Lap-top or Desk-top PC?

  *NickS* 12:16 19 Oct 2005


Sorry if this is a really common question and it has been asked loads of times, but I need some advice...

Basically, I'll have around £800~£1000 ish to spend on a new PC. I'm edging away from a desk-top PC towards a Lap-top PC for the portability aspect of it. If I'm on my desk-top PC it's a bit anti-social and my wife doesn't see much of me as I'm upstairs! But if I work on a lap-top, I can sit in the lounge with her...

My main question is regarding stability of lap-tops Vs. desk-tops. Will a lap-top last as long as a desk-top machine?

My current PC has lasted for around 5 years and although it crashes every now and then (or more often), I have re-installed it three or four times and it still runs OK, but I want something a bit faster now. I have 2 meg BB internet access but my PC takes a while to process / run programs.

Usage: I use my PC to off-load my digital camera and print out photos, mp3 creation, general internet usage/banking/small amount of shopping, web publishing. I don't play games on it, but if I go for a lap-top, I'd certainly play DVD's on it when travelling (and I'd get a spare battery!).

Any advice on why I should / should not go for a lap-top over a desk-top PC would be valuable.


  GuZ><0r 12:23 19 Oct 2005

A desktop would be faster and more upgrade able.

  wee eddie 12:42 19 Oct 2005

If you were to use the lounge.

Where would you put the rest of your kit?

Printer, paper, scanner, disks, manuals, back-up devices, speakers, router, and any of the other clutter that you have collected upstairs.

My guess is that it would remain up there.

Although the Boss may complain about your being slightly antisocial. Would she be pleased at being asked to turn the TV down, or perhaps comment on the possibility that you hadn't cleared up, last night?

  *NickS* 12:51 19 Oct 2005

Thanks wee eddie, I'd still have a 'base' for printer, scanner etc., and I'll be going wireless to connect to internet so that's not a major problem.

It's mainly the reliability of a lap-top Vs. desk-top that I'm concerned about.

...and Guz,
I'm not too bothered about upgrade-ability either as long as I get a half decent spec. to start with, I'm sure it'll do me for what I need it for. The speed is a concern though - can't I just get a half-decent processor speed and as much memory as possible to overcome this?

  woodchip 13:18 19 Oct 2005

you can do a lot more with a desktop. self made would best

  sharkfin 13:31 19 Oct 2005

You really have to think about your needs. I think the majority of people thinking of getting a laptop choose to becuase of the novelty aspect of it. i.e I can carry it around with me and use it anywhere etc. But most end up being used at a desk being plugged into the mains and with an external mouse attached.

If your sure you'll be using it around and about then go for it. But if you truely deep down will just be using it in the lounge and not much anywhere else, then I would say go for a desktop.

I myself have a desktop and i'm also thinking of getting a laptop soon. Some of My reasons? well, I can take it to university, use it whilst laying on my bed, take it into the living room, eneable my sisters to do their homework without having to come into my bedroom and use my desktop.

When I think back, the only realistic reson would be allowing my sisters to use it. I know deep down I wont be moving it anywhere especially not to uni. a second cheaper desktop would be better for me.

basically what i'm trying to say is, if you want to know what to get, think more about how your going to be using it and if its going to be used to its full potential.

  keithlik 16:48 19 Oct 2005

Laptop or desktop-whichever-buy a leading make and make it as good as you can afford.
After years building and using Desktops I lashed out a tidy sum for a Sony Vaio 17" widescreen laptop and it is a wizard. Never looked back!!!

  sammael 17:34 19 Oct 2005

Laptops are great for portablity and I also use one to avoid the other half complaining, however my main machine is still a desktop. If your not worried about upgradability a laptop is as good a choice as a desktop. My only complaint with a laptop is they tend to be more expensive than a same spec desktop. Hope this helps.

  Wassie 19:33 19 Oct 2005

I had a similar dilemma and bought a laptop for the lounge, as with the desktop three and a half years ago. Usual crashes on both not always the computers fault but basically both reiable. You can upgrade easier with desktop if necessery, but limited to memory and card slot/s otherwise, but the cost of a spare laptop battery is quite high.Go for the laptop at best affordable price and specs, and hang on to desktop as a backup.

  [email protected] 22:37 19 Oct 2005

I have a PC upstairs. Yesterday I received a laptop, for almost the exact reasons that you give. I love surfing and working on my PC, but the only time that I have "free", is in the evenings when my husband, who works long hours, comes home. Previously I felt uncomfortable upstairs on the PC whilst he was downstairs.
I am now happy on my laptop and as I write hubby is sitting by me watching TV.Prior to reading your thread we had just agreed how much more companionable this is than before!
(also i can access the laptop when my daughter who is 7 chucks me off the PC!!)

  josie mayhem 23:39 19 Oct 2005

It all depends what you want from it?

If you need to save space, and you are quite Happy to purchase something and leave it alone (I mean that you have no intention of up-grading in a major way) or you need portability, then yes a lappy might be the answer, but you would need to choose very carefully.

If I'm anything to go by, no it won't enable you to spend more time with the other half... Even though I have my lappy, I still tend to stay in my office/study on my desktops. I find that trying to use my lappy balanced on my lap or coffee table difficult, but my tapping on the keyboard become irritating and I still can't stand his lordships viewing habits (I hate telly and films (it has to be very good to get me to watch a film right through))

But I do find my lappy very helpful when it comes to work purposes and holidays. I can take it anywhere.. And when I go on holiday (camping) I take a duffer thingy that charges it self up, and not only can run 12v lights but also can recharge a battery and also run a 240v electrical equipment on it's charge, or even a cigarette charger is far from cheaper than buying a new battery.

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