Jump to content
CaptainPC CaptainPC (New Member) New Member

Are Desktops A Dying Breed?

Lounge   (2,559 Views 14 Comments)
article_pluralized; 15,294 Visitors; 326 Posts
If you find this topic helpful leave a comment.

During that time I held a job that required some overnight travel, and I wanted a laptop to haul around so I could get some work done in the motel room. I relished the thought of doing much of my "paperwork" while away from home, rather than having to do it on my desktop later when I returned home. I bought a Toshiba laptop that sported a 486SX-33 processor.

For those of you to young to have experienced the earlier days of personal computing, the 486SX-33 was an Intel 486 processor lacking a built in math co-processor running Windows 3.1 at 33 Mhz. Think "very slow" compared to the processors we enjoy now.

The 486 family was the processor group that dominated the PC market just before Intel came out with the first Pentium processors. The Toshiba cost around $2000 and came with a whopping 200 megabyte hard drive, which was huge for its day. I could even dial in with a 28.8K modem card to my employer's server to use proprietary applications.

As thrilled as I was to have my Toshiba laptop, it could not compare to the power I enjoyed on my desktop computer, which cost me a great deal less than the Toshiba. Ever since those days, laptops have been gaining ground against their desktop siblings, and now it is not uncommon for households to have laptops that are faster, cheaper, and more powerful than the desktops in the house.

My current Toshiba laptop's performance rivals that of my Core2Duo desktop, with the exception of playing graphically intense games. There are laptops of reasonable price out there ($1200 - $1300) that can handle any games my desktop can run and more. However, I am not an avid PC gamer, but a casual one, and I do not use the latest and greatest video card in my desktop.

My wife, who teaches in a major state university in our area, received a memo from the IT department informing her of the option to receive a laptop rather than a desktop when her next PC replacement cycle occurs. She opted for the laptop because her laptop (which we had to buy) is now three years old and will soon need to be replaced.

The only real advantage I can see in buying a desktop for personal home use these days is the need of greater graphic power than you can get in a laptop. Many serious PC gamers buy high end computers with dual video cards to enjoy their games. While these computers are usually expensive, if you can find the equivalent power in a laptop, it will often be considerably more costly than the desktop. Most home and most business users have little desire or need for that level of power computing.

Netbooks are very popular now, and are very useful for email and surfing the web, but most users would never replace their desktop with anything less than a full grown laptop.

How about you?

Will your next computer be a desktop or a laptop?

On which one do you currently spend most of your computing time?

Edited by Joe V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You won't believe I am using a Windows '98 I've had since 1998.

My daughter and I share a big heavy laptop with VISTA that works great. All our documents, pictures, e-mails and such are automatically transferred to it when used with the wireless antenna connected to the cable.

When the PC crashes I'll hook up the laptop to the printer and speakers and get a smaller lighter one.

DD also has a refurbished old MAC. She really loves it.

Does some graphic design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi herring_RN!

That is awesome! I can believe you still have and use a Win98 PC. I'll bet there are quite a few people still using that OS. It was a good one. I still have a Win98 PC myself, since 1998, and earlier this year upgraded its processor to a Pentium 3 from eBay. I have kept it in good shape and did the upgrade so I could still play some classic games I enjoyed back then once in a while. I like the old machines. I even have a working Windows 95 PC with an Intel Pentium 133 on board. Every now and then I fire it up to be sure it still runs.

Just a note of caution though about Windows 98. Microsoft no longer supports it with security updates, so it is more vulnerable online than XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

Have fun and thanks for your comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a desktop we bought in 2001. Then I bought a laptop in 2007 for my daughter mainly and last June I bought my own laptop. I can't remember the last time I touched the desktop, in fact thanks for reminding me about it as I wonder if it's gathering dust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi StNeotser,

Thanks for your comments. Your situation with the older desktop seems to be the new norm. Desktops are just so confining for home users. WiFi and more powerful laptops have made it difficult for desktops to keep up.

Have a great day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just bought a laptop today paid 400 for it....Far more powerful than my old XP at less than what I paid for the desktop in 2004. I bought a netbook but decided to return it as I thought the keyboard was just too small for my hands. (I still want a netbook but I am going to wait for them to drop in price to about 200-250...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi HM2VikingRN,

You surely get more bang for the buck with today's computer tech. I mostly use my Toshiba laptop connected to a 22 inch LCD so I can get a better view and see more stuff on my screen. I don't use a dock, I just connect a USB keyboard & mouse, and attach the video cable, and use Windows 7 on a larger screen. It serves me just like a desktop. My old P4 desktop is just moments from being retired.

Have you looked at some of the more recent netbooks? Toshiba has some models with easier to use keyboards and tested battery life of around nine hours. There is a new generation of netbooks expected to hit store shelves in the first quarter 2010. It will be interesting to see what improvements have been made.

Thanks for your comments, and have a great weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You won't believe I am using a Windows '98 I've had since 1998.

My daughter and I share a big heavy laptop with VISTA that works great. All our documents, pictures, e-mails and such are automatically transferred to it when used with the wireless antenna connected to the cable.

When the PC crashes I'll hook up the laptop to the printer and speakers and get a smaller lighter one.

DD also has a refurbished old MAC. She really loves it.

Does some graphic design.

Win98 is the most stable Windows based OS. It also loads fast, a pity new softwares no longer support it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think desktops will never be replaced by laptops literally because technology is still not ready to equal the performance of desktop computers. Consider the case of quadcore and other higher cores of cpu. Not to much RAM power, GPU power and hard disk power. Laptop is useful for its portability, but it can never eliminate desktops, at least for now, as of this time of writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John83,

I too enjoyed Windows 98 and seldom had any problems when using it. But time and technology marches on. If MS still supported it with security patches, I would still use it online. As it stands, I use my Win98 machine to play some old 3DFX games from the mid to late 90's. These are great games that will not run on today's hardware, but were awesome in their day. I have Red Baron 3D, Tachyon - The Fringe, FreeSpace The Great War, and European Air War, all running on a 3DFX video card, just as they were designed to do. Some of these games will run under XP using some emulation files, but they run much smoother on the old Pentium 2 and Pentium 3 machines with the 3DFX card.

As to laptops replacing desktops, it all boils down to what an individual's needs are. If a home user is into very demanding stuff such as heavy gaming or extreme video editing, then there is no better tool than a well equipped desktop. However, most home users are not into those power activities, and laptops serve their needs quite well. In fact you can buy quad core laptops now, and some Intel Core i5 and i7 models are also available with six to eight GB of ram. I must admit to being apprehensive about the cooling capability of a portable machine with that kind of raw power. Heat is a computer's worst enemy.

I fully intend to maintain one desktop in our home, and I hope desktops will not become rare, but for everyday computing needs, I find laptops to be plenty powerful.

What kind of desktop do you have now, and what do you use it for?

Thanks for your comments and perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a laptop for convience that I can move around the house or let my kids play games on. I recently got a new HP touch desktop & I love it! HUGE screen & it hardly takes up any room. I have my own study area/office so it was nice to have a computer just for me. (No sticky fingers touching this one lol)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Learninmama,

And welcome to the blog! I am so glad you posted your comment. Although I did not mention all-in-one desktops, especially those with touch screens, I am going to make a prediction. The desktop as we home users have known it, is on its way out, and will be displaced by the all-in-one personal desktops. I also believe the traditional desktop will continue to be available for business and for those who consider themselves power users and enthusiasts. That's just my opinion and I am sure some would disagree and that is okay too.

This week there has been a release of new all-in-ones by all the major PC manufacturers, and we have noticed quite a few all-in-ones on display at brick and mortar stores. I have been seeing an increase of the all-in-ones on display, but not as many traditional desktops as in previous years.

As you indicated, the all-in-ones take much less room, have great screens, and have an elegant appeal in any room of the home. Please keep us posted on your new HP.

Thanks again for your comments and have a great week!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.