Despite plummeting sales and tablet domination, Toshiba's UK chief believes there is still a "very large PC market" out there.

Toshiba 2013 Laptop Line-up announced
Toshiba launched its 2013 laptop line-up in London on Tuesday.

The death of the PC has been heralded for some time. Indeed it was the man some would call the father of PCs, Bill Gates who first mooted the idea in an op-ed piece for Newsweek when he predicted a landscape dubbed PC Plus. However the idea gained even more traction in 2007 when then Apple CEO Steve Jobs described the advent of the "post-PC device."

Since then PC sales have been tumbling, with the biggest year-on-year fall in a generation recorded earlier this year and IDC this week predicting larger-than-expected drop in sales this year of 8%. Tablets on the other hand are soaring, but despite this, one manufacturer believes there is life in the PC market yet:

"There is a very dynamic market at the moment and there have been influences from tablets on the PC market, but there is still a very large PC market out there," Paul Hicks, product manager at Toshiba said on Tuesday as the company launched its 2013 range of consumer laptops.

Toshiba is a major player in the UK market maintaining the number one spot in the business and education sector and number two in retail, however in global terms the company is not among the top five manufacturers according to Gartner and IDC.

With the advent of Windows 8 and Intel's latest Haswell processors, laptop design has gone through somewhat of a revolution in the last 12 months, with laptop/tablet hybrids, touchscreens and Ultrabooks all coming to the fore.

Continued support

While none of these were unveiled in London this morning, Hicks said the company was continuing to support the Ultrabook platform and it would be launching its 2013 models later in the year.

He added that Windows 8 had "enabled [Toshiba] to bring out new technology such as touchscreens," and that innovation was likely to continue in 2013.

In a bid to cash in on the rapidly expanding tablet market, the company also launched three 10in Android tablets, which Hicks said was "really significant and we are very focused on this market now."

Toshiba is not a moajor player in the tablet market and the three Excite models launched today are unlikely to change this. They range from the budget Excite Pure with a lower resolution screen, older Tegra 3 chip and a budget price point of £249, through to the Excite Write which is seeking to emulate the Galaxy Note 10.1 pairing a capacitive stylus and an enhanced, high-resolution screen with specially created note-taking apps.

Hicks claims the writing experience on the Excite Write is the best on any tablet available today but in a brief test following the launch, there was a noticeable lag from using the pen to the text appearing on screen.


The Android tablet market is extremely competitive and very few companies are making any money from selling hardware alone, with the likes of Google, Amazon and Barnes and Noble making their money by selling content through the devices - something Toshiba and most other manufacturers cannot do.

Apple is one of the only manufacturers making significant money purely selling tablet hardware, as it charges a premium price for its iPad and iPad mini - as well as taking a 30% cut of all content sold through the tablets.

While the Excite tablets are likely to sink without trace, Toshiba's wide range of laptops at prices starting at £299, the availability of touchscreens at all price points, and the inclusion of Intel's latest Haswell processors will ensure the company remains a strong player in the UK market.