Desktop & laptop OR 2 laptops?
Thread poster: Daina Jauntirans

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:52
German to English
+ ...
May 28, 2013

What hardware configuration do you work with?

I definitely always have 2 computers at all times: this has saved me on a few occasions when one machine has run into trouble. However, having always worked with a desktop + laptop, I am now thinking about possibly replacing my old desktop with another laptop.

It would be nice to be rid of "separate pieces" that take up space in my office. I'm a bit worried about ergonomics, but I have a Kinesis keyboard I could attach to the "home" laptop, and they do make pretty large screens. That one wouldn't need to be super-light and portable.

Are there still any advantages to having a desktop around?


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Desktop+laptop May 28, 2013

Personal preference, really - I'm still a bit old school and prefer to sit at a desk when working. I think laptops are really for when you need portability. Otherwise, I find a desktop more comfortable and easier/cheaper to upgrade in terms of memory, software etc. Space isn't really a problem for me though... I have 2 fully functional desktops and 2 laptops.

[Edited at 2013-05-29 13:54 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-05-29 13:54 GMT]


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:52
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 28, 2013

I realized after I posted that I could also have a look at all-in-one desktops - large screen, but less "stuff." My main concern is still being able to use my ergonomic keyboard and trackball, which I use instead of a mouse. The touchpad on my laptop is awful, so I do use a mouse when I don't need to have the whole laptop set-up totally portable.

 

Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:52
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Desktop + notebook May 28, 2013

Main machine is desktop. It is also for movies, video editing, photos, burning disks etc. Laptop is a backup device and to work in park in summer.

 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:52
French to English
+ ...
You can effectively use a "laptop" as a "desktop" to a large extent May 28, 2013

I personally would probably go for laptops, just for the flexibility if nothing else.

It used to be the case that:

- a decent laptop was very expensive compared to a decent desktop
- things such as USB external drives were rarer/slower/more expensive
- many peripherals simply were not available in USB/Cardbus format (i.e. could not be connected to laptops)
- for other reasons (e.g. amount of memory, types of graphics card typically in a machine) there was a tangible advantage to upgrading a machine more frequently than you replaced it
- desktop display technology was superior to laptop displays

These were all strong motivations for having a desktop somewhere among your arsenal.

Nowadays, I wonder if these reasons really hold: USB versions such as sound cards and disk drives and other storage devices have become mainstream, a decent new laptop has sufficient resources to last a few years even if you can't upgrade it, laptop and desktop displays are now essentially the same technology in many cases...

If you were to plug a big monitor and your ergonomic keyboard into a laptop and pop the laptop on the floor/shelf of your desk, would there actually be any conceptual difference for you between that and a "desktop"?


 

Margareth Santos  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Laptop, for sure! May 28, 2013

I actually agree with Neil Coffrey. Using a laptop has never been a problem for me. If fact, it gives me the flexibility to work where I want to in the house & I like that feeling. Don't all of you desktop users feel (during any part of the day) that you're glued to your seat and itching for a new scenery?! I get that a lot. I'm lucky that I'm able to live by the sea, so... as most of the coffee-shops here have wireless internet access, I sometimes take my laptop with me and work whilst sitting at an esplanade having an espresso coffee in the sun. Just what the doctor orders.
Take care everyone!


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 22:22
English to Hindi
+ ...
Desktop fanatic May 29, 2013

I never really caught on to the laptop bandwagon. I have always been a desktop fanatic. I have two, of the same configuration, for the sake of redundancy. I also have a laptop, which I use when travelling. But since I rarely travel, most of the time, my daughter uses it for playing computer games. I am happy with this, for otherwise she would clamour to do the same on my working desktops!

Yes, desktops occupy huge amounts of desk space which is a major disadvantage, but as you say, these days you also have one-piece machines in which everything like hard disk, speakers and other accessories are fitted behind the screen itself. But I have not tried these.

When you need to work for long hours, you need to solidly sit behind a desk, and have ample arm and leg space so that you don't get cramped up. Desktops allow you that luxury. Also, you can attach two screens to your computer or have a very large screen, which all helps if you need to keep several web pages open and shuttle between them. All this is difficult, if not impossible, with laptops.


 

Yuri Radcev  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:52
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
desktop + 2 laptops May 29, 2013

a desktop has one big advantage: flexibility. you can connect a number of peripherals at the same time, like powerful scanner + good camera + external hard drive + one more monitor, etc, etc. and you'll still have few USB ports available)))
most laptops have only two - or three - USB ports, one of which is busy with the wireless mouse, say. yes, you may use something like USB-hub to increase the number of ports, but USB needs power. it does not always work, and it decrease ergonomics. attaching a larger screen and a keyboard to a laptop is a mess actually. instead, one may buy even a "nettop" - a small cheap desktop, not as powerful, but still capable of paperwork, and have it always connected and ready.
but of course, it is a matter of preference. I prefer to work on a desktop with 24" FullHD screen, nice big Microsoft laser mouse and fullsize Apple keyboard (it works nice with Windows, yes)))) with all the peripherals connected (scanner, camera). and use laptops when on the move.

[Редактировалось 2013-05-29 02:38 GMT]


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:52
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good points May 29, 2013

Neil has some good points, and I do feel like Margareth feels about moving around, although I don't work that much outside the house.

Concerning peripherals, I guess I just use the special keyboard and trackball, plus occasionally a scanner, but I use that with my laptop already because it's not compatible with XP.

Hmm, must compare some laptops and desktop all-on-ones.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:52
Member
English to French
Desktop May 29, 2013

Besides benefits already mentioned, I also love the idea that my workplace is a real somewhere, where I can escape from or come back to when I feel like it.

When I feel mobility is necessary for my job, I will consider laptops. For the time being, when I work, I sit in my office, and when I don't, I don't.

Philippe


 

IrimiConsulting  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:52
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
One laptop + workspaces where needed May 29, 2013

My only computer is a laptop. I have a main workplace in an office that I rent and another at home. Both workplaces are equipped with ergonomic keyboards, mice, comfy chairs and a good, large monitor. Naturally the extra hardware costs some, but probably not as much as a new computer. Plus, I don't need to synchronise information since it's all in one place, and I only need to maintain, configure and update one computer. Regular backups are taken and highly recommended.

The laptop has an SSD and generous RAM so speed is not an issue.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Desktop + laptop - IMAP email May 29, 2013

Right now I have:
- Desktop in the office
- Desktop at home
- A laptop I use occasionally
- POP3 email (i.e. I only have my email in the office and I remote into that machine to use my email)

Since I plan to go back to university in September, I will need more mobility and my plan during the summer is to change to:
- Desktop in the office
- A laptop I will use at home (with a larger screen+keyboard+mouse) and away
- IMAP email (so that my email is synchronised in both machines)

[Edited at 2013-05-29 13:03 GMT]


 


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