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How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC

True confession: Until recently, I never owned a desktop PC. My parents had one when I was in high school that I used (primarily to email girls), but once I hit college, it was laptops all the way. I always needed to have a mobile machine to work on, hopping from class, to a job, to the library, to another job, and back to the dorm, so a desktop never made sense. Besides, who had space in a cramped dorm room for a bulky tower and monitor combo anyway?

That trend continued through grad school, and as laptop prices continued to flatten out, I more or less stopped considering the desktop PC a legitimate form factor for anyone but hardcore gamers and those who needed heavy-duty workstation capabilities.

Even when I entered the tech industry, I worked in an office setting where we used notebooks connected to external monitors instead of desktops, and the only actual desktop PCs I used were builds I put together to test hardware in the lab.

Fast forward a few years, and I'm now in the pantheon of lucky SOBs that work from home. When you work from home, the entire house is your office, which makes having a lappie that much more magical. (Edit product photos in bed while Monday Night Football is on in the background? Don't mind if I do!)

However, over the months I began to notice something: I started using the desktop(s) down in my test lab more than my laptop. Much more. 

No thanks. (Image: Freeimageslive.co.uk)


There's always a solid desktop build down there in the tech lair, replete with the latest hot motherboard or other components that I'm testing, and frankly, using a powerful machine like that is something a body can get used to. I like being able to leave 30 browser tabs open on my great big monitor and work on a document and some graphics while Spotify churns out sweet tunes over my 5.1 speaker system--all without any noticeable degradation in application performance.

Let's not forget to mention the never-ending supply of USB, video, and other ports, nor the ability to swap components in and out whenever I need to.

More importantly, after spending hours upon hours working at my desk with a big bad machine at my side and a large monitor in front of my face, using a laptop can be a terribly uncomfortable experience, comparatively speaking. The screen is too small for me to multitask, the keyboard is impossibly compact and makes my wrists cramp, and with too much demand on the system, laptops start complaining and slowing down like a preschooler at the end of a long shopping trip. That's not to say that laptops are terrible devices; if you need solid computing capabilities on the go, you absolutely need one, and they're tremendous for that use case. 


Captain's chair

But there's just no comparison to working on a desktop. It's like settling into an airplane cockpit where the controls are all around you and your reliable and extremely comfortable (orange, early 1990s) swivel desk chair is the captain's chair. And you are the captain.  

A few months ago, the screen went out on my (well over four-years-old) laptop. I haven't bothered to replace it yet. And I'm sure I won't unless and until I find myself needing to do more work on the road.


Posted Tue, Apr 9 2013 3:33 PM by scolaner

Comments

realneil wrote re: How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC
on Sat, Jun 29 2013 8:35 AM

My pappy stays in the bag unless I'm on a trip these days,.......

karanm wrote re: How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC
on Sun, Jun 30 2013 3:38 PM

Haha I love the fact that this an article about a desktop and the main picture is of a chair. Makes sense though and goes along with the point that the author was trying to make.

FedericoBrooks wrote re: How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC
on Fri, Jul 26 2013 6:44 PM

I think that the combination of a desktop and a laptop is the best you could have. I do prefer desktops over Laptops, but i probably couldn't cope having only a desktop computer, considering i move around quite a lot. I guess it's a subjective point of view and it depends on the situation, but i enjoyed the article

koltirons wrote re: How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC
on Sat, Mar 15 2014 10:15 PM

i will always chose desktop over laptop. too much A.D.D means alot of stuff open at once. plus you cant beat a full keyboard and mouse

Jons05 wrote re: How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC
on Mon, Jun 16 2014 7:48 PM

I think whatever is that important comfortable to wear and I think what was written was very good for all consideration.

Adam Todd wrote re: How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC
on Wed, Jul 23 2014 2:11 AM

I have both a Laptop and Destop and they work as a team. When I'm at home, it's solely Desktop; however, when I'm out, it's Laptop. I can do ALMOST the same things between the two, and I always can get things done anywhere I go. Tablets are trying to get there for me, but I just let my daughter use them as a media device to watch tv and movies. For gaming, PC has just become prevelent for me. I've been a console gamer for so long, that I stopped and tried PC and I've been hooked since. Up until I find out my 4GB DDR2 isn't living up to today's standards. In conculsion, I too am falling back in love with my Desktop and Laptop and I think it's for the better.

Ryan Laberinto wrote re: How I Fell (Back) In Love With the Desktop PC
on Fri, Aug 8 2014 11:54 PM

Whats the specs inside that desktop? Makes me pretty curious