Desktop PC or laptop?

  charlton200 18:44 10 Dec 2010

Hi, My wife and I are think of changing out old Desktop PC for a laptop, and because we have never had a laptop before I was hoping for any advice.
Are laptops just as powerful and fast as desktop PCs?
Are you able to use laptops just like a desktop; being able to use from the electric, use a mouse and not the finger plate and connect to a printer/scanner?

Our PC is always used in the home and not on the move; so,can you advice on whether a desktop or laptop would be the better option for the home?

Thanks you

  Bris 19:35 10 Dec 2010

This is one of those questions where you will get as many opinions as you get respondents.
As far as I am concerned there is no competition i.e. a desktop wins everytime. Why? Because laptops are primarily made for people on the move or those that are pushed for space and therefore are a compromise. They will do everything a desktop will do but generally more slowly. The big drawback is when things go wrong outside of the warranty when you can expect horrendous repair bills that is if you can get it rapaired at all. They are usually propretory which means that they use non standard parts. On the plus side they now generally cost less than a desktop and use less electricity and you can take them on holiday.

With todays laptops you can plug just about anything into them the same as you would a desktop but beware of netbooks as they are specifically designed for basic tasks such as surfing the web and simple word processing etc, have slow processors and dont even think of playing games on one.

In my opinion there is no competition, its a desktop every time but then I would say that as I build my own and yes I have several laptops but dont do any serious work on them.

No doubt others will disagree.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:46 10 Dec 2010
  GaT7 23:33 10 Dec 2010

I agree with Bris. If you have the space for it & don't need to move it around or take it out with you, then it's a desktop for sure.

If you guys aren't into regularly upgrading your systems & don't play graphics-intensive games, another kind of system to consider is an all-in-one (AIO) PC. A few suggestions & discussion in this thread click here from Wed, 17/11/[email protected]:00 onwards. G

  charlton200 08:02 11 Dec 2010

Interesting points and I thank you for those.

I would like to say that is definitely between a Desktop and a laptop and not netbooks.

I will not need it for traveling around; it will be for home use in one room.

My computer usage is simple: you tube, letters, surfing the web, banking, downloading, things like that; but no game play, only xbox updates and the like. I use a wireless connection as well.Printing and scanning also.

I lean more to another desktop PC but I'm constantly told by my wife that a laptop would be better.

And as I say that never owning one before makes judgment difficute.

Thank you.

  bremner 08:23 11 Dec 2010

I add support to Crossbow7's suggestion of an All in One.

These offer the benefits of a desktop and the one box benefit of a laptop.

I have had an iMac for many years and my son has bought an HP 300-1125uk in recent months and this has a touchscreen.

Unless I was wanting to play the latest 3D games at their absolute best I would not want the inconvenience of a large box and separate monitor again

  Bris 17:42 12 Dec 2010

As the other guys suggest an All in One may appeal as they are a neat solution and give you the power of a desktop but with the looks of a laptop but its worth having a look at one before making a decision.

If you still decide on a desktop then suggest looking at the PC Advisor mags recommendations pages at the end.

Given your processing requirements then something around £500 will get you a decent up to date PC which will be more than adequate for your requirements. Look for a Core I3 processor (or AMD equivalent) with Windows 7 home premium preferably 64 bit and 4Gb of RAM.

Beware of heavily discounted PCs and check out the spec as many retailers use discounts to sell off old spec equipment. Nothing wrong with that but it reduces future proofing.

On the other hand Apple may appeal but expect to pay a premium.

The only other point to consider is the warranty if buying mail order as you may prefer a collect and return warranty rather than a return to base as the latter can be a real pain if it goes wrong.

Hope the above helps.

  charlton200 20:33 12 Dec 2010

Yes, you have been a great help. Thanks.

What is the AMD equivalent to the Core I3 processor?


  robin_x 21:55 12 Dec 2010

I have a 1 yr old laptop (Compaq CQ61 3GB RAM 250GB HDD)

AMD Dual Core. It is very good for most uses.
You only need a hi-spec machine if you want to do video conversion or play latest 3D games.

I reckon any sub £400 laptop will be fine for 5 yrs.
Buy an ext HDD at same time and backup your system.

USB3, Gigabit as standard would be nice. But I think that is a year or so away.

  robin_x 22:01 12 Dec 2010

Oh and you dont need AntiVirus. Can save £30 from PCWorld/Currys etc if you choose not to have it.

Look at the price tag small print.

As soon as you buy a non protected machine, download MSE/Avira/AVG or Avast for free.

See for downloads.

  Bris 14:30 13 Dec 2010

Hi Charlton

Dont know a lot about the AMD range but think a Phenom ll X2 would fit the bill. A quad core processor is a bit of an overkill for your requirements. The number after the X denotes the number of cores.

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