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One in five PCs will be a tablet with detachable keyboard by 2020

Windows 10 looks to have hit the goldilocks zone for the hybrid PC/tablet experience says IDC

Tablets with detachable keyboards are set to capture a fifth of the PC market by 2020, in Western Europe at least, say the abacus-shufflers at IDC.

The firm says Typoslabs, as we prefer to call the devices, accounted for just five per cent of PC sales in 2015. But by 2018 combined sales of typoslabs and pure tablets will account for 51 per cent of total computing device shipments, “as demand for traditional PCs continues to slowly decline due to market maturity and migration to more mobile form factors.”

“By 2020, detachable tablets are expected to represent more than 20 per cent of all client computing devices.”

The winner here is Windows 10, which IDC reckons is satisfying users' desire for an OS that works in tablet or desktop mode and is therefore fuelling typoslab adoption for users who do a bit of content creation and are happy with a basic keyboard. The loser is pure-play tablets, which turn out to have a long refresh cycle or to be supplanted by smartphones.

“The adoption of Windows 10 is not expected to lead to major hardware refreshes, but will reinforce mobility, and this in turn will boost adoption of detachables, convertibles, and ultraslim models,” IDC says. By 2020 the firm thinks that all-in-ones, typoslabs and ultraslim notebooks will therefore collectively account for 47.1 per cent of all PC shipments.

That leaves plenty of market for desktops, which are also getting smaller and cuter.

If IDC is correct, Microsoft's done very well of late. Its Surface devices are in the PC sweet spot and Windows 10 is satisfying in ways that Windows 8.x just didn't. ®

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