Going desktop-less?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
2commaBH
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 9:23 am
Location: SFBA

Going desktop-less?

Post by 2commaBH »

We are taking the plunge and moving to a desktop-less home environment (laptops/tablets only). The plan would be to backup our computer drives (music/photos/some documents) to the cloud and also a portable hard drive and to have one Windows and one Apple laptop. No special computing needs for us.

Has anyone who has done this have any tips/cautionary tales? In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!

Thanks!
Buckeye Chuck
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:54 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Buckeye Chuck »

No desktop since at least 2011.
dustinst22
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by dustinst22 »

Haven't had a desktop in ~ 15 years and run a multi million dollar business out of my home from a laptop. In fact, all I use is the 12" basic super slim macbook, not even the pro. I love the simplicity. Super bummed they discontinued this model. Desktops are really only needed for graphics/photography professionals or gaming enthusiasts.
Last edited by dustinst22 on Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Trader Joe
Posts: 1986
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Trader Joe »

2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pm We are taking the plunge and moving to a desktop-less home environment (laptops/tablets only). The plan would be to backup our computer drives (music/photos/some documents) to the cloud and also a portable hard drive and to have one Windows and one Apple laptop. No special computing needs for us.

Has anyone who has done this have any tips/cautionary tales? In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!

Thanks!
Yes I did this approximately 20 years ago now. No issues.
ARoseByAnyOtherName
Posts: 1000
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

Just make sure to keep the Mac and Windows laptops plugged into the portable hard drives frequently/most of the time so they get backed up.

If you find you really need a desktop, it might be that all you need is a large external monitor that you can plug your laptops into every now and then.

Go for it!
tibbitts
Posts: 11874
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by tibbitts »

2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pm We are taking the plunge and moving to a desktop-less home environment (laptops/tablets only). The plan would be to backup our computer drives (music/photos/some documents) to the cloud and also a portable hard drive and to have one Windows and one Apple laptop. No special computing needs for us.

Has anyone who has done this have any tips/cautionary tales? In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!

Thanks!
A desktop shouldn't give you a sense of security.
dustinst22
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by dustinst22 »

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:36 pm Just make sure to keep the Mac and Windows laptops plugged into the portable hard drives frequently/most of the time so they get backed up.

Don't even need to do that, everything is backed up on the cloud.
Invest4lt
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Invest4lt »

I gave up desktop computers about 10 years ago. I use a laptop (you can get an inexpensive separate display if you want something larger and keyboard if you want a separate numerical pad), along with phone and tablet. I’ve been very satisfied. I’m not interested at all to go back to a bulky desktop.
ARoseByAnyOtherName
Posts: 1000
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

dustinst22 wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:37 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:36 pm Just make sure to keep the Mac and Windows laptops plugged into the portable hard drives frequently/most of the time so they get backed up.

Don't even need to do that, everything is backed up on the cloud.
Best practice is to have 3 copies of your data - the original, an onsite backup, and an offsite backup. Data is too precious to take a risk of only having 1 backup.
dustinst22
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by dustinst22 »

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:46 pm
Best practice is to have 3 copies of your data - the original, an onsite backup, and an offsite backup. Data is too precious to take a risk of only having 1 backup.
That seems pretty excessive to me unless you have data that you absolutely cannot do without. Photos might fit this category, and this can be solved by simply keeping them stored on a phone, the cloud, and synced to a laptop.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 20657
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Watty »

You can hook up a large external monitor, keyboard, and mouse to your laptop so there is really not all that much difference. With some laptops you can get a docking station that these are hooked up to so you can just slip your laptop into the docking station when you are at home.

One caution though is that you might be keeping a lot of sensitive information like tax returns on the laptop and if you take it someplace and it is lost or stolen then there more risk that the sensitive information could be compromised. If there is a burglary at your home there is also more chance that a laptop will be stolen than a desktop.

Even if you have it secured with encryption that could be stressful.
2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pm In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated,....
One plus for windows desktops is that they can be a lot less expensive and expandable and fixable. It would not be up to gaming standards but for $500 you can get a pretty usable Windows desktop.
student
Posts: 5155
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by student »

I have not used a desktop at home for over 10 years.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 11741
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Sandtrap »

Halfway........
Jarvis stand up desk system👍
Laptop as option to main system.

j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
Wakefield1
Posts: 1059
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Wakefield1 »

Since I am not secure as to probably not going to stay where I am at present indefinitely,if I have to get a new computer(this Gateway is going on 18 years old) it would be a laptop for the ease of relocating. But if I were in my "Dream Home" and thinking to be content to stay there for many years I would want a big tower computer that would stay put. (And hard for a burglar to steal) One that would accommodate me if I ever get ambitious again towards working inside the case,maybe a new video card or hard drive or something. Would be nice to have at least 2 hard drives and the ability to boot from at least 2 sources in the computer (as well as from a CD or DVD drive)
User avatar
samsoes
Posts: 1487
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by samsoes »

No desktop nor tower since 2007.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)
TravelforFun
Posts: 2186
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by TravelforFun »

On the road, I use a Surface Pro and at home, a PC with a large monitor for videos and graphics. Both my Surface and PC are loaded with Office suites and I work on files that are saved on Dropbox. This arrangement works great for me.

TravelforFun
ARoseByAnyOtherName
Posts: 1000
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

dustinst22 wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:48 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:46 pm
Best practice is to have 3 copies of your data - the original, an onsite backup, and an offsite backup. Data is too precious to take a risk of only having 1 backup.
That seems pretty excessive to me unless you have data that you absolutely cannot do without. Photos might fit this category, and this can be solved by simply keeping them stored on a phone, the cloud, and synced to a laptop.
Be careful - sync is not a backup. If you are relying on data syncing to have your data in three different places, and you accidentally delete data from one place (or if the data gets corrupted in one place, etc), you are hosed.

I understand 3 copies may seem excessive. However if you have data you really don't want to lose it's cheap insurance. To me this includes things like family photos and financial records. The cost of an external hard drive to go along with my cloud backup subscription is an extremely small price to pay.
mindboggling
Posts: 455
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:35 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by mindboggling »

Retired here...but I love my desktop. For years I've bought used desktops on ebay and loaded Linux on them. My current is a Lenovo with an i7 processor and SSD running Mint Linux. I also have a Lenovo laptop that I bought used. Don't use it much anymore. I also have an Acer Chromebook that I take if I travel. Don't travel that much.

Dropbox and Google Drive for cloud storage.
In broken mathematics, We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson
bloom2708
Posts: 8170
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by bloom2708 »

No desktop since 2009.

We have 2 i7 HP Elite X2 1012 G2 laptops with 16gb RAM and 1 TB SSD drives.

Bought them as demo models on eBay for $600 each.

Perfect machines for all uses except hardcore gaming. Which we don’t do.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
sksbog
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:14 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by sksbog »

dustinst22 wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:48 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:46 pm
Best practice is to have 3 copies of your data - the original, an onsite backup, and an offsite backup. Data is too precious to take a risk of only having 1 backup.
That seems pretty excessive to me unless you have data that you absolutely cannot do without. Photos might fit this category, and this can be solved by simply keeping them stored on a phone, the cloud, and synced to a laptop.
Having three copies is absolutely not excessive.
Just ask the major US cities, who have paid ransomeware to get back the data. It is my strong belief that one day ransomware will be in Main Street and we need to start preparing now.
dustinst22
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by dustinst22 »

sksbog wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:15 pm
Having three copies is absolutely not excessive.
Just ask the major US cities, who have paid ransomeware to get back the data. It is my strong belief that one day ransomware will be in Main Street and we need to start preparing now.

Meh, I just can't imagine any data I can't do without. Photos is about the only thing. I've even managed to get rid of almost all paperwork in my house. No regrets. I like simplicity.
sbaywriter
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:00 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by sbaywriter »

I moved to hurricane country. I am sticking with laptop so I can take it with me easily should I need to evacuate. I use it just like desktop otherwise - use external monitor and external keyboard/mouse.
psy1
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:40 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by psy1 »

No worries with a laptop rather than a desktop. Depending on your needs and space, you could have a docking station with a larger monitor, scanner, printer, etc. to simulate a desktop.

Depending on your data (e.g. photos and videos) needs, you might consider a NAS device at home that can house the files for everyone in the family, be accessible remotely, and be backed up to the cloud (e.g. Backblaze).
RobLyons
Posts: 797
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by RobLyons »

2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pm We are taking the plunge and moving to a desktop-less home environment (laptops/tablets only). The plan would be to backup our computer drives (music/photos/some documents) to the cloud and also a portable hard drive and to have one Windows and one Apple laptop. No special computing needs for us.

Has anyone who has done this have any tips/cautionary tales? In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!

Thanks!

Keep a backup to your backup!
2 portable hard drives. 1 you back up to and just leave it in a protective sleeve or case. 2nd you use as your weekly/monthly backup.
Hard drives fail / get corrupted. I lost some videos and pics of my kids and had to bring the device to a tech store for major recovery.
They told me the same as above.

Otherwise, no need to have a desktop. Been desktop-less since mid 2000s, love my 7 year old macbook, good luck!
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
IMO
Posts: 968
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by IMO »

2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pm We are taking the plunge and moving to a desktop-less home environment (laptops/tablets only). The plan would be to backup our computer drives (music/photos/some documents) to the cloud and also a portable hard drive and to have one Windows and one Apple laptop. No special computing needs for us.

Has anyone who has done this have any tips/cautionary tales? In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!

Thanks!
I think using a laptop is fine for most people. One thing I prefer is the actual full sized keyboard on my desktop and the larger separate monitor.

I'm a bit mixed on what is better for theft security. On one hand, the big laptop takes some effort to unhook the various cables/wires should a thief decide it's worth stealing. It's pretty obvious where the desktop and would be easy pickings for theft. ? Can you put a cable lock on these somehow?

I big advantage for the laptop is you can basically find a spot to hide it easily from where a typical thief would look if they got into your home. However, this would presume one took the time to hide it when you were leaving your home. If it's out in the open, it would be quick and easy for a thief to take with him/her.

Edit: At times I've considered leaving a old and no longer used laptop right on the desk in the open so a thief might take that over the desktop.
Last edited by IMO on Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
IMO
Posts: 968
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by IMO »

bloom2708 wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:24 pm No desktop since 2009.

We have 2 i7 HP Elite X2 1012 G2 laptops with 16gb RAM and 1 TB SSD drives.

Bought them as demo models on eBay for $600 each.

Perfect machines for all uses except hardcore gaming. Which we don’t do.
Ironically my kid just gave up his gaming laptop and built a gaming desktop because apparently the gaming laptop just wasn't good enough.
So maybe there's a cautionary note on laptops: If you think your just a run of the mill gamer, be aware, you might go hardcore in the future.
HomeStretch
Posts: 4978
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by HomeStretch »

No desktops in our house for at least 20 years. Donated separate large monitors about 5 years ago.
FireSekr
Posts: 1076
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by FireSekr »

Why have so many posters mentioned concerns about the computer being stolen?

If your laptop/desktop is encrypted as every computer should be, it doesn’t matter if it’s stolen, none of the data would be usable.

And I don’t buy the concept that a desktop is harder to steal than a laptop. It’s easy to pop off the cover of a desktop and pull the hard drive which is basically the most valuable part of the computer (because of the data not the cost of the hard drive itself)

I haven’t had a desktop in 16 years, my data is on my laptop, backed up locally to a hard drive and backed up remotely to a cloud backup service. If my laptop is stolen or crashes I’ll just walk to the Apple store, buy a new one and have it restored from my time machine backup in a few hours.
User avatar
yangtui
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by yangtui »

I have been desktop-less for 14 years now. My current setup is a refurbished Windows 7 Elitebook 2570p that I bought in 2015. I added an SSD in 2017. When I want to use it to do work I have two 25 inch monitors, a keyboard, and mouse.
motorcyclesarecool
Posts: 933
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:39 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by motorcyclesarecool »

Watty wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:54 pmWith some laptops you can get a docking station that these are hooked up to so you can just slip your laptop into the docking station when you are at home.
My work has switched to all laptops with a view to “hot desking”. Every desk has a port replicator that plugs into a USB-C port on the laptop. That gets us a single plug, universal connection to Ethernet, printer, scanner, keyboard, mouse, additional USB ports, and two monitors. Combo cable locks give us our needed theft deterrence theatre. (Ever since going to two computer monitors several years ago, I can’t go back. In fact, I expect to routinely use four by the time I retire.)

You need not limit yourself to a laptop with docking station to be able to enjoy your desktop peripherals. Port replicators are cheap and fairly universal. You can have the best of both worlds easily.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.
User avatar
yangtui
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by yangtui »

ssquared87 wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:25 am Why have so many posters mentioned concerns about the computer being stolen?
I agree. Unless you need a high-end one for gaming or something, laptops are incredibly cheap. My laptop's data is backed up to the cloud and encrypted. It is way down the list of items that I own that I am afraid of having stolen.
User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 3189
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by F150HD »

2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pm We are taking the plunge and moving to a desktop-less home environment (laptops/tablets only). The plan would be to backup our computer drives (music/photos/some documents) to the cloud and also a portable hard drive and to have one Windows and one Apple laptop. No special computing needs for us.

Has anyone who has done this have any tips/cautionary tales? In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!

Thanks!
Can you clarify what you mean by this? (in red) Why would a desktop be safer then a laptop?
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.
mmcmonster
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by mmcmonster »

dustinst22 wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:48 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:46 pm
Best practice is to have 3 copies of your data - the original, an onsite backup, and an offsite backup. Data is too precious to take a risk of only having 1 backup.
That seems pretty excessive to me unless you have data that you absolutely cannot do without. Photos might fit this category, and this can be solved by simply keeping them stored on a phone, the cloud, and synced to a laptop.
Usually cloud backups are mirror snapshots of what is on your local machine. You want a separate backup, preferably local, on an external hard drive for a number of reasons:
1 - In case of emergency, you can grab your external drive and go.
2 - If you have to restore from backup, a local hard drive is much faster than restoring from the cloud.
3 - If you delete a file by mistake, the deletion will happen on the cloud the next time you sync to cloud. Using Time Machine on MacOS (or similar on Windows) you can undelete a file that you deleted at any time in the past.

Note: Neither one of these backup methods will protect you from ransom-ware that encrypts your files until you pay them. :annoyed
User avatar
SmallCityDave
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:04 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by SmallCityDave »

I think it sounds great and wonderful but from what you all are describing not all that practical. A laptop with 2 monitors, external keyboard and mouse, external hdd, cloud storage we can't forget the external speakers (?) and the list goes on and on.

I wouldn't mind going to a laptop but they are not nearly as responsive and make a bunch of racket.

I'll stick with my inexpensive 5 year old i7, 16gb of memory and ssd drive that is quite and fast and for my trips I use my laptop (that I hate).
bloom2708
Posts: 8170
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by bloom2708 »

SmallCityDave wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:24 am I wouldn't mind going to a laptop but they are not nearly as responsive and make a bunch of racket.
I remember the day I retired the big tower with 2 fans. That thing was so noisy. We had it in the basement and after I retired it, my wife thought something was wrong because the basement was so quiet.

Plus the beast used 10x the power as a laptop. No UPS needed because of power flickers. The amount of cords and things I took to the thrift store was very freeing. Similar to dumping cable boxes with the power adapters, black RG6 cords streaming all over. Freeedom!
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
Luke Duke
Posts: 1054
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Luke Duke »

dustinst22 wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:48 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:46 pm
Best practice is to have 3 copies of your data - the original, an onsite backup, and an offsite backup. Data is too precious to take a risk of only having 1 backup.
That seems pretty excessive to me unless you have data that you absolutely cannot do without. Photos might fit this category, and this can be solved by simply keeping them stored on a phone, the cloud, and synced to a laptop.
Do you realize that you are recommending the same thing that you deemed to be "pretty excessive"?
rj342
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:21 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by rj342 »

You may find it much easier when you have to do serious work, to have a a large external monitor, say 29", and possibly a full sized keyboard at your primary work spot. A USB docking station can get you down to one single cable if the laptops have USB C or 3.0.
User avatar
AerialWombat
Posts: 1765
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 1:07 pm
Location: Cash Canyon / Cashville

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by AerialWombat »

On the road, I run my business from a laptop. But at home, I still use a desktop. It’s so much easier and more productive to have three monitors when doing certain things. I don’t think the average user needs a desktop, but some of us will always be more productive with one.

Edit: My ultimate tech goal in life is to have neither desktop or laptop. That will mean I’m truly “retired” by every possible definition.
fru-gal
Posts: 1590
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by fru-gal »

I have Lenovo Thinkpads. I can't imagine why I would need a desktop.
fru-gal
Posts: 1590
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by fru-gal »

SmallCityDave wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:24 am I wouldn't mind going to a laptop but they are not nearly as responsive and make a bunch of racket.
My laptops are fine as far as responsiveness goes. They make no racket except if a fan is on its last legs.
rich126
Posts: 1975
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by rich126 »

I'll be in the minority and state that I would not want to give up my 27" iMac. The display is big and very sharp. I've had laptops in the past (Dell and Apples) and worked at a couple of places that gave me laptops and I found them underwhelming. I've gone the other route, strongly prefer my iMac for computing work, especially anything spreadsheet related, and a tablet for reading blogs/articles/emails.

I just think desktops generally last longer and have less issues than laptops and coupled with the display, can't be beat. Now if you have to travel its a different story.
MrJones
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by MrJones »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:36 pm
2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pmIn today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!

Thanks!
A desktop shouldn't give you a sense of security.
You can throw a desktop at an intruder and get much better results than a laptop...
User avatar
dual
Posts: 679
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by dual »

2commaBH wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:15 pm In today's age, desktops seem so bulky/antiquated, but having one seems to give me a sense of security!
I could not function without my desktop computer, monitors and keyboard. The ergonomics of a laptop are terrible. You have to balance it on your lap or place it in a non-ergonomic table, hunch over the keyboard, strain your eyes on a tiny display, try to position the mouse sprite over a control then contort your hand/arm to invoke the magic combinations to do a control or shift click.

On my desktop I have dual portrait monitors so I can display two separate documents. I have a Kensington keyboard with just the right tactile feedback. The computer table height is adjusted to my height so my arm is correctly positioned to reduce the chance of carpal tunnel injuries. I use a Microsoft optical mouse that is easy to maneuver and fast. It has control switches for right and left click and a scroll wheel to quickly move through windows.

I use my Mac Air when traveling and give thanks when I get home to my desktop.
mhalley
Posts: 8417
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by mhalley »

Laptops and tablets have their place, but I don’t think I’ll ever be desktop free. Desktops are cheaper, have less chance of being lost, stolen or breaking.
lazydavid
Posts: 3327
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by lazydavid »

TravelforFun wrote: Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:04 pm On the road, I use a Surface Pro and at home, a PC with a large monitor for videos and graphics. Both my Surface and PC are loaded with Office suites and I work on files that are saved on Dropbox. This arrangement works great for me.
Is your Surface usually not home when you are? Because my main rig is a Surface Pro with a dock attached to a 49" monitor. Full-size bluetooth keyboard and mouse, wired ethernet. Works great, no need for a desktop.
dual wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:45 pm I could not function without my desktop computer, monitors and keyboard. The ergonomics of a laptop are terrible. You have to balance it on your lap or place it in a non-ergonomic table, hunch over the keyboard, strain your eyes on a tiny display, try to position the mouse sprite over a control then contort your hand/arm to invoke the magic combinations to do a control or shift click.

On my desktop I have dual portrait monitors so I can display two separate documents. I have a Kensington keyboard with just the right tactile feedback. The computer table height is adjusted to my height so my arm is correctly positioned to reduce the chance of carpal tunnel injuries. I use a Microsoft optical mouse that is easy to maneuver and fast. It has control switches for right and left click and a scroll wheel to quickly move through windows.
Again, you can do all of this without an actual desktop computer. Though my Surface dock "only" supports two 4k monitors (the one 49"er is enough for me), the dock for my work laptop supports 3. It actually does have 3 monitors connected, but they are 24" 1920x1200, not 4k. Next upgrade I might go to three 27" 4k displays. Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard and Logitech MX Master mouse at both locations.
Last edited by lazydavid on Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
cashboy
Posts: 577
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 pm
Location: USA

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by cashboy »

a lot of good comments for and not-for migrating to a laptop. for most people a laptop is fine.

i built my desktop and use it for computing intensive operations like data computing and high end video games. I have a laptop, but rarely use it.


if you go to a laptop you might want to consider a cable to secure it to something when you are not home, or when you are using it away from home; slows down thieves who grab and go.

something like this, but research which one is best before buying.

https://www.amazon.com/Kensington-Combi ... way&sr=8-4
Three-Fund Portfolio: FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX (with slight tilt of CDs - CASH - Canned Beans - Rice - Bottled Water)
psy1
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:40 am

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by psy1 »

Since semi-retiring, our computing needs have become more complicated: two laptops, two iPads, two iPhones, Mac Mini, external hard drives, considering a NAS. I enjoy it. But if you prefer migrating to a laptop only solution then you certainly can. Just be sure to have data backed up and secured.
User avatar
dual
Posts: 679
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by dual »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:11 pm Again, you can do all of this without an actual desktop computer. Though my Surface dock "only" supports two 4k monitors (the one 49"er is enough for me), the dock for my work laptop supports 3. It actually does have 3 monitors connected, but they are 24" 1920x1200, not 4k. Next upgrade I might go to three 27" 4k displays. Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard and Logitech MX Master mouse at both locations.
By my definition, this is a 'desktop' computer with a Surface laptop as the CPU unit. And you are paying dearly for the ability to take it outside your office and use it as a laptop. Remember the old saying "smaller, faster, cheaper" -- pick two.

If you do not use the laptop outside your office, it makes no sense to pay the extra money to miniaturize the components for a laptop.
User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 6668
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by Kenkat »

SmallCityDave wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:24 am I think it sounds great and wonderful but from what you all are describing not all that practical. A laptop with 2 monitors, external keyboard and mouse, external hdd, cloud storage we can't forget the external speakers (?) and the list goes on and on.

I wouldn't mind going to a laptop but they are not nearly as responsive and make a bunch of racket.

I'll stick with my inexpensive 5 year old i7, 16gb of memory and ssd drive that is quite and fast and for my trips I use my laptop (that I hate).
We’ve switched over to laptops with docking stations, so at my desk I can use a regular keyboard, mouse, dual monitors, etc. and also undock and take the laptop to meetings, etc.

If I travel to one of our remote locations, I take my laptop along and use a travel desk set up with everything needed to replicate the desktop.

That said, if you’re never going to undock the thing, a desktop is fine.We still have a desktop as our home PC; if I want to be mobile, I prefer my phone or iPad anyway for typical home stuff.
lazydavid
Posts: 3327
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Going desktop-less?

Post by lazydavid »

dual wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:40 pm
lazydavid wrote: Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:11 pm Again, you can do all of this without an actual desktop computer. Though my Surface dock "only" supports two 4k monitors (the one 49"er is enough for me), the dock for my work laptop supports 3. It actually does have 3 monitors connected, but they are 24" 1920x1200, not 4k. Next upgrade I might go to three 27" 4k displays. Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard and Logitech MX Master mouse at both locations.
By my definition, this is a 'desktop' computer with a Surface laptop as the CPU unit. And you are paying dearly for the ability to take it outside your office and use it as a laptop. Remember the old saying "smaller, faster, cheaper" -- pick two.

If you do not use the laptop outside your office, it makes no sense to pay the extra money to miniaturize the components for a laptop.
Agreed. And while certainly not every day, I do take the Surface out of my office on occasion. If I didn't have a second one in the kitchen (not docked) I'd do so a lot more often :). But I do take it out, so if you're going to have a laptop anyway, and you don't need more horsepower than it provides, then an actual desktop unit only adds cost, not decreases it. My son has a gaming laptop that is "docked" probably 95% of the time. But he does sometimes take it to friends' houses or on vacation, so that mobility is worth it for us.

My work laptop gets undocked every single day.

In your case, perhaps your MacBook Air with the appropriate accessories would be good enough. Perhaps not. But if it is, then you have increased your cost (and depending on your workflow, possibly your complexity as well) by having a desktop.
Post Reply