Desktops? Dead? They Don’t Have to Be

By  |  Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:58 am

I haven’t bought a desktop PC in three years–and the one desktop I still own that’s still in service spends most of its time sitting alone and unused. Nothing extraordinary there: Laptops now outsell desktops, and you’ve gotta figure that the most likely scenario is that desktops’ share of the market will continue to dwindle over the next few years until they’re archaic oddities, like floppy disks or dot-matrix printers.

Or maybe not. For my latest guest post on, “The Future of Desktop PCs (and How They Can Have One)””, I propose six things that PC manufacturers can do to revitalize the desktop market–or at least get me intrigued by the category again. I hope you find my ideas thought-provoking enough that you’ll leave a comment over there with yours…


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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Barnes Says:

    Yes, I am an Apple fanboy, but Apple appears to be doing something right with desktops.
    Best 27-inch monitor on the planet.
    Pleasing design.
    Very good to excellent performance.

  2. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again: there is NO WAY I am ever going to trade PC-gaming for any console. And since laptops just don’t have the power to play decent games, I’ll always have a beefy desktop at home.

    It’s pretty normal laptops surpass desktop sales though: EVERYONE has a PC, but far from everyone uses it for games or other high-end purposes that require a desktop. Now that laptopprices dropped dramatically and their specs are good enough for the stuff 80% of the users do. So there wouldn’t be a reason for those 80% not to ditch the desktop and go for a laptop.
    The other 20% will still use a desktop, but they tend to buy a laptop too, to do some stuff on the move or just in the couch, while the desktop does the heavy lifting.

    So yeah, laptops are taking over… But the desktop isn’t going anywhere soon.

  3. T Stein Says:

    I agree with Dave Barnes. I also am a fan of Macs. I have a 24 in iMac that is the best computer I’ve every owned. The screen is great, but desktop footprint is small. It is well positioned for working on a desk (unlike laptops in general, which are ergonomic disasters). The keyboard is good. It’s pretty stylish. it is always on, connected in my case by wired ethernet. It is extremely quiet (a mark of Macs in general and as far as I’m concerned a major selling point). It was built in August 2007 and amazingly is not obsolete. I have a MacBook, and though it is great, it does not do the same job as the iMac. No laptop could.

  4. A Red Panda Says:

    I play games on PCs *and* consoles. Each side has it’s great games. This whole “PC/consoles rule over consoles/PC” is just malarkey perpetuated by silly people.

  5. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    @Red Panda:
    I prefer PCs. Period. That’s my preference and that isn’t something you can argue about 😉
    Now if I said “PC ARE THE ONLY TRUE GAMING SOLUTION AND ALL THAT OPPOSES ME ARE POOPOO-HEADS, BLARG BLARG BLARG!!” (that is the sound trolls make 😉 ) THEN you could argue with my post, but a preference just isn’t as arguable ^^

    PS: I’m far from the only person that dislikes controllers and closed hardware 😉

  6. Dave Says:

    I don’t think they’ll ever die. They last twice as long as laptops. Plus, they’re more expandable and thus economical.

  7. Tech Says:

    Desktops are essential when real computing power is needed. Especially in the workplace.

  8. Aktariel Says:

    Oddly enough, I’m moving away from using my laptop and finding that I want the speed and power available to me CPU/GPU wise in a dekstop more and more.

    Speccing my own parts and building it myself just sweetens the deal – compiling programs, running games, and ripping/rednering video are just going to be completely awesome, moreso than they could ever be on a laptop. Plus, the case and PSU will stay with me for a long time to come, much more so than any laptop could.

  9. Thomas @ Satellite TV Says:

    Desktop is not going to die anymore. Laptop can’t able to beat the power of desktop. Moreover, the number of people using desktop are increasing day by day also. While playing games and while doing some works like editing videos and all these things desktop is the best of all.

  10. Lazlow St. Pierre Says:

    I can’t see myself moving away from a desktop soon. When the motherboard on my desktop kicked the bucket a while back and it started rebooting at random, USB and optical drive wouldn’t work, etc. all I have to do was spend €150 on an upgrade kit that both fixed and upgraded my PC. You simply can’t do that with a laptop.

    Yes, if you need a portable computer you’re going to go with a laptop.

    And yes, having seen the new iMacs for sale in my local computer store, I’d gladly buy one if I had the money. They are extremely attractive looking and neat machines compare with the average klunky desktop machine.

    But when it came down to spending well over a grand on a new iMac or €150 to repair and upgrade my own PC, the choice was simple.

    Also, in my last few jobs, just about every single person apart from management and other high paid positions or tech support who needed a portable machine, had an ugly old-fashioned desktop at their desk or workstation. I can’t see the average business replacing desktops with laptops for the average employee especially when you can recycle monitors, keyboards, etc. and simply replace the base unit for quite cheap.

    They may become a niche market eventually, but I think they’re always be those of us who wish to spec, build, upgrade and repair our own desktop PCs.