Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Point of a Desktop?

What is the point of a desktop computer? For most people a desktop offers power, expandability and easy maintenance at the expense of portability. This is why desktops work well in the office but what about at home? What if you like like to be on the computer in the living room while watching TV as well as in the bedroom or office for "real work"? Is this the true place of the iPad?

The last time I made this decision I went for a desktop with lots of power so I could power 2 monitors plus a TV and a laptop that was super light and portable. I assumed I'd be using the desktop when I was at home and that I'd need a Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB HD, etc. But what for? I almost never use my desktop except for watching movies and occasionally running a virtual machine.

On the other hand I use my laptop every day all the time. Sometimes I take it to work for an additional screen. I use it while watching TV - especially football (the 49ers are horrible this year and I'm forced to watch their pathetic attempts online) and while in my personal office for work and fun. Gaming? That's what the XBOX 360 is for of course.

At this point I feel like my desktop is wasted and devaluing. I have a few servers that are handled remotely and my laptop can extend to at least one 19" LCD offering a much more "stationary" experience. So that's what I've done. I've removed my desktop and one of my two monitors and am now using my laptop as my only computer. If this works I'll have to decide what to do with my TV (maybe get an Apple TV) but I'll deal with that issue when it comes.


Aaron said...

For a lot of people, price is a much larger factor. There isn't an option to buy a desktop, a laptop, a game console, and an iPad. If you could only pick one (trying to reduce the number of gadgets), you'd probably pick the laptop. If you're trying to reduce cost (say you only have $800) then it might make more sense to get a cheap gaming computer. At the end of the day, you get more raw performance per dollar out of a desktop. If you care about other things more (portability, minimal performance, ease of use, etc...) then desktops don't make sense.

Chris Kenst said...

Well said.