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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
Lifer
 
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Laptop or Desktop?

I'm looking at buying a really good laptop or desktop, but didn't know which would be better. It'll be used for personal use, mostly storing/editing/printing pictures and videos and for school work if needed. I know they have some really good laptops out that are just as good as a desktop. Opinions? Also, what are some good brands?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 10:45 AM
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Really depends on if you want to have the convenience of taking it with you to school.

There are laptops that are just as good as desktops, but they cost considerably more than the equivalent desktop.

For photo/video editing and such, I recently used my Inspiron 9300 laptop (1.6ghz, 1.2gig ram) for editing a 2hr video/dvd project. It worked pretty good, using apps like Adobe Premier, Audition, Encore DVD, and Photoshop. I was a bit rushed with it, and still have a few things I want to tweak on it. Never got around to using After Effects for some stuff, will be doing that when I get around to finishing it finally.

Got this laptop in March last year, was just under $2000 (mainly due to the 17" wuxga screen). You could get the same system for around $1500 or less now, I'd think... especially if you're willing to go with a smaller screen/not quite top of the line.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 11:49 AM
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Are you interested in a Mac? If so, you can get a REALLY nice 15" powerbook for around 2k. It will be more reliable, faster, and has a more stable os than a pc...

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 12:16 PM
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Desktops have a few advantages over laptops. They are much easier to add components to like video cards, bigger drives (or extra ones), usually will hold more memory, and because they aren't carried around they normally hold up longer.
Laptops have gotten REALLY cheap over the last couple of years for what you get.
They are portable, if you load them up when you buy them new with current equipment...they can really perform. You are limited in LAPTOP form to whatever screen it comes with...no upgrade potential. The cd/dvd drives (if built in) are VERY expensive to repair/replace if they go bad...and generally speaking they dont perform as well as regular PC drives. The sound system on them SUCKS. I dont care what kind of Polk Audio/JBL Pro, SRS, bullshit they stamp on it...it sucks.
Even though laptops have come down in price....you could never get a nice laptop for what little it would cost to build your own desktop to YOUR specs. You could put together a BADASS Windows desktop PC for about 500 bucks. Spend about 700 and it would have a 19" LCD monitor, 100 watt surround system, TV tuner, DVD burner, 200 gig hard-drive (or bigger), yada, yada, yada.
It really boils down to whether or not you want it portable and easy to transport.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 12:39 PM
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How much money are you looking at spending? To get similar performance out of a laptop comparable to a desktop is going to cost more money. When you say editing pictures and video, what kind of programs will you be using to do the editing with? Probably not a job best handled by a cheap laptop. Anyway, if you are trying to get out cheap and don't mind being tethered to a fix location I would probably recommend a desktop.




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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 12:47 PM
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grab your cash this Friday night and go downtown to the first saturday computer flea market under the woodal rogers freeway by west end and get yourself a pretty nice used laptop for under 500 bucks. Compaq, Sony, Toshiba, HP, Dell...they got em all...and some of em are pretty damn nice.
My buddy went down there with me last November and got an HP Pavilion with a 1024x768 TFT 15 inch screen,1.8 gig AMD Athlon built in wi-fi, XP home, CD RW/dvd rom, 256 megs of ram, 40 gig hard drive, battery, cables, and a carrying case for $375.00. I was shocked....its a badass little computer.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2006, 07:51 PM
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best bet

If you have the $$$ get the best of both world. Get a really good laptop w/ a docking station. That's what i use. Personally, i hate laptops because of the tiny keyboard and the touchpad mouse. But obviously they're very convenient. This way I just slide my dell laptop in the docking station and voila! I have a desktop. Just my $.02 cents!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2006, 08:37 PM
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I've been a desktop person for ever..

Just ordered a Dell XPS M140 yesterday.. $1200 with tax and shipping. I wanted a computer to take on trips, lay on the couch and browse, and for the kid to watch movies on in the back seat on long drives.

It will replace the desktop I have hooked to my A/V receiver as my media center system..

Dell XPS M140 Details

Dell has a nice no interest promo for 18 months on the XPS line as well.



The Dell 630M on the business side is basically the same unit without the fancy XPS name on it.

One of the things I like about it is the media feature that lets you watch movies, listen to music, or browse photos without performing a full boot.. Makes it more kidproof on the movie watching part..

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2006, 12:23 AM
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That media boot app that some newer laptops have is kinda convenient. Sometimes I wish mine had that.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2006, 10:12 AM
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I have'nt booted my personal desktop in months. Other than when I'm at work, I do everything on my laptops. I have a Dell 8600 1.7G Centrino / 128mb video card with 1920x1200 resolution, and 600m 1.8G Centrino / 64mb video card with1400x1050 resolution, both have 2GB RAM. I use the 8600 for just about everything, and the 600m is mainly for when I am travelling. Both will do everything I need, including development work, latest games, photo editing, video editing etc...

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2006, 07:47 PM
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desktop if you do not care about moving it around with you....laptop vs desktop a desktop will always beat it(if they have similar components)

**Disclaimer: Opinions cited by me are not necessarily my opinions.
Facts cited by me are not necessarily facts.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 06:53 AM
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Desktops are considerably more reliable. Don't have to worry about dropping them and breaking the screen! Also you're screwed if you decide to upgrade the hard drive one day on a laptop and with all the proprietary hardware in them a lot of times even OS upgrades are complicated.

If you want to get out really cheap wait until Vista gets released, the old XP systems on the shelf will be massively discounted. Assuming of course you don't care about having Vista.

As for a Mac, as long as you don't have to run Micro$oft applications it will do anything you need. As for being faster I doubt it, processor speed doesn't increase because of the pretty white plastic. More stable, possibly but only because spyware and virus authors don't attack them near as often. Fact is you are stuck with Mac applications or software written specifically for a Mac, increasing the prices. Sure they do some cool stuff but you don't have near the options as with a PC. Eventually they'll catch on but then they'll have all the same problems PCs do.

Good brands, Toshiba or Dell for a laptop. I like my Sony Vaio but lots of people have problems with theirs. For a PC, anything out there pretty much other than E-machines or that GQ brand. Hard to beat Dell on prices though.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BP
Desktops are considerably more reliable. Don't have to worry about dropping them and breaking the screen! Also you're screwed if you decide to upgrade the hard drive one day on a laptop and with all the proprietary hardware in them a lot of times even OS upgrades are complicated.
I think you mean OS downgrades... like going from XP to 98. Upgrades tend to include the most common set of drivers at the time of the OS's release, so Vista (why the hell anyone would want Vista is beyond me, but that's another matter) more than likely won't have a problem being installed on older hardware, as long as the minimum (and preferrably a bit more) specs are met.

I just put Ubuntu 5.10 on my Inspiron 9300. Only thing I had to install was the video card drivers, and those only because most linux distributions don't come with 3d accelerated drivers by default. The default, non-3d accelerated drivers work just fine if you don't plan on doing any gaming (by contrast, the default drivers that XP ships with, while they will run the screen at 1920x1200, it's very sluggish, slow screen redraws, etc. The default linux drivers are infinitely better in that regard). Everything else picked up and works perfect. It came with XP... but to get XP working, I've got to install chipset, video, sound, modem, nic, and wireless drivers. Not to mention printer and scanner drivers, which linux utlizes fine. Oh, and bluetooth... again, which linux picks up and uses just fine.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 02:13 PM
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The first thing I did when I got my laptops was to format the Hard Drives and Dual Boot them with Linux and XP Pro, no issues what so ever, I even had Win 98 on one for while, until I decided it was easier to use Win98 in VMWare instead of having to reboot for 1 or 2 programs.

Chris Johnson




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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2006, 08:14 PM
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Best bang for the buck - the desktop wins. But you'll be doing all of your work wherever the desktop physically sits.

Laptop of course can move around. This can be handy even in your own house with a wireless connection; you can work anywhere in the house or even on the back porch.

The laptop will not be as durable, and since you will carry it around with you you run the risk of it being stolen or of it getting broken.

With a laptop you can add extra memory and usually can go to a larger hard drive if necessary. That's about it upgrade-wise. Desktops have lots more upgrade options and can accept cards for video capture and stuff like that.

It really depends on how you want to use the system. You may find that you can use both a desktop and a laptop.
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