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Portables Hardware

Laptops Outsell Desktops 414

wintermute1974 writes "According to a new report by Current Analysis, laptops have overtaken sales of desktops for the first time in computing, ever. Figures are for the U.S. market, but presumably this is part of a world-wide trend." From the article: "Notebook prices fell 17 percent during the past year while desktop prices dipped only 4 percent. Some of the features common in most notebooks are longer-lasting batteries, CD burners and wireless capability."
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Laptops Outsell Desktops

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  • Well .. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by macaulay805 ( 823467 )
    Well, IMHO, this was bound to happen. With those good "desktop replacement" laptops, who wouldn't want to?
    • Re:Well .. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AstroDrabb ( 534369 ) *

      who wouldn't want to?

      Me ; )

      Laptops are still too slow compared to desktops, especially the hard drives. Laptop drives are not only slower, but you cannot get the same large sizes and the prices are far higher. Then there is the issue of graphics cards. Laptops generall have poorer graphics cards with lower memory. You can put together a far cheaper desktop with good components than you can get in a laptop. Most of the lower end laptops have crappy video with shared memory; they get too hot and ha

      • Re:Well .. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FRiC ( 416091 )
        Probably depends on where you are, but even the lower end laptops I see nowadays have 15.4" widescreens with 1280x800 resolution.

        But I agree that the hard drive is the bottleneck. I have 1 GB of RAM but once it needs to load anything off the drive it gets really slow...
      • Re:Well .. (Score:4, Funny)

        by marafa ( 745042 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @02:11AM (#12733530) Homepage Journal
        since u r not using it.. could you ship it to me? i will pay for delivery and use it to run linux which does not require a high end pc thanks in advance
      • Re:Well .. (Score:3, Insightful)

        Wow, there are "senior" level developers out there who really think all these things?

        Most of the other replies have covered discrediting most things this guy said, but there is also the issue of upgrades. A typical laptop can take a range of processors and some come with miniPCI. If you buy a lower-end CPU for one, make sure the board in it can support higher speed chips and you are set.

        There are also 7200 rpm drives for laptops.

        Price? Yes, but if you are really a senior developer, you probably have some
      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @03:35AM (#12733721) Homepage
        Laptops are still too slow compared to desktops, especially the hard drives. Laptop drives are not only slower, but you cannot get the same large sizes and the prices are far higher. Then there is the issue of graphics cards. Laptops generall have poorer graphics cards with lower memory. You can put together a far cheaper desktop with good components than you can get in a laptop. Most of the lower end laptops have crappy video with shared memory; they get too hot and have at most 3 hours of battery time. Oh and then there is the problem with the tiny screens. As a programmer, I cannot look at any screen smaller than 17" for a long time. Also, most of those lower end laptops only go to 1024x768 (I need at least 1152x864). These limitations may be OK for Joe User, but I don't think more tech savvy people or especially geeks could put up with them.

        Too slow? My AMD 3000+ is not too slow, neither have any of my 1GHz+ machines been.

        Laptop disks are smaller yes, I got 80GB 5400rpm in this one. While it is nothing compared to the 500GB I have in my desktop, it is completely sufficient for 99% of the people out there. The average person does not even have something like 10GB apps, 20GB games, 20GB music, 20MB movies and 10GB to spare. With 512MB RAM most people won't need to swap and never really notice the difference. What most people do (chat, surf, music, movies, simple games) aren't IO bound. If you are a pack rat such as you and me, perhaps. The rest, no.

        Laptops have graphics cards that are just fine for everything but FPS games. Many people are non-gamers, even more are non-FPS gamers. Chat, surf, play mp3 and avis is enough for many people. Today, almost everyone needs to be on the net. Even in my own family I'm outnumbered two to one by my parents who certainly would do fine.

        Laptops are slightly more pricy, but including the cost of an LCD, not impressingly so. I did try to put together a cheap new desktop recently, making it a laptop would add maybe 50% to the cost, no more. For the flexibility of a laptop, that isn't much. It used to be several hundred percent.

        If your laptop gets too hot, it is malfunctioning or is a desktop in drag. Typical laptops don't get that hot, because there's more than enough power anyway. It has three hours of battery life versus none, what's your point?

        As for size and resolution, that is mainly decided by the laptop size as the screen can not get bigger than the machine. I've used a 12.1" 1024x768 and 15.4" 1280x800 screen, and it is whatever works for you. Seriously, people used to get work done in resolutions far less than that in the early days, it is mostly psychological. By the way, the 15.4" screen is only a inch narrower than my 19" CRT, and is excellent for watching 16:9 movies, better than a 17" CRT. Again, if you are a non-gamer.

        Nobody pretends a laptop is everything a desktop could be. But for the average user, I have no problem recommending a good laptop. If you a) need lots of HDD space, b) need lots of screen real estate, c) need fps gaming, laptops aren't for you (or at least not excellent for you). If you're in the huge "other" segment, go for it.

      • Re:Well .. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Technician ( 215283 )
        I personally have had the "same" computer for about 4 years.

        That's about normal. Take a typical power user. They have a good desk machine and the kids have to cast off. They also have a laptop. The desk top gets used at least 4 years and gets pawned off on the kids to extend it. A cola gets spilled on the keyboard and the keyboard gets replaced.

        Laptops... Either the battery dies after 12-18 months and it's considered obsolete. The laptop gets replaced instead getting a new battery. The coke gets sp
    • call me once there's a laptop that's upgradable, doesn't fall apart in 3 years, and has a CRT-quality display. until then i think i'm going to keep building my systems, and carry my data on a $30 thumb drive.
    • Laptops are pretty good these days, but they're still a lot more expensive than an equivalent desktop, and less expandable. USB hubs have helped equalize the expansion capabilities, though.

      But for $500 plus about $150 for a 19" CRT you still get a lot more bang for your buck with a desktop in terms of hard disk capacity, screen size, cost of a DVD/CD combo drive, etc. Not to mention better keyboards, though once again a good keyboard for a laptop is just a USB port away.

      Also, laptops are not as reliable
      • You kinda got that backwards, Desktops are becoming the niche. The average user wants something simple, one power cable and thats it. Thats exactly what laptops offer. When they do break its easy for them to just close the screen and carry to the nearest service depot.

        I, on the other hand, just buy used laptops off ebay. No need for a 1Ghz+ machine for just running firefox and ssh. When something breaks I got a junker that I can grab part from. My current machine has been through hell and back and still ru
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:42PM (#12732893)
    They overtook desktops in revenue in 2003.
    • by ZephyrXero ( 750822 ) <zephyrxero@NospAM.yahoo.com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:45PM (#12732924) Homepage Journal
      So they aren't counting the thousands of self built systems out there? Probably didn't count local sellers either... Once again statistics proven worthless.
      • I think you answer your own point - "the thousands of self built systems out there". It would have to be hundreds of thousands to make a dent in the statistics.

        The plural of anecdote is not data - no matter how many friends you have.

        • Most attempts to quantify it have whiteboxes at least a third of the market, maybe more.
          • by SacredNaCl ( 545593 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @02:46AM (#12733615) Journal
            I have some 2004 numbers for the 4rd quarter.

            For instance ECS (awful boards) sold 1.26 million motherboards, 25,000 laptop boards. ASROCK/AsusTek 3.3 million boards, 200,000 notebooks. MSI 1.1 million boards. Gigabyte - 950,000 motherboards.

            The problem with just running with those is that companies like MSI also make boards for Emachines-Gateway/HP/many others. ECS used to do extensive work for IBM in the 90's (which explains some of those awful machines from then) -- Some major player must be using them, I can't imagine home sales of ECS boards are that high (though they are favored by bargain basement whitebox builders). Even Asus boards are showing up in HP's these days. So it's hard to seperate out the markets.

            If we could break these down by form factor it would be more enlightening. Most of the boards sold to OEMs are MATX. Most home builders aren't buying the MATX boards. I'm sure the motherboard companies have accurate numbers published somewhere, maybe in their financial statements of investment prospectus but I'm far too sleep deprived to go fishing.

      • If it was only thousands, it wouldn't make a big difference.

        I've also seen message boards where people talk about buying certain Dell servers to use as desktops. Depending on where you draw the line between high end desktop and low end server, the totals can vary a bit.

      • I've never seen a computer build itself...
      • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @01:53AM (#12733453)
        Well, when you come up with a better way of scientifically detecting patterns in large volumes of information, and using that to make predications which come true at a signficant level (and how do you determine whats significant without statistics without resorting to "seems like", "looks like", or other non-scientific nonsense?), you be sure to let everyone know. If you really think statistics in general are worthless, you are beyond ignorant as to their underlying workings. Oh, and where's your "proof" that these particular statistics are worthless? Do you have access to information that self-built systems significantly contribute to overall desktop use? How did you determine its significance, using "worthless" statistics? Or is your proof just some random thoughts of a non-expert who has absolutely no clue what they're talking about?
        I'd absolutely LOVE to see you PROVE that these statistics are worthless, and without statistics like significance tests, averages, etc... since those are so worthless. The only thing that pisses me off than bad statistical analyses is people like this troll who discount the entire field because of their ignorance.
    • Here is an article from back then:

      http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chron i cle/archive/2003/07/07/BU118578.DTL&type=business [sfgate.com]

      Monday, July 7, 2003

      Laptops accounted for 54.2 percent of the $500 million in revenue generated by U.S. retail computer sales in May, the first time portables have surpassed their desktop counterparts in that category, according to research by the NPD Group Inc. of Port Washington, N.Y.

      The average price in May 2003 was $1,300 for a laptop compared with $757 for a

    • So this means the average cost per system sold is going up, not down?

  • since 2003 (Score:3, Informative)

    by SuperQ ( 431 ) * on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:43PM (#12732903) Homepage
    Of course, as reported on engadget.. first time ever.. since 2003
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/03/technology/03TBR F1.html?ex=1118030400&en=cb60405e864fa27a&ei=5070 [nytimes.com]
  • Pretty much as expected. I work for a uni helpdesk, and the desktop/laptop ratio dropped below 1 long ago. Which is nice, since I don't have to help deliver desktops on opening day any more :D

  • So? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kc32 ( 879357 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:43PM (#12732909)
    My tower has a handle on it. And it weighs in at an incredibly portable 42 pounds.
  • Funny (Score:4, Funny)

    by log2.0 ( 674840 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:44PM (#12732915)
    "Some of the features common in most notebooks are longer-lasting batteries, CD burners and wireless capability"

    No one who visits slashdot would know that! :) haha

    Sorry, I just found it funny.
  • I remember Steve Jobs Macworld keynote in January 2003 where he claimed that 03 would be "the year of the laptop".
    http://arstechnica.com/columns/mac/mac-12302003.ar s/2 [arstechnica.com]

    Maybe he was just a couple of years early?

    • by Razzak ( 253908 )
      in 2003, laptops outsold desktops in terms of revenue. these new figures are in terms of units.
    • Or this article is just a couple of years late?
    • If you look at the numbers, the shift from desktops to laptops started a bit earlier on the Mac. Probably because Apple got the battery life situation under control sooner (Intel wasn't doing so well there a couple years ago), and support for wireless networking was really solid. Plus, Mac users tend to pick up on these sorts of trends a bit sooner; they're mostly a self-selected group, which means they're more likely to actually care about computing than the Wintel masses, and as such they're typically a b
  • well, not really

    a lot of people are on the move now a days. i like being able to take my laptop anywhere at any time and do whatever i need to do. transfering files between it and a desktop would be a pain, so this is my only machine

    add the wireless revolution and you can see why even more. plus, computing power now adays really isn't distinguishable, 2.0ghz compared to a 3.0ghz really doesn't matter for most people, you can get hte 2.0 for nothing. why get a desktop you can't move when you can have a lap
  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:45PM (#12732932)

    Some of the features common in most notebooks are longer-lasting batteries, CD burners and wireless capability.

    Yeah. They left out the inability to easily upgrade components. In the last 10 years i have owned +/- 6 computers. One was a laptop that I purchased new. The others were all custom rigs that got upgraded expansion cards, peripherals, memory, etc. when needed. Thus they didn't show up as desktop sales. I am willing to bet that as building machines from components has gotten easier, lots more people have been doing it to get more bang for the buck.

    Thing is, with a laptop, upgrading the monitor is impossible and upgrading pretty much anything else is a royal pain and/or too expensive. Thus, laptop users can't take advantage of individual components on the same scale as desktop owners.

    • by llamaluvr ( 575102 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:08AM (#12733054) Journal
      With all the external peripherals you can plug in with USB (2.0), this seems irrelevant in most cases. I used to stay away from computers with less then 3 free PCI slots, because I was always afraid I would fill them up and not have room for anything else, but now that I have a laptop, I haven't missed a beat in regards to adding the peripherals that I want.
    • Definitely. I've only had one computer over the past five years. But this computer has had its CPU, mainboard, vid card, memory, case, etc. replaced over those five years.
    • My computer is supplied by my employer, so that particular ability is of no use to my anyway (as I'd be dumb to go inserting new hardware into their computer myself). Yes, my desktop machine is a laptop.

    • I am willing to bet that as building machines from components has gotten easier, lots more people have been doing it to get more bang for the buck.

      Dell recently committed to buying 300,000 wide-screen 14" laptops a month from a single Chinese supplier. That is one model for one segment of its laptop product line. The hobbyist market doesn't count for much against numbers like these.

    • Yeah. They left out the inability to easily upgrade components. In the last 10 years i have owned +/- 6 computers. One was a laptop that I purchased new. The others were all custom rigs that got upgraded expansion cards, peripherals, memory, etc. when needed.

      In other words, no way for users to screw up a laptop (Ok, memory).

      No wonder the sales are outpacing desktops... it either works or it doesn't. No sqabbling between card and MB vendors, it's one point of contact for failures!
  • by dan2550 ( 663103 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:46PM (#12732935) Homepage
    my current laptop is a toshiba satelite a75 series. circa end of 2004 batery life: 2 hours on "long life" mode. my very first laptop was a toshiba t-1000 circa 1980-something(late 80's) battery life: hours and hours... how is that a longer life?
    • Did you factor battery life into your purchasing decision? There are many, many laptops these days around 4 hours. The really small Sonys are closer to 8, and unlike your 1980's model they have more than 64KB of RAM.
    • my current laptop is a toshiba satelite a75 series. circa end of 2004 batery life: 2 hours on "long life" mode. my very first laptop was a toshiba t-1000 circa 1980-something(late 80's) battery life: hours and hours... how is that a longer life?

      You value battery life, but you bought a "mobile" Pentium 4 laptop [cnet.com] instead of a Pentium M [intel.com] or Celeron M [intel.com] laptop at the end of 2004? It's not like the power-saving features of Centrino haven't been publicized and hyped since March 2003 [anandtech.com].

      Initially, Pentium M/Celeron

  • heat output (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DeusExMalex ( 776652 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:46PM (#12732938)
    now if only they could make it so the damn things don't scorch whatever you sit them on. my lappy is so hot i can't leave it on my lap and i can feel the heat through the bottom of my desk. and the fans are loud enough that i can hear them from another room. give me a tower that i can play w/ any day.
  • by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:47PM (#12732939) Homepage
    Back in the day, laptops cost more than $1000 more than comparable desktops. Now, you can get a pretty decent laptop for $700. So it's not surprising that as the price difference between desktops and laptops has eroded, so too has the market share of desktops.

    The question that interests me is: are laptops becoming any more durable? One of my main reasons that I bought an eMac instead of an iBook is that the eMac is probably Apple's most durable computer. And I know that laptops tend to be much more prone to failure.

    It wasn't so long ago that if you bought a laptop, you could pretty much count on some kind of major failure within three years. I'm wondering if any good research has been done to show whether laptops are closing the gap with desktops in terms of reliability. If they are, I'm pretty sure my next computer will be a laptop.

    • I would bet this is due to the significant number of LCD's being produced for both desktops and laptops (making prices similar and overall laptop prices cheaper).

      Isn't that what used to keep laptop prices sky-high?
    • by CoolMoDee ( 683437 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:49AM (#12733221) Homepage Journal
      I haven't had any durability problems with my 12" 900MHz iBook G3. I constatly throw the thing around (in my backpack into my car etc.) and have abused the hell out of it, and the only thing wrong with it is one of the little rubber feet fell off. I've had this laptop for about 2 years or so. My Sony laptop on the other hand...it was too big/fragile to treat to treat it like I do my iBook.
      • FYI, Apple will replace those feet under warranty (if you still have it). One fell off my 12" iBook G4 and they mailed me a packet of 4 (in a fancy padded box, no less).
    • it's not surprising that as the price difference between desktops and laptops has eroded, so too has the market share of desktops.

      It doesn't even have to be people buying laptops in lieu of desktops. The desktop market is already saturated. There's just more room for growth in laptops, especially among people who already have desktops and want some extra mobility.

      The question that interests me is: are laptops becoming any more durable?

      I'd guess they're getting better, but as long as any disparit

    • by steve_l ( 109732 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @07:20AM (#12734309) Homepage
      I used to work with laptop developers, so know their problems.

      Laptops are not any less endurable than desktops, it is just they get thrown around a lot more. A workstation SCSI disk is very fragile, but you dont throw it the backs of cars, kick it under the seat of the airplane in front etc, etc. Furthermore, vendors dont like unrelaible laptops; the annualized failure rate (AFR) makes the difference between profit and loss on warrantied systems.

      What has happened is that the trend towards consumer-centric laptops has eliminated much of the exchangable-IDE drive design of the past. These all-in-ones are robust as they are mechanically simpler. The other big trend is that with two main ODMs in taiwan doing much of the work, a greater level of expertise has built up into doing quality designs.

      Now, for an annedote of amusement:

      When the first thin-and-flat laptops came out, the AFR went up. This was tracked down to people dropping their laptops while trying to lift them out of bags/briefcases one handed, and losing their grip. The older laptops were so fat and heavy they could be lifted two handed, but the new ones were thin and light enough to be one handed -only nobody had thought of this when it was designed

      If you look at today's laptops, they normally have grippy texture on the top and bottom, or some features on the batteries to provide a better handgrip. This is to eliminate the problem.

      That's an amusing story but it shows the problem: a robust laptop is not an intel chipset in a box. It is a system designed with ergonomics in mind too.
  • College requirements (Score:4, Interesting)

    by poity ( 465672 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:47PM (#12732940)
    I would guess that a significant amount of this is due to the increasing number of colleges (and even some highschools) that require students to have laptops.

  • The key features that were holding people back was the hard time burning CDs, watching DVDs, or playing games was on machines that were typically behind the affordable desktop technology by a year or two. Now that those key features are pretty much standard in a sub $1000 laptop, more people are buying them, and considering the built in wireless, flat screen monitor, and portability with the battery, a bonus worth the extra money over a deskopt system with comparable features.

    After all, you can use a lapt
  • I just replaced my desktop with a laptop. Why bother with a bulky desktop when I can get a fast, luggable laptop for cheap? With the proliferation of wireless access points, I can go just about anywhere and get the internet. There's not much point in having a desktop at home when I'm not there more than half of the time.

    By the way, the Compaq R4000 series is a wicked deal if you're looking for a desktop replacement.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:49PM (#12732954) Homepage Journal
    I've seen a couple of major corporations move to laptops in the past couple of years, which is probably having an impact on overall sales. The employees can telecommute more easily with laptops and those that have to travel frequently don't have to do without their systems. A few companies were experimenting with guest workstations for travelling employees but that usually turned out to be more hassle than it was worth.

    The standard loadout the last place I worked was a Dell 2.4 GhZ laptop with a gig of RAM and a CD burner. The only problem with the system was if you ran it at full speed with it in your lap, you'd end up cooking your weenie, even with the fans on full.

    It seems like not many companies are deploying wireless, though, so you still end up with travelling employees roaming the halls like undead zombies, looking for ethernet and power ports to plug in to.

    • My workplace is the reverse. You need to have a demonstrable need for mobile computing in order to get a laptop.

      Laptops are still more expensive, and with tens of thousands of people they can save a lot of money using desktops instead.

  • I just bought my second laptop and at this very moment I only have two computers at home: a VAIO laptop and a new DELL laptop, even though I used to own a few desktops and built a few myself. Now I live in an appartment and don't have that much space and I have to bring my own computer to work (that's why I went for a nice new DELL with 15.4" wide screen 1900x1200 with 2GB RAM, 2.13GHz Centrino, 100GB HD, DVD RW/CD RW in a bay that is hotpluggable and a spare battery that can be put into the same bay while
    • "Dell" and "nice" in the same sentence? (Ignore the irony of that for a few moments.)

      I travel a LOT and am part of a company with many loosely connected divisions. Therefore I get to see all kinds of laptops. The Dells are always in the shop, the users expect and accept frequent lockups and crashes, and they generally use a "bar-of-soap" design strategy. Meaning, a lot of the plastic has very thin paint on it, and it a different color underneath...designed to show scratches and look old faster.

      IBM Thinkpa
  • My primary machine became a laptop 7-8 years ago. I used to use one while traveling and a desktop while at home/work, but syncing things up between the two was a pain in the butt. Too many times I didn't have what I'd worked on with the other machine available on the machine I was on.
    While laptops still lag in speed, they hit "good enough" for most applications a while ago. The biggest lag now is really in disk size, you have to go external for serious space. But "most" people can live with a measly 100GB
  • by Mulletproof ( 513805 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:09AM (#12733060) Homepage Journal
    But this is not just a "desktop replacement" trend. Sure, you can emulate nearly every function on a laptop that you could get in a desktop, but that was true back when too. Sure, the price has gone down, but what's really changed?

    I don't think the wireless explosion is getting nearly enough credit here. Now your truly portable PC can take advantage of the most influential and pervasive phenomenon of the 21st century anywhere and everywhere. Coffee shops. Parks. The back yard. The laptops utility has been magnified 100 fold just by the wireless networking trend alone. It's so much more than a portable document holder now. You now have access to real time information anywhere, an unparalleled knowledge base at your fingertips on the go, keep in contact with people friends, family and partners instantly, etc etc etc. Wireless LAN? Standard equipment on nearly every machine now.

    I have no doubt the price drop has helped, but the utility and popularity of the laptop has absolutely exploded because of the wireless revolution that is still evolving at this very moment.
    • Unfortunately, the wireless revolution seems to have passed by the town I am currently in.

      It's a shame too, because I love working in the park provided it isn't blazingly hot or raining. As it stands, I can take most of the info that I need with me, but being able to check my mail or find an answer to a problem I don't have docs on would be nice.

      None of the coffee shops here have wireless here either.

      I do, however, find it amusing that I get the weirdest looks from people when I'm sitting in the park wi
  • by AtOMiCNebula ( 660055 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:09AM (#12733061) Journal
    The survey doesn't look like it takes DIY-computers into consideration. You can't build laptops like you can a desktop.

    Just a thought I had.
  • For two reasons (Score:4, Interesting)

    by melted ( 227442 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:26AM (#12733127) Homepage
    1. Low-end desktops suck so bad, I wouldn't buy one if someone points a gun to my head. Just go to Circuit City or Best Buy and look at them. Do you want to buy this crap?

    2. I'm writing this lying on the couch. There's no going back to desktop once you go completely wireless. The only desktop I have is iMac G5, but that's only because I need a good display for digital photography, and iMac display is top-notch. If Apple puts decent panels into the next crop of their laptops, this iMac may go to ebay.
  • In Australia (Score:5, Informative)

    by StArSkY ( 128453 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:41AM (#12733184) Homepage
    In Australia you can tax deduct 100% of the cost of a laptop in the first year. you can onlydeduct 33% of a desktop in the first year.

    As such there is a huge incentive to buy laptops rather than desktops.
  • I actually use both. I have a desktop for doing heavy lifting and storage. It has a huge monitor, gobs of HD, and pretty much everything else. I use the laptop is an accessory, not a replacement. So I only use sub 3lbs units. Great for browsing internet and email in bed or on the go. I'm on it more than my desktop. I'm probably in the minority in this style of use, basically using laptop as a big pda. I can see more ppl computing this way in the future though.
  • Not surprised (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NeoSkandranon ( 515696 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:57AM (#12733254)
    Even if this is in fact the case, and not a result of bad stats, I'm not surprised. Why?

    College students. College goers everywhere are convinced they need a laptop for school for various reasons (I'll take notes with it..my desk is small..etc etc) when really what they need is a mini tower with an LCD monitor to accomplish the same or better end. Plenty of colleges require laptops (Which IMHO is so much more a status thing than anything productivity oriented) these days which is no doubt driving up the sales rates as well.
    • Re:Not surprised (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chrisbro ( 207935 )
      Are you serious? I'm a current college student (MIS degree, so maybe I'm biased), but laptops are prevalent for a reason. Of course I take them to class for notes; I type much faster than I write, so I can get down nearly verbatim what the professor says. In classes where every little detail could be on the test, this is important. It's also nice to drag it out for breaks between classes when you can't go back home, but can't do much else, either...I have reports, papers, and programming projects that I get
  • by lanner ( 107308 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @01:00AM (#12733267)
    Am I the only one who dreadfully hates touchpads and prefers touchpoints (eraser points, or whatever else you want to call them)?

    IBM still uses the touchpoints, but they are really expensive. I really liked Dell laptops, until they went el-cheapo a year or two ago and removed the old legacy ports and the touchpoints at the same time. A few laptops, especially those angled at the business market, still have touchpoints, but they are few, more expensive, and lack the features that I desire.

  • by Wolfier ( 94144 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @01:41AM (#12733418)
    I'm still waiting for a PDA that when plugged into a docking station, will become a full-fledged PC.

    Someone MUST have done it right. Come on, it's 2005.
  • by _Neurotic ( 39687 ) on Monday June 06, 2005 @08:41AM (#12734759) Journal
    I have been a PC builder/tweaker for 10 years. My latest system was a water-cooled P4 2.26 GHz overclocked to 2.85 GHz with a water-cooled, overclocked Radeon 9800 Pro. I even had heatsinks on the Radeon's memory and a waterblock on my northbridge. I've been running RAID-0 setups for years now and my mantra for cases was "Bigger = More Airflow = Better"

    I say this all as a backdrop to current situation. You see, I talk about this PC in the past tense because I am selling it. I have bought a Dell Inspiron 9300. The 2MB cache on my 1.86 GHz Pentium M makes this processor perform in the same league as a 3 GHz Pentium 4. It is actually faster than my overclocked system in many tasks. The GeForce Go 6800 outperforms my Radeon 9800 Pro (not surprising given the generation difference) and the 1 GB of dual channel DDR RAM allows for plenty of gaming overhead. The 1440x900 widescreen display has native resolution support in many newer games (like Half Life 2 and Riddick.) The 7200 RPM drive, while not comparable to a RAID-0 setup, is still quite zippy and the dual layer DVD burner works like a charm.

    So what's my point (other than tooting my horn?) My point is that desktop replacements have truly come of age. There isn't a game on the market now or in the next two years that I won't be able to play comfortably. Given that this little beast runs cooler and quieter than my desktop, there's nothing that I miss. Nothing.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.