back to article Laptop-crazy consumers will keep PC market afloat

IDC has dialled up its 2008 PC market forecast as raging sales of cheap laptops allow the industry to “resist economic pressures” – for now, anyway. At the other end of the market, mid- and high-end servers kept the HPC server market chugging along in the second quarter despite soft x86 server sales. The analyst has ratcheted …

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  1. Goat Jam
    Paris Hilton

    Craaaazy Consumers

    It has been my experience that most "consumers" who purchase laptops have no compelling reason to have a laptop other than it is cuter/flashier/cooler etc.

    This is even after they have been warned about the many, many areas where laptops are inferior to a good desktop.

    Laptops are;

    More expensive

    Slower

    Crappy keyboard

    Crappy mouse

    Can't be upgraded

    Prone to breakage

    Expensive/impossible to repair

    The only advantage they have is they can be carried around, but there are tonnes of people who own laptops that may as well be glued to their desks.

    Case in point, my dumb sister and her idiot teenage son.

    They rang me up asking whether some Toshiba laptop they had their eye on would be good. I asked them why they thought they needed a laptop seeing that they never go anywhere, have never owned a computer before and only one of them works, and that is as a gas station attendant where having a laptop is hardly considered as being a necessary tool for the execution of ones duties. They then received the full lecture from me outlining the negative aspects of owning a laptop and went away to ponder things further.

    Days later I learn that, of course, they went ahead and bought the Toshiba anyway.

    Hardly a month passed before idiot teenage son decides to spill coke all over the damn thing, rendering it an ex-laptop. This is despite my often repeated express warnings after they had bought the thing to "at least make sure that nobody eats/drinks near it for gods sake"

    Sigh

    Some people just can't be helped.

    Paris, because she's the sort of laptop I could get into

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @goat

    Ooo you fogot.

    Takes up less space.

    Quieter

    Less Cables

    Lower Power

    Inbuilt UPS

  3. Michael
    Thumb Up

    also.....

    Makes a nice hotplate.

  4. Goat Jam

    @stu

    Cables: Well, this is not such an advantage once you realise you have to plug in a decent keyboard /mouse/GB ethernet for a decent user experience (plus you have to buy the extra bits to do this)

    Lower Power: granted, but I would contend that that this alone is not a sufficient advantage to offset the many disadvantages presented by owning a laptop.

    Inbuilt UPS. Once again this may be an advantage to some users, but one that will be completely unappreciated by the type of user that merely uses their PC to browse YouTube and send/receive the occasional email.

    Let's face the facts, for 95% of users (a figure I completely pulled out of my arse I assure you) a desktop is a better choice. So, let us all ask ourselves why 95% of pc sales are not actually for desktops.

    It has something to do with something as superficial and puerile as laptops being "sexier" looking I assure you.

  5. Goat Jam

    @stu part 2

    Regarding the question of space;

    This is a fallacy. If you consider the average desk, you can have a desktop PC on the floor and the only desk space you need to allocate is that required for a standard keyboard and a flatscreen LCD monitor which takes takes up no more desk real estate than your average laptop. If you add the external keyboard that you need to plug into your laptop then you are taking up more deskspace than just a keyboard and a flatscreen LCD.

  6. BioTube

    The laptop fallacy

    Let's not forget the fact that people also want powerful computers, a function any reasonable soul would leave to a desktop. Netbooks do so well because people who want a mobile computer but are sane enough to leave the heavy lifting to the desktop are buying them.

  7. F Seiler

    may sound silly

    But i'm quite convinced, many people (subconciously?) also see a laptop as a smaller threat, eg that big tower thing looks much less controllable than a small brick on your desk. hah, as if.

  8. Henry Cobb
    Happy

    My laptop workstation

    There is a ledge 20 cm above my desk for my Dell laptop with the 15" display.

    On my desk is either a USB IBM Trackpad keyboard or a wireless Keyboard and mouse combo. (Depending on what continent I'm on. I haven't decided which setup works best and I can switch without changing the laptop.)

    This way I have one of the nicer displays in our office at a comfortable viewing level and it keeps my palms away from that fraking touchy pad.

    But I suspect that China will take over the Cute and Cramped Subnotebook market, leaving the big American PC companies beached with the tide out.

  9. Solomon Grundy

    @F Seiler and the Laptop Threat

    I think you are correct. The "big hulking box" at their desk can be intimidating, but the portable laptop is viewed just like their iPod or SmartPhone (which they don't leverage either).

    That being said, I prefer my laptop. Yes it costs lots of money to buy a new one every year or so ($30k+ since '01) but it doesn't matter because I can take my laptop to all my regular work areas (office, home, field offices) and plug it in to my choice of monitor/printer setups that remains standardized throughout my spaces without the risk of some fucking "cloud" being blown away by a strong breeze. I have no security concerns and it makes me look cooler. All the developers at our shop use laptops for the same reasons. Granted, they aren't very cool, but their laptops are nice.

    It's like the Washington Post "if you don't get it - you don't get it". Ha.

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