back to article All it took was a pandemic to revive PCs: Canalys proclaims sales up 25% in Q4 as world+dog stays home

The do-everything-from-home revolution – work, study and play – led to a record 90.3 million personal computers being shipped into the channel in the fourth quarter of last year, up a whopping 25.4 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic final quarter of 2019. This is represents the third sequential quarter of sales growth since …

  1. LDS Silver badge

    I wonder where all those high-end video cards I can't buy are going...

    ... into laptops?

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: I wonder where all those high-end video cards I can't buy are going...

      I was taking them back to 2009 and mining a certain blockchain-derived currency with them. But then I realised if I can travel back in time all I need to do is speculate not actually make anything...

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: I wonder where all those high-end video cards I can't buy are going...

      Into servers.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "PCs are here to stay"

    I don't think so. The pandemic has just given them a booster shot.

    Then again, that depends on the definition of a PC. I'm old school ; to me, a PC is a large box - not too noisy - connected to two very large screens, with a keyboard and wireless mouse on a desk, along with a comfortable chair to sit in and enjoy the power. A PC is the most powerful computer there is, because it has the best heat evacuation ability, so its components can be ramped up.

    Yet, the article cites Lenovo. AFAIK, Lenovo makes laptops, not PCs. Okay, the laptop is the modern computer, so in that respect, yes, PCs are here to stay - but nobody has ever said the contrary. Laptops are indeed here to stay, and some models desperately try to replicate the power of an actual PC.

    Wouldn't want one of those on my lap, though.

    So yes, laptops are the future of computing for Joe Public. True PCs, however, will remain the future of those who need the power that a tower can provide and do not need the mobility that a laptop ensures.

    And if you need more than two screens, there is no laptop that can suit you.

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: "PCs are here to stay"

      Quote: "And if you need more than two screens, there is no laptop that can suit you."

      Lots of Laptops support two externals these days, laptops generally have either a dedicated HDMI or DisplayPort, then newer models also have a USB-C which can usually drive another display either directly (i.e. a USB-C to DisplayPort cable), or via a Hub, giving you two externals, plus the built in, so three in total.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: "PCs are here to stay"

        The key phrase here is "more than two" and indeed, I have 3 monitors on my machine... one landscape, flanked by 2 portrait ones. And I've never gotten a hub to work.

        1. Boothy Silver badge

          Re: "PCs are here to stay"

          Pedant, but you did say "two screens", not two monitors.

          Two "screens" to me means built in + 1 x external.

          Therefore more than "two screens" means built in + 2 x externals.

      2. ovation1357

        Re: "PCs are here to stay"

        My ageing Lenovo ThinkPad T520, which is approximately 8 years old will happily drive two external monitors (1x DisplayPort and 1x VGA) as well as the internal screen using the Intel graphics built into a 2nd Gen it (sandy bridge).

        With a docking station I think I could drive 3 or perhaps even 4 externals although I'd have to try it to be sure.

        Personally I find even dual screens too much since monitors went wide-screen so I just stick to one at a decent resolution but I get it that multi screen is what most folks prefer.

        My point being that it's not just 'laptops these days' which can do it

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: "PCs are here to stay"

      1: Lenovo do make desktops

      2: I can attach 4 x 4K monitors to my 16” MacBook, and I believe there are non Apple laptops with similar functionality.

  3. PhilipN Silver badge

    "market to expand"

    Really? When all those workhorse PC's are sitting idle on desks gathering dust in the office? Which suggests in the event the Work-from-home regime dissipates PC sales will fall off a cliff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PC sales will fall off a cliff

      to the shock of the market. Again. But not before they have ramped up the production beyond measure. Again.

  4. TimMaher Silver badge
    Windows

    What is a “mobile workstation”?

    Is it that new Apple Mac Pro with the expensive wheels?

    Also, why is a 4 year old PC due for replacement?

    I have recently upgraded from a 2008 pro to a 2012 refurb.

    Works fine for me.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: What is a “mobile workstation”?

      Mobile Workstation is something like the Thinkpad P series with an H-Series Core or Xeon WxxxxM chip inside or equivalent from AMD.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: What is a “mobile workstation”?

      Indeed, just a week ago I upgraded my mom's circa 2012 PC (which was a low end model running a "Celeron" P4) with an additional 8GB of RAM and SSD, and installed Windows 10 to replace the no longer secure Windows 7.

      The thing has plenty of years left in it, I hope it isn't true but it may live longer than she will.

  5. Blackjack Silver badge

    Just four?

    [there are a generation of PCs out there that are older than four years.]

    While I replaced the hard disks during 2019, my main CPU is ten years old.

    And usually I end using computers for a decade and change.

    1. ovation1357

      Re: Just four?

      I've just bucked the trend (having sworn I'd never buy a desktop machine again) and have bought myself and old HP z-series machine with an 8 core Xeon and 64GB Ram as an upgrade from my T520 laptop with an i5 and 16gb.

      Both machines are around 8 years old and I'm only just starting out with this latest one.

      I'm frequently exhausting the 16 GB max ram in my old laptop and I tried upgrading the CPU to an i7 but despite decent thermal paste and a clean fan it's hitting nearly 100°c core temp when busy and getting throttled for safety.

      Everything made since this generation of Lenovo T and W laptops (T420, 520 etc) has switched to using horrible chiclet keyboards and weird trackpads so I'm not interested in those.

      Now I'm working mainly from home I might as well run off a box without the thermal constraints of a small form factor and just take the old laptop out when I need portability.

      4 years? I cry bullshit. Even with Windows you can go much longer these days so the old possible grounds for claiming 4 years is that the manufacturer might not officially supply parts much beyond that. I'm sure for some corporate clients they'll prefer to have full onsite service but I'm happy with scouring eBay when necessary

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yep. It's near enough impossible to find a good low end laptop at the moment.

    I'm looking for one for my son to do his school work, because the one he's using is from 2007 and the screen is only attached to the other half by its ribbon cable.

    But anything worth buying is out of stock pretty much everywhere.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Boffin

      Don't know where you are or what you consider good or low end but check the manufacturers' official outlet stores. As an example the US Dell outlet has new but previous model Inspirons for under $400.

  7. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "unless it's a desktop"

    Gaming is coming on strong. High end "desktops" won't die any time soon.

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