Where Does PC Fall Short of Content Consuming

Here’s the major takeaways if you don’t have time to read the entire article:


PC has taken us a long way. As Steve Jobs said in his interview at AllThingsD:

I’m trying to think of a good analogy. When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them. And this transformation is going to make some people uneasy… because the PC has taken us a long way. They were amazing. But it changes. Vested interests are going to change. And, I think we’ve embarked on that change. Is it the iPad? Who knows? Will it be next year or five years? … We like to talk about the post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen, it’s uncomfortable.

PC used to be in the center of our digital universe. We used it to browse the Internet, read news, check emails, watch short videos, listen to music etc. Hell we still use PC to do all these things, but more and more we are leaning toward using alternatives. Tablets, smartphone, phablets,  netbook, these are the key words in our digital life now. We are stepping into a Post-PC era. But why? Where does PC stumble and fall short? The biggest one if you ask me, is ‘content consumption’.

We are an indulged generation. We came from an era where content is scarce and hard to find to today’s content overload. We grow accustomed to always having something tweeted to us on our handset, forwarded to us via email and broadcasted to us via TV. We become picky, we want to see our favorite show at any time, on any of our preferred screens (handset,tablet, TV or PC), and we even want to see the entire season in one go (That’s why House of Cards for Netflix is so popular now). PC, having carried us thus far, become less and less efficient in modern-day content consumption.

1. Provide a distraction free environment.

When we watch a movie or read a long novel, we hate distractions. For a great content consumption experience, being able to immerse in it is essential to fully appreciate the content. The truth is, there are too many distractions on a PC. In a short 5 minutes, you’ll probably get 10 emails, 100 tweets, 25 Facebook chat request and 1 ‘Adobe Flash Player Needs to be updated’ notification. Everything is trying to compete for your attention these days on a PC. Yes you can just turn all those off, but doing that will also make you concerned of missing something. Tablet and smartphone do a better job since they are mostly one-task-focus. TV is also good because all you can do with it is to enjoy the show. Movie theater is the best on this, where you even have to turn your handset off.

2. Allow comfortable body postures

We all like to be comfortable, especially when we are watching long movie or shows. That’s why movie theaters all have very comfortable chairs. AMC actually renovation several of its theatres to add power recliner with footrests. Talking about making it more comfortable. You can use a tablet or phone in any postures you want, lay down even. We see most of the tablet usage on couch or bed, which is designed to be very comfortable. PC (mainly laptop, desktop more so), on the contrary, are usually be placed on a flat surface with a chair close to it. It’s designed for people to sit straight when using it. Content consuming is only part of PC’s many functionalities  and people still do serious work on it, so the environment can’t be made too cozy.

3. Access to amenities

We mainly use our eyes and ears to consume the content, but we like our other senses to join in the party too. Yeah I’m talking about your chips, beers and sodas. Nothing beats a cold beer when watching football after all. This is limiting for PC since it is usually located in an office room, not living room or media room where snacks and beverages are readily available.

4. Bite-size, On-the-go style

back pocket pc

Image Source: http://techcrunch.com

With the rise of mobile, the pattern people consume information also changed. Bite-sized information are gaining traction in a ‘less is more’ world. That’s why YouTube initially limiting its video length to be less than 10 minutes, and Twitter still has the 140 characters limitation. People want access to their content wherever they go, whenever they want. PCs are too clumsy for this.



As Steve Jobs has said, PC, just like trucks, used to be both your working and entertainment machine, will gradually lose its entertainment value and be used mainly as a content creating device, leaving content consuming to the more capable hands of smartphone, tablet, or smart TVs.


One thought on “Where Does PC Fall Short of Content Consuming

  1. Pingback: UICraft: Rethinking Touch Screen on Laptop | MuCraft

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