Laptops Overtaking Desktops?

The computer industry may be undergoing a historic shift. This month, laptops outsold desktop units for the first time. editor-at-large Janice Chen

to The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler that laptops, also known as notebooks, had always been much more expensive and less powerful than desktops, but that's changing.

Some new laptops are so powerful, they can run high-end 3-D games, which typically demand the most powerful desktops.

And laptop prices continue to drop, relative to desktops, as laptop sales seem to be surpassing those of desktops.

In the last year, laptop prices dropped 17 percent, while desktop prices declined 4 percent.

As prices drop and notebooks become more powerful, more people are getting laptops to use in their homes and offices, Chen says. Laptops used to be more of a corporate machine, only.

Laptops are becoming thinner and lighter, and that includes even high-end "desktop replacement" and gaming notebooks, which are powerful and have big screens and every feature under the sun. An example is Dell's XPS Gen 2. It's one of the fastest and slimmest gaming machines we've seen, Chen notes. This is due to new processors that are faster and more energy efficient, meaning you don't need a bulky fan inside the computer. Small "ultra-portables.," such as the Dell Latitude X1, continue to get even smaller.