is also a watershed of the PC industry.

According to iSuppli, the global shipment volume of NB PC has a 40% increase in 3Q 2008 while comparing to the same period of last year, and has reached 38.6 million units. On the other hand, the shipment volume of desktop PC has a 1.3% decline compared to the same period of last year, and only reached 38.5 million units.

Market analysts have predicted years ago that sooner or later, the shipment volume of NB PC will surpass desktop PC. Due to the falling of price of LCD display and the convenience of mobile networking applications (such as GPRS and Wi-Fi), NB PC is now not only limited to enterprise users, nor dedicate to wealthy people, it is also common to general consumers.

What's New for Desktop PC?

Despite the fact that shipment ratio of global desktop PC keeps declining while comparing to NB, vendors always keep having innovations in product design and applications, thus stimulating the market demand. As for PC vendors, since the introduction of netbook (or ASUSTeK's Eee PC) enhanced the shipment ratio of NB PC successfully, nettop that also promoted by Intel may also boom the desktop PC market to certain extent.

Due to continuously falling of market price of LCD panel, and enhancement of performance of low price CPU, there is also great possibility for nettop or all-in-one PC to generate booming business opportunities. There are already more than 10 PC vendors introduced their all-in-one PC either in late 2008 or early 2009, including Apple, HP, Sony, Dell, ASUSTeK, Micro-Star International (MSI), Acer, Lenovo, BENQ and Shuttle.

Actually, a majority of PC vendors believed that all-in-one-PC is a market development trend as early as in 1999, and has introduced corresponding models at that time. However, no matter the price of CPU or LCD panel was very high at that time. In addition, the processing capability of CPU still has much room for improvement. Furthermore, the mainstream size of LCD display was 14-inch, 15-inch at that moment, and it did not meet consumers needs of all-in-one PC.

Compact is the Key

In comparison with traditional desktop PC, the major difference is that the all-in-one PC is compact and portable. Though it is not as handy as NB PC, it still enables consumers to move the device from one room to another. As for price concern, it mainly classified into two categories, that is below US$ 1,000 and above US$ 1,000, while the former adopt either Intel Atom N series processor or AMD Athlon 2650e processor and later adopt Intel Core 2 Due processor.

Following the success of Wind Netbook, MSI introduced its Wind Top AE2010 in Q1 2009, and attracted a lot of attention at this year's CeBIT Hannover. Equipped with a 20-inch display, Wind Top AE2010 is a high performance product that targets at the all-in-one market. In addition to Wind Top AE2010, MSI has also introduced the latest touch screen all-in-one model Wind Top AE2200 and Wind Top AE1900.

Together with the professional series AP1900 model, MSI now has four models of all-in-one PC available in the market. AP 1900 (professional series) adopts Intel Atom N270 processor while AE 2010 offers more complete multimedia functionality compared to its processors by using AMD single-core CPU with AMD 780G chipset. AE 2010 (entertainment series) is designed to provide high quality visual and audio effects for the discerning users, it offers even more advanced graphics. Apart from the 1600 x 900 high resolution display, AE 2010 comes with built-in UVD (Universal Video Decoder) to support high definition video decoding and greatly reduce the process workload.

Some of the outstanding features of the all-in-one PC are compact, portable and good-looking in exterior design. Take AP 1900 as an example, it features only 35 mm thickness that is very suitable to be placed in bedroom or even the kitchen (such as the scenario zone from the MSI display at CeBIT this year).

IdeaCentre A600, a newly introduced all-in-one PC from Lenovo, featuring a 21.5-inch LCD display, A600 boasts a thickness of just 27 mm, which Lenovo claims that it is the slimmest all-in-one PC in the market at present.

Shuttle Inc., the leading designer and manufacturer of small form factor computers and accessories also introduced its all-in-one PC X50 in mid-March. According to Shuttle, designed to be elegant yet space-saving, the X50 measures as slim as a magazine it is only 1.4 inches (around 35.6mm) thin with a sleek, smooth, and streamlined exterior.

Full Feature

Though the basic design of all-in-one PC is compact and handy, and some makers target at attracting users with low market price, however, a majority of models are feature-rich especially on entertainment applications. Targeting at user-friendly interface, touch panel seems to be one of the essential features of all-in-one PC. MSI has three product series (16/19/22 inch display) available now, and models that are above 19-inch are equipped with touch panels. Other makers such as ASUSTeK, Shuttle, HP also adopt touch panel on their all-in-one models. Take HP Touch Smart IQ518 as an example, it equipped with 22-inch infrared touch screen that features at multi-touch feature, and can use two fingers to enlarge or shrink the size of the image, which is supposed to be an very advanced feature in all-in-one PCs.

Regarding other multimedia features, Shuttles X50 equipped with built-in 1.3 megapixel webcam, enables users to take pictures or stream live images across the Internet in real-time chatting. In addition, X50 is powered by Intel's Atom 330 dual-core processor and comes loaded with the Windows XP Home operating system. Featuring 1GB of system memory and comes with a 160GB hard drive, X50 is spacious enough for storing information and multimedia content. Furthermore, Intel GMA950 graphics provides generous performance for everyday computing.

Since all-in-one PC is so compact, heat dissipation issue is now very critical, the innovative Shuttle I.C.E heat pipe inside effectively dissipates heat away and keeps the system cool. In addition, since all-in-one PC is designed to place on the desk, low noise feature is also very important. With astonishing low noise at only 22dB, it is a simple and elegant sensation to operate the all-in-one X50. On the other hand, ASUSTeK boasts that in idle mode, as a point of reference, EeeTop PC ET16 series touch screen computers (26 dB) are virtually as quiet as unoccupied broadcast studios (20 dB).

Back to multimedia features, ASUSTeK's EeeTop PC ET1602 features Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity for speedy and reliable Internet access, and an integrated 1.3 megapixel web camera and microphone for convenient web conferencing. In addition, ASUSTeK boasts that the EeeTop PC ET1602 is a full-fledged entertainment center. Splendid Video Intelligence Technology ensures that the display remains vivid and clear regardless of environmental lighting, and SRS technology works in tandem with the EeeTop PCs built-in high fidelity speakers to deliver crystal clear audio. For added graphics power, the EeeTop PC ET1603 features a discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD3450 graphics solution, enabling the system to run graphically-intensive 3D applications and games more fluidly. Tying in all of the EeeTop PCs multimedia capabilities is Eee Cinema, a rich-featured multimedia center that will enhance users' enjoyment of photos, videos, music and movies. Eee Cinema puts the ability to browse, select and play all of your media at your fingertips.

As for those high-end models such as models from the Sony, HP and Lenovo brands, they all equipped with Blu-ray drive and Dolby-certified audio. It is interesting that many of ThinkPad's standard features are also available on Lenovo's A600 all-in-one PC, including face recognition security, the Lenovo secure system, and worth to mention that A600 includes touch-sensitive controls and an "air mouse" (with additional DVD/TV/media center features) that allows for table-free control. The remote also doubles as a wireless VOIP handset for making Internet phone calls.

User-friendly is also Very Important

Targets at "Does it all at a touch", ASUSTeK's EeeTop PC ET1602 is also the perfect computer for beginners. It features an exclusive easy mode within Windows that makes commonly-used applications easily accessible, everyone will be running programs like experts in no time. With its touch-and-select interface and exclusive touch-optimized software, everyone in the family will find ET1602 instantly easy to use. All the users have to do is plug the power cord into a socket, and it is ready for use. Moving it about the house is virtually effortless!

As for BenQ's nScreen, it boasts "Simply Friendly". Designed with consumers' needs in mind, BenQ nScreen incorporates a selection of thoughtful functions to keep everything a little simpler. For instance, The device perfects users audiovisual entertainment with 16:9 Full HD resolution via the AMD Yukon Platform and SRS TruSurround HD, hence users can feel free to play the volume and find the most comfortable setting simply turn the power button like how they would use a radio. Additionally, there's a senior mode to enhance the overall audio pleasure of the senior users, making everything a little more enjoyable for them. Moreover, senior users no longer have to squint their eyes or put on their reading glasses as there is an input magnifier to keep reading nice and clear.

The Trend of Desktop PC?

Apart from the introduction of all-in-one PC from major PC giants, it is heard that Apple is also going to introduce the all-in-one iMAC this year. Together with Sony, HP, Acer and ASUSTek, it seems that all key players in PC industry are getting involved in this market, hence market analysts predicted that all-in-one PC would become the mainstream of desktop PC gradually. ASUSTeK predicts that all-in-one PC will shares around 30% of global desktop PC shipment in next two to three years, while MSI predicts that the percentage of shipment volume will be around 30% to 40% in the next three to four years.

It is worth to notice that PC makers in Mainland China are starting to get involved in this market too. It is the same story as those "white brand" netbook, "white brand" all-in-one PC is already available now.

A majority of model will adopt 19-inch to 22-inch wide screen, since the host of the PC has been integrated with the screen, it is estimated that the manufacturing cost of the system will be 10% to 15 % lower than traditional desktop PC and is supposed to be very competitive.

However, heat dissipation, maintenance and system upgrade issues remain deficiencies of this emerging product, and these are the same deficiencies that happen in NB PC. It is out of questions that netbook or Eee PC have successfully boomed the NB PC market, whether all-in-one PC will become another miracle in the desktop market or not, no one knows at this moment. Falling of price of components such as LCD panel, memory and processor makes the price of all-in-one PC more friendly and is more likely to be accepted by users. On the other hand, the position of all-in-one PC is also very important. It is very clear at this moment that it is positioned as a home PC instead of an office PC. According to Taiwan PC makers, all-in-one PC is selling very well in European market, and most of them believe this product may has contribution to the sales revenue of their PC product line in 2009.

View the Day #2 "Computex Taipei Show Daily": http://ecatalog.manufacturers.com.tw/ecatalog.asp?eId=E7819040

Ms. Laura Fan, 
Exhibition Department, TAITRA,
Tel: 886-2-2725-5200 Ext. 2634, 
E-mail: peifei@taitra.org.tw

Ms. Ruby Chen, 
Exhibition Department, TAITRA,
Tel: 886-2-2725-5200 Ext. 2639, 
E-mail: rubychen@taitra.org.tw

Topic: Trade Show or Conference

Sectors: IT Individual
From the Asia Corporate News Network

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