What’s going on in laptop land?


Prices are up – way up. I’d love to get some better metrics, but for now I’ll just go on a few specific data points from observations over the last couple of months.

When I was deciding whether or not to get a Chromebook after Christmas I could have picked up a white AMD (E-1200) based Lenovo S206 for £199.99 from Amazon, the best they can do now is the older E300 model for £299.99 – £100 (50%) more.

When I bought my daughter’s Pink (E2-1800) S206 it was £249.99[1] it’s now £100 (40%) more .

When I was shopping around for my daughter’s laptop I wanted a 11.6″ screen, which was hard to find, but there were a load of machines at the £239.99-£249.99 price point with 15.6″ screens. Those machines now seem to be £329.99-£369.99 if you can get them at all.

If feels like supply is thin, and prices have risen accordingly – a bit like the HDD shortage following the flooding in Thailand a little while ago. But this time I can’t think of an event that’s caused the shortage.

Meanwhile the Samsung ARM Chromebook has come down (on Amazon) from £229 to £224.

I know that the £ has been weakening, but nowhere near enough to explain these price movements. Something else is going on, and I’d love to know what?

One thing does come to mind – the end of promotional pricing for Windows 8. The Wintel hegemony was in bad enough shape due to the awful UX of Windows 8. Things will only work out worse if Wintel is priced uncompetitively against the Chromebook and Tablet competition.


[1] That was a sale price for the E2-1800, but I could have easily picked up an E-1200 for the same money.

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