Desktop or laptop dilemma...

  andy@ 15:46 29 Sep 05

Ok, I'm keen on replacing our elderly desktop & CRT with a reasonable budget desktop & LCD monitor, however Mrs andy@ has been thinking a laptop might be better, so it could be moved around the house (but probably not taken outside).

This seems a good idea for flexibility, but the following puts me off getting a laptop:

Expensive to repair/replace components/get suitable extended guarantee.
Lack of space for upgrading.
Pay more for simialr 'desktop' performance.
Still have to have a PC 'base' somewhere in the house for printer etc.

It's definitely has to be either/or.

What do people think?


  Magik ®© 15:57 29 Sep 05

Mrs Andy has got it in one, much more sense than Mr rid of my desktop PC for a all singing all dancing laptop, best thing i ever did...

  bfoc 15:58 29 Sep 05

Might well depend on what specification you want.

If you require the latest high-end graphics and fastest chip(s) you might be best opting for a desktop, but for a slightly less 'cutting edge' machine the cost difference between a desktop and laptop is much less.

Equally, if you need/want a larger monitor than the desktop will be the one to go for.

There is little doubt that the repair/warranty costs are higher with laptops but often Dell (for instance) do offers on their 3/4 yr warranties and they can then become quite good value.

Whilst you might still need a printer 'area', with the right connections this could be anywhere, even in a cupboard/drawer.

  andy@ 16:24 29 Sep 05

:-) OK, just assuming for a minute she's right :-)

What the 'deal' on laptops... what key features would I need to look for? Is Centrino the best laptop chip?

I'm not a 'gamer', but need a decent graphics capability for camera image processing. So reasonable RAM, separate graphics card, good processor, broadband ready, 4x USB 2.0 - would do the trick, I guess.

The only laptop I've seen advertised recently is the Dell Inspiron. Any other recommendations/ comments?


  Belatucadrus 16:44 29 Sep 05

The price differential between laptop and desktop is now much lower than it used to be and I'd hate to be without my Inspiron, but your comments on repairs and upgrading are correct. Faults that are simple DIY jobs on a desktop can become repair shop jobs with a laptop that could render it uneconomical to repair. I also don't particularly like the ergonomics of using laptops for extended periods, If I have to the remote keyboard comes out.

  Magik ®© 16:46 29 Sep 05

I have a dell and Rock, the rock came with a 3 year warranty, as do all rock laptops, they do not make desktop PC's, both as good as each other, check out the Rock forum website.

  wee eddie 17:57 29 Sep 05

Whether it be Laptop or PC that you purchase.

The most space will actually taken by, printers, scanners, back-up devices, assorted disks, piles of paper, and a load of other junk that were going to disappear when the "Paperless Office" made its' appearance.

So the planning should be about.

Where it is all going to be kept and used?

The choice will then gradually clarify itself.

  Totally-braindead 21:16 29 Sep 05

Agree with all that the others have said. Whether to get a laptop for me at least would depend on whether I wanted to play games or not and also as you've pointed out whether you'd need to upgrade or not. For most tasks a laptop will do everything a desktop will, the difference is speed. Laptops are also a lot more reliable than they used to be and most programs will run on a fairly inexpensive laptop albeit a bit slower, and in many cases you wouldn't see much difference anyway. The only exceptions I can think of is anything that requires up to date graphics such as a newer game. If all you want a laptop for is for still photos, internet, word processor, spreadsheets, music etc then the laptop would do as well.

I'm a bit of a gamer so laptops are not really suitable for me but as the others have said it really depends what you want it to do. Morgan Computers do a few including the Toshiba ones which are quite good see page 213 of the latest PC Advisor mag or have a look on their website, but watch for the description. If it says new then thats what it is if not its refurbished or graded.

  andy@ 23:57 29 Sep 05

Thanks for the useful comments and info. :-)

What warranty would you tend to go for with a laptop? I saw a good laptop at Comet earlier £600-ish, with 3yr warranty an extra £230!


  Minkey1 00:14 30 Sep 05

I wouldn't touch Comet's warranty, but laptop manftrs own could be a reasonable investment - I'm keying this on young un's 2 yr old acer with which we took out their 3 yr cover + AD for £99, knowing her propensity fot trashing kit. Only warranty I've ever bought.

Best £99 I ever spent, seeing as she's smashed the screen and drive knocking a side table on to it. Sent back, now good as new !

  Minkey1 00:18 30 Sep 05

PS technically the above would be a claim under the AD section i.e. insurance, rather than failure of the machine. There you go. It's very late and me brain's gone.

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