Forum Thread

Desktop vs. Laptop

juanadeal 407 567 October 28, 2015 at 07:15 AM
We are way overdue for a 2nd computer. Right now, we are working with a Dell e510 running xp.

I want a laptop, DH wants a desktop. Any major benefits to one over the other? Wouldn't be used for gaming. Just web browsing, middle school homework, and pretty much everything that XP doesn't support anymore like itunes, Garmin, etc...

Any recommendations for specs either way? TIA

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#2
Usual stuff like portability and etc. It's largely personal however for my home machine that I do all the finances and such on, I prefer having a desktop for upgradability and expandability - laptops have a limited number of expansion possibilities and almost zero upgrade possibilities (except maybe a single HDD or more RAM). Then again, I never would need to move the machine somewhere else; e.g. I don't need it to be portable. DW does have a laptop which I move around to display movies on the TV, for example (although we have been moving more toward using the TV and receiver (Dish) to run movies off our NAS directly).

Also GENERALLY speaking a desktop is going to be cheaper than a laptop for comparable specs. Heck, most of the major players have even moved to just selling you the CPU and assuming you already have a monitor, mouse, blah blah. They sell the peripherals as accessories or add-ons. That's nice and a change from "back in the day", and is also likely a reason why laptops tend to be more expensive.
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#3
I used to build my own desktops until a few years ago. Laptops have gotten so good and cheap, and you can add on accessories via USB, bluetooth, so no real reason to go desktop any more unless you really are stuck on getting one.

You can pick up laptop and take it anywhere in the house to use...can't do that with desktop. I love working anywhere in the house, instead of being stuck in one location with a desktop.
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cheap, fast, good - pick any two.

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#4
Quote from cheap_bastid View Post :
I used to build my own desktops until a few years ago. Laptops have gotten so good and cheap, and you can add on accessories via USB, bluetooth, so no real reason to go desktop any more unless you really are stuck on getting one.

You can pick up laptop and take it anywhere in the house to use...can't do that with desktop. I love working anywhere in the house, instead of being stuck in one location with a desktop.
I would kind of disagree. There is plenty of reason that desktops still exist however for this user what your saying is true in terms of there is not a technical reason they have to go one way or the other, for instance saying all laptops are slower or something like that.

With laptops I think you have to be more careful, not only with the machine physically but it's specs/build quality. Cheaper machines really tend to have a lower build quality, lower resolution/quality screens. Some laptops have overheating issues or hinge issues too. If typing a lot too some people will use an external keyboard b/c they don't like the built in one and the short keys. So I think in general you have to be a bit more careful. While those problems exist on a desktop they are fewer and the end user can do far more about it.

I think it really comes down to how the OP plans to use the machine. Do they have a spot where they want to continue to use a computer (Say a home office or desk) to say do financial work or something else. do they want a large screen or more than one screen. Is expanding the system (Storage, RAM, Graphics card) important?

Personally a desktop makes more sense for me for a primary machine. It has more power and storage, much more powerful GPU for gaming, photo editing, and dual screens, etc. I find I get more stuff done at a desk vs couch. I have a cheaper laptop I use when traveling and for a few other things but it's always simple easy stuff.
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Last edited by LiquidRetro October 28, 2015 at 12:32 PM
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#5
Unless you have a real need for portability (you travel a lot for ex), then there is no real reason to get a laptop unless you just like to throw money away. And while you can get external monitors\TVs, keyboards and docking stations to utilize a laptop as a desktop again, why would you do so and incur the expense? To say nothing of the lack of upgradeability.

Add in the fact that if you want to work on a decent sized screen, you need to be stationary anyway so what is the point of the smaller laptop screen in a home?...so you can lie on the coach surfing the web? You can do that with a cheap tablet, you do not need to bring your main machine with you.
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#6
Okay, leaning towards the desktop then. We have an ipad and smartphones for couch surfing and cheaper and up-gradable are very tempting.
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#7
Quote from juanadeal View Post :
Okay, leaning towards the desktop then. We have an ipad and smartphones for couch surfing and cheaper and up-gradable are very tempting.
I bought one for a relative recently - from this Pre-owned Acer Aspire ATC-605-UB11 Desktop i5 3.1GHz 8GB 1TB DVDRW WiFi - and I was quite surprised how nice and fast it is - especially for the price - $250!!
  • 4th Gen Intel Core" i5-4440 processor
  • 8GB DDR3 memory
  • Multiformat DVDRW/CD-RW drive
  • 1TB Serial ATA III hard drive (7200 rpm)
  • Intel HD graphics
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#8
Quote from juanadeal View Post :
Okay, leaning towards the desktop then. We have an ipad and smartphones for couch surfing and cheaper and up-gradable are very tempting.
Cheaper, upgradable, easier to fix, less likely to break in the first place, and generally newer specs for the same or fewer dollars. If you have a good spot to put it and don't care about moving around, there is no reason to buy a laptop, especially as you sound like the type of family that holds onto tech a good long time (XP? sheesh!) The ONLY advantage laptops have over desktops are portability and space saving - in every other reasonable measure desktops win.
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#9
Quote from boboli View Post :
I bought one for a relative recently - from this Pre-owned Acer Aspire ATC-605-UB11 Desktop i5 3.1GHz 8GB 1TB DVDRW WiFi - and I was quite surprised how nice and fast it is - especially for the price - $250!!
  • 4th Gen Intel Core" i5-4440 processor
  • 8GB DDR3 memory
  • Multiformat DVDRW/CD-RW drive
  • 1TB Serial ATA III hard drive (7200 rpm)
  • Intel HD graphics

Also, FYI...It obviously depends on your time frame and budget, but for the money an i7 based Dell XPS 8700 when on sale from the Dell Outlet is hard to beat from a bang for the buck perspective. That will run you about $550+ though depending on the deal and setup.
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#10
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Also, FYI...It obviously depends on your time frame and budget, but for the money an i7 based Dell XPS 8700 when on sale from the Dell Outlet is hard to beat from a bang for the buck perspective. That will run you about $550+ though depending on the deal and setup.

That's actually the deal I got about a month ago and what I based my comments on. to get a laptop with comparable specs..... much more $$.
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#11
I switched to a laptop only around 2005, mainly due to the portability and space saving. Before that, I built my own desktops and upgrade them every year or so. I was never a big PC gamer, so switching was an easy decision for me. Plus, I don't like web surfing with tablets, so the laptop is mostly used when sitting on the couch watching TV.

It really comes down to your decision. Desktops are cheaper and more parts can be upgraded, but will you? Most people will really ever upgrade the *RAM, WIFI NIC or Hard Drive which can be done in a laptop as well. Although, one thing I have learned with laptops is to make sure the display has a resolution of at least 1600x900. I absolutely hated it when I was cheap and got a laptop with a lower resolution.

Decide what you want with your significant other and give your current computer to the middle school student for homework.

*Not all laptops have the option to upgrade RAM
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#12
Quote from juanadeal View Post :
Okay, leaning towards the desktop then. We have an ipad and smartphones for couch surfing and cheaper and up-gradable are very tempting.
I'd go with the desktop if only for the kid doing homework. It's stationary in a room away from the TV and you can monitor it. Has all the guts it needs to do the work. DO get a UPS for it -- just sayin'
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#13
Quote from callpocket View Post :
I'd go with the desktop if only for the kid doing homework. It's stationary in a room away from the TV and you can monitor it. Has all the guts it needs to do the work. DO get a UPS for it -- just sayin'
Why need a UPS for the desktop?
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#14
Quote from xxxHolic View Post :
Why need a UPS for the desktop?
Saves the pc from improper shutdowns during those little power outages. A small UPS -- not a huge thing. Desktops don't have a battery to keep them running like a laptop.
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#15
Quote from callpocket View Post :
Saves the pc from improper shutdowns during those little power outages. A small UPS -- not a huge thing. Desktops don't have a battery to keep them running like a laptop.
I know what the UPS is.
My desktops have got improper shutdown during those power outages few times a year. No problem.
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