A new survey of nearly 200,000 U.S. adults has found that more than a quarter of those polled say they want a new laptop for work, which is up from 26% last year.
The survey also found that about a quarter have purchased a new desktop computer in the past year.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen such an unprecedented increase in the number of people who are looking to upgrade their laptop,” said Brian Blau, CEO of PC World, a consulting firm that conducted the survey.
The trend has come about “due to consumer demand for new laptop computers,” he said.
While the number is down, laptop sales have increased for a number of reasons, Blau said.
People are moving to smartphones and tablets and moving away from desktops and laptops, and some businesses are looking for ways to save money.
For example, Blucher said, many of the people in the survey said they purchased a laptop for school and to work, and now are looking at a new machine to use at home.
“A lot of that demand has been driven by consumers who are trying to save on the cost of a new computer,” Blau added.
While it’s still unclear exactly what drives this growth, the data shows that the average age of respondents in the new survey was 32.
Blau estimated that the majority of people have a laptop now and in the near future.
The survey also revealed that the percentage of people in their early 20s buying a new PC has increased from 32% to 36%.
The most common reasons respondents cited for buying a PC were to get more work done (23%), to do more work (21%), to take advantage of online learning opportunities (20%), and to do business online (19%).
But there was also a significant shift in what people are buying.
People in their 30s were more likely to buy a new Mac (40%) or a Chromebook (34%).
The report also revealed the average cost of buying a laptop has decreased slightly since 2015, from $8,500 to $8.15, and the cost per month of a Chromebook has increased by $30, from about $1,200 to about $2,000.
Blau said that while the cost increase for a laptop is important, he hopes the trend continues.
“I think the fact that we’re seeing a big number of older people buying laptops, I think is going to continue to spur people to upgrade, because the fact is that they are willing to pay more for their devices,” he added.
Blucher also pointed out that the consumer-oriented trend of buying laptops will continue in the future, as more people are opting to work from home.
He also predicted that laptop makers will be focusing more on the productivity benefits of working from home, and it’s likely they’ll focus more on laptops with high-resolution screens, higher screen resolutions and touchscreens.