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Laptops Outsell Desktops

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the on-the-move dept.

Portables 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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Well .. (2, Insightful)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732892)

Well, IMHO, this was bound to happen. With those good "desktop replacement" laptops, who wouldn't want to?

Re:Well .. (3, Interesting)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733057)

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 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.

I personally have had the "same" computer for about 4 years. I call it the "same" computer because I have changed different parts at different time to keep it current. You cannot do that with a laptop. My laptop is 2 years old and is not "bad" (1.7GHz P4, 512MB, 40GB), however I litterally have not used it for the past year. It just sits in my laptop bag on the floor of my office. After one year the battery died and cannot hold a charge so I can only use it pluged in. I don't feel like spending 100+ on a battery when I can spend that money on something else.

Re:Well .. (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733112)

As a web designer and general Internetish type, though, I've found that even a modest laptop will suffice for most purposes, provided that the network connection is beefy enough. In my opinion, the network (Internet) in all its forms has really become the primary useful aspect of a modern computer, and processor speed and the like have hit the point where, objectively, they're commodity. Granted, I'm one particular type of computer user, but I can see how a lot of the computer-using populus might work the same way. ...

Okay. So my desktop's just a POS, too. Aside from the dual-head, it's not got much going for it.

Re:Well .. (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733097)

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.

This is in units sold (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732893)

They overtook desktops in revenue in 2003.

Re:This is in units sold (4, Insightful)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732924)

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.

Re:This is in units sold (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733014)

please oh mighty speaker of all that is true and wise enlighten us to the mysterious answer of how exactly you count something like that?

you might as well put on your carnac hat and pull something out of a mayonaise jar...

Re:This is in units sold (3, Insightful)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733030)

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.

Re:This is in units sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733093)

If you're investing in Dell or Alienware or HP or Apple, you're probably not interested in stats about self built systems. The statistics aren't worthless. You just aren't interested in utilizing the information presented.

Re:This is in units sold (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733121)

I guess the grandparent just forgot that slashdot was targeted towards investors.

Re:This is in units sold (1)

Paperweight (865007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733107)

I'm not a statician, but I'd say it's close enough.

Re:This is in units sold (1)

heli0 (659560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733046)

Here is an article from back then: cle/archive/2003/07/07/BU118578.DTL&type=business []

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 desktop.

And 60 percent of all computers sold in May were desktops. However, the percentage of laptop units sold has risen from 30.5 percent in May 2002 to 40 percent in May 2003.

GNAA MOLE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732895)


GNAA Congratulates the Debian Project on the Release of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "Sarge"

BATON ROUGE, LA - June 6, 2005 - The Gay Nigger Association of America extended today its congratulations to the Debian Project regarding its 8th consecutive release of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. The latest incarnation of Debian, codenamed "Sarge", had been eagerly anticipated for approximately 6,000 years by both unwashed GNU/Hippies and fizzlebearded Open Source aficionados alike. So far the reception of "Sarge" has ranged from indifferent to uninterested, but the release has managed to draw the attention of many fundamentalist Christians, who have long seen the release of a new version of Debian as one of the major signs of the apocalypse.

"Sarge" is notable for greatly expanding upon the Debian policy of creating distributions that are obsolete before they are even released - a practice which, while not particularly desirable, has been enthusiastically received by nostalgic collectors of outdated open source software, as well as the National Association for Marketing Buggy Linux Applications, or NAMBLA. Debian project leader Branden Robinson defended the policy, however, in an impromptu GNAA interview which was conducted at his home. When asked to comment on Debian's slow adoption of new software, he was quoted as saying, "Look, the fact is that the open source development model is so ineffective that just as many new bugs are probably created in each release as old ones are fixed, so it all evens out. Right? Um - please stop touching my leg. No I'm not homophobic, I just - hey, I said cut it out! No, stop! I'm saving myself for Bruce Perens! HELP!"

About Debian:

The Debian project was started in 1993 by Ian Murdock, who was unsatisfied with the level of political bickering and useless hand-wringing found in other projects at the time. The Debian Project has grown steadily over the years and currently consists of over 1,000 developers and maintainers, yet contains more bugs and is more out of date than the older Slackware distribution, which is produced by a single maintainer with a chronic bacterial infection. Debian's use has been on the decline due to users being fed up with its sluggish release process and political drama, but it has nevertheless received the accolade of those Linux users who had not yet discovered the existence of superior and more modern distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora Core, and Windows Server 2003.

How can they tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732901)

People buy system parts from vendors and put them together themselves. Are they counting that?

How old is this? (1)

jjeff (80578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732902)

First time my arse..

How many businesses ONLY purchase laptops and servers now?

Everybody I know buying computers has been going for laptops for the last couple of years.

As expected (1)

moyix (412254) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732906)

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

Re:As expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732941)

Same here... Everyone wants a laptop. The interesting thing is that a very high number (20-30%) never I mean NEVER leave the office.

frost pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732907)


So? (5, Funny)

kc32 (879357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732909)

My tower has a handle on it. And it weighs in at an incredibly portable 42 pounds.

Re:So? (2, Funny)

Reorax (629666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732987)

And it has a battery life of one-half of ten minutes?

Re:So? (1)

kc32 (879357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732995)

lol, more like one-half of 10 ms on the PSU capacitors. But my Compy 886 (A64 to you) does indeed have a handle.

Re:So? (2, Funny)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733069)

Luxury! Sheer luxury!

When I were a lad, we had portables [] that could barely play Adventure let alone this new fangled Zork thing.

Kids these days don't know how good [] they have it.

The original Compaq was 34 lbs. (1, Informative)

Dasein (6110) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733081)

And now I have to write some text here because some stupid 'tard decided to crapflood slashdot in the dim dark past.

5 More Years Until PDA's Outsell Laptops (0)

schestowitz (843559) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732910)

Hardware become smaller and cheaper. The CPU speed changes slowly; RAM and all of that malarkey matters very little at this point where the O/S just doesn't need it.

So, smaller is equally good.

Re:5 More Years Until PDA's Outsell Laptops (4, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732943)

no, pdas are too small to be of any use, ive had plenty of them to know.

Re:5 More Years Until PDA's Outsell Laptops (2, Informative)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732953)

The pepper pad [] looks pretty neat, but I guess it's not quite small enough to be considered a PDA....

Sound Familiar? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732912)

Wow, this story is nothing like the one a few days ago...

Re:Sound Familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732968)

No, that was about laptops outselling desktops in retail stores. This story is about laptops outselling them everywhere else, too.

Funny (3, Funny)

log2.0 (674840) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Funny (5, Funny)

null etc. (524767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733042)

Sorry, I just found it funny.

At least it didn't end with a stupid question, like "Is this the end of desktops as we know it?"

What does this mean to desktop users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732916)

Will this mean higher prices for desktop users? I hope not. I for one HATE with a passion laptops. There great for surfing the web and chatting on aim but for real work I need a desktop. I'm personally much more productive on a larger screen, full sized keyboard, and a comfortable external mouse.

And to the smart asses who say you can hook all these up to a notebook, yeah but why?

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (4, Funny)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732978)

you are forgetting, sir, that only with a laptop can you ensure your entire porn surfing collection and device are with you at all times. especially handy if you have a snoopy female type around.

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733073)

Like your mom?

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733076)

Your collection can fit on a laptop HD??? OMG! You should get high speed internet!

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (4, Funny)

Tassach (137772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733085)

You should never date a woman who objects to your porn collection. Hell, my wife's collection is almost as big as my own. Many an evening of incredible sex has started out with her sitting on my lap surfing porn together.

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (3, Funny)

shawb (16347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732981)

This is for "electronics retailers" which I assume means Best Buy and Circuit City. I wouldn't worry* about being ripped off if you get your PC from them rather than rolling your own. But what I really think this means is that A)laptops are hard (impossible?) to assemble yourself from off the shelf/internet ordered components while it is easy (almost trivial to anyone familiar with computer hardware) to make a desktop.

(* The reason not to worry about it is because you can allready assume that you are getting ripped off.)

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (4, Interesting)

tmortn (630092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733037)

So that your computer goes with you but when you need the space and larger screen etc you have it. With wireless you don't even have to mess around with hooking up a crap load of cables. Wireless mice and Keyboards already exist and it wouldn't take that much to create a wireless display system.

I really wonder if wireless interface systems could get ubiquitous enough that you could more or less forgoe the full key board and mouse on the laptop entirely and just make a mobile processing memory unit say the size of a cell phone. Wirelesss interface stations would be all over the place and you could browse the systems in range and log onto yours.

One idea I like about that is being able to test drive systems at a store before you buy it. Wonder if that new monitor has fast enough refresh ? Enough resolution ? Just attach it to the system on your hip and run a favorit movie/game etc... How about the sound quality of those speakers ? How about wondering if that new system will do what you want ? Access files on your current system while demoing a new unit with similar periphials you have at home. Have an automatic interface with your cars computer... no more dealer visits for codes or wondering what tripped the 'check engine' light.

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733101)

congratulations, you've just described bluetooth.

Re:What does this mean to desktop users? (1)

tmortn (630092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733129)

Mild correction... I described what Blue Tooth is capable. Bit of a ways from making it actually happen though.

Year of the laptop? (1)

mister_tim (653773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732920)

I remember Steve Jobs Macworld keynote in January 2003 where he claimed that 03 would be "the year of the laptop". s/2 []

Maybe he was just a couple of years early?

Re:Year of the laptop? (1)

dan2550 (663103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732947)

apple is always ahead of its time...maybey its a temperal distortion?

Re:Year of the laptop? (2, Informative)

Razzak (253908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732964)

in 2003, laptops outsold desktops in terms of revenue. these new figures are in terms of units.

Re:Year of the laptop? (1)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733077)

Or this article is just a couple of years late?

i am shocked (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732922)

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 laptop you can use anywhere around the casa?

it was bound to happen

Re:i am shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733124)

transfering files between it and a desktop would be a pain

what plannet do you live on? transfering files is easy, fast, and basically painless. the biggest difficulty is deciding what method to use ;) should we drag and drop the files, or copy and paste them ;)

you might want to use a faster wired ethernet connection for transfering say, the full 22 GB of naruto fansubs ;) but 802.11g is pretty decent for most things...

I've owned several laptops, but if you 'use' them everywhere you wind up wearing them down and breaking them eventually. as far as who needs the speed? well, if you're transcoding dvds you've rented and burning them to dvd-r then it's gonna take you less time with a faster system... time is precious man ;)

This may lend credence to the (1, Informative)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732925)

rumor that Apple will be switching to Intel. I imagine Steve Jobs has seen the writing on the wall and sees that Apple's mobile efforts don't have much future if they stick with IBM. Apple continues to sell notebooks like hotcakes despite having all their tech be a generation or two behind PCs.

Re:This may lend credence to the (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732999)

Yes, because desktop Windows PCs being sold today are running 64bit processors with 64bit Operating systems. Damn that Apple and their backwards tech.

Re:This may lend credence to the (3, Informative)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733043)

All Apple notebooks are 32-bit G4s so plz stfu.

And in other news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732927)

Linux is still for fags.

Still waiting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12732929)

for the notebook replacement desktop...

big surprise? (1)

Kaisum (850834) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732930)

This was bound to happen, people are given technology, the technology becomes mobile and more people want to take it with them. Look at the cell phone.

Re:big surprise? (1)

ronz0o (889697) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733087)

im still waiting for a cell phone that can generate food. they have everything else...

They left out the killer feature (5, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:They left out the killer feature (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733007)

That's not true depending on the model. Some of them the only things that aren't upgradable is the cpu and usually the video card.

Upgrading monitors is easy. There's a video output on the back. Plug monitor in as per normal. In fact, you can even plug normal keyboards, mice, etc into them if you're primarily using them as desktops (Which some people do).

I can see why laptops are replacing pcs now. They're about the same price, but they are also portable. Your computer can travel with you now, so its much more convenient. Not everyone is a hardcore gamer that needs the new wiz-bang video card.. :)

Re:They left out the killer feature (0, Troll)

newdamage (753043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733017)

Yeah. They left out the ability to easily take your computer with you. All my custom desktop rigs weighted 50 lbs, and the hernia I was getting from carrying them to and from class was getting a bit much. Man, this laptop, with it's small form factor and integrated screen is a godsend

It's called the right tool for the right job. Desktops allow you to customized and upgrade, laptops sacrifice that for portability. Get over yourself and go back to looking at porn on your super l33t custom rig with clear side panel and neon lighting.

Re:They left out the killer feature (4, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733068)

It's called the right tool for the right job. Desktops allow you to customized and upgrade, laptops sacrifice that for portability. Get over yourself and go back to looking at porn on your super l33t custom rig with clear side panel and neon lighting.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. What I meant to get across was this:

  • Case 1: Owner of desktop (custom or not) - wants new Athlon64 CPU. Orders CPU + mobo for $250 from NewEgg.
  • Case 2: Owner of laptop - wants new Athlon64 CPU. Drops ~$2500 on a new HP laptop.

I am just trying to point out that the numbers are skewed since the first guy essentially got a "new" computer. I know that it is a bit different, but the old laptop will either get tossed or donated or relegated to something else. So in reality, it's like it is no longer there (in most cases).

Re:They left out the killer feature (4, Insightful)

llamaluvr (575102) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733054)

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.

Re:They left out the killer feature (1)

sedyn (880034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733109)

Good point.

I think that any computer that can have it's parts replaced will last much longer. Because with an all-in-one solution (where everything is integrated into the motherboard) all it takes is one failure to make the entire machine useless.

Laptops fall into this "easily a paperweight" category. Therefore, the stats are a little skewed and biased towards laptops.

I hope that the world stays with it's current desktop model for x86s though. Because I don't want to buy hardware that I can't upgrade a component at a time.

This leads to me having an x86 as a desktop and a mac as a laptop. Since I couldn't upgrade a mac laptop any more than an x86 laptop (and I'm not a gamer), I decided to buy one. And truth be told, if it ever got to the state where I couldn't manually and easily upgrade a piece of my desktop at a time, I would probably switch to being a full time mac user.

longer battery life? (4, Insightful)

dan2550 (663103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732935)

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?

Re:longer battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733001)

i love the T1000... I still have my T1200XE although the hard drive doesn't seem to want to read anymore, still spins up though. I'll get it to read again eventually. I still have a battery for it that holds a charge, although i havent actually run it long enough to see for how long. I think theres a big difference in power consumption of chips and all, that 12mhz 286 is goign to use alot less power than my 1.3ghz pentium M no matter how 'advanced' they make speedstep.. also a smaller, lower res display, and the battery is thicker than my acer TM800... so while I'd say that it does seem like older tech might have done somethings better it isnt always a fair comparison.

Re:longer battery life? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733105)

Because the batteries back then weighed around 15lbs? Probably also has to do with the monochrome display.

heat output (3, Insightful)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:heat output (1)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733083)

Dude! Get a Mac!

popularity vs. durability (5, Insightful)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732939)

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.

LCD's (1)

Razzak (253908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732979)

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?

College requirements (4, Interesting)

poity (465672) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Key features: (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732944)

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 laptop as a desktop for not much extra money for an external keyboard and mouse, but it's not possible to use a desktop on the road or in the plane.

Re:Key features: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733035)

it's not possible to use a desktop on the road or in the plane.

Nah... not impossible. Just depends on how dedicated you are. True, probably not worth the hassle, unless you're just doing it to prove that you can.

On a side note, some of my friends had a teacher in high school that would allow any student to bring in a PC (no laptops) for use on exams. He would even provide an outlet. Nobody ever took him up on it (granted, this was before the mini-atx form factor.)

You could also bring in any notes you wanted on a 3X5 card. If your notes were bigger than 3X5 he reserved the right to trim them down to size, usually giving the student the most worthless 3X5" of the paper that he could; cutting straight through equations and whatnot.

Yup (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732950)

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.

Corporate Sales Impact (3, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732954)

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.

Re:Corporate Sales Impact (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733092)

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.

What the laptop buyers forgot... (1)

yossarian dent (828672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732959)

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

Some of the features common in most desktops are the lack of need for a battery, cd burners that don't heat up to roughly the same temperature as the surface of the sun, and the ability to add wireless capability later if you want it.

Re:What the laptop buyers forgot... (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733052)

Yeah, but they are kind of heavy to take to the coffeeshop. Don't you think?

Re:What the laptop buyers forgot... (1)

yossarian dent (828672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733080)

true, but the performance and reliability benefits i get from my desktop are worth the tradeoff (especially during processor-intensive renders)...and i can always get a coffeemaker.

Re:What the laptop buyers forgot... (1)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733099)

Why? I would say that being able to keep you coffee warm while you work would make them the ideal coffee shop machines. Just add a steam spout to the liquid cooled ones and you have your own coffee shop machine right there!

How true (1)

Rac3r5 (804639) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732966)

I purchased a Dell SmartStep 200N about 4 yrs ago when Dell just released them. They were the first to put a desktop chip inside a laptop. Back then a 2.0 Ghz laptop was pretty much comparable to Desktop computers. My professors used to get pretty impressed when my laptop used to be able to compile code faster then their 1 or 2 yr old desktop computers.

They also provide the easiest setup at LAN gaming parties.

Ever since I purchased my laptop, i've pretty much been using it as my primary computer. My only complain is that I have a problem with it overheating easily; so now I put a fan next to it when I work.

My next laptop purchase will probarbly be in another 4 or 5 yrs, since my current one can do everything I need it to do (except play Doom III).

Anyone have any details on intels version of the macMini?

An interesting point (1)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732976)

As TFA mentions, Wifi as really changed things for consumers. It is now possible to keep working on the same machine all day long without loss in connectivity.

I've been an exclusive laptop user for the last 8 years and I don't see myself going back to a fixed desk.

no surprise here (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732982)

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 the laptop is running giving me another 2-3 hours. Wireless internet as well as Cat5 and a modem (just in case.)

I use it for work and for my own programming projects, I don't play games so it's perfect.

3 Desktops (1)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732983)

I don't care. My custom built desktop has more capabilities than a laptop anywhere close to the same price. If you want a less capable, but light and portable laptop, that's all well and good, but screw the rip off "desktop replacement" laptops.

Of course, I did happen to notice this site, Coboc [] . Basically, DIY laptops. Pretty damn tempting...

Re:3 Desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733131)

My desktop replacement laptop has the following specs:

-G wireless
-1000mb NIC
-56.k modem
-2 USB 2.1
-1 USB 1.0
-512 megs of RAM upgradable to 2 gigs
-1280x800 max resolution widescreen
-AMD 64 3200 2.0ghz with powernow optimization
-Nvidia Geforce4 Go with 64 megs of seperate RAM
-80 gig 7200rpm hard drive
-2.1 soundcard with surround sound emulation.

That sounds almost exactally like a desktop, and it doesn't run very hot at all (especially since I use notebook coolers that are even thinner than the laptop itself). And mind you, that's the cheap version of my laptop. I could have started with 2 Gigs of RAM, 100 gig 7200 rpm harddrive, Nvidia geforce 6800 Go 128 megs of seperate RAM, and an AMD 64 3800 3.2ghz.

So why again do you feel that desktop replacement laptops are ripoffs, if they have the identical specs to what my desktop would have? If it's just because you can't swap hardware compoents in and out, then that's not a rip-off, that's just a single part you don't like.

Oh, and that $800 for the laptop, and $200 for a 2 year no questions asked full warrenty. Almost identical for what I could home build.

useable laptops? - thank Apple (0, Flamebait)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732986)

here are a list of "options" that were standard features on laptops that Apple made before any other company made them standard.. some still don't have some of them as optional...

- palm rests
- built-in mouse control device - trackball
- monitor spanning
- trackpads
- ethernet
- software controlled hard drive spin-downs and backlight
- sleep on close/awake when open
- wireless ethernet
- bluetooth

and that's only after thinking about it for 10 seconds.

i recall non-apple laptops from yesteryear...

spacebars at the edge of the laptop and a 1/4 acre above it...
Microsoft hook-on trackball with PS/2 cable...
having to do that OfficeSpace-like dance waiting for Windows to shutdown to get to the DOS prompt...

seriously - that laptops are even useable in this day and age - almost every single feature from the Compaq Luggable to today's kick-ass AMD Athlon 64 rockets that makes them useable as desktop replacements (other than the processor) is all thanks to apple.

i believe my friends at Apple would say... "you're welcome"

Re:useable laptops? - thank Apple (0, Troll)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733018)

i believe my friends at Apple would say... "you're welcome"

Yeah, that's exactly the sort of condescending asshole thing they would say.

Re:useable laptops? - thank Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733082)

There is no such thing as "wireless ethernet"

Re:useable laptops? - thank Apple (4, Funny)

dedazo (737510) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733104)

Hahahah, lo and behold the apple fanboy bullshit of the day.

Apple has always been an innovator, but it has never lead the pack because it simply hasn't had those many laptop/notebook models. The advances in laptop technology have been pushed by the demand in PC laptops from Compaq, Dell, HP and more importantly, IBM. IBM has been probably the more innovating integrator of the lot. Apple is a distant catch-up, regardless of their good industrial design capabilities. The ability to have a hard drive the size of a pack of matches, wireless networking or power-saving processors does not come to us courtesy of your "friends at Apple", it comes from the Toshibas, VIAs and Intels of the world being pushed by PC makers with insane consumer-level demand. You honestly don't think Apple makes their own Firewire controllers, eh?

Thanks for the laugh though.

Re:useable laptops? - thank Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733106)

Yeah, but apples are for fags, liberals and pseudointellectuals.

Apple owes their existance to Blaise Pascal. You know it's true. If he were alive he would say... "Fuck you, you liberal fag pseudointellectual."

He might even fart in your general direction.


Heh! We laugh at you, AppleFag

No syncing (1)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733003)

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 in the laptop and hook up an external or network drive for the other times.
Even if you never flip up the screen at home and use external keyboard/monitor/mouse, you bring your entire work environment with you when on the road.

And if you only use them on your work desk or home desk, the battery is handy as a built-in UPS.

Apple's been selling laptops for years . . . (1)

samnice (879259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733020)

they just called them iMacs.
but seriously, it shouldn't surprise Mac lovers that this is now the case. Apple made a brand on a market that never wanted to upgrade a componet or otherwise "deal with" their computers. I know there are serious Mac users out there, so please don't get me wrong. But when you crack open my old Blueberry iMac, Lo and Behold! Its a Laptop inside. The same technology that makes the Mini viable, is what has been pushing laptops into the forefront.
At my office, the first question we ask new employees is "laptop or desktop?". Only one person took the desktop and thats because we already had it set up, she really didn't care, and we needed to get rid of it. The rest of us can work at the coffeeshop or park, receiving calls via cel phone and email updates from the office. I really don't understand why you would want a desktop at this point.

Slashdot. News for Nerds... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733024)

...Two days after it's posted on Fark!

Seriously, editors. You've been doing this all week.

longer lasting batteries? (1)

JeiFuRi (888436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733028)


Price or Wireless Revolution? (5, Insightful)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733060)

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.

Here's something to think about... (2, Interesting)

AtOMiCNebula (660055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733061)

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.

This pisses me off (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12733063)

I can't stand laptops. Laptops with longer battery life and wireless internet access are one of the reasons why Robert "Commander Taco" Malda is able to sit outside my bedroom window, masturbating vigorously while watching me do my morning calisthenics. They should be banned.

It makes sense.. (1)

greening (146061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733094)

For years, I wouldn't even consider buying a laptop. Due to the price, the fact that they couldn't compare to desktops (performance and screen size/resolution), etc. But, lately, there have been a number of advancements in the laptop market that give you a comparable computer from a laptop (granted, the laptop will weigh a lot more if you're trying to get a full desktop comparable laptop) but, the price is still a factor. In the past, my job has never had anything to do with computers (insurance, chemical labs, etc.) but now I have a programming job that I work from home as well as the office. The most annoying thing is having everything set up just the way you want it at work, then switching to a completely different set up at home. This is the reason why I'm looking into buying a laptop. I spend a lot of time at my bosses house and while I'm there, I can't really get anything done, so I pretty much waste 2-3 hours when I could be getting more work done (that's why the company is also considering chipping in on the cost of the laptop). That leads to the largest benefit that a laptop can provide, portability. It's convenient to be able to take your computer with you when you need to travel, etc.

I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. The biggest reason I would continue buying desktops is to play games (since I work all the time, I rarely do). Then again, it's also nice to be able to upgrade your system piece by piece but, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

students (1)

AndreySeven (840823) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733100)

One thing that is adding to the number for laptops is students. As a student in Seattle, I notice that many students own laptops(perhaps 50/50) if not more compared to desktops. And since there is a wireless access point everywhere on campus and in many places around campus, it is conductive to laptop use.

Laptops now good enough? (1)

Paperweight (865007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733122)

So now I can leave the basement?

Tax advantages (1)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733125)

I just recently purchased my first laptop. The primary reason was that the Australian Tax Office considers that laptops are work-related while desktops aren't. Thus, I can purchase a laptop and have it fully deductable from my taxable income - even if I never do a day of work on it. It's like the government paying for half my laptop. At those sort of prices its a no-brainer.

While these sort of tax distortions continue laptops market shares are going to keep growing and growing.

For two reasons (3, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733127)

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.

Desktops are no longer obsolete in 3 years... (1)

Fly Swatter (30498) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733128)

Why replace what I am happy with?

On the other hand a laptop is more prone to needing replacement due to moving it around all the time (may break) and the batteries are expensive to replace (might as well replace the whole thing while I'm at it..).

Plus laptops are still experiencing significant performance increases and bigger screens while desktops have more or less leveled off in performance - and desktop monitors are a separate unit to replace.

A portable device will always have a lower time of service than a desktop that sits under your desk and is not subject to abuse - one has guaranteed continued sales while the other has market saturation...

Has anyone considered (1)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733130)

Developing naitons? Seriously there is no way they will buy notebook computers right away. The desktop enviroment will rise again as people in these places start word processing.
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