The latest study shows that consumers are increasingly choosing 15-inch notebooks, which carries with it more bulk and weight than smaller 13- or 14-inch rivals and at a cost to battery life, with the average 15-inch system getting about 225 minutes of runtime compared to 338 for ultraportable 13-inch systems. The impact of this is that manufacturers may exit the ultraportable market in the U.S. MSI will no longer offer their 13-inch X360 notebook and Lenovo will no longer make their 13-inch ThinkPad X300 series offering.
So who’s to blame for this trend? Consumers, manufacturers, and panel makers are to blame according to LaptopMag. Panel makers exert a lot of control over purchase decisions as they price their 15-inch panels more aggressively. As such, we see deeper discounts on 15-inch systems from manufacturers, which are driving consumer purchases in that class. Also, users who switch from a desktop to a laptop environment may not understand portability and may opt for the larger displays to replicate a desktop system. Another force behind the 15-inch momentum is that consumers see 11-inch and 13-inch system with ultra low-voltage systems whereas 14-inch and 15-inch systems come equipped with more powerful CPUs and GPUs.