Laptop or Desktop Computer?

Laptop or Desktop Computer?
Blogger Ron Schenone insists that the desktop computer is no longer needed to run heavy software, since laptops are nearly if not just as capable as most desktops on the market. Add to that the portability, small footprint and dramatic price drops for good laptops, and Schenone wonders why any normal user should buy a full desktop computer. So what I’d like to know is: 1) What are you using right now? and 2) Which would you purchase right now? Hit the link to give us your answers.I added “Both!” as an option, but unless you spend equal time on both or you think that both are an absolute must, pick the one that you use or would use as your main PC.

Despite the claims made by the author, I still believe that desktop workhorses are still plenty ahead of most laptops, especially when you’re considering price (price is always an issue). Certainly, though, laptops can handle almost anything the basic user can throw at them (short of a bad batch of malware). Share your thoughts and your reasons for why you’re rocking a laptop or desktop—and why you may have made a different choice if you were purchasing new right now—in the comments.


  • At home, my computer is too integrated into my home theatre and general environment for a laptop to replace it. I also enjoy my main PC just being part of the furniture of the home.

    We have a seperate laptop if we need computing on the go.

  • That article is very biased. It only presents the good points for laptops, there is no fair comparison. Here is a quick list of reasons I would choose a desktop:
    – option for 2/3/4/etc screens
    – option for terabytes of storage
    – option to upgrade individual components (like graphics card, add *another* hard disk etc)
    – You never lose it, and you never have to recharge it (no fiddling with plugs)
    – Its easier on your body to use a well set up desktop than a laptop
    – Its much much cheaper for the same hardware
    – If something goes wrong its significantly easier and cheaper to replace the components

    As a personal note, I’d hate to have a connection to the Nerd Kingdom with me everywhere I go because I’d feel the need to use it. I like being detached from it.

    And the 51% of new computer sales going to laptops? I doubt that people building their own machines counted as a new computer sale, so I would say that figure is a little bit misleading.

  • I’ve been using a laptop in place of a desktop for quite a few years now, and for a couple of reasons other than the obvious “it’s portable”. Although that is, of course, a significant benefit even if I don’t take advantage of it that much (it spends most of its time plugged into a monitor as a pseudo-desktop).

    Salary packaging – where allowed by your workplace, laptops can be salary packaged, and desktops cannot. Essentially, in the end I get a laptop for about half of the original purchase price.

    Secondly – and it sounds counter-intuitive – laptops are cheaper for me even without the above. When I’m buying a new PC, I tend to like to spec it up a little. There are more limitations on just how much you can do that to a laptop compared to a desktop, which leaves you with a lower top-end price!

    I have actually just purchased a new laptop. It has a 17″ WUXGA screen, 2.2GHz processor, 4GB of ram, a 256mb video card and 250GB of storage. It’s certainly not missing much in the way of capability compared to a desktop! With salary packaging, the ultimate cost for it (including a 3 year warranty) will be about $1700. A great deal…

  • It has to be desktop for me – but for a fairly weak reason. If I have a laptop, I find computing leaking out into every moment of my life. Lye in bed reading – why not read lifehacker? No matter where I am, I have the internet beckoning. I know you are saying “just leave the laptop behind”, but I am not disciplined enough for that. The only way to stop myself sinking into an internet addiction is to not have a laptop – so desktop for me! The other advantage is that I save a fortune on hardware. Any recent computer will do the job – don’t need the latest and greatest, and second-hand desktops go for a song.

  • I have both…

    I have a desktop with great speakers and an extra screen for most of my computing, music, podcasts and tv. The laptop allows me to get my PC to work, the front porch, a friends (to rip a DVD) or out the back.

    I could just have a laptop I suppose but I like the idea of my desktop always being in the one place for me with nothing to set up.

    My desktop turns itself on and off, downloads my podcasts and does my backups. It would be hard to do this with a laptop plus it would look messy when the laptop is not there.

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