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Replacing destop with laptop
is it a good idea?
vivalasvegas




msg:1566974
 10:15 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi.

I must replace my 3 year old desktop I was looking into replacing it with a laptop. I'm not so sure if it's a good idea though so I need some advice, especially from people in a similar situation - I spend all day working at home, mostly managing my own websites, managing PPC campaigns, SEO work - you know the usual Internet small biz stuff. I travel occasionally, plus I like the idea of being able to work from any corner of my house as opposed to being stuck at my desk.

The laptops I've been checking out: 15.4 widescreen with Pentium M processor and 512 MB of RAM. Currently I have a 17" LG LCD so this is one concern: will the 15.4 screen be confortable enough to work with? What about the fact that a laptop is one piece - isn't it a pain to work with for long periods of time? I was also thinking of connecting my external keyboard and 17" LCD to the laptop - is this a viable option? One thing I don't wanna do - getting a desktop and a laptop. I don't need 2 computers.

What do you think?
Thanks:)

 

sullen




msg:1566975
 10:20 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes - you can attatch an external monitor, keyboard and mouse and in fact you must do that - working on a laptop for extended periods is really bad for your posture/neck/arms.

With extra monitor etc though it's very handy, and you can use the laptop screen as an "extended desktop".

Web Footed Newbie




msg:1566976
 10:23 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Go with the laptop - the fastest you can afford.

I connect my laptop at work to a full size keyboard and 20" flat screen. I crunch a lot of numbers, so having the full size keyboard with the 10-key is important to me. The laptop for typing is okay, but I am much faster and more accurate at typing on a full size keyboard, and it is more comfortable.

At the end of the day, I unplug, take my laptop home, and can work anywhere in the house because I have wireless - a must for a laptop.
WFN

Marketing Guy




msg:1566977
 10:27 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Get a workstation.

Gives you the same basic setup as a desktop, but uses a laptop as the PC unit, so you can remove it and take it on the go. Best of both worlds, although I suspect your choice of systems would be a little more limited.

I think it was a Compaq system I used before - long time ago now, don't really recall! :)

Alternative Future




msg:1566978
 10:30 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Also have a look at docking stations, save a lot of time with the unplugging etc. Basically the laptop just sits in place and you are connected to all your peripherals (monitor, mouse, network connection keyboard etc).

-George

Marketing Guy




msg:1566979
 10:45 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Docking station! :) That's what I meant with "workstation". Damn my memory! ;)

Alternative Future




msg:1566980
 10:48 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

LoL @ MG - you bet me to the answer anyway :( Too slow at spell checking here :)

Web Footed Newbie




msg:1566981
 12:40 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just make sure the docking station can accomodate everything you may plug in, and plan for the future. Some docking stations are limited depending on manufacturer, so check the specs and make sure....
WFN

Matt Probert




msg:1566982
 12:58 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Get a desktop. They are easier and cheaper to upgrade, expand and repair. And are also more reliable. So long as you don't need to work on the move.

Matt

vivalasvegas




msg:1566983
 4:44 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone. I'm gonna get a laptop then (sorry Matt:). I've been looking at reviews for many many hours now. My God, why do they have to have so many models. I have no idea what to choose. The more popular ones seem to come from HP/Compaq, but they have so many series and I don't understand the difference between them. Suggestions/recommendations welcome.

jetboy




msg:1566984
 5:00 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I replaced a seven year old desktop (Celeron 400) with a Dell 9300 17" laptop recently, and I wouldn't have got a much more powerful desktop for the money. An additional 19" CRT means I'm not short of screen real estate - 3520x1200 in all. With the addition of a wireless network, the old machine is pulling duty as a file and print server. It gets my recommendation.

brizad




msg:1566985
 3:21 am on Jul 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I bought a dell laptop (inspiron 6000) at costco.com (not at the store) for about $500 cheaper than at dell.com. Good computer, 3 yr warranty, and free shipping. It was the best deal I could find.

brizad




msg:1566986
 4:04 am on Jul 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thing that has me a bit puzzled. The Dell laptop has a pentium-m 730 processor running at 1.6g. My 2 year old desktop has an athlon 1.3g processer and it is probably about 20% quicker that the laptop. RAM is the same.

Is it normal for laptops to be slower than comperable desktops? Maybe this is because of some laptop power saving feature?

I originally thought that the laptop would replace my desktop (for work) but since the laptop is so much slower even with Word and XL, I'd hate to see how slow it is with dreamweaver or photoshop.

So far I'm sticking with the desktop but it sure would be convenient to have a laptop for travel. I don't want to sacrifice performance though.

vivalasvegas




msg:1566987
 9:35 pm on Jul 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm getting a Toshiba Tecra also with a Pentium M 730 at 1.6 ghz. I really hope it's fast enough as I don't wanna get another desktop. I'll keep you posted.

vivalasvegas




msg:1566988
 9:41 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm really satisfied with my Toshiba Tecra A3 as far as performance is concerned. I even got a mini docking station and it works great with my 17" LCD. The laptop is so quiet compared to the destop I used to have. Thanks all for your input.

jatar_k




msg:1566989
 9:48 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

HP (I think) had these laptops they were billing as desktops replacements, I saw them at future shop a while ago, full size keyboards, nice wide screens

thought they were pretty slick

Frequent




msg:1566990
 10:00 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am reasonably happy with having switched over to my Dell 9200, 3Ghz, 512meg, 15.4". My only complaints are that the processor is a battery hog (not an M) and the laptop is a pig (heavy) but I knew both going in.

In retrospect, next time around I'll probably sacrifice the speed and get something light.

Freq---

vivalasvegas




msg:1566991
 10:18 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Those 17" laptops are nice, but I bet they're not very easy to carry around. As for the M processor - I don't know yet how long the battery lasts (around 3-4 hrs according to Toshiba). What I have noticed is that the fan turns on every 15 seconds, even when I'm just browsing the web.

HNichols




msg:1566992
 10:20 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

With laptops becoming as powerful as they are, I don't know why anyone uses a desktop any more.

brizad




msg:1566993
 11:16 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

my dell 6000 (pentium M 730) says the battery life is about 5 and 1/2 hours. I've never tested it though.

With laptops becoming as powerful as they are, I don't know why anyone uses a desktop any more.

For me it was always speed and hard drive space in a desktop vs cost of a laptop. When I built my last desktop about 2-1/2 years ago I put almost the top of the line everything in it and came in under $800. At that time a comparable laptop was not really available with the HD and RAM that I wanted, and the cost of high-end laptops was at least 3-4x higher. Now like you eluded to, the cost has come way down and the power has gone up.

I got the laptop a couple of months ago mainly so my wife would have a computer to use and I could keep working on my desktop. I originally considered maybe using it for my work but when I tried to run dreamweaver and photoshop together it was really slow. Then I read somewhere that by default the laptops power setting might be slowing down the computer to save power even though it was plugged into AC. When I swithced the power setting to the full power setting the computer really seemed to speed up. I don't know if I just imagined it or if it really is faster.

Now I am considering moving everything over to the laptop as long as I can use my 17" LCD and mouse and keyboard (no PS2 ports though.)

Dell doesn't make a proper docking station for this model but they do have a port replicator that I think has PS2 ports. Anyone ever use on of these things? Do they work pretty well?

It would be nice to get out of the house every once in a while and go work at the beach or something. It's kinda hard to do that with the desktop ;-)

Hailey




msg:1566994
 12:46 am on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thing that has me a bit puzzled. The Dell laptop has a pentium-m 730 processor running at 1.6g. My 2 year old desktop has an athlon 1.3g processer and it is probably about 20% quicker that the laptop. RAM is the same.

Is it normal for laptops to be slower than comperable desktops? Maybe this is because of some laptop power saving feature?

The mobile chip is a different architecture from the chips used in desktops. The general consensus is the Pentium M running 1.2GHz+ offers comparable performance to the Pentium 4. For example, a 2GHz Pentium M offers about the same performance as 3.2Ghz Pentium 4.

A formula I've seen commonly used is you multiply a Mobile chip by a factor of 1.5 to get the approximate Pentium 4 equivalent.

I did a search and found a short FAQ [broadbandreports.com] about the differences. And also came across this nice list:

pentium m -> pentium 4
1.4 -> ~2.0 - 2.2
1.5 -> ~2.2 - 2.4
1.6 -> ~2.4 - 2.6
1.7 -> ~2.6 - 2.8

Hope this helps.

brizad




msg:1566995
 2:25 am on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks Hailey for the info. Nice to see it laid out like that.

I posted this in the post right before yours.

"Then I read somewhere that by default the laptops power setting might be slowing down the computer to save power even though it was plugged into AC. When I swithced the power setting to the full power setting the computer really seemed to speed up. I don't know if I just imagined it or if it really is faster."

That power setting seemed to have a lot to do with it too.

MatthewHSE




msg:1566996
 7:05 pm on Jul 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

With laptops becoming as powerful as they are, I don't know why anyone uses a desktop any more.

I recently built a desktop computer for less than $500. To get the same performance out of a laptop would have cost $1800+. I almost never travel, and almost never need to use a computer anywhere other than at my desk. If you're going to have a full-size monitor, keyboard and mouse, why triple or quadruple the cost of your system by getting a laptop that you don't need?

Besides, laptops (last I heard) simply don't last as well as a desktop. I'm interested in systems that I can build and use heavily for 3-5 years minimum. I just don't care to migrate data any more often than that, etc.

That said, I've got a laptop too - but never as a replacement for my desktop.

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