The colour of value

A comment from a retailer - claiming that people are increasingly looking at touchscreen all-in-one devices for the family desktop - caught my eye again this month.
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All-in-ones have increasingly shown up in our sales charts and with good reason. Many of these machines make full use of the features available in Windows 7 and due to the touch functionality, enable young children to engage with their PC without sacrificing any of its core features and uses.

As well as offering a good user experience, the all-in-one nature of these PCs offer a certain degree of value for money – another key concern raised in the retailers comments.

The top selling desktop – Packard Bell’s iMedia 4523 – is currently being offered by the multiple retailers at a price point of around £350, while the second best seller – the Compaq SG3 is a relatively entry level machine that can be found for as little as £300 in supermarkets.

The laptop charts paint a similar picture, featuring a majority of low-end devices and brands including the Acer eMachine LX.RA702, the Toshiba Satellite C660 and the Acer Aspire 5742, which has been reviewed as having a ‘flimsy chassis but excellent bang for the budget buck.’

The prevalence of low-end devices is perhaps unsurprising in what has been a very slow period in terms of sales and economic performance in general. It would seem that one of the few ways to add value to a laptop at the moment is to offer a choice of colours, a factor that is highlighted by the long-term success of Dell’s Inspiron devices and the current top selling laptop – the HP G56 B30 – which comes in red.

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Value for money shines through

A look at this month?s top sellers reveals a theme that will be familiar to many retailers across the country. Despite the ongoing recession, there is still demand for IT products, but customers are looking to maximise the value of the money they spend.

The season to be cheerful?

The IT retail sector is preparing for one of its most challenging year-ends in the last 15 years. So far, we have seen sales across all product groups fall by almost four per cent from January to August 2008 to the same period this year.

Are desktops still relevant?

A look at our top selling desktops and laptops shows an interesting pattern. In terms of specs, there?s very little to differentiate the top three laptops from the top selling desktops.

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The way forward

For the second month running, I managed to almost finish my column, all apart from the usual niceties of checking spelling and grammar ? and then something happened to make me scrap the whole thing and start again from scratch.

The standard of your trading

Our local Trading Standards Office runs a Registered Trader Scheme. Anyone who registers is listed on the website and receives materials to display in their premises and online. There are stringent checks and requirements before joining and during the membership term. Customers are encouraged to comment on the service they receive.

A touch of good sales

The entry of the Packard Bell OneTwo into our desktop category represents the first time that we?ve seen a touch screen PC in our sales charts.