Laptops have grown in popularity over the last few years, however die hard hardware enthousiasts are more often than not dissapointed with what you actually get. Prices have come down to a very acceptable level, but components like the processor, amount and type of memory and the hard disk are usually below par. With a desktop PC you can usually change some of these components, but only untill recently this was not possible when buying a laptop.
Granted, it was possible to configure a laptop yourself, but you would encouter a lot of disadvantages in the process. Barebone laptops were very hard to come by and servicing or replacement parts were impossible to obtain. After a year of building your own you could not buy an extra adapter or battery for the specific model you had.
These problems are exactly the same problems that small manufacturers have that want to market a laptop, there is no standard in parts like batteries and power adapters. Because of this many small companies will not take the risc to sell a own laptop, as the margins involved in this are too small. This forces the end users to choose a standard model such as Dell or HP, that do offer some parts to be upgraded or changed when configuring a notebook..