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Desktop or Laptop – which do you prefer?

I’ve been using the same laptop since August of 2002 and little things have been going wrong with it (though overall I’ve been extremly happy with my old Toshiba), but I’ve been getting the feeling that the end might be near so I decided to buy a new laptop tonight.  I recalled a thread on threadwatch back in October where Nick asked for tips on buying a laptop, and I ended up deciding that I’d get the same laptop as Nick got.

I’ve been using laptop computers as my main computer for over 4 years now. I do have a backup desktop at home, and at the office…but that’s it, my desktop is only a backup. Most nights I pack up the laptop and bring it home.

In thinking about it, all our managers at webuildpages also use laptops (we store info online).

Why even use a desktop?…I just can’t see using a desktop for "important" stuff….if it’s important, I want it portable…and I want it wherever I go…at the office, at home, at a conference (and yes, I make backups before each trip in case the computer dies)…and will take more precausions after reading what happened to Bill.

I think desktops are outdated.

Do you use a desktop or a laptop as your main computer? Why?


15 Responses

  1. Hi Jim

    I use a PC simply because im a gamer and until recently with the Dell XPS gen 2 you couldnt get a decent laptop that would play games! Using a PC enables you to bespoke and build an awesome machine.

    Even the gen 2 is not a patch on my gaming rig mind you! I can put no less than 4 PCie SLI cards on my AN8 mainboard although I only have two GTX7800 nvideas on it at the mo.

    I think its a question of how much are you into graphics and hardware to be honest.


  2. To be able to expand and upgrade a system is fairly paramount in my eyes, so I will always go for desktops. I suppose that depends on what you use it for. I always want a very up to date system because I’m often handling graphics as well as managing websites.

    Even if that weren’t a consideration I’d never use a laptop, certainly not when a desktop is available instead. From an ergonomic point of view I’m sure they’re fairly terrible, encouraging you to hunch over the too small screen (that you can’t see anything on from certain angles) and what with the keyboard being attached to the screen and all.. nah, not for me. Give me a big fat monitor I can position at least a metre away and let me lounge back in comfort with a keyboard on my lap anyday.

  3. Its OSX for me all the way – this is my 2nd powerbook (laptop) and I wouldn’t change.
    Of course, give me a G5 and one of those nice 30 inch flat screen displays and I could probably be seduced back to the non mobile side.
    Until I wanted to go somewhere, or the house just got too hot and I wanted to go work on the verandah… 🙂

  4. Too small screen? That’s why I got a big 17″ widescreen laptop! Battery life sucks and it’s heavy other than that I love it. I bought a desktop for the “office” but it’s a file server, so not quite the same. I can’t see myself ever buying another desktop for person to use ever again.

  5. for general use, i am all about my powerbook laptop (apple). however, for dev purposes, it is always good to check in both a PC and Mac environment. so, i typically use my desktop for checking to see how things look to a PC user, and also to check different resolutions.

  6. I use both. I use my laptop daily around the house and on business trips, but I could not work without my desktop. Desktop computers are much easier to use!
    My 2 cents!

  7. not as heavy as a desktop true, but I do get a sense of envy when I see someone whip out one of those ultra-light ultra-thin super sexy notebooks that are smaller than spiral notebook. I just wish I could work on a smaller screen. Mrs GW has a 15.4″ that is ok but I feel inadequate using. I think have some real freudian monitor size issues and need some professional help.

  8. ibm thinkpad t43 – standard business issue – actually not so standard now, since ibm licensed the thinkpad to lenovo, of which ibm owns a majority of shares.

    also not so standard, and why i’m posting, is its got this wicked cool fingerprint scanner built into the chassis – and so, i’m like james bond, having my print scanned as a security measure – if you weren’t married jim, you could pretend that you’re a superagent – works better than walking dogs in the park – s.

  9. Fingerprint scanner…oooo…cool….does that protect you if someone steals your computer? (unless they cut off your fingers as they take it…or pull prints off they keypad and use those..hehe

    so because I’m married I can’t be a superagent?…dang!

  10. panasonic toughbook can’t be beat, imho. a bit pricy. i guarantee that if you call the toll free # you will get a person right away, no machines. a+ for support.

  11. Thats the thing, 17″ isn’t big! And even if ‘they’ make/have made a super light 19″ or bigger laptop your keyboard will still be attached to the screen.

    Still, I see I’m in the loosing corner here so I’ll shut up 😉

  12. used to be a desktop man and plug in as many ISA/PCI cards as could fit (ie always 5 expansion slots)

    These days the laptop prices have come down so much, and in Australia the it’s better for your tax if you buy laptops, I plan to replace the laptop once a year. Also the performance is pretty damn good these days.

    I love having it everywhere. So now when I get motivated and I am working somewhere else on a contract, I can hack some code over lunch, instead of scribbling something down and doing it when I get home…

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