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My guess is that people's existing desktops are generally working well enough and users at this point don't see any cost benefit to buy a new one, especially if they have to get saddled with Vista.
Or, if they do buy a new computer, they are opting for laptops for more flexibility in where they use them. Yes, you *COULD* put a wireless network card in your desktop, but you can't very well drag it to Starbucks with you. :)
I switched to laptops early because of an RSI issue with my shoulder that requires me to use an armchair, but even without that problem, I would be using laptops exclusively by now.
Laptops are very portable - I can be sitting in any room in my house (even in front of the tv) or office working on the machine, compared to desktops which aren't portable and need to stay in the one location.
The only downside I find is the hard drive which is a lot less (80Gb compared to 500GB), battery life (good but never enough) and perhaps an increased threat of theft (and hence data loss).
In addition to abandoning the desktop, I've also given up on the "tablet pc" idea as I rarely need to use the digital pen (its a tablet convertable I have), but will probably go for the Toshiba dual tablet/touch screen as I'm a fan of touch screen - I like adjusting volume, fast forwarding etc just by touching the screen - seems quicker and more natural than using a mouse/keypad at times.
What about people who primarily bought desktops for playing the latest games? Do they buy laptops now? Do the latest laptop graphics cards match the desktop graphics cards?
The one thing that has annoyed me about this though is the need to reattach things (though docking stations help a bit). I'd much prefer to be able to wirelessly connect to all these devices (incl. the monitor) so that the laptop doesn't need any cables attached whatsoever.
I bought a pretty robust desktop replacement machine. It was heavy. It supported a second monitor. I plugged on in. And a keyboard, mouse, scanner, printer, pocket pc, external hard drive, mp3 player, etc...
Every time I wanted to take my portable computer somewhere with me I had to unplug all the cables (not as tedious as it sounds as most where plugged into a usb hub)and fetch the cord out from under my desk. It was enough of a pain that I only did it if I really needed my laptop or was going out of town.
Did I mention it was heavy? I have an excellent laptop bag with backpack straps, but it was still a pain to carry.
The biggest problem I had was the severely limited hard disk capacity.
Last fall I went back to using a desktop computer. I still have a laptop, but I use it only as a portable machine and not as my primary system.
If it weren't for Vista, I would be in the market right now. However, I don't have time to fool with learning my way around the Linux options, want nothing to do with Vista (at least for now) based on a lot of first hand reports, and I'm not going to invest several thousand dollars in box with a de facto obsolete OS:(( It's a bad time to be buying a computer.
When I came off the road, I never wanted another laptop. Desktop all the way. One at the office (XP Pro) and one at home (Windows 2000). I can work either place. I refuse to work any other place and luckily my job doesn't require it.
I could never go back to a desktop again. The key is to be able to use external "things" with your laptop easily, particularly a keyboard, mouse and external monitor. And for that, nothing beats a good and real docking station.
Edit - Gee, sorry...dredged up an ancient post from months and months ago.