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Poll

Is your primary computer a Laptop or Desktop?

Laptop
27 (35.5%)
Desktop
44 (57.9%)
Other (explain, please!)
5 (6.6%)

Total Members Voted: 75

Last post Author Topic: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?  (Read 18407 times)

zridling

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Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« on: November 17, 2007, 12:13:48 AM »
I'm curious to find out what percentage of DC-ers are laptop users. I'm a desktop guy because that fits my fat, sedentary, hermetic, chocolate-addicted lifestyle. But since moving over to Linux, I've noticed that everyone — almost — has laptop hardware compatibility (in the form of drivers) and connectivity (usually wi-fi) at the top of their priority list. That's understandable, but if a distro doesn't have wi-fi, it really goes nowhere I've noticed.

ibm-pc-convertible.jpg  ibm_pc1.jpg

So here's my follow-up question: If you answered 'Laptop user' above, please tell us why you prefer it over a desktop machine. Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 12:16:16 AM by zridling »

Gothi[c]

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 12:28:39 AM »
... I think desktops are just better for 'everyday' use since you can:
  • Use bigger screens on them (a laptop becomes less 'portable' the bigger the display gets,...)
  • It is way more comfortable to use a REAL mouse and a REAL keyboard! Than those tiny keys on laptops, and mini-trackballs and mini-touchpads they come with
  • Desktops are more friendly to upgrade, easier to fix and mess around in hardware-wise.
  • Desktops are cheaper! More performance bang for your buck.
(granted, you can attach an external keyboard,mouse,screen to a laptop,... but is it still a LAPtop then?)

IMO laptops only make sense when you have the need to be mobile with your work.  Some people like the fact they can work(or watch movies) from the couch or even bed, I tried that with a laptop for a while, and even though it sounds comfortable, it gets waaay more uncomfortable than a real desk after a while.

I know you asked for comments of people who prefer laptops over desktops, so most of the stuff i pointed out is probably obvious, but I wanted to point it out anyway ;)

icekin

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 01:50:45 AM »
Depends on the situation. I own both laptops and desktops and use them for various needs. When I'm away in another country, I prefer laptops since they are easy to carry around for presentations and meetings. But, I agree that nothing beats having a large 19" screen and 4GB RAM with a good graphics card for gaming. I never really understood the rationale for a gaming laptop, such as those made by alienware.

Armando

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 01:56:51 AM »
Since i've bought my first laptop, I never looked back. I consider it to be one of my best “technological move”.
Okay, first, I admit, I don't need superpower : I don't play games, I don't need to crunch extremely complex data, I don't encode blue ray HD movies, etc.). Second : I don't mind the smaller screen, but I do have 2 extra screens for specific needs and work. Third : I actually like "small" keyboards and I love touchpads (yep : find touchpads more convenient than a mouse : never hooked a mouse to one of my laptop... but I wouldn't mind hooking Wacom tablet to it, once in a while!!!). Fourth : just love the freedom of not being attached to a desk (I like to work in cafes, and take my laptop to seminars, conferences, courses, whatever). Fifth : I don’t find that I’ve changed to many elements of my desktop computers in the past apart from the graphic card, the hard drive and the ram.  In a laptop. Replacing ram and hard drive is not a big thing. Sometimes you can even replace the graphic card (of course, I wouldn’t replace it since I don’t need it : even my 5 year old Pentium 4 with its horrible SIS 6326 does a goog enough job on anything I need). Sixth : keeping an extra desktop (or even an extra laptop) for mechanical background tasks is always handy...  ;)


PS : BTW zaine, nice laptop you have up there  :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 01:58:25 AM by Armando »

nontroppo

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 06:19:04 AM »
I do a lot of analysis and statistical computation in the monolithc Matlab, at the same time as making up graphics in illustrator / Photoshop detailing said analyses, and running software to write about that (along with reference manager), and browsing for references etc. Until the last iteration of laptops, desktops were simply far more useable for such stuff. That has radically changed. All of that stuff happily runs on a laptop with ease. A 2Ghz core2 duo with 2GB runs that without breaking so much as a bead of sweat; indeed, bits of that now run in XP and bits in OS X seamlessly. My monster Xeon dual-processor 4GB desktop workstation is now almost entirely unused (it is still a glorified print server  :P), except I plug its main monitor into my laptop for dual-screen goodness. I much prefer my laptop keyboard too, and would buy a version of it for the desktop if I bothered to use it more ;-)
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jgpaiva

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2007, 07:19:25 AM »
I currently own a laptop, and that's all i have owned for the last 4 years.
However, a few months ago i understood the big advantage of having a desktop: updates.

My laptop was quite good when i bought it and, as nontroppo described, it was good enough to do everything i needed at the time. Unfortunatelly, with time, it became too underpowered. So, i had to add it more memory. I payed about 2 times more than i would have payed for the same ram for one desktop, and the desktop ram would be faster, and wouldn't force me to remove the ram i had at the time (which the laptop did).

Thus, as i'm nor rich nor stupid, and since i already have the external keyboard, mouse and screen, i decided that in the start of the next year, i'm going to buy myself a decent desktop for half the price of the equivalent laptop, which will last me twice the time that my new laptop would have lasted ;)

Since i've mentioned the external keyboard, there's another important factor: my previous laptop's keyboard got ruined, some keys weren't working. In a desktop, that wouldn't have been a problem. In a laptop, that also isn't a big problem, it only costs 5 times more :P (oh, and the keyboard lasted 2times less than my current external keyboard already lasted!)

So.. Make the maths :P

Darwin

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2007, 07:33:25 AM »
Great idea, Zaine (nice to see you around here again!). I'm answering this without reading the other responses - I've stuck with a notebook since buying my first one in 1993 (gave up my last desktop in 2002) because I split my time between a home office, library, and work office and like to have my own machine with me whereever I go. I also like the reduced footprint of the notebook (though I realize that with modern LCD monitors and mini towers this isn't really much of an argument today). I spend most of my time in my home office these days, and have wireless keyboard and full-sized mouse connected while I am here. Of course, while at home I'm free to move around the house with my notebook, so often sit in the living room with the kids and work (that's code for lurking at Donationcoder while my wife thinks that I am working on my PhD  :o) while they destroy the place.

PS Zaine - you've described me to a tee in describing yourself, right down to the chocolate addiction. Add caffeine fuelled and we're practically twins! OK, perhaps I flatter myself, but you get the point.
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mrainey

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2007, 07:41:04 AM »
I've been 99% laptop since I retired from my "real" job three years ago.

I sit in my Lazy Boy in the living room, feet up, news or music going on the TV, and work in comfort.  Computer sits on my lap (no surprise there) and keeps me warm.  I'm sixty, don't care if the heat messes with my sperm count.  ;D

The keyboard feels fine, the screen looks great, the sound is good through headphones or external speakers.  I can easily take the computer with me on trips, etc.

It's got all the power I'm likely to need for years to come.  I'm not into games or heavy graphics work.  Not into Vista either.

Repairs can be costly.  I bought the three-year warranty coverage that includes accidents and screen.  This may be expensive up front, but at least I don't have to worry.  I have a backup machine (my old laptop) in case repair time drags on into more than a few days.  My first laptop, a Toshiba, went 3 1/2 years before it had any problems.

It's just so damn handy.
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Renegade

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2007, 08:10:59 AM »
Desktop. Desktop. Desktop. Desktop. Desktop. Those are the primary computers that I use. I have a laptop. It sucks. Gothic went over the reasons.

I just can't stand fiddling with the trackpad. That kind of motion with your finger is supposed to be done to please a woman, not move a cursor.

Also, the mini-keyboards on laptops are just to tight. Tight again should be associated with, well, see above. It shouldn't be associated with a keyboard.

I suppose that my thoughts on using a laptop can be summed up by keeping with the same word you'd think of for this post, but not the same thing... FUCK!

I'm incredibly impatient with computers. They're supposed to be fast - human interface devices included.

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Darwin

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2007, 09:04:14 AM »
Quote
I just can't stand fiddling with the trackpad. That kind of motion with your finger is supposed to be done to please a woman, not move a cursor.

Consider being proficient with a trackpad a transferable skill and using it all the time a way to develop and maintain your skills that skill, Renegade!  :D
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 09:09:16 AM by Darwin »

zridling

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2007, 09:07:44 AM »
Renegade, you can plug your peripherals into a laptop. When I was using one, I used my own keyboard and mouse. And yes, I'm the most impatient guy around. The world is in slow-motion for me most of the time.

mrainey, there's too much sperm on the planet anyway, so no loss, eh?!  :P

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2007, 09:30:54 AM »
Desktop, because there's no way I get all this crap plugged into a notebook.

Lashiec

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2007, 03:23:29 PM »
Desktop FTW. It would be quite strange for me to have a laptop as the main computer, for my all gripes towards them that Gothi[c] summarized. A laptop has a clearly defined set of situations in which one would prove useful for me, and so far, I never encountered one enough times for to say to myself: "Lashiec, you need a laptop"...

... plus I don't have enough money for one ;D
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 04:04:50 PM by Lashiec »

cranioscopical

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2007, 03:33:31 PM »
Renegade, you can plug your peripherals into a laptop.
Please!  Not in front of the children!


Veign

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2007, 03:53:48 PM »
Laptops all the way.  Nothing beats having the portability.  From relocating within the house to taking on the road having a laptop has made me more productive since I can be in front of my computer for longer periods.

(by the way I have a real mouse attached and you get used to the keyboard - after a few weeks you won't even notice the size difference with the keboard)

Darwin

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2007, 04:03:49 PM »
Renegade, you can plug your peripherals into a laptop.
Please!  Not in front of the children!

Interpreted this way, Zaine's comment could most certainly be construed as an insult...
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vradmilovic

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2007, 04:16:27 PM »
Laptop. I know I am missing power that desktops can offer. I work at office, at home, on weekends, when out of city. Heck, I even work on vacations, somewhere near the sea. :) Having all my data and software always near me makes me feel happy knowing that even at countryside, in the middle of the night, if there's no electrical power, I still can fix an urgent bug and upload new build via GPRS or dial-up. ;)

At office, I use external keyboard, mouse, other USB peripherals, and monitor in dual screen setup. In other cases, just mouse.
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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2007, 07:18:54 PM »
Desktop here. Interestingly, Ashley @ CybernetNews recently published a short article about Reasons You Could Hate a Laptop and posted the following reader question: "Do you prefer a laptop or desktop, and is there anything that you’d change to make it the perfect computer?"

Laughing Man

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2007, 07:21:21 PM »
Hmm this is hard for me to answer. I love the portability my laptop offers me, but I despite how I'm locked in hardware wise and the power it sometimes lacks (in the graphics department). Even if I had gotten a video card in my laptop it would've been outdated quickly (compared to better timing on graphics card in the desktop market).

And the hard drive space is also an issue..160 GBs vs my desktop's 600+ GBs.

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2007, 07:21:51 PM »
Desktop, most definitely - but wouldn't mind having a decent portable laptop for when I'm on the road...
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Ralf Maximus

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2007, 08:15:56 PM »
Desktop, most definitely - but wouldn't mind having a decent portable laptop for when I'm on the road...

I've got a standard laptop for road-warrioring, and a tablet PC for play.  Both are too large to just tuck under my arm for a Starbucks break or for composing idle thoughts at a bistro.

I'd really like an ultra-portable, something in the 1.5 pound range, maybe somewhat larger than a big paperback book.  There used to be an array of such devices (Sony, Fujitsu) but now everyone's creaming about tablets, and so that's all there is.

Why'd the world go tablet-crazy anyhow?  I just don't see the attraction once you get past the "cool, I can sign my name" phase.

Lashiec

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2007, 08:43:31 PM »
So, you want an Asus EEE, Ralf? :)

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2007, 09:04:55 PM »
So, you want an Asus EEE, Ralf? :)

Holy shiat, it's beautiful.  Alas, not sold in the US, so I can't lay my paws on one for testing.  Any experience with the wee beastie?

Lashiec

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2007, 09:11:31 PM »
No, but plenty of positive reviews (search for Asus EEE to catch them all!)

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Re: Laptop or Desktop — which are you?
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2007, 09:24:00 PM »
The size of the computer doesn't matter too much - smaller is better though. The really important things are the human interface devices. i.e. Mouse, keyboard and monitor.

My IDEAL computer would be like this (total fantasy at the moment):

* Large visual display - Preferably of variable sizes for different situations, e.g. airplane vs. desk. Should unfold from a nice compact size up to between 15" and 30". Should also have an included stand/prop.

* Display is touch and laser sensitive. Touch is self-explanitory (ala the MS Surface technology). Laser is below...

* Hybrid wireless laser-pointer hover mouse - Acts like a regular mouse but includes a laser to point at the screen to control the pointer/cursor. Mouse can also be used in mid-air (hover) when you don't have a solid surface available - nice for traveling.

* Massive storage - 1 PB would be good. 4 TB would be ok for right now.

* Speed - Just plain mind-blowingly fast. You can never have enough raw power.

* Unfoldable compact wireless keyboard - Rolls out to full size. Has reinforcements to stabilize it when unfolded so it's hard like a real keyboard.

Sigh... Only a dream for the moment.


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