The novel coronavirus has been bad news for most tech stocks. Even if their business has escaped a direct impact, the market selloff in March knocked them down significantly.
However, one market segment that has staged a surprising comeback as a direct result of the pandemic is laptops. With employees working from home en masse, laptop sales have spiked. Research from the NDP Group shows laptop sales in the U.S. grew by 10% in the first two weeks of March alone.
There have been reports of store shelves (and online stock) stripped of popular laptops, globally. Supply chain disruptions when the coronavirus first swept through China haven’t helped there, but demand is also stronger than manufacturers have seen in years.
These three companies have just released killer new laptops that are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the coronavirus work from home trend:
A spike in laptop sales may not be a make or break event for a company like Apple. However, with other elements of its business under pressure, the added revenue of a suddenly resurgent laptop market is good news for AAPL stock. With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look behind the new laptops that are helping support these tech stocks now.
Tech Stocks Backed By New Laptop Releases: Apple (AAPL)
On May 4, Apple released the latest version of its 13-inch MacBook Pro.
This is an extremely important launch for the company. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is often described as the workhorse of Apple’s laptop lineup. It’s extremely popular with professionals and students. The new MacBook Pro features 10th generation Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) Core processors, a 13-inch Retina display, Touch Bar, Touch ID and double the storage.
The performance upgrades are welcome, but what makes this laptop so critical is its keyboard. After years of pressure, class action lawsuits, and a recall program, Apple finally ditched its Butterfly keyboard. The new laptop gets the “Magic Keyboard,” which is a return to the tried and true scissor switch design. This alone should kickstart sales, after several years, where Mac fans held off on upgrading.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 making it an affordable choice for home use.
Mac revenue has been overshadowed by the iPhone, Wearables and Services, but when AAPL reported its second quarter earnings, the Mac division still brought in $5.35 billion.
Microsoft’s Surface line of PCs has become increasingly important to its bottom line. When the company reported its third-quarter earnings at the end of April, the More Personal Computing division — which includes Surface — saw $11 billion in revenue. That’s a 2.9% year-over-year increase. That performance during a quarter that was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic exceeded analyst expectations and helped push MSFT stock to a big gain.
On May 6, Microsoft announced the new Surface Book 3, and the Surface Go 2.
The Surface Book 3 is a powerful, professional-class laptop with a twist. The entire display can be undocked from its hinge to be used as a super-sized tablet. The laptop offers workstation performance, with 10th generation Intel Core CPUs and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) graphics. It also delivers up to 17.5 hours of battery life.
The Surface Go 2 could be particularly attractive for many families. This is a Windows 10 tablet with a 10.5-inch PixelSense display. It’s equipped with dual microphones to improve noise cancellation, and a 5MP web cam. That makes it ideal for Teams video meetings. Add the optional Type Cover and it’s transformed into a compact laptop that runs Windows software.
With a starting price of $399, The Surface Go 2 makes for a compelling, affordable solution for those who find themselves working from home. It’s also priced right for students who may find themselves taking online courses.
Lenovo is the world’s top-selling PC vendor, with nearly 25% of the global market.
The company is making headlines because of new models announced in its popular ThinkPad line of laptops. The reason for the excitement is what’s inside them and the price.
The new ThinkPad E14 and ThinkPad E15 ditch Intel and instead will be equipped with new Ryzen mobile processors from Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD).
“We are delighted to partner with AMD and leverage their ground-breaking 7nm process technology within our ThinkPad laptops, and to offer our customers class-leading computing solutions that will help ensure business continuity during and beyond these challenging times.”
The new ThinkPads start at $639, offering a very attractive price to performance ratio. This makes them ideal for working from home. In addition, Lenovo announced another five ThinkPads that will offer Ryzen processors as an option. This wave of laptops from the world’s number one vendor is a big win for AMD, which is increasingly stealing marketshare from Intel.
Brad Moon has been writing for InvestorPlace.com since 2012. He also writes about stocks for Kiplinger and has been a senior contributor focusing on consumer technology for Forbes since 2015. As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.