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Old 07-17-2013, 02:38 PM
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,896 posts, read 4,422,729 times
Reputation: 3934


Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
I suggested in another thread that hardly anyone needs a desktop computer anymore.

I was soundly disagreed with. In order to not sidetrack that thread I started this one.
Reasons other folks said I was wrong:
  • People should only buy laptops if they beed mobile computing
I don't buy that. I have been recommending laptops to family and friends for over 6 years now. To a person: every single one that I have talked into getting a laptop when at least half of them were set on a desktop: thanked me later.
Aunt Margie? She looks up recipes on her laptop and then takes the laptop into the kitchen with her so can view it right there. She doesn't have to go sit in the den and waste paper printing a recipe she is only going to use once.
Cousin Mary: Probably the most adamant the she did not need a laptop. Loves the convenience. She slides her laptop under the couch when she isn't using it. Any time she wants to look something up real quick? Slide it out. Open. Google. Close. Back under the couch. No walking into the den. Sit down. Fire up computer.
  • You can't upgrade laptops
So what. Ask yourself, and honestly answer: what is the #1 thing people upgrade in computers? RAM. That is the one thing that people upgrade more then anything. That's even EASIER to do in a laptop. People aren't upgrading processors and video cards, except maybe gamers. When the average computer was $1,200, maybe. But now a cheap desktop is $400. A cheap laptop $500. People don't upgrade like they used to. Computers get replaced today... not upgraded.
  • They break more often
Ok, well I suppose. They are portable after all. Any number of things can happen. But less reliable? I don't think so. My laptops seems to last quite some time.

*Disclaimer before I upset someone: These are my opinions only. I am not saying any of this is FACT. I believe most folks will agree with me, but maybe not. Let's find out. Discuss.
I would argue your first bullet by saying that the laptop is not as convenient as a tablet then, and would be the better choice. I use my iPad for all of my web surfing, checking email, etc... but most certainly, my tablet cannot do everything I require from a computer.

As far as your second point, that isn't always true either. Sure, RAM might be the first thing that people upgrade, but I can definitely tell you that is not the only thing I upgrade in desktops. It's usually either upgrading video/sound cards, adding expansion cards, or having to replace those parts. If the video or sound goes bad in your laptop, whatcha gonna do? At least in a desktop, those are easy and not always costly fixes. I'm not sure where you got the idea that people don't upgrade like they used to? In fact, that is what I love about desktop computers, in that I can easily upgrade sound, video, Ethernet if it goes bad, and I'm not having to take apart the entire thing to do so, nor do I have to spend a ton of money doing it. I mean, yes, if I wanted to, I could slap the latest and greatest video card in it, but at least that's a viable option for me with my desktop.

As far as your last bullet, I'm not sure where they get the idea that laptops break more often. I suppose it depends upon how rough one is with a laptop. We do have to replace "cracked" displays quite often at work, but I would disagree that laptops break more often than desktops.

People still have a need for desktops. My needs for desktops have shifted more toward being used as an all purpose entertainment/media center that I can periodically upgrade. If it's something that is going to be stationary, such as a sever or a computer that will remain hooked to your HDTV, then it's pretty stupid to buy a laptop for such a job.

O wait, one more.
  • You get less computing power for your money

Yea, because MOST people NEED a quad core machine to play Bejeweled on Facebook, right? The trade off isn't so extreme. A $500 laptop will do everything a $400 desktop can do...
Well, you did say you spent $1100 on your computer, and I would probably bet I could spend $300 less for a desktop with similar specs. But again, I would argue spending $500 on a laptop when you could find a cheaper option in a tablet.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:06 PM
2,766 posts, read 3,063,942 times
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FWIW I use both as well as a smartphone and tablet. It depends on use and location.

If restricted to one device for everything I would be sub-optimizing some activity in some situation. I'd probably choose a laptop (assuming I had a standard cell phone)...but I am not restricted to one device, so I will for now continue to use them all. Next will be the smart watches and glasses etc...

In my experince laptops are not as durable and technically long lived as towers. I always buy and usually use an extended warranty.
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