Monday, 28 January 2013

Laptops suck

People have been buying laptops much more than desktop computers, for home use, because they're easier to set up, they have only one external cable (for power), and you can move them easily. They really do have a lot of advantages that way, but there are some down sides that people don't often account for.

They cost more. That's the first red flag that should get raised when you're thinking of buying a laptop. You will be paying several hundred dollars extra for the convenience.

They are less powerful. In almost everything that goes into a computer, they suck more than a desktop. Slower processors, less disk space, less RAM, more heat, smaller screen, fewer USB ports. That's just what you get on every model. And remember, you're paying extra for this.

They are much less ergonomic. The screen and keyboard positions cannot and will not ever meet proper ergonomic guidelines if the screen is attached directly above the keyboard. Long-term, you may injure yourself.

They have all-in-one failure modes. If the keyboard stops working or the screen goes dead, your options for replacements and repairs are more limited and expensive.

Lastly, the battery will wear out, but by then you will probably not be able to replace just that part, because next year's model will use a slightly different battery and nobody will be selling the old model any more. From then on, your portable machine becomes a low-powered, cramped, uncomfortable, unstable, expensive, stationary computer.

My only conclusion is that people in general must be resolved to spending $1500 every two years on a new laptop, because "that's just what you do". I spent $1200 on a desktop about four years ago and it's still going strong. I expect it to last at least another two years.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If you "need" your computer to be mobile, buy a tablet for $250.
PPS - If that actually doesn't do everything mobile that you need, then you might need a laptop.

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