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Is this the year of portability?

In July, the research firm NPD Techworld reported two historic firsts. According to sales results from the company's point-of-sale tracking service, May 2003 marked the first time that the dollar sales of notebook computers sold surpassed the dollar sales of desktop computers by U.S. retailers. May also marked the first month that LCD monitor sales passed those of standard tube-based CRTs.

An August 3 article in The Washington Post citing the NPD Techworld statistics pointed out that, other than lower price tags, desktop computers haven't undergone as much change in recent years as laptops have. Yet, the most popular laptops now aren't those with the lightest weight or with the batteries that run the longest. Instead they are what the article calls "desktop replacements"--machines that use chips originally designed for desktops. These laptops cost less than those with mobile processors.

NPD Techworld says that notebook computer sales volumes have been gaining on those of desktop PCs over the past four years. In January 2000, notebooks represented less than 25 percent of sales volume, but by this past May, notebooks were more than 54 percent of the sales volume.

In an article posted on the NPD Techworld Web site, Tom Edwards, senior industry analyst for consumer electronics, and Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis for information technology, answer the question, "What's Hot for Back-to-School?"

They say, "The real tech story at back-to-school time is information technology. For IT manufacturers and retailers, the talk for Back-to-School 2003 is portable computing."

Edwards and Baker say that the desire for portability will also be met by the rising profile of wireless networking equipment designed to make home computing devices work together wirelessly and with increased speed. They add that LCD screens, which also address the space issue, will be popular for this school year. Another space saver can be a multiple-function device that offers printing, scanning, copying and faxing, and these say Edwards and Baker are shrinking in both size and price.

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Title Annotation:trend towards preference for portable computers over desktop variety; Information Technology Update
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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