Laptop or Desktop?

  cara 22:06 01 Jul 04
Locked

My sister is currently exploring upgrading her computer (desktop), but is not sure whether to go in the direction of Laptop or Desktop. Is space and portability the only considerations?

Anyone help with the pros and cons please?

  rickimalone 22:18 01 Jul 04

More or less yes, size and space considering the power of current laptops.
Post what kind of thing she will be doing on it up as certain things such as large scale video editing and 3D gaming is done well on laptops but belong on a desktop.


But i'd say for your average joe, email, web surfing, word cd burning you average modern laptop will be more than enough

  cara 22:26 01 Jul 04

Thanks for reply. Yes, very much average stuff, like word processing, surfing internet etc, finances etc.

Anymore thoughts anyone?

  Totally-braindead 22:46 01 Jul 04

To me the main thing about laptops is either they are not upgradable at all or the upgrades are very expensive. Desktops are relatively cheap to fix and easy to upgrade. Say you wanted to play a particular game and your graphics card wasn't up to it, with a desktop you buy a new graphics card and fit it, with the laptop you're stuck. If you want a bigger hard drive its a lot cheaper for a desktop than for laptop one, if you want to add firewire or more USB you just buy a card and fit it, same for any of the numberous addon cards you can get, try doing the same with a laptop and see how far you get. I think it depends what you want a computer to be used for, personally a laptop just wouldn't work for me, I'd end up having to buy a new one every year or so and I can't afford that.

  rickimalone 23:31 01 Jul 04

The point you make are spot on but for just the average Joe user, a Laptop with say a P4 2.8GHZ 521MB RAM and a 60GB hardrive will be fine for the next 5 years easy.


With just word documents a digital pictures the laptops of today are more than enough power to play with, like you though for me a desktop is my main PC as for the reasons that you have given.


But I crave the latest power for gaming, but take that use of it away and I bet my turbo charged AMD643000+ 1GB PC3200 RAM monster PC will open and close word and look at websites 100th of a second faster than the old man next door on his P3 500mhz old desktop.

  cara 23:42 01 Jul 04

What about lifespan, reliability - any issues there?

  Danoh 01:28 02 Jul 04

I've had work-issue laptops of all different makes and models for around 7 years. Colleagues have reported numerous problems throughout with the same make and model at each stage and with the same software build as mine. But I have never suffered any issues beyond a broken lid catch (design flaw for one model). Which implies due care in use. I'd always try to drain down the battery and plug in the mains to re-charge or if I was going to be plugged in all day, just dismount the battery. Although built to take bumps, I always treated each gingerly.

But I would agree with the ridiculous lack of upgradeability, either completely impossible or prohibitively expensive.

I'd never considered buying one privately until this year; (1) elder son about to start Uni who ended up going for these new Small Form Factor PCs as he found out that he'd only leave it in his room and use a USB2 256Mb flash drive for data transportation (more robust); (2) Form over function ~ my wife wanted one that can be put away in a drawer.

Then I came across the fast developing wireless capability with 803.11g at double the bandwidth of 803.11b ~ non-upgradeability hit the buying process and she will now wait until this settles down including prices.

However, she and my uncle are unlikely to ever upgrade anything internal and would just want the next model up. So upgradability is not in their dictionary.

Hope that helps rather than hinders!

  rickimalone 11:40 02 Jul 04

Yes PCI Express slots will be out soon allowing LAPTOPS to enjoy quality graphics cards upgrades, and they all ready can enjoy RAM and HDD upgrades.


A laptop if looke after will have just as long a Life as a desktop, I bought a Compaq Presairo whilest at University 5 years ago and it still runs fine and travels with me every now and then.


If you like the idea of a laptop they are very reliable these days and are very good solutions to one's needs

  obbit 20:15 02 Jul 04

It's all well and good having the best gear in a lappy or a desktop for that matter, but how long does your sister intend using the machine per day.

If it is for very short periods then a lappy would be ok, but if she will be sat for hours then comfort and/or injury is to be considered.

It's very uncomfortable using a lappy for hours.

  nick_j007 21:50 02 Jul 04

I think the main issues have been covered here already, but to give my tuppence worth...

I use a Dell laptop and it has been a real success for MY needs. I do move it around, and even take it out of the house time to time as I'm into my photography and take it to my course tutor to show him my work. I can watch DVD's on it if I go away etc too.
It holds over 300 CD's of music.
Its footprint is about 14"x10" and whilst not a light thing, it can be moved with ease.
I have been able to upgrade it over time with more hard drive memory, USB2 and RAM, but it is expensive in comparison to a desktop; not sure of extra expense in terms of a percentage but maybe 30% or so more(?).
Desktops take up a whole corner of a room in comparison!
I have before now surfed the net in the garden in the evening...how cool is that?! I liked it anyway! Try doing that with a desktop he he.
I enjoy my computing, and am not overly stressed about paying the extra premium for laptop price upgrades, but you do actually run out of room for manoeuvre if you become 'power hungry'. For example, I am now running on the maximum of 512MB RAM and about 70 Gig's of Hard drive. I would like to up the graphics card but this is not an option for me...although it does cope with all games thrown at it.
I'm about to go 'wireless' enabling me to surf wherever I like practically in the house...exciting.
If though there is ample room in the house, I would prefer a desktop for its raw power capabilities in comparison to a laptop.
I started off humbly thinking that 30 gig's, 128 MB RAM, USB 1 would do me fine, but no, I wanted and needed more in the end.
I think the fact remains that new standards seem to appear weekly and we need to keep up to a degree to ensure we are 'compatible' with all the other kit/standards around us. The life span in a desktop is far better than that in a laptop, but it really is horses for courses.
There are a number of laptops out there that would suffice as a genuine desktop replacement in terms of power, but the extra cost is significant if on a budget.

There. If you weren't confused before....perhaps you are now ;-)

Regards,

Nick

  nick_j007 21:52 02 Jul 04

sorry,

My paragraphing seems to have been lost in the posting.


Nick

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