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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Desktop vs. laptop

    It's coming down to the wire where it's time to upgrade my desktop PC.
    Do you think it's better to stay with purchasing a new desktop or go with a laptop as far as reliability, performance, etc? Do you generally get a more robust system out of a desktop? Will a desktop far outlast a laptop?

    Thanks for you opinions.

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    I think the biggest question is. Do you have the <big>need</big> for portability?

    Personally, I want the larger keyboard, monitor, external mouse, speakers and the MUCH easier access to the interior of the system box, to make any changes, repairs and better availability of repair parts and upgrades that a desktop offers.

    To have a laptop as a second computer to be an adjunct to my desktop is great! <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20> <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>
    BOB
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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    And on the flip side <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    I'd like a laptop PC that is robust enough for me to do what I need (spreadsheets / graphics / word processing / etc..), yet isn't so heavy that I can't move it around easily.

    I have a 17" display on the laptop, and the pointer controls are performed via the built in Trackpoint (IBM / Lenovo notebooks only it seems). There's also a trackpad if I so choose.

    If I find the need to use a fullsize keyboard / mouse, or need a display larger than the 17", then I can add those through the various ports available on the side and back of my laptop.

    Whether you go desktop or laptop, the best option is the choice that makes the most sense to your preferences, and requirements.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    IMO, for the same amount of money you'll still get a more robust desktop system than laptop. The gap has narrowed considerably but is still there. As to whether a desktop will outlast a notebook, a desktop can definitely be more expandable for internal components but how many of us really add more gear to systems internally during their lifetime anymore? With USB, Firewire, Wi-fi, etc. you can add most anything to expand a system except RAM.

    As said before, you need to decide your requirements for portability, budget, use, and more.

    Joe
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  5. #5
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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    I suppose my comments will echo Viking's but I fully understand and don't argue with what Chris has said. I have had two laptops over the years and neither one lasted nearly as long as ANY desktop I've had. Both laptops had "monitor" failures that I have not the knowledge or parts availability to replace. Gateway wanted a fortune for new screens and so I had to retire both. I think the inability to tinker, repair or in general "work on" a laptop is a complaint many people have. Yeah, I could add, upgrade or replace stuff like RAM, hard drive, CD drive, but anything more usually requires sending the laptop back to the vendor or manufacturer for repair, at very high cost.

    However, if you NEED portability a laptop is the only plan.

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    We have both laptops and desktops. We use both, one when we need to be away the other at home. We have replaced the laptops more than we have the desktops. It is NOT that we had problems with them, but we out grow them. They come with smaller drives and less RAM.
    The wife has Vista on both of hers now, but I have XP on the desktop and Vista on the laptop. I have them both on 7/24 and use the desktop most of the time. When I need to answer a Vista issue I always jump the Vista machine and make sure of what I am talking about <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.

    For the buck, you get more of a machine in a desktop than you do a laptop.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    Thanks everyone for the posts and opinions. I do agree too that you still get a more robust machine out of a desktop. I'll probably end up going that route. I just bought my wife and daughter (sharing together) a laptop (a Gateway from Best Buy). Seems pretty nice, but I already have a large flat screen and enjoy working at my desk. If we ever need to travel (which isn't very often), I suppose I could use their laptop. So, portability for me isn't that important.

    What about 64bit? Is it worth going that route or wait? Not sure how many apps wouldn't work on 64 yet.

    --KZ

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    Many of the driver issues with 64-bit Windows have been resolved. All your 32-bit apps should work on 64-bit Vista. You can NOT run any 16-bit apps on a 64-bit Windows OS. Right now the only real advantage to a 64-bit OS is being able to natively access more than aprroximately 3.2 GB RAM. That should not be an issue unless you work with some verty large graphics files.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    About 2 years ago i went with a laptop, but I use it as a desktop.
    I use a KVM (passive) switch so that my laptop display is the large ACER display, shared by the laptop and the Big beige Box. Mouse and Keyboard too.
    The laptop at 2GHz/2GB is way faster than the desktop (340MB?).
    I get portability, when i head off to a client site, and at home I get to use a regular desktop keyboard and monitor and mouse.

  10. #10
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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    Thanks again everyone for your advise and opinions.

    I haven't bought one yet, but will probably end up with a desktop.
    I guess that most systems would be upgradeable to 64bit down the road if desired? I think that the last time I asked at Best Buy they said that my version of Corel Draw12 would work with 64bit, but version 10 would not. Hmmm, I wonder what else I have wouldn't run? Probably not going to chance it. 3 gig of RAM is probably plenty. I'm used to only 512.

    --KZ

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    I think that you'd have a hard time finding a new machine that is not 64-bit. Most systems just have a 32-bit OS installed. Just be aware that for Windows there is NO migration path from a 32-bit to 64-bit OS. It will be a re-load from scratch.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    I'm having a hard time finding a desktop that's not 64 bit OS as well. Most laptops are 32 bit OS, but the trend apparently is for desktop OS's to be 64, but the problem is that I see that many popular software programs don't yet run on 64. Is it really worth jumping to 64 OS now?

    What about Vista? Is it worth staying with XP Pro (I own a copy) or go ahead and jump to Vista? I've heard that Vista uses up a huge amount of the RAM that machines come with these days so you need 3 gig just to get started.

    --KZ

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    It is just that most programs have not been upgraded to 64-bit. The programs will probably run on a 64-bit OS. Most 32-bit programs can easily run on a 64-bit OS.

    On a new PC, I'd only go with Vista - either Home Premium or Ultimate. Vista Home Premium is what seems to come on most new systems. You can always upgrade to Ultimate later if you really need it. You can start at Windows Vista: Compare editions to investigate the differences. IMO, most people can run Vista well with 2GB of RAM. That is the minimum I would suggest for anyone. If you don't get a discrete video card, I'd recommed 3GB as some of your system memory will be dedicated to the video card. Your RAM requirements will ultimately be determined by your use.

    BTW, I would NOT go with 64-bit XP. 64-bit XP is a afterthought based on Windows server 2003 code.

    Joe
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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    You say that most 32-bit programs run on 64 bit OS?
    If you look at www.microsoft.com/windows/combatibility it shows that my version of Quicken 2006 isn't compatible and that's a highly used program. Who knows what else won't work. It would be nice to get more RAM though, but most likely 3 gig would be plenty.

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    Re: Desktop vs. laptop

    I think the link you meant was Windows Vista Compatibility Center.

    Anyway, I should've said most of the RECENT releases of 32-bit programs. Sorry for the lack of clarity <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15>. Microsoft can't dictate to software OEMs what versions to make compatible or how to get their users to a compatible version.

    As far as 'who knows what else won't work', you could run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor on your current XP machine. It will tell you about hardware and software. If you don't want to run it you could search more at Windows Vista Compatibility Center for software titles. You must also make sure that any peripheral equipment has Vista drivers. Once again drivers are not the responsibility of Microsoft. It is up to the hardware vendors to provide drivers. Many have made a business decision not to provide Vista drivers. In some cases older drivers will work on Vista but you can't count on it.

    Vista also has a compatibility mode for older software that will enable SOME older programs to run correctly. IMO, that is really hit & miss though.

    Joe
    Joe

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