Ultraportable Laptops Are More Popular Than Ever

by Reads (12,146)

This month’s release of the Consumer Behavior Report from Pricegrabber.com shows that consumers are making some interesting choices when purchasing new laptops. The Consumer Behavior Report is based on responses from roughly 2,000 consumers after shopping for products via Pricegrabber.com. The report is designed to give merchants, media and industry analysts insight into shopping trends, pricing and market share. Here are some figures that jump out from the report:

  • 58 percent of respondents who own a laptop have a "portable-style laptop" (a laptop with a screen less than 15 inches and weighs less than six pounds).
  • 88 percent of respondents say they’ll consider a portable-style laptop when purchasing a new laptop. (A change from previous shopping trends when consumers were shopping for laptops with larger screens.)
  • The Sony VAIO brand has the highest year-over-year traffic among the most popular portable-style laptops on the market, between January 2007 and January 2008.
  • The most popular laptop (among all categories and sizes) on Pricegrabber.com between 1/1/08 and 2/21/08 was the Asus Eee PC 4G Surf.

What is perhaps equally interesting is that the report suggests consumers are split between low-end and mid-range priced laptops. Among the 20 most popular laptops on PriceGrabber.com, 45 percent are low-end laptops (less than $1,000), with an average price point of $576. Another 45 percent of the top 20 list are mid-priced laptops ($1,000-$2,000), with an average price point of $1,424. Only 10 percent of the top 20 laptops fall within the high-end price range (more than $2,000), with an average price point of $2,274.

What Are You Looking For?

When it comes to the issues that matter most to consumers when shopping for a new laptop, 46 percent of respondents said that "performance" was the most important feature when chosing a portable laptop … followed by "price" at 17 percent and "battery life" at 15 percent.

In short, this report indicates that consumers are looking for more portable notebook solutions and that fewer consumers are willing to spend a large sum of money on a laptop despite the desire for high performance. These figures really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for industry professionals who have been paying attention to sales numbers over the last year.

Big Surprises Come In Small Sizes 

If anything in the report comes as a surprise, it’s that the Eee PC 4G Surf, one of the smallest and cheapest laptops, is currently more popular among online shoppers than laptops from HP, Dell, Apple, or any other manufacturer. Considering the Asus Eee PC has only been on the market since October of 2007, this is quite impressive.

No wonder we’re seeing an increasing number of laptop makers releasing similar low-priced ultraportable laptops. If consumer behavior continues like this, we can expect to see even more budget portable notebooks in 2008.

Is this a good thing? We suspect only time will tell … but let us know what you think in our discussion forums.

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