Re: Why would you buy Intel?
I needed to source a replacement for an ancient Fujitsu that was simply not up to the job we needed now (8 years old with about 1 hour battery life and increasingly dodgy keys). Other than the really low end "web book" type of things (HP Stream, Chromebooks) there is very little choice at the low to mid range. Only once you get up to the £800 and higher does the choice become better, increasing with price. This is purely based on on price, anything in the £350 to £700 range has been hoovered up.
This is all well and good assuming that you want to spend £800 to £1500. Do you really need 1TB nvme drives, i7 CPUs, bonkers screen resolution? No, that is why there is a huge dearth in the sweet spot. It takes so long for inventory to get through the manufacturing and supply chain it is not going to change in the short term. Add in all the problems with containers heaped up in UK ports, dramatically increased shipping costs and the new fangled customs issues this shortage could be longer.
On the plus side, devices that are less than 2 years old will be fine if they were decent to start with. My feeling is the shortfall is driven by all the schools doing online teaching. Those parent's that can afford it will have just bought what was needed to try and ensure their kids get some sort of education.