Is the PC and Monitor Setup Dead? Here Are Top Industry Opinions

As PC sales hit all-time lows, according to IDC, and consumers gravitate towards mobile devices like tablets, laptops, and smartphones, the question arises: is the traditional PC and monitor setup a thing of the past?

How are top brands reacting to the consumer shift? Are PCs and monitors evolving to meet modern demands? Or will consumer preferences fade them out? Can the PC and monitor industry keep up with innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and spatial computing?

According to Deloitte’s 2023 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Research, consumers and households want to streamline and minimize their digital devices and simplify their experiences and spaces  — aka reduce the clutter.

The Deloitte report reveals that households have an average of 21 connected devices in 2023, down from 25 in 2021. Consumers want to simplify tech complexity: 41% dislike managing their devices, while 28% say managing tech devices and subscriptions are “overwhelming.”

So, is there still space in the home for a desktop PC?

To answer this and other questions, Techopedia talked to George Toh, VP and GM of Lenovo Visuals Business, and experts and executives of different sectors who speak about the importance of the ‘traditional’ setup in their profession.

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Key Takeaways

  • PCs global shipments hit their lowest ebb last year since 2006.
  • Consumers have been shifting to smartphones and smart devices while the cloud expansion makes many PC-only tasks available for laptop and mobile devices.
  • Despite a growing interest in new, smaller, powerful devices, studies show that households want to minimize their tech clutter and better manage devices.
  • PC and monitor manufacturers find new technologies and features to differentiate their products and bring new utility.
  • Leaders from different industries explain why the PC and monitor setup is fundamental for their professional work.

A Shift in the PC Market

Along with IDC above, Gartner also reported that worldwide PC shipments had declined 14.8% in 2023. Gartner says global PC shipment volumes have not been this low since 2006. The top players in the industry include Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo.

Hybrid Work, The Cloud, and the Rise of Smart Devices

Despite 2023 market conditions, Lenovo managed to increase its year-over-year sales by 3.2%. Toh from Lenovo talked to Techopedia about the factors driving a shift in consumer preferences and how they affect the PC-Monitor industry.

“We’ve seen a surge in demand for flexibility as remote work becomes the norm, meaning an increase in reliance on cloud-based services and storage as well as a need for reliable devices with extended lifespan.”

Toh explained that the move to a hybrid cloud also brought on additional changes and demands in the market, particularly with monitors and visuals, since the lines that separate work from leisure have been blurred out.

As the cloud gains momentum, handling heavy data processing creates a shift, driving down sales of traditional PCs, which offer features that many users no longer require, such as expansive local storage, memory, and processing capabilities.

Why The PC-Monitor Setup is Still Fundamental

Christoph C. Cemper, AI and cybersecurity expert and founder and CEO of AIPRM, an AI prompt management platform with approximately 2 million users, is a strong PC-Monitor setup believer.

“I have been coding since I was ten years old and sold the rights to my first computer game by 15. I can take my laptop to conferences and meetings, but nothing beats my dual-monitor desktop setup for plowing through complex code sprints and dev projects.”

Toh from Lenovo also sees a bright future for PCs and monitors. “PC monitors are not dead because they have evolved to become an integral component of a working tech ecosystem,” Toh said.

“PC monitors are no longer the bulky boxes designed to do one job; they are now productivity-enhancing tools that can serve multiple purposes with different advantages.”

Ryan Hamilton, creator and founder of social media startup Universimm — a new social media platform, told Techopedia that while advancements in technology make mobile devices more powerful and capable of handling tasks that were previously exclusive to PCs, PC and monitor setups still have a role to play in modern times.

“They continue to be essential for tasks that require high levels of processing power, such as video editing or gaming. They are also preferred by many professionals who require larger screens and specialized software for their work.”

Are AI and Spatial Computing the Future of Computing?

AI is now mainstream and migrating into the smartphone and IoT sector, while companies like Apple are investing heavily in spatial computing. Considering these trends, what is the future of PCs and PC monitors?

Toh from Lenovo told Techopedia that smart sensors integrated into PC and monitor setups can make the interaction between users and content more intuitive and accurate.

AI technology, for example, can increase interaction through gesture recognition, make the monitor more secure and accessible through eye tracking or voice controls, and more, Toh added.

New features include AI-powered anonymization, which can blur backgrounds or anonymize the faces of individuals not directly interacting with the screen, preserving their privacy.

Toh explained how new tech can also drive wellness, privacy, and energy savings. How sensors can detect users, automatically turn on and off the display when needed, and even alert users when they have been sitting for a long period of time in front of the monitors. Toh also spoke about the future of AI-enhanced 3D spatial displays.

“As spatial computing continues to grow, we foresee that spatial displays will have a vital role in interacting within places. AI technology will reduce the barrier of 3D display applications by providing easy-to-use and efficient tools for 3D creation, interaction, and communication. This will allow users to enjoy a more productive and realistic 3D work and life experience.”

What Professionals and Businesses Leaders Think

Techopedia reached out to business leaders from different industries to get their insight and perspective on computing in 2024, and the resources they use every day to get their job done.

Gaming and Cybersecurity

Michael Robert, a graduate of Boston University, and an expert in cyber computer forensics and counterterrorism, spoke to Techopedia on the issue.

Robert believes the market — going through low-volume sales — is overlooking user-centered innovations and risks missing exciting opportunities on the horizon.

“Through cyber threat intelligence training and hands-on experience safeguarding digital assets, I’ve seen how ingenuity and thoughtful design can breathe new life into even mature product categories.

 

“While tablets and phones work fine for casual stuff, the regular computer screen is still good for work that needs clear colors and space to spread out papers and files.”

Robert also believes that in the future, computers and monitors will blend AI and spatial tech together more.

“As AI spreads, these can gain ways to automate tasks and customize guidance focused just on you through upcoming changes. Spatial computing brings the potential for immersive virtual worlds and new ways to interact beyond regular designs using rising tech.”

Engineering Network and Hardware

Andreas Grant, network engineer founder of Networks Hardware San Diego, also highlighted how important the PC-Monitor setup is in his work.

“Even though I have three laptops, I personally love using my 27-inch monitor when I get home. It’s far better than looking at my laptop’s 13 to 15-inch screens.

 

“If you do work on PCs, you know that those laptop screens or VR headsets are just temporary. Nothing can beat the comfort of looking at a 24-27-inch monitor.”

Risk Management for the business and finance sector.

Nathan Jacobs, from The Money Mongers Inc., with 13 years of hands-on experience as an independent security analyst and specializing in Risk Management for businesses and the financial sector, is also a strong believer in the potential of the PC setup.

“Far from dead, the traditional PC monitor is evolving. With the rise of remote work and gaming, there’s a renewed interest in creating efficient, comfortable home setups that often include a dedicated PC monitor. Its relevance persists in professional, creative, and gaming circles where screen real estate and resolution matter.”

Jacobs added that thoughtfully designed PC monitors can significantly enhance user experience by integrating seamlessly into personal and professional spaces. Features like adjustable stands, eye care technology, and slim bezels not only simplify users’ spaces but also cater to a wide range of needs, from productivity to entertainment.

When it comes to trends, Jacobs highlighted ultra-wide and curved monitors for immersive experiences, higher resolution displays for clarity, and monitors with USB-C connectivity for universal docking solutions.

“There’s also a push towards more sustainable materials and energy-efficient designs,” Jacobs said.

Jacob envisions the future of PCs and monitors as one built for adaptability and integration.

“As AI and spatial computing advance, we’ll likely see PCs and monitors that are more interactive, capable of supporting mixed reality experiences, and offering more personalized, context-aware functionalities.”

Web and Mobile Software Development and Digital Transformation

Techopedia also spoke with Vladimir Terekhov, CEO of Attract Group, a company that specializes in software development and digitalization of companies through custom software solutions.

“The traditional PC monitor isn’t dead, but its role is evolving. For professional and gaming environments where screen size and resolution are critical, monitors remain relevant.”

Terekhov believes thoughtfully designed PC monitors can certainly enhance user satisfaction by offering better ergonomics and aesthetics and improving both work and play experiences.

Regarding new technology trends, Terekhov spoke of ultra-wide and curved screens for immersive experiences, high refresh rates for gaming, and portable USB-C monitors for mobile professionals.

The Bottom Line

The market and demand for mobile and smart devices will continue to grow as these technologies become better and better, often replacing most of the tasks users used to do on their PCs.

However, for professionals in both tech and non-tech fields and for those who enjoy gaming and other forms of entertainment, the PC setup is still fundamental.

As AI and spatial computing take the central stage, manufacturers are showing no sign of fading away PCs or monitors — in fact, quite the opposite.

They are reimagining, leveling up, and integrating the latest technology to keep the setup relevant.

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Ray Fernandez
Senior Technology Journalist

Ray is an independent journalist with 15 years of experience, focusing on the intersection of technology with various aspects of life and society. He joined Techopedia in 2023 after publishing in numerous media, including Microsoft, TechRepublic, Moonlock, Hackermoon, VentureBeat, Entrepreneur, and ServerWatch. He holds a degree in Journalism from Oxford Distance Learning, and two specializations from FUNIBER in Environmental Science and Oceanography. When Ray is not working, you can find him making music, playing sports, and traveling with his wife and three kids.