Sep 22, 2019 | Updated: 11:17 AM EDT

Android Laptops: Yay Or Nay?

Jul 26, 2015 07:51 PM EDT

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When the Android came out, it was an exciting time. It was exciting, because finally, there is a more affordable alternative to the smartphones that Apple and Blackberry were offering. Android came on the heels of the age of the Personal Digital Assistant, or, the Palm. A generation of gadgets that Blackberry was part of. So with the advent of Android, mobile handheld computing just got more accessible.

Then the age of the iPad came. Android presented a worthwhile opponent, offering a mass of competition to the iOS’ prohibitive ecosystem. Prohibitive, because Apple prefers to keep its media tied to the iTunes, and prohibitive because of the costs. Soon, there were Android tablets available in all shapes and sizes. Android tablets that range from $30 to $200 are worthy, more affordable alternatives to the iPad.

And now, companies are considering rolling out Android laptops.

Do you really need one?

Windows 10 is rolling out on the 29th, and everyone’s excited for that. And with a majority of workers either on a Mac or a Windows PC, is an Android alternative really necessary?

Here are the quick stats for the possible demand for Android PC’s:

-10,820 Backers for an Android PC called the “Remix Mini.”

Jide Tech, a Beijing-based computer startup that has launched Kickstarter campaigns for the “Remix,” a $399 tablet that promises “A PC experience on an Android tablet,” and the “Remix Mini,” a PC CPU with the same concept as a Mac Mini. Plug a monitor into the Remix Mini, add the keyboard and mouse, and you’re good to go. While the “Remix” only attracted 1,278 backers who pledged $210,377, the “Remix Mini” has received $759,860 in pledges via 10,820 backers, and still has 35 days to go before the funding closes. Is this an indicator that there might be a demand for an Android PC? Perhaps it is.

Windows still gets the lion’s share of the PC-using market:

-60.98% users are on Windows 7

-13.12% users are on Windows 8.1

-11.98% users are on Windows XP

-4.54% users are on Mac OS X 10.10

-3.25% users are on other systems, possibly ChromeOS, FreeBSD, etc.

-2.90% users are on Windows 8

-1.62% users are on Windows Vista

-1.61% users are on Linux

-1.57% users are on other types of Mac OS X systems

-1.44% users are on Mac OS X 10.9

-0.26% users are on other types of Windows systems

-3.5% of all laptops sold in 2014 were running the Google Chrome OS, a close cousin of the Android and Linux, and straight from the Android’s parent company. By contrast, Macbooks enjoyed an 8.7% market share.

With a quick look at the stats, it can be inferred that a majority of PC users really prefer Windows variants or Mac OS X distros. Since the Android is more related to Linux and the Chrome OS, seeing the stats at 1.61% for Linux users and 3.5% for Chrome OS users shows that the demand is still, relatively very low.

Also, a majority of the productivity software that workers rely on, such as the Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe’s Creative Suite or Creative Cloud suite, are all more intuitive and highly developed on either Microsoft Windows or the Mac. And with the Android versions still very limited in functionality, it’s hard to believe that an Android laptop will be of much use for a majority of those who are looking to earn a living.

More than that, most gamers cannot even migrate to a Linux platform completely, because most games are available only on Windows, and a Wine installation of the game just doesn’t render a fluid enough gameplay.

An Android laptop may be useful for light computing or hanging out online, but as a widescreen workhorse, that remains to be seen.

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