Laptop or Desktop

Being now a little poorer as I just acquired a 12" Powerbook, I was wondering if the tendency is desktop (mine being a first gen G5 iMac 17") or laptop?


Laptop for me - ageing iBook. One of the ones with a dodgy motherboard (replaced twice), which I personally believe is linked to flexing of the casing, so the iBook lives on a tray and we call it a traytop computer.

Used to be desktop, but for the last five or six years laptop … until last autumn a rev. 1 400Mhz Titanium Powerbook; since last autumn a 17" MBP. No way I want to go back to a desktop. If I had a smaller laptop, I’d also have a desktop … this one gives me both. But laptop is not really the right term … more like a “portable desktop”!


I use both quite a bit, but if I had to choose between the two I’d probably go with the desktop. Sure you lose the portability, but I find working on desktops more comfortable. These days laptops can be nearly as powerful as desktops, but the key word there is ‘nearly.’ You just can’t beat the upgradability of a good solid tower.

Plus there’s those 30" monitors…ahhh, if only I was a bazillionaire.

Until recently, I was laptop only, but I bought a Mac Mini about a month ago and love it. (I also got one of those LaCie external drives that match the Mini - very nice.) :smiley:

I use it to put all the stuff on it that was filling up my Powerbook - music, audiobooks, etc. - so I no longer have to haul around a laptop with my whole life on it.

I keep hoping for a Mac tablet or 12" Macbook/Pro… unlikely, but I keep hoping.

Well keep hoping, 'cos all the rumours are about a new, slim, lightweight notebook with oodles of NAND memory instead of a hard disk coming out perhaps in the autumn … Given that it will have to be at the higher end of the price scale, I would assume it will be more in the 12" range than the 17" range.

But apparently Steve Jobs is firmly against tablets, so one of those is thought unlikely. Although they have developed the technology for the iPhone, so you never know, leveraging that might swing the decision.

I guess, if I were to go for a desktop solution, it might well be a Mini, 'cos that would be the backup to my main machine, this MBP and a mini wouldn’t take up so much living space … I like having my life with me all the time :slight_smile:

Yes, I drool over a MacPro Quad core, with mountains of RAM, lashings of upgradability, and terabytes of disk space … but unless and until I get into serious movie editing — which is highly unlikely — I don’t need that. And this MBP has the screen resolution of the desktop 20" monitor, but with smaller pixels, so you can take the whole screen in without having to move your eyes much. I’m not sure I’d really like a 30" monitor … short of being into serious movie editing, of course.


For writing: A laptop for sure. I currently have a 12" iBook which works great for that.

For Programming & Gaming: A Desktop. Being a hard core FileMaker programmer I tend to go for the towers and big monitors.

In a perfect world though, my books will sell so well that I could just focus on writing only. Then my primary machine would just be a laptop.

I’m currently coveting the new MacBooks - especially the black one.


for me it is clearly: both laptop and desktop. For some time I had to live only with a Powerbook (Pismo, excellent and not cheap), but even with external drives and monitors I always felt uneasy until I could afford the next desktop. I need to know that there is another computer with all my data intact in case the other one breaks down, is being thrown of the window from the 7th floor, gets lost or stolen.

I keep upgrading one of them if possible at different times and always have a feeling of familiarity at least with one of the machines. There used to be one old lame duck, but at the moment, even with a G4 iBook and an almost 3year old G5 desktop and Aperture e.g., speed still is OK. It is amazing how good the technology has become.

Desktop is for graphics, databases, statistics, working on academic text if working is meant more than writing. The iBook is for lectures, fieldwork protocols, writing in the garden or anywhere else. I try to limit my iBook activities to writing (which makes Scrivener almost the only software used on the iBook), but it is good to know that I can do almost any other job on this machine if necessary.

Looking forward to the next upgrade…

Maria! You are a scoundrel! Can you give the poor fellow no rest?

And, now, back to the thread.

Youse guys need to recalibrate. Laptop screens are insufficient. Desktop screens are insufficient. Laptops are wonderful because you can take everything with you and their small screens encourage focus. Desktops are great because they’re more sturdy than laptops and, if you have the money, more powerful. But neither give you your desk. You know, that thing that’s about 5’ x 3’? You wants BIG screens so you don’t have to remember 25 keyboard shortcuts or use multiple desktops or whatever the current “efficiency” shortcut du jour is hot right now so you can see the, on average, 20 things you need to see. Monitors are getting cheap enough so you can get two 19" for not much. More requires another video card which is, er, more. But once you do that and you warmly survey a 1’ x 2’ desktop you’ll be a very happy person.


Ooops. First I thought a scoundrel is something lovely like a squirrel, but then I checked in the dictionary. I am neither this or that, but I am sorry if I wrote something -----bäd. :blush:

All jokes, I have some boring work to stay away from at the moment…



You’re being teased in an out of context reference to upgrading. In this regard it to upgrading Scrivener.

Who wants to take Dave out behind the woodshed! (Maria, this is a reference to Dave’s misbehavior).


Whoops! Well, in my defense, I would say that in the usual Maria-context it is logical to take her statement to mean Scrivener. :slight_smile:

I’ll pass on the woodshed but (back in context) if I had one of these you could take me behind it:


You both made me laugh, although I am a bit beside the track because of this wonderful Himbeergeist which I just got from some very pityful German friends. Anyway, the upgrade I meant was my iBook --> MacBook (Pro?) upgrade, but I don’t mind if people interpret it the way Dafu did. This is because its puts pressure on certain developers (or not), and watching this forum is more fun when Keith is defending something. And since Eiron has not turned up for quite a long time, I do my best to fill the gap.

Though it is hard for an old woman…



I just had a glance. Excellent. I will buy it as an extension to my my 12" iBook. Great feature: I can watch the stock exchanges around the world at the same time in order to adjust my portfolio and – after successfully increasing my depot value – buy this MacBook Pro – and a real good second Cinema display.

Life is hard for archaeologists…


You mean all archaeologists aren’t like Indiana Jones? Finding buried treasure and all that? Boy, that’s no fun at all!

That display would look pretty amusing hooked up to an iBook . . .



Well, with a display like that, I’d never leave my house. Not with all those projects up and running at the same time. Yikes!

I used to have both a desktop and laptop and now just a laptop. I plug in an external monitor, start up my wireless Apple keyboard and plug in my Mighty Mouse and voila, a desktop, if I so desire one! For those who don’t need the power of a tower, and also would like the portability of a laptop, I would think a laptop gives you the best of both worlds.

And both are great if you are a rich archaeologist like Maria. Ha!!


OK, Indiana Jones is slightly richer :laughing:


:laughing: :laughing:

I don’t think I understand the question. Desktop machines sit on desktops – there is no way I know of that you can use a desktop machine while stretched out on the sofa, which as everyone knows is the correct posture for creative writing (although it makes drinking coffee a little tricky).


Hey Chris,

Having seen my son pre-laptop trying to balance a monitor and keyboard on lap while recumbent, all I can say is your comment brings back memories.