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#178725 - 08/05/09 08:52 PM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: picard120]
Bill_Mead Offline

Registered: 10/19/07
Posts: 36
Loc: Tarpon Springs,Florida
I was a very early user of PCs, I bought desktops and built them from parts. my last purchase was a laptop and I would never go back. The price difference is not as big as it used to be and reliability is very good. I can use it anywhere in the house, even outside if I want, with my wireless network.

One other advantage is if I have to evacuate (I live on the coast in Florida), it is easy to take with me. During the 2004 hurricanes I had to evacuate, at that time I only had a desk top (large tower), so I had to remove my hard drives and take with me.

Did I mention I really like the portability.

I saved a couple bucks by buying a refurbished laptop, but there are a lot of good deals around now.

Just my 2.5 cents...

#178730 - 08/05/09 10:31 PM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: sushi]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: sushi
The less you know about computers the more you need a laptop.

++++++ on that. We have a lot - a whole lot - of computers and I'd NEVER buy a desktop as a second system

#178733 - 08/05/09 10:59 PM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: Matt26]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
My primary is a desktop, becuase it is big and powerful and I can fix it without having a case of nerves. (Hate taking apart laptops.) But if it is going to be a secondary, then a laptop is a good choice. But a TRUE laptop, not a netbook or a desktop replacement.

I like my little netbook, it is kinda the Leatherman of computers- light, portable, and most of the time it can do what I need, but I wouldn't use it for my heavy lifting. Heck, I don't even like typing at it for very long, and it doesn't even have an optical drive- I have it because it is small and light.

I'm not a huge fan of the desktop replacement-type laptops, just because I'm still not convinced they are cooling well enough for what is often desktop components in a laptop body.

Matt, for you, the only specific recommendation I'd make is to avoid the Staples in Burlington like the plague- their tech boys have talked themselves out of any future sale with me as a team.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#178738 - 08/05/09 11:42 PM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: ironraven]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
If your consideration is to buy the laptop to back up your pc, just get a 100 gigabyte storage device. Cost dimes on the dollar to a laptop.

If you need a 2nd computer for the house and transport is not such an open, it is much cheaper to buy pc. A desktop pc will usually work faster and be easier to navigate and hold more info.

If you like portability and not gaming hard or streaming hi-res vid then laptops are great. You can work anywhere on docs and it's not hard to find free wifi, (Hooters and Buffalo Wild Wings for example), for internet access. I often sit on the couch with my laptop and watch movies or tv while surfing the net off linksys at home.

Actually this desktop is set up to my home wireless network with a compact wireless USB adapter. So anything is possible.

If you need to do any number work, a cheap keypad is $10 and a laptop mouse is about the same. I'd still recommend at least an 80 gig storage device.

Don't just survive. Thrive.

#178741 - 08/05/09 11:54 PM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: comms]
MoBOB Offline

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1205
Loc: here

"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

#178744 - 08/06/09 12:29 AM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: Matt26]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 842
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Also consider a simple netbook for just word processing and browsing the net. Being smaller than a laptop they are handier and easier to stow.

All depends on what YOU need.

#178748 - 08/06/09 12:41 AM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: Roarmeister]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1857
Loc: Colorado
For me, a laptop is something you use when you can't get to your desktop. So how often can you not get to your desktop? Often: get a laptop. Infrequently: Get a second desktop.

Alternately, buy a laptop (and possibly a docking station) and plug in an external fullsized keyboard, monitor and mouse. Of course, then you've just turned your laptop into an overpriced low-end desktop. But that gives you the capability to un-dock the laptop and take it with you when you need to be mobile.

#178753 - 08/06/09 01:41 AM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: haertig]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
For years I almost exclusively used laptops, as I liked the convenience of being able to take them everywhere. All was great, never felt like I was loosing anything by not having a desktop.

However, last time I went and looked at computers I realized...for what I was paying for a pretty good laptop, I could build an awesome desktop setup.

I set my budget at $3,000 and priced out $3,000 laptops, as well as $3,000 desktop builds. To get roughly the same thing I could get in a $3,000 Desktop, I would have to buy an over $4,000 laptop. The price advantage, plus the fact that the desktop is much easier to upgrade and fix over time (thereby lasting me longer), made me realize it's worth it to own a good desktop.

So, now my main computer is a custom desktop that well exceeds the performance of what you'll find in most big box electronics stores (core I7, Radeon 4870x2, Blu-Ray burner, 24" monitor, ect); plus it has multiple hard drives setup in RAID so my information is safe even if a drive failure occurs.

With that in mind, I still haven't tossed out all my laptops. Instead, I wiped them clean, put only the software on it that I would need for basic tasks and working. Then, I just take one as I need it and load on only the files I need for what ever I'm doing at the moment. If it gets broken, stolen, a virus, ect....I don't have to worry about it. This works out just fine for me, as I can do my work on the laptops when I need portability, and just transfer it to the desktop when I'm done.

In short, having a solid desktop built with high end hardware and a few cheap laptops has become my preferred choice.

#178768 - 08/06/09 09:11 AM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: Matt26]
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1200
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: Matt26
use for us is really just normal wordproccesing, online for bills and research. (Although I do like to play a little HALO once in a while)
That doesn't sound like it needs a lot of power, especially if this is a backup and you can live without HALO when you don't have the desktop. You may find some sort of netbook is enough. You do need to think carefully about power and price, though. For example, I'm guessing you won't be playing HALO on your drive to Vermount, but if you are away from a TV for a week, you might find you do appreciate having some entertainment in the form of games or DVDs.

I switched to a laptop this year. I agree with what others have said about price and power. This one is physically large and spends 95% of its time on a desk, as if it were a desktop PC. It's still convenient to be able to lug it to other rooms sometimes. It has a BlueRay player and a 17" screen, so it gets used for watching movies eg in bed. I've never taken it out of the house.

It uses a lot less electrical power than my old PC. I expect that's a trend with all newer devices, but laptops tend to be more optimised for low energy consumption.
Quality is addictive.

#178772 - 08/06/09 10:39 AM Re: Laptop or Desktop? [Re: Brangdon]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2810
I found that I used the removable drive so little that its not a dealbreaker. I bought my last laptop in 2003, 12" display, 1" thin, external cd drive. plugged it in 6 months later for the first windows install then again 6 months later to install linux, then maybe again a coupel years ago for the garmin gps software/maps. Since my wife has a laptop also I have an external dvd burner so we can use it with either so a couple months ago I replaced the laptop with a netbook and use the external dvd burner if I ever need a drive. If I want to watch a movie the 42" hdtv with surround sound is going to be better than any laptop, its just annoying that you can't find any laptop now that are not widescreen, its most annying on my work one where they just pushed out MSOffice 2007 with the toolbar now taking 1/3 of the height, I wish they would quite making laptops try to be dvd players, or at least make the wide screen a way differentiate between consumer and business machines.
I found that after a few years I quit trying to worry about having the latest and greatest system out there, would rather spend the money on other toys so spending a little more for a laptop up front was aceptable to me. I paid close to $1500 in 2003 for that nice light small one, replaced the 20G drive with a 60G, then a couple years later a 120G then later a 160G then bought the netbook for $300 and put a 500G in it for $100 so I haven't spent that much.

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