Is The Desktop PC Dead?

Is The Desktop PC Dead?

Desktop sales fell by 23 percent last year across the computer industry. In the U.S., 80 percent of sales went to notebooks. Gizmodo declares the desktop dead, but we’re wondering if you see a future for non-mobile systems.

Photo by coda.

Our gadget-focused sibling argues that a laptop can now do everything a desktop can do, only more simply, wirelessly, and with a negligible price difference. While they concede that graphics and hard drive performance, for the most part, are generally less costly across desktops, these differences are becoming less pronounced, so much so that “in virtually any scenario, a laptop is the sensible buy”.

Given how rewarding a built-from-scratch PC can be, we’re curious to hear how our own—perhaps less shiny/new-obsessed—readers feel about the desktop computer. Can any application keep it a viable market force? What would it take for you to consider one over a laptop? Share your declarations, prognostications, and/or eulogies in the comments.

So Long Desktop PC, You Suck [Gizmodo]


  • Desktops are great for computing at home or work. With a large LCD monitor, full size keyboard and mouse, and with permanent connections to quality speakers, printer and other peripherals, it’s a much more ergonomic set up than a notebook can provide.

    If you have a need to take your computer on the road, then perhaps a docking station will help. Even then I’d be a bit iffy about carrying my sole machine outside without backups and encryption.

  • Desktop PCs FTW. On the road I use a laptop of course, but at home, nothing better:

    – they almost never overheat
    – I find them much more comfortable than a laptop screen
    – tidier than a frankenstein of docks and cables for a laptop
    – cheaper
    – much more configurable specifications
    – faster per dollar
    – I can’t fit 3TB in a laptop (yet) and adding endless USB enclosures adds to the size of the setup and cuts the power-savings of a laptop anyway
    – easier and more reliable to run a HTPC/server on for home use

    I heart my desktop.

    • This is a ridiculous article. It explains how desktops are marginally better when it comes to graphics, HDDs, RAM, optical drives and price. But then it says desktops are a bad idea.

      Then it ludicrously says that laptops are more practical because if you want a big screen all you need to do is plug it in to your HD TV. Uh, yeah, right, that’s how I do my computing. And the other big advantage is that you can use a laptop on the toilet. Well, you’ve sold me there, gizmodo.

  • I once saw an interview with Bill Gates, he was asked “if you had to give up all your technology except for one thing, what would you keep, his reply was…he would keep his desktop PC”, same here…

  • Laptops and Desktops are the same price. Just the laptop comes bundled with a “UPS” and the most forgo that expense with a desktop. It’s more likely that people are moving to laptops because;
    a) power useage
    b) portable
    c) school
    d) space
    e) quiet
    Laptops are the new desktops and 10″ netbooks are the new laptops.

    If you want a quiet computer to run as a home theater machine use a netbook or laptop with a DVD drive. Because the specifications of a laptop these days can handle Full HD video and have decent built in Audio, they are quiet, small and additional storage can be on the network or USB.

    Desktops are becoming the home Server. Running 24/7, multiple 1TB or more Hard Drives, attaching printers and scanners and possibly TV Tuners.

  • I used a laptop for a while until it gave up and died. Then I upgraded to a very spiffy desktop PC with a 24 inch monitor. It. is. SO MUCH BETTER. I don’t care that I can’t use it in bed anymore (or on the toilet… eww). I have a 1TB hard drive and have my entire media collection stored, which looks great on the monitor and sounds great through the speakers with subwoofer. Not only that, my graphic design work is so much easier with a large screen. I got a comfy office chair and I’m like a fish in water.
    Also – who needs to wait for Photoshop to load? Not I.

  • does this include desktop building(getting the parts and diy) or does it only include those overpriced pcs at the stores?
    Maybe people are getting smarter and just building if thats the case. building is so much better.

  • I would consider buying a laptop in addition to having my desktop PC, but can’t see having it instead of. But really have no intention, nor need, of buying a laptop – am building another desktop PC though, although it’ll be used entirely for multimedia (movies, music, TV, etc). In saying that though 2/3 family members have scraped the desktop PC for laptops, just more convenient for their lifestyle (1 goes camping etc, the other like the mobility around the house).

  • I think what is happening is that desktop owners in general are not refreshing their desktops as often as they used to because the need for increased processing power to perform general computing tasks like email, internet browsing, social networking, word processing is not there. They are instead buying laptops to supplement their desktop use.

    I know I bought a netbook this year for my daughter but I would not give up my desktop. I love my big screen and hard drive capacity too much.

  • This whole argument is ridiculous. Desktops will always be great, have their place, be cheaper overall, and have greater longevity. Basically desktops are cheap, have more room to put robust gear, and don’t need fiddly and often limited perypherals as often required by laptops. Also, desktops are unlikely to burn my testicles, as they will never be in my lap! (Yes there have been cases of this happening… google it!)

  • desktops will be aroudn for a long time, even once SSD storage becomes the (economic) standard feature, there will still be a trade off in terms of performance and function.

    the fact that you cannot upgrade a notebook (other than changing the tiny hard drive for another, or adding 1 or 2 sticks of memory), is the largest obstacle without a doubt. try adding a new graphics card, more ports or a next gen CPU, and you’re out of luck — NEC experimented with that concept years ago, but their overpriced hardware denied it acceptance from any significant market, so the idea was canned. it would take a lower-end, innovative company like ASUS to get that idea to work for real.

    the attachment of a keyboard hinged on a mini screen is the other major problem — ergonomically that can never possibly work (unless humans evolve into 3 foot dwarfs with no necks), no conscious, thinking person is going to give up the comfort of a full-sized keyboard and a decent 24-30″ monitor in favour of a similarly priced 19″ notebook (with less performance). this has a potential to change with laser keyboards, motion-sensing cameras, and bendable LED screens or inbuilt projectors, but these are still many years away from being a standard feature in notebooks.

    that also doesn’t factor in the added cost — currently there are comparably priced notebooks, but if you scrutinise the specifications there are vast differences with what your money actually buys, between the two form-factors.

    notebooks will replace desktops eventually, but it’s still a long way off, to be sure.

  • What a stupid article……

    Hardware, especially processor’s have stalled the last 2 years…no need to upgrade your desktop…and RAM upgrades are so cheap u dont need to buy another machine. The laptop solds are most likely additional devices, not primary

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