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People don't buy desktops

not any more



2:41 pm on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

My observation is that amongst both novice and experienced IT users I know, this year's new purchases have almost entirely been laptops.

Can anyone confirm this? Why? And what am I missing by using a desktop?


3:42 pm on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Who buys desktops- they're practically giving them away. :)

My guess is that people's existing desktops are generally working well enough and users at this point don't see any cost benefit to buy a new one, especially if they have to get saddled with Vista.

Or, if they do buy a new computer, they are opting for laptops for more flexibility in where they use them. Yes, you *COULD* put a wireless network card in your desktop, but you can't very well drag it to Starbucks with you. :)


5:27 pm on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I've been working with laptops exclusively for about 7 years. The downsides are a smaller display, slightly greater cost and difficulty of repair, but the upsides of portability, interruptible power, lower noise (usually), compactness, etc. are greater in my opinion.

I switched to laptops early because of an RSI issue with my shoulder that requires me to use an armchair, but even without that problem, I would be using laptops exclusively by now.



10:07 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've sold my desktop and don't plan on going back to it.

Laptops are very portable - I can be sitting in any room in my house (even in front of the tv) or office working on the machine, compared to desktops which aren't portable and need to stay in the one location.

The only downside I find is the hard drive which is a lot less (80Gb compared to 500GB), battery life (good but never enough) and perhaps an increased threat of theft (and hence data loss).

In addition to abandoning the desktop, I've also given up on the "tablet pc" idea as I rarely need to use the digital pen (its a tablet convertable I have), but will probably go for the Toshiba dual tablet/touch screen as I'm a fan of touch screen - I like adjusting volume, fast forwarding etc just by touching the screen - seems quicker and more natural than using a mouse/keypad at times.

What about people who primarily bought desktops for playing the latest games? Do they buy laptops now? Do the latest laptop graphics cards match the desktop graphics cards?


10:16 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Desktops - for important and long hour developments (comfort)
Laptops - Quick bug fixes, responding emails, and customer presentations (all related to portability)

I find Laptops with similar specifications as Desktops to be slower, and totally uncomfortable to work for long hours.


12:10 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think those issues can be overcome by attaching a bigger monitor (e.g. I use a 19" inch one), keyboard and mouse when required - effectively turning it into a desktop.

The one thing that has annoyed me about this though is the need to reattach things (though docking stations help a bit). I'd much prefer to be able to wirelessly connect to all these devices (incl. the monitor) so that the laptop doesn't need any cables attached whatsoever.


12:22 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well, I am commited to desk tops, most offices use mostly desktops

I like full size keyboards and the extra power you can get from a desktop for the same money as a laptop

Plus , I can fix most things on a desktop, when a laptop goes wrong,,,

The joys of cracking open the desk top casing and,,,


1:56 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I switched to a laptop in early 2004. I wanted to only have one computer, but have the flexibility that comes with portability.

I bought a pretty robust desktop replacement machine. It was heavy. It supported a second monitor. I plugged on in. And a keyboard, mouse, scanner, printer, pocket pc, external hard drive, mp3 player, etc...

Every time I wanted to take my portable computer somewhere with me I had to unplug all the cables (not as tedious as it sounds as most where plugged into a usb hub)and fetch the cord out from under my desk. It was enough of a pain that I only did it if I really needed my laptop or was going out of town.

Did I mention it was heavy? I have an excellent laptop bag with backpack straps, but it was still a pain to carry.

The biggest problem I had was the severely limited hard disk capacity.

Last fall I went back to using a desktop computer. I still have a laptop, but I use it only as a portable machine and not as my primary system.


2:39 am on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm with centime. Desktop all the way for me. Almost all of my computer time is in the home office (with as little as possible in the office office), so I have no interest at all in a laptop. I also like to be able to crack open the case. And, as far as laptops have come, it still seems to me that there is a lot more power, reliability, and bang for the buck with a desktop.

If it weren't for Vista, I would be in the market right now. However, I don't have time to fool with learning my way around the Linux options, want nothing to do with Vista (at least for now) based on a lot of first hand reports, and I'm not going to invest several thousand dollars in box with a de facto obsolete OS:(( It's a bad time to be buying a computer.


3:03 am on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The replies here are very interesting - seems to be a clear division between laptop and desktop users. I wonder if the price point reductions that laptops have seen are going to shake this up more.


9:51 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

In the mid 1990s, when I traveled alot, I spent over 5K on a WinBookXP (Windows 95, 100mhz, 32Ram, etc) and the matching docking station so I could have full keyboard, mouse, monitor and CD-Rom at home. (Still have it actually..)

When I came off the road, I never wanted another laptop. Desktop all the way. One at the office (XP Pro) and one at home (Windows 2000). I can work either place. I refuse to work any other place and luckily my job doesn't require it.


12:17 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm purely laptop now. Having a TRUE docking station essentially allows you to turn your laptop into a real desktop (with no annoying cables to unplug). It's why I got a Dell Latitutde laptop years ago...just drop it into the dock and presto, instant desktop, complete with all external HD's, mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, USB cards and speakers. I do agree that you give up "just a bit" of performance with a laptop vs. a desktop. But the portability and the ability to use the laptop from the comfort of my recliner (instead of stuck in my office chair), make the tiny performance loss worth it.

I could never go back to a desktop again. The key is to be able to use external "things" with your laptop easily, particularly a keyboard, mouse and external monitor. And for that, nothing beats a good and real docking station.

Edit - Gee, sorry...dredged up an ancient post from months and months ago.


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