Why laptops are becoming more popular than desktop computers

Asus S400c Vivobook
Asus S400c Vivobook

It wasn’t so long ago that a laptop was considered a luxury. They were very expensive and were only useful for a commuter on a train or a businessperson checking emails in their hotel room. With the advent of WiFi all that has changed. Now you can compute almost anywhere and so it’s hardly surprising that the portable laptop has overtaken the cumbersome PC.

Laptops outsold PCs for the first time in 2008. According to the Consumers Association 38.6 million laptops were sold worldwide in that year, a rise of 40% whereas desktop PCs fell by 1.3% with a total of 38.5 million. The gap has long since widened and now laptops are ahead of the game.


It took time for laptops to overtake. For a while they were not considered to be such efficient machines. Many had smaller memories with less RAM and slower processing speeds. For users who do a lot of typing, a small keyboard or a mouse-pad wasn’t always as comfortable as a mouse and battery life was often rather short-lived.

Technology has risen to the challenge and now laptops have caught up, running faster, offering as good a viewing experience as a PC, offering as much storage and extended battery time. With that and the advantage of taking up less space and portability, it was only going to be a matter of time before laptops overtook PCs.

The rise of the tablet

However laptops may not be ahead forever. People are using computers in so many different ways and so many of life’s functions are now performed online that even a laptop may not be as handy as it once was. Tablet computers and smart phones are now poised to overtake the humble laptop. Even more portable and even smaller with Wi-Fi spots a plenty and 3G signals tablets and smart phones mean that people can access what they need to know pretty much anywhere.

It’s these advantages which could mean that tablets overtake sales of all computers by 2015. If you don’t do much typing or you only use your laptop for surfing the web then you might consider selling your netbook for cash online and using the proceeds to buy a tablet.

The age of the desktop PC isn’t over yet. Gamers, video-editors, graphic designers, photographers all need a big screen to see clearly what they’re doing. While technology is getting smaller and faster, a smaller computer cannot possibly have a big screen.

If you like to watch movies or require large print then the PC is probably for you. While PCs are bigger, the hard drives are getting smaller and the screens flatter. Many have the hard drive built into a flat screen and the keyboards are less cumbersome too.

Choosing what sort of device to buy very much depends on what you want to use it for. Laptops are great for surfing on the sofa or catching up in a cafe but the PC will always have its place.

Sandra Johnstone