Laptop or desktop?

This may be the wrong category to place this thread but do you prefer a laptop or desktop?

  • Laptop
  • Desktop

0 voters

Personally I've always been an all laptop person but I'm thinking of getting a desktop.


In practice, I tend to use laptops far more than desktops. Desktops used to have the edge because they can accommodate more components, making them overall more powerful, efficient, customizable, easy to repair, etc. But if you treat your laptop well it can last for a very long time, and they are powerful enough for just about anything these days. You can also replace and/or repair most components (depending on the brand, but in my experience most are pretty good at this).

PS: I'm really looking forward to having a Framework laptop soon!


Notebook computers are portable and that is a large plus. This makes them very useful for certain environments and jobs.
But they have their downsides that Desktop can easily beat.

Cooling a notebook computer is harder to do and they often run hotter. Components are tightly packed in, so many components are exposed to more heat than they would in a desktop, even if they are not normally temperature monitored. They can fail without warning.
This relates directly to Portable Placement of notebook computers. Many people will set them down on beds, couches or other furniture which block airflow and inhibit cooling. A notebook really should be elevated on a smooth hard surface.

Disassembly and repair (or upgrading components) on a notebook computer can be a nightmare. The smaller connections are tricky to handle without breaking something. It is easier for a slipped tool to make contact with and scrape or destroy another component.
Picture a slipped screwdriver gouging its way across a circuit board.
You often must remove the built in keyboard and disconnect the little ribbon for the monitor just to get at some component that is buried beneath the keyboard. Oof.

I find the mechanical layout to be harder to manage. A Desktop with peripherals can be arranged in ergonomic ways. But a notebook computer has a smaller keyboard contained to just under the monitor. Don't get me started on the trackpad...

It is a lot easier to maintain a multi-monitor setup with a desktop computer. With a notebook, you either must match your external monitor specs to the built in notebook monitor screen or tolerate mismatched resolution and sizes.


I guess heat can affect performance, especially for intensive tasks such as gaming.

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Yes, the cooler you runt he machine (desktop or notebook), the better speed you will see from it.

I uhh... I add extra cooling to my desktop computer...:expressionless:

Something tells me you do a lot of intensive tasks. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Is that the laptop you can easily upgrade?

Sometimes. But I also just fret over temps, too. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have had overheating and overheated components before.

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Yes, it's looking very promising and it has support for Linux. Officially only a couple of distributions, but of course these are big and popular like Ubuntu.

But I would be lying if I said I didn't want a "desktop" computer like this:

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One thing that just popped into my head...

We get far, far more troubleshooting questions on this forum for Notebook Computers than we do for Desktop Machines. While we might chalk some of that up to a general trend toward users buying more notebooks than desktops, the gap is still larger in help requests than it is in notebook vs desktop ownership.


I think there are a few factors that contribute to that, for example laptops tend to age much quicker, as components are more prone to malfunction and are also harder to replace, and become excellent pieces for experimentation and repurposing. Installing Linux makes the most sense in both scenarios as there are lightweight distributions that are supported far longer than Windows.

Also, and I can't really say this with any certainty, people who nowadays buy desktop computers are probably doing so for purposes where Linux historically has lagged behind compared to Windows: gaming, photo/video editing, etc.
I would also say that there's a significant investment that goes into that, both in time and money, so not many dare to deviate from the most widely used technologies.


Excellent point. In fact, many say just that: That they are reviving an older notebook computer that otherwise might have been trashed.

I think your points have a lot of merit. But on this one... Most people I know prefer desktop for gaming and high end work. Anecdote does not equal evidence, though.

And gaming notebook computers are being heavily marketed right now.

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Now that I think of it, I know more people with beefy laptops for gaming than with desktops for that same purpose...

Gaming laptops don't make a whole lot of sense to me. I prefer laptops for their portability and adding extra weight and thickness makes it uncomfortable to carry around. And I'm pretty sure most people like to game with their favorite setup so I doubt there's a lot of unplugging everything just to go sit on the kitchen :man_shrugging:


What I don't understand is, why do gamers have RGB in their setup? To me it's basically a gimmick. No offence to any (serious) gamer.


I also notice that Gaming Desktops and Notebooks both have major Bling.
I mean... they seriously are slick lookin machines. Even getting RAM for them, the stick is covered in a plastic sheath that looks like it was taken off the Nostromo.
And they charge extra for all that prettiness.

It's... almost as if being a gamer has become a Status Symbol...


The way I see it, it's just a trend. In the era of youtubers and influencers, it's easy to get caught up in an echo chamber of sorts, where people mimic each other in order to conform to a particular set of social standards as commanded by the infamous Algorithm™.


My goal is to make all my devices last potentially forever, in fact think that I still have 20-year-old phones in my cabinet so clearly I care about it. But I will never try to open a laptop, trying to open a completely unusable one I've seen that just to open the 2 main covers (the ones that hold the hard drive, RAM and everything else) makes a lot of resistance and then I'd break all the plastic hooks that hold the covers together. In my case, cooling is not a problem, nor on soft surfaces, my Asus K52N has a heat dissipation system on the left side, not under the laptop itself. It's powerful enough to run some complex 3D games, some smoother than others, but this also depends on the availability of game settings, some do not have much to customize to better fit the available capacity.

Thermal paste wears off over time. This is what allows for a quick and efficient transfer of heat away from the processor chip, and need to be replaced every so often. Judging the air flow and temperature coming out from the fans may lead you to wrongly assume the processor is cooler than it actually is, which over time can damage it.

I did this once... not with the case but with one of the small connectors that held the power button's wiring to the motherboard. For some reason the plastic just snapped but it was an old laptop so it was probably damaged already (somehow as I never opened it before that one time).
Now, to turn it on, I have to open the case partially and manually make contact with the motherboard just like jumping a car battery :joy:


I don't have the problem of judging the wrong temperature, I know that's usually almost 50 ℃ / 120 ℉, and one day my laptop will achieve the ability to cook something, Asus K52N will evolve into a Samsung BESPOKE Dual Cook Steam™ Series 7 :rofl:.

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The pre-built pc i got around half a year ago has RGB lights inside it that can be seen from the glass panel on one of the sides, but if I'm being honest, I didn't even know it was gonna have it and in it didn't seem to add anything to the total price after looking at what every component costed.

My opinion about it is that I wish they told me how to disable it, as I'm personally not a big fan of RGB lights and, with how bright they are, I fear they may be raising the temperature of components that are close to it

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