For the first time ever, notebook (laptop) sales have surpassed desktop sales, according to research cited in a recent article in Eweek. In the third quarter of 2008, notebook PC shipments rose almost 40 percent compared with the same period of 2007 to reach 38.6 million units. Conversely, desktop PC shipments declined by 1.3 percent for the same period to 38.5 million units, according to the report.
The authors note that small to midsize business owners should carefully consider their needs before moving from a desktop- to notebook-based business.
They caution that notebooks offer portability and come with much longer battery life and more features and power than ever before. However, when notebooks aren’t being used for mobile computing they often require peripherals for use in the office. On the road, additional components like Wi-Fi access, the required broadband cards and an extra battery can also add to costs.
Another issue to keep in mind before purchasing a slew of notebooks is that they are frequently lost and can be easily damaged. The FBI's National Crime Information Center reported that the number of reported laptop thefts increased almost 48 percent over the last two years, to nearly 109,000 from 73,700, Eweek reported among other statistics.
A worthy option: While losing the hardware is unfortunate, the company information contained inside the notebook could cost much more. Dell and Lenovo offer tracking and lock-down features on their notebook families, and starting in 2009, Lenovo ThinkPad notebook users can remotely shut down a laptop that has been stolen or lost.