Notebook PC shipments are skyrocketing, up 81% over last year

Razer Book 13 2020 Review Hero
Razer Book 13 2020 Review Hero (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Strategy Analytics released a new report detailing notebook PC Q1 2021 results.
  • Notebook PC shipments are up 81% year-over-year.
  • In terms of global notebook PC operating system market share, Chrome OS saw big gains.

In case you were wondering what the state of notebook PC shipments and sales was in 2021, the news is good: Even with global supply shortages, notebook PC shipments are up 81% year-over-year, according to a report by Strategy Analytics. Q1 2021 is crushing Q1 2020's results.

In the first quarter of 2020, roughly 37.8 million notebook PCs were shipped. In the first quarter of 2021, that number nearly doubled to 68.2 million. That's a lot of units, especially given that there's supposed to be a global shortage of key computing components going on right now.

Strategy Analytics' figures also expose global notebook PC market share based on operating systems. In Q1 2020, Windows had nearly 80% of the market. As of Q1 2021, it's down to 73%. Meanwhile, Chrome OS jumped from 11.7% to 17.7%.

Given that the whole world's gone remote, including the education sector, it's not a massive surprise that Chromebooks have seen a spike in popularity, hence the big boost in Chrome OS market share. Still, what the long-term ramifications of that shift in market share might be (if any) remains to be seen.

Strategy Analytics' full report on global notebook PC shipments can be seen on the company's website, though it's available to clients only.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • I was just given a Chromebook and it had been great. It does all the little stuff right. Battery life is great, you can leave it sitting for days and as soon as you open the lid it is on. My Surface is dead after just sitting for a few days and takes forever to turn on. The Chromebook certainly can't do everything my Surface Pro can, but outside work I use it way more now. If I didn't need the surface for work, I wouldn't have it at all.
  • Yeah, there's no denying that Chromebooks are a super inexpensive, perfectly adequate alternative for a lot of people. From what I've used of them, I like them.
  • I was surprised. I haven't used one in years and expected for it to suck like the old ones. Microsoft needs to get it's **** together. I can see this being a serious competitor in a few years.
  • im really not sure what you want them to do bub.
  • He'd like to install Unreal Engine, Visual Studio, GitHub, 3dsMax, Sonar, Reason (+driver for DJ Soundboards), Adobe CC, native Office, to do everything people do on a Windows.
  • I tried the Lenovo Duet, but didn't/couldn't stick with it. I missed too many Windows features. The entire desktop is a wasted space. You can't pin any short cuts or save anything to the Chrome desktop. the bottom you can set your 'taskbar' apps. But nothing else. I still like my old Surface GO better, even though it's aging...
  • Duet was slow just like Surface GO, but its tablet mode was a lot better for me, and a lot snappier and more convenient for everyday use thanks to Android apps.
    That alone is what made me stick to it, and eventually give it to my mom as her work tablet.
  • Latest devices all turn on within few seconds even after few days. So that isn't normal, unless that device is old. Make sure also closing lid isn't set to power down instead of standby. See more on instant-on here :
  • Notebook over desktop any day!
  • Well that explains why Microsoft described Surface's 12% growth as "disappointing" in their call with analysts following their recent earnings call.