back to article No, you're not imagining the tech drought: Lenovo PC stocks one third of normal amid pandemic demand

In a blow to anyone fighting over the scraps in the laptop market, Lenovo says it is running at between one third to a half of normal stock levels because it can’t keep up with relentlessly high demand for PCs. Ever since coronavirus lockdowns forced people to stay indoors and shift the office to the kitchen table, where …

  1. julian.smith

    Pluck you!

    "Dell, last year said there was a chunk of the PCs out there in the market that are already older than four years and ripe for the plucking."

    You wish

    Our 4+ year Linux desktops and laptops are happily working away at less than 40% CPU

    Pluck off

    1. Gnomalarta

      Re: Pluck you!

      Agreed, my backup Latitude E5410 is speedily running Fedora 33 KDE, 4GB RAM, swapping out the HDD for an SSD was like buying a new laptop for less than £100. I am glad though that I bought my Thinkpad in November as it looks like folks are going to be waiting ages as delivery times extend. Charlie.

    2. nintendoeats Silver badge

      Re: Pluck you!

      I'm sure Dell would love for everybody to think that a 4 year old laptop "needs to be refreshed". And yet, the CPU in my 8 year old laptop is still on par or better performing than most mobile offerings. The computer I use to connect to work is perfectly satisfactory with a low-end Sandy Bridge part.

      So why exactly does my mother need to replace her laptop?

    3. Lon24

      Re: Pluck you!

      "Our 4+ year Linux desktops and laptops are happily working away at less than 40% CPU"

      I'm one of those guy's who couldn't quite handle the thought of dropping or scratching a £1,000+ ThinkPad. I was part of a select group who lived on refurbished but perfectly able business machines for a fraction of the price. No more.

      You folks hanging on to those 4+ year old laptops and folks who can't get new elbowing an increased demand have squeezed the reduced supply for equally eye-watering escalation in prices. I mean £500 for what you could get at half that price 12 months ago!

      My 8 year old T530 is now likely to get a double digit life-cycle. With SSDs it is still pretty quick. It just looks a little old - like me!

  2. Danny Boyd

    Lenovo seems to be really firing on all cylinders

    I tried to order a real battle-grade ThinkPad (i9 / 64 GB RAM / 2 TB SSD), guess what? Three months wait.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder what will happen to...

    ...the millions of desktop PCs now sat unused in offices. Or, if companies decide to get their workers to return, all the laptops they bought for the lockdown period!

    I suppose they'll hit eBay en masse at some point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder what will happen to...

      Can't comment for other companies, but at the last 3 places I worked (over the last 10 years or so), the only desktops in use were for helpdesk staff (i.e. people typically not producing documents, just following scripts and filling in web forms etc).

      Everybody else got laptops, even if they were desk based and always in the office.

  4. juice

    I do wonder...

    What's going to happen post-lockdown.

    Since at that point, a lot of people who are working at home are going to return to the office.

    Which means that at least some of this kit will then become surplus to requirements and will end up glutting the second-hand market or being dumped into recycling channels.

    OTOH, the rate at which individual countries and companies return back to "BAU" is probably going to be staggered over a year or two. And a lot of companies will probably want to refresh their office hardware, since some of it will have failed or hit support EOL by tthe time people get back into the office and blow the dust off it.

    So, overall... interesting times ahead :)

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: I do wonder...

      My prediction is that the desktops in the offices will be the older parts, the laptops can be docked to peripherals, so the laptops will get kept and secondhand desktop prices will go down. Which would be fine except the general public doesn't often use desktops, they've recently purchased their own lockdown equipment, and the spec of office desktops is probably insufficient for the gaming and technical people who like running desktops. So I'm not sure they will sell well. Calling all landfill operators.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I do wonder...

        On the other hand, there is still a real and significant "digital divide" around the world. The better off countries already ship container loads of cheap "old" computers to other less well off nations. Maybe this will be a great opportunity for some of those nations to get computers in schools and industry where it is currently lacking.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: I do wonder...

          That would be nice. I wonder what they're currently using though. Desktops have existed long enough that places probably have old ones. I'm guessing most of the places that don't have computers at all don't have them because it's difficult to power or network them, which isn't going to be solved with a bunch of newer desktops. There are probably some places that will get a cheap upgrade from it though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I do wonder...

      I'm curious about the same.

      I'm currently working at a major IT outsourcing company, ~80k employees in various locations around the World, mostly US, but a lot in the UK, EU, Asia etc..

      Pre-covid they had an office-first policy. i.e Everyone had an assigned desk, and you were expected to be in the office 5 days a week, with few exceptions (they even monitored desk utilization).

      Most offices are now closed, or have minimal staff on site. I haven't been to one of our offices since March last year, and I've had one face-to-face client meeting in that period.

      A short while ago, the company announced that productivity hasn't been hit, other than in a few specific cases, and that overall, productivity has actually gone up, and everyone seems to have settled in to the new way of working.

      So much so, that the company has now started a process of officially switching almost all employees to a formal Working from Home status (the few exceptions being people who have to be physically on site, such as specific secure accounts, or people who deal with hardware in data centers etc.).

      They also plan to close down most offices, and reduce office space to a few hubs in central locations, with mostly hotdesks and meetings rooms.

      They are also in the process of setting up a home workers evaluation process, so that if you need something, like a monitor, office desk, chair etc etc. They'll sent to your home (my guess is this will be 2nd hand stuff from the closing offices!).

      Only thing really worrying some people, is that not everyone finds working from home easy. Some people have lack of space, or young kids that don't understand you can't play with them etc. and some simply don't like working from home. So not sure how that's going to play out.

      As you say, interesting times ahead!

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