Death To The Desktop

Death of the Desktop

THE SHAPE OF COMPUTING

Strewn across the floor and stacked in my closet are 100’s of lifeless parts. Processors, cords, connectors and fans, dead and lifeless now, they were once proud warriors of the desktop era. Striving to be faster in a technical world consumed by speed, I greeted new processors and motherboards like a lion greets wildebeasts. Today those dark ages are gone, replaced by a Renaissance of Mobility, or as the techies would say, “let me grab my portable”.

A continuous stream of processor advancements has boosted performance tremendously. Multi core processors were introduced by IBM some 7 years ago and since then, two and four core processors have become today’s norm. Like a landslide, they are coming from Intel and AMD. A recent trip to Best Buy resulted in finding not one computer with a single core processor. The selection of laptops was by far broader than the selection of desktops. My count today was Desktops 18 models and Laptops 55 models.

The advances in processors, memory, and now hard drives have left our local ISP as the main stumbling block to all things fast. If it’s not the choice of ISP or type of service, then it’s the malware gremlins conspiring to slow things down. Download caps, rogue applications and malware are the Godzilla, stopping instantaneous results at the moment of “CLICK”

Today’s modest laptop is likely faster than the desktop you were using 4 years ago. Yes, I’m aware there were some very fast computers available back then, but I’m talking in generalities here – a four-year-old HP desktop compared to today’s current HP laptop. Considering memory, multicore processing, and storage, today’s laptop is going to look mighty good sitting alongside your old desktop.

Two years ago I was all excited about the camera included in my cell phone. Hundreds of blogs were discussing the latest and greatest in mega pixels. Warnings about the need to be careful, lest you are caught in the act of being the real you, were everywhere. Now, it hardly gets mention in the advertising of phones or laptops. Of course the portable or phone has a camera, of course it’s got great resolution.

For the consumer, desktops came first, followed by luggables, laptops, ultra portables and phones. Today it doesn’t much matter if it’s labeled as an ultra light portable, a laptop or a cell phone. They have operating systems, emails, and keyboards. They can make, store, and play movies, pictures, and songs. You can use them for work or surf your favorite website. At your desk, on a plane, or even driving, you can do it all and do it now.

Take a look at this quote from Wikipedia, “A portable computer is a computer that is designed to be moved from one place to another. Portable computers, by their nature, are microcomputers. Early portables were unkindly referred to as “luggables,” referring to their great size and weight.” Portable computing was taking shape as early as 1976 with the Xerox NoteTaker. In its day, the luggable was as exciting as today’s Lenovo ThinkPad X200 or the Asus eee at 9 in. and .99 kg. I bet that in 3 years it will be as hard to find a desktop as it is to find a single core processor now. The term will be as outdated as the term Cassette or luggable. It will be just another name used to describe the shape of computing. Just like Mainframe, Time Share Computer Terminals, Alatar 880, Apple1, Personal Computers, Luggable, and Desktop replacements. The names given to the shape of computing could fill this page.

A couple of weeks ago, in the comments section of our latest SSD article, a reader named William Thomas pretty much summed it up.
“Good point about the need for operating systems to be on SSD. I believe laptops are converging with PDA’s and phones. The vogue for small laptops has returned. I suspect we will see operating systems supplied on chips, like bios- and the SSD is a chip.”

So what are you really using today. Is it a phone, a laptop, or a desktop. Is today’s laptop tomorrow’s luggable? You bet it is, because what you’re using today is a computer, it’s better, it’s smaller and it does it all. Even more exciting than that, it does it from anywhere.

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152 thoughts on “Death To The Desktop

  1. Sorry Glenn, but you’re the one who should have checked out hardware before building your desktop. You got robbed with that system at $1500, even 2 years ago. At any rate, you built an AMD system when Intel was/is spanking AMD, then try to compare to an Intel laptop.

    2 years ago, I could have built a much faster system (box alone) than either your laptop or desktop for about $700. You could have gotten a E6750 CPU and good P35 motherboard. Then you’d be comparing apples to apples with your laptop and see that the desktop was still quite a bit faster.

    SATA (II) has no real advantage for optical drives yet. Nothing wrong with SATA, but if you have an IDE controller, don’t be afraid to use them on DVD-ROMs.

    If I were you now, I’d gut your “Wicked Fast” AMD and replace it with a X38, P45, or X48 motherboard ($60-$125 at newegg) and E8400 CPU($170 at newegg). Not only will it be about twice as fast as your current desktop at stock speeds, it’ll also run cooler, use less energy, and overclock to 3.8GHz, although I’d recommend a cheap 3rd party CPU cooler for OCing ($35). Your laptop will seem very slow compared to that. You may also want to consider some decent DDR2, as I doubt your AData will handle the OC potential of the E8400. There’s lots of 2g kits of performance memory around now for under $100 that’ll do 1200MHz.

    Anyone who knows will tell you that 2 gigs of memory is the sweet spot for Vista. More sure isn’t going to hurt, but isn’t going to do much good either. Less, and you’ll definitely see performance issues. The nice thing about a desktop is that you don’t have to worry about dedicated or shared memory for the video, unless you don’t require good graphics and go with onboard.

    You can even get a crossfire motherboard for about the same price and toss another Radeon X1300 on it to slightly increase the settings on Crisis. If it were me, I’d just get a decent video card instead. Can’t beat the 8800GT 512mb for around $100 right now, and it’ll put your X1300 to shame.

    You say hardware prices are going up. As a system builder, I have to disagree. Prices have been going down steadily on every component for the past several years. Our systems have gotten faster and cheaper every year. There’s never been a better time to build a new system and save money than now.

    I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with people preferring laptops for specific situations. But anyone who thinks a laptop is faster than a well built mid-tower of the same price doesn’t have a clue.

    Notebooks are still pretty simple to upgrade, but only to the max of the chipset. You can add more RAM (most only have 2 dimms, but I wouldn’t use more on a desktop either), change to a larger (single) hard drive, and put in a faster CPU. But you’re stuck with whatever video it has in it. And notebooks/laptops are known for running hot. You also want to be sure you’re getting dual channel memory controller, or your laptop can be doggy. 🙂

  2. I repeat my question, this time for Glenn: Did your laptop play Crysis the way it was meant to be seen and played? I’ve read the reviews, and the answer would be no. And how much upgrading can you do? Your downgraded video card can never be upgraded to keep up with new visual technologies, and 1 single, slow hard drive is a highly inneficient way to run a computer. Nuff said.

  3. I read through the majority of bthese replys to this subject. I think alot of people need to sit back and take a real good look at technology. I built a desktop just over a year ago and at the time I assembled it, it was VERY fast. AMD dual core 5000+ overclocked,2 GB Adata pc6400 ram, 74 Raptor 10,000 Rpm HD, pioneer dvd burner,ATI Radeon x1300 512mb PCIe overclocked to 640 mb. All SATA no IDE cables! Wicked Fast!!!! Well, I just bought a new gateway laptop on sale at Best buy for around 650.00 out the door. Centrino core 2, 250 gb Hd, 4 Gb ram, dvd burner,HDMI out, 64 bit vista premium, and the main reason I bought this laptop…512 dedicated memory ram with 2.3 Gb useable ram. Crysis is one of the most demanding games out,TRYING to lock it up in game I could not even get a glitch out of it! I spent almost 1500.00 building my desktop and it would not touch this laptop on its best day. Desktop parts are already getting more expensive. I understand the average person does not like change, but it IS coming. 3 years ago I hated laptops, now I would not trade mine for any desktop. and as for wanting a larger monitor, you can connect a monitor, tv, projector, ETC.to a laptop. I do with awesome resolution. You can also connect a wireless keyboard and mouse. So not so different,Huh? Think about it.

  4. I went to Best Buy last week and they only had about 4 desktops for sale!! Mostly ALL of their computer stuff was laptops!

    I was shocked, really.

  5. As I sit here thinking…..does he really think that?? As you have seen what is reality and what is rhetoric, you should have a pretty good idea, I hope.
    Comparing a desktop to a lappy, is well, like comparing a tractor trailer to a minivan, a work horse to a pony…no contest, the desktop is here to stay. Was this article trying to scare people into them thinking they will be losing their desktops? Do you actually “work” for pcpitstop? Do they pay you for this crap?….really?
    The laptop is great for those with on the go jobs, such as HH Gregg when they was fixing my fridge (they had all the manuals on it, which is a smart way), or people that travel a lot or if you like the compactness. A lappy wouldnt hold up to long for what I use a PC for, it would get to hot and shut down cause it couldnt handle the stress, did I mention that the side is off my PC to keep it cooler?….try that with a laptop!!
    I’m not downing laptops, if you like em, use it, its a personal preference or a job thing……but most of use cant afford to spend twice as much in getting the thing upgraded.
    I’ve had my HP for going on 8 years now, had to get a new video card (4 years ago) and put 2 Gb of RAM (last year), try to do a format and recover at least once a year and do a weekly cleanup…viola!

    Final thought, be careful on how “things” are stated, because more than likely it will be wrong…

  6. I’m fed up with the dell inspirons. I’ve looked into upgrading mine and the best I can get is a 3 gigahert quadcore. The workstations are much better. That’s what I’ll get next.

  7. “You have to compare the latest laptop with the latest desktop.”

    If he did that, he wouldn’t have an article to write. 🙂

    Dell still sells anything you want, for a price. To get the Dell XPS ($1499 without upgrades) to match our $1650 system, the XPS jumps to over $3000, includes shareware and advertising which ours doesn’t, and our warranty still beats the Dell XPS. It amazes me that these guys stay in business, but I guess some people just don’t know any better. 🙂

  8. Portable computers are great, if and when you need portability. But 90% of my work is at my office or at my desk at home. And there is no way I’d rather use a notebook, or a cell phone, when I could be using my desktop. Your article only makes sense from your narrow perspective.

    Hard to find a desktop in 3 years? Maybe, if you only shop at your local Best Buy. And good for them. But I haven’t bought a packaged desktop in 8 years, why would I start now?

  9. laptop. expensive, limited functionality, “but good at what they do ( they are certinally better than the note pad & pencil), they build up strenth & stamina ( carrying that case with all the added extras inc. power cords transformers optical mouse “the pads slow down your work load” you need to take with you.)I have noted that laptops are a great aid in helping train people for the olympics, ie. wrestling from the guy trying to relive you from that burden you are carrying followed by the 100 / 200 / 400 metres dash, the latter being completed in world record breaking times especialy if the gun the guy is carrying (accidentaly goes off as they try to keep up with you)400 metres in under 20 sec’s can usualy be achieved with this format of mobile technology to help you.
    back to reality, I cannot envisage the death of the PC in the near future as there will be a need for both PC & LAP. PC having the ability ease of repair/update/cheap/storage capabilities (mine carries over 5000 gig HD space which you may find a little difficult to fit in a LAPTOP.)also the pride achived that YOU have built your own machine to whatever spec. & porpose you want it for. Im not knocking the LAPS. as they are a very usefull tool & fill a need in portability, and more & more people are using them for work/reference & personal entertainment but they do have their limitations & when they go wrong (as all things will) how many users could actually repair them theirselfs, where as with the PC most can resolve any problems that arise with their hardware. so the future may lay in the combination of owning both, and a good mem stick to back up all invaluable info. for transference to either. note “if it hadn’t been for the comon pc builders / gamers & their money, the computer tech. evolution would have been a lot slower more expensive.”
    I beleive that there will be a niche for both in the future of computing.”but as previously stated if doing comparisons it should be with the latest technology of both types of computer, & not a model T ford against the new porche.”

  10. I’m sorry about the double post, but I forgot to add that comparing modern day laptops to desktops from four years ago is like comparing apples to oranges. That’s not a fair comparison. You have to compare the latest laptop with the latest desktop.

  11. Desktops aren’t dying out! They’ll be here to stay for many years to come. I want to why he even labeled this post the way he did. Whey didn’t he label it something like The Advances In Mobile Computers. I know somebody has already said something like this, but I couldn’t help it. This idea is obsurd as far as I’m concerned. Sure laptops are handy, but they just don’t compare to the performance of desktops.

  12. I Love it when these so called Techies come out with Ridiculous Statements like this when it suits what they do with a PC! How do you Figure that’s going to happen with all the Power Users out there?? Give a Person a Forum and after Boredom sets in this is what you get!! Get real man,,Desktops are going to be here longer than you most likely,lol,,what Planet are you on??? Thanks!!”Edited for Typo’s”

  13. As I look at my desktop with two hdds (Raid 1), a DVD ROM and a DVD RW,a floppy drive, a full keyboard, a large monitor etc., I think that the desktop better not become obsolete. 19″ laptops are not portable and they cost a fortune. At 61 and with horrible vision, I had to connect it at home to a full keyboard and 20″ monitor. On the road I just tough it out and take Tylenol.

  14. Clay,

    Special pads, usually called laptop cooler pads, come in two types. You put the pad on your lap and the laptop on the pad. My ex-wife had to do this after her fat fried the motherboard of her first laptop. Make sure that the pad size is the same as the size of your laptop! I know that seems obvious, but I know people who have ignored this and ended up with 14.1″ pads for 15.4″ laptops and vice versa.

    Type 1) Non-electric but it gives you air space. (These are becoming rare.)

    Type 2) Electric. These are better near an AC outlet. Plug it into the wall and flip the on switch. This starts two to three fans and is a better way of taking care of heat problems. This type starts at around $13 mail order. I wouldn’t go that low – I think that mine cost$19.99. This is not an ad but there are many choices at NewEgg.com

    Note: There are pads which can get their electricity from the laptop via a USB port. That works, but it sucks up battery life.

  15. the reason on his trip to best buy that he saw less desktops and more laptops is simple.

    people are becoming more tech savvy, with that has come the realization that you can build a totally custom rig for cheaper than a comparable spec dell or hp, if one even exists. thus people are buying less prebuilt desktops and the demand is down, best buy and all other retailers works on a simple supply/demand system.

  16. I’ve considered getting a laptop, but I’m still debating what configuration to have. There are certain things such as visual c++ 2008 ide graphics design that would freeze a laptop with running at 1.8 gigahertz. I don’t want to take a chance. I have my dell workstation picked though.

  17. I bought a HP, dual core(2Ghz),Nvidia graphics, Entertainment Notebook PC. All the replies to your article are basically true!(Not the second degree burns). My laptop is maxed out on memory and I still cannot play many, many games. I am using a flat bottomed Ice tea glass, filled with ice, for heat transfer for the power converter. I’ve already fried my OEM converter. It runs too hot, is underpowered, and cost me more than a much faster, expandable, desktop. Desktops will be around for while.

  18. With all the things we now collect, besides the ordinary files and Docs, spreadsheets and data bases there are now Songs, and movies and pictures and film clips, You Tube and Google Videos which is why we now have tera byte hard drives. Just wait until next year when HDTV’s and the humongous Blu-ray discs start to take off as the price in recorders comes down, not to mention the ever increasing mega pixels in cameras, how long before those hit Giga pixels. Until the laptop makes huge inroads into storage the desktop is still the King and I think here to stay. In fact I predict home networks with multiple tera byte hard drive servers in the closet, for your Tivo if nothing else.
    So, nice article but Me thinks you spoke too soon.

  19. “For those of us who have to travel from office to office as subcontractors, we would look really silly trying to lug our desktops from one location to another. The laptop is the wave of the future.”
    Those of us who are pro-desktop are not Anti-laptop. Laptops have their place, and desktops have theirs for everything the laptop isn’t capable of. But for you to say that because a minority segment of society who travel around as subcontractors with their laptops means the end of the desktop is ludicrous! And like it or not, yes, that is a minority of the world’s population.

  20. While the desktop might fall out of favorability in the future, I do not believe that it will happen while desktops are still being sold considerably cheaper with the same amount of power.

  21. For those of us who have to travel from office to office as subcontractors, we would look really silly trying to lug our desktops from one location to another. The laptop is the wave of the future.

  22. Another comment as I remember about six years ago a lady on a cable show about computing started knocking monitors and desktops as being “too big and clunky” and made a pitch for laptops and it was not hard to read between the lines on that promo. Let us not forget that electronics did not develop last week but is an effort made by many people over many years that makes your computer possible. Let us not forget the triode that LeeDeForest built that enabled radio to actually be worthwile and that some of the profits from radio and other ventures allowed private business to do research and development and to improve tubes and related components and if these things had not occured, you would not have solid state devices today.Remember the early days and give a nod to the men and women that did so much for us. Lanny Janney

  23. If I get a laptop it has to have be very high performance. I’m planning to get into demanding applications like visual C++ 2008 ide graphics design. Laptops don’t have duel processors like desktop I plan to get. I’m considering duel 3.4 gigahert duel cores with 4 gigabyte ram and thee 1 Terabyte hard drives. Try to find a laptop with kind of performance.

  24. My take on the topic:

    Unless companies can offer laptop parts comparable to desktop parts (especially for mid to high end components), desktop computing will continue to thrive. At the moment, it’s too far fetched to conclude that desktops computing is dying. For instance ever seen those really large high end $600++ video cards for gaming? Or those overpriced external video cards used for architecture and such?

  25. Let me see…Large screens, multiple screens, large convenient keyboards, mice that fit in your hand, a serious sound system, physical hardware space, family friendly non-movable location are just a couple of things that come to mind in just the first few seconds that mobiles don’t have. Keep dreaming writer…it’s sometimes fun to watch people in their little corner in the dark wander aimlessly. I haven’t read a article so off based in a long, long time. Thanks for the laugh. Steve

  26. Kinda hard for a kid to surf bad websites when your computer is in the stuck in the living room, where you can keep an eye on it. It’s a lot harder to monitor a laptop in a kids room. Enough said.

  27. I’ve just got to really qyestion what He of the Dark says about having no trouble playing games. Lets look at some things like graphics quality, lack of a paging file on another SEPERATE drive, and heat. Heat is, in great measure related to graphics quality. Why? Because graphics cards put out as much as 33% to 50% more heat than modern cpu’s. Heat is the enemy of a components life. The monster graphics cards that the laptop manufacturers try to stuff into “performance” notebooks these days are compressed, so there is more heat and less dissipation. How to combat that? Well, it’s surely not the air and space that a desktop have. So, they slow down their core and memory clock speeds. Now you’ve got less performance right off the bat. And the heat is STILL an issue. I have an old friend who didn’t listen to my advice, bought an Alienware gaming laptop, and has now consulted my advice on what parts to get to build a real gaming rig. Why? To get a notebook/laptop almost within range of a performance desktop, he now has an extremely heavy piece of equipment that has very little battery life, is very hot, and that he can’t upgrade. Additionally, having to share the paging file with his windows OS has also slowed down nearly anything he does when compared to my self-built machine. What happens when he wants to upgrade? The only thing he can do is add memory, and not to nearly the level I can. Finally, if you want to seriously tweak the performance of a computer, you need access to the BIOS. Most laptops are proprietary, and thus, no access to the BIOS. All in all, it’s a pretty good deal to be able to buy an entirely new laptop every two years just to stay somewhat current. I’ll keep my desktop, thank-you, because I can upgrade whatever part needs upgrading as long as my motherboard is fairly current. But even that is not too much of a problem, as it only requires a “repair” install of windows. Now, I return to the beginning… can you REALLY play a top-level game as it was designed to be seen and played? Chances are extremely good, that most laptop owners cannot. So there you have it Shogan, it appears you have been trumped not only by sheer numbers, but also with alot of well-thought criticisms. It appears you are really not that in touch with the computing world.

  28. I switched to a 17 inch HP with dual core and 2 120 gig hard drives, a full size keyboard and will never go back to a desk top as a main computer. I still have a desktop but it’s now a back up.

    Maybe this isn’t really a portable, I still take it to work with me every day.

    I don’t think desktops are dead for everyone, at least not until we can get the parts to be interchangable on laptops.

  29. you sir, are a nub. (just my opinion)

    desktops are useful, popular, and familiar… they will continue to be manufactured and used far into the future.

    i do not have a laptop or any other micro device (except my boring little cell phone), and will not be buying one in the future.

    just because a techno geek says it, doesn’t make it true.

    sorry to say it like that- you hit a nerve…

    maybe instead of making a slash at desktops, you should have simply stated that laptops and PDA’s continue to grow in usefulness and popularity, and suggested that desktop owners might consider expanding their computing abilities by purchasing one.

    keep trying and maybe you’ll get it right.

  30. Laptops may come with some nice perks, but compared to desktops, the compromises outweigh the benefits for many users. The main issue is the vast difference in price. A laptop can be as much as twice the cost of a comparable desktop. Laptops also lack the easy customization that desktops have. If you are buying a laptop, you won’t be able to upgrade anything but the memory easily. Desktops allow users to upgrade parts with ease, and that extends the value of your purchase. Laptops are great, and wifi will make them even more popular, but to say desktops are dead is a stretch.

  31. He of the Dark,
    I’m pretty sure I’m not you. 🙂

    Funny, I’ve just gone from a 20″ wide screen to a 22″ widescreen and think I should have gone straight to a 24″. And some people think the future is reading from a 3″-15″ screen?

    I bet your optometrist loves you. 🙂

  32. Here’s an item I was told by our local Future shop dude. They are working with Alienware to bring them to Future shop( for those that haven’t heard of F.S they are like “best buy” up here in western Canada.
    Anybody else heard this?

  33. Well your bit on laptops vs desktop’s death has put you in your place. Maybe you should have put it out there what others thought,,, I use my laptop only because it’s faster than my old desktop (6yrs). I’m shopping now for great desktop because: want a larger keyboard, want more graphics (and the ability to upgrade without to much $$),want bigger screen etc.etc.

  34. I have to say your article is far too premature the desktop offers much more value for money and until the graphics improve and price falls way below desktop the laptop will be a student thing for note taking and used by reps to show me thir Company profile etc when they call.

  35. I have built 5 machines to be used in my house, for myself and 4 of my 5 kids, youngest is only 6 months. I paid less for all of them combined than i did for my wifes laptops. the first one got bumped and the fan died causing the mb to fry, the second one although twice the computer the first laptop was, it is still not as good as my 4 your old desktop, using its own onboard video.

  36. I Love the Desktop and always will I have two laptops My wife’s compaq burned my legs up and have had nothing but trouble with it of course you have to keep sending it back to get fixed.. I Just wanna say desktops will never go away ever.Easier to fix to by myself. Plus as someone else said on here I,m getting older and my eyes are not as good as they used to be.

  37. The desktop will go away, sorry, but it will. We are working hard to replace the laptop as well. Our goal is to have a cell phone with the power of a desktop, using wireless technology to sync to a flat screen, printer, and anything else that a desktop currently handles. You have just been made aware of the future of computers. Give it 10 years, so you desktop users are ok for a while.

  38. dark41… are you me? Our situations are strikingly similar. I have been building custom performance PCs in Aus for the past 6 years and agree with most of your perspective with one particular difference.

    Personally, I love notebooks and can quote a significant increase in notebook sales in the past 2 years over the previous 4. Notebooks are indeed far more powerful than their predecessors and can match most ‘marketed manufacturer shelf’ units. The practicality of notebooks is undeniable for home users, business professionals and yes, even gamers. I currently have an ASUS G70S on which I play many games (including Crysis – re: David Yahn) without any speed or graphic issues.

    However, I am in total agreement with you (and most other’s comments here) in regards that the home computer is far from being a dying breed for the same reasons, cost, space and customization. I suggest that notebooks will become more commonplace, equal to that of the ‘desktop’ computer though they will never replace them entirely.

    Again, our similarities as I also tend to have a different perspective to the PC Pitstop authors.

  39. Personally, I haven’t given in to the laptop as of yet. Most are far to fragile and unforgiving regardless of recent advances in speed and performance. I also don’t like the proprietary aspect of having to buy my replacement parts from the manufacturer instead of picking and choosing the best for the job. Lastly, I feel were still in an era of continuing advancements in laptops,much the same as we’ve already experienced in the past with desk top models. For these and several more reasons, I’ll continue to rely on my very very reliable desktop thats served me well. I’m going to need something far greater to pry my loose than speed that can be measured in something akin to the blink of an eye.

  40. Having been a system builder in AU for the last 6 years, both laptops and desktops have long been dead. The notebook replaced the laptop and the tower (mid, mini, full) replaced the desktop.

    Laptops were lugables. Notebooks are smaller and lighter.

    I still don’t see the correlation between phones and notebooks. Apples and oranges. If anything, the PDA is a combination of both. But no phone on the market today even comes close to what a blackberry can do (yes, even an IPhone is seriously lacking as far as I’m concerned).

    If computers ruined my eyes (I avoid notebooks whenever possible due to their slow nature and the fact that I can’t stand the keyboards), I can only imagine what will happen to the younger generations’ eyes using phones for internet/email.

    Desktops sat on your desk and were phased out even before notebooks came on the scene. I haven’t built a desktop in ages. I haven’t heard anyone refer to their desktop either (although my 70 year old mother often refers to her mid-tower box as the “CPU”).

    We build more home computers (mid-towers mainly) today than we ever did before. I don’t believe that home computers are a dying breed, nor will they ever be. Our top of the line system today is $500 cheaper than our top of the line system was 5 years ago, and today’s system is actually closer to the top of the line components.

    I used to build a few bare bones notebooks. Any more we refer people to retail stores for those. Too many options (components/appearance/size), too many restrictions (hardware/warranty-has to be returned to base), and too pricey (we can’t make a decent profit on top of the manufacturers’ inflated prices) are some of the reasons we quit dealing with notebooks. We get very few requests for notebooks.

    So once again I have a completely different perspective than PC Pitstop authors. That’s one thing which doesn’t seem to change much. 🙂

  41. I love my little lap top and bought a early dual processor -perhaps too early in the game. So after lots of questions to computer geeks (great respect) to deal with my frustrations with a clunker, I Frankensteined it and upgraded everything I could for $200 Cdn. I am so happy I did the upgrades etc. It zips along and keeps my lap warm all winter long -LOL.

    I agree life is too short to be a gamer but I love the upgraded sound card etc and use the extra space normally loaded with games to load up with all the luxuries in life that computers can offer to enhance my life. I have lots of music and use my cellphone, camera, and MP3 together with my laptop to have entertainment on my terms not the media moguls.

    I love the freedom of a laptop and use mine extensively in my work. It is a workhorse now and I can work anywhere in the world w/o the internet required. When it comes to any electronics, compact is my preference.

    My husband loves his desktop but recognizes he is glued there while using it. I am free. Choose what you want. But we want to tell desktop manufacturers to size them down, organize the back better, and get quieter fans. Laptops are easy access and organized well for plugins etc.

    Seniors just need to play with the keys and figure out how to expand the fonts. People are just too afraid of playing with computers. Back up everything and experiment.
    As far as RAM -yes you need to be greedy for all you can manage, but the solution is to block out as many cookies as you can, defrag and get rid of the hog programs like anything apple and those that add extra crap to your computer.

    Laptops can only get better and right now the batteries is the weakest link in laptops. So I only grab a tea where I can plug in. And I plan to have my laptop for a decade before I buy another, based on my purchase history, by upgrading and researching programs I use to avoid hogs. Viva the laptop!

  42. Well laptops are necessary for on the go people, I love the power of my desktop. It has the power to do all tasks in a short period of time. Try burning a movie, sending multiple files and play music on the most advanced laptop while surfing, and watch it sink. Desktops are the best by far!!

  43. My computer is a desktop. My bro’s computer is a desktop. Though I’m hoping to buy an EeePC in the future if its possible [budget makes it hard to do so] that’s pretty much the only laptop I’m interested in trying.

    Any laptop that is regular-sized [which can be VERY wide] is too heavy for me. I cannot lift one without both hands, and even then, its quite the strain on my wrists and arms. There’s no way I’d lug one of them around on my back.

    There is a way to have a portable desktop. Just go the Portable Apps route with a USB thumbdrive, or put a different OS on a USB thumbdrive, or do either/both with a miniature external USB Hard Drive that you can carry around like a wallet. Or, last but not least, you could use g.ho.st or YouOS or some other free web-hosted “your entire computer backed up to our server only to be used by you so its ANYWHERE for you” solution. The only drawback of this solution, is you need serious RAM.

  44. i first used a laptop back in the days of my 386 desktop computer

    while i found it ‘fun’ it was difficult to type on the smaller keyboard, and it didn’t have the memory that the desktop computer had (as limited as that was on a 386)

    the only time it would be nice to have a laptop is when i’m on vacation, and that’s for the kidlet to play games 🙂

    if my job involved travelling from site to site thru the day, and doing my work at the job sites, i would be most interested in a laptop…………hubby bought the EEE PC last Christmas, and that with an SD memory card or a USB flash stick would probably ‘do’ until i could get to the desktop, download the information, and create a back up ! 🙂

  45. The likelihood of the laptop REPLACING the desktop is about the same as that of the portable DVD player REPLACING a home theatre system (or to use another historical analogy, a Walkman replacing a HI-Fi sytem)!!!

  46. Laptops are fine for those who can’t do without their computer, cell phone, Black Berry etc;. My desk top works just fine. Not everyone has to have the latest greatest thing on the market. Not every one has to keep up with the Jone’s. Just because they make them doesn’t mean we have to purchase one every year or so. Desk tops are easier to had ram and other hardware. I will use mine till I can’t fix it.

  47. Baloney! It’s only a tool and smart people use the tool that works for them. I love my desktop. I’m not a gamer (2 M’s?)but a writer and I have two fast, efficent (and NO I will not switch to Vista!)running XP Pro. and I do a lot of research. It is fast and efficient although I curse Microsoft daily! and threaten to switch to APPLE, but I love t and it is the tool that works for me. I don’t want to take it out to the yard; I don’t want a little bitty screen; I don’t want constant interference with ads, and news, and who knows what! I love my desktop and you had better believe, I am not alone!
    Thanks for listening.
    Kate

  48. Boy – I loved my laptop – until first one and then then another of its plugs stopped working.

    And guess what? To fix them I must REPLACE THE MOTHERBOARD!

    Yes, it seems that in their great strides to produce a laptop, ALL the plugs are on the motherboard and can not be replaced or repaired – just buy a new motherboard. If you can find one that will work in your 2+ year old laptop, that is.

    So I sit at my desk with my DESKTOP and I am happy. I don’t need a computer to travel with so when it comes time to upgrade my desktop I will replace it with another desktop unless they solve the repair problems.

    Oh, and save a ton of money in the process. – jb

  49. for gaming comparing a laptop to a desktop is like comparing the geico gecko to godzilla. my new build (under $2000)is a 3,2 processor, vista 64 bit, 8 gb ram, 2x 750 gb and a 15000 speed raptor, with 2 gb video. price this in a freaking laptop. you cant because theres no such animal. demise of the desktop indeed!!!!!!!

  50. LOL, hasn’t this article stirred up some emotions. I would have to agree with the rest of the comments here. The desktop will never die! Maybe in the Apple world, where the zealots make their own proprietary gear not worth the pain of upgrading (iMac anyone?). HP and Dell will probably follow suit, and who cares really? Let them keep that market.

    For my money, nothing beats putting your PC together yourself, with components you have carefully researched. There is no way in hell that all the motherboard/ram/video/sound manufacturers are going to stop producing products for us intelligent people.

    Yes, I do have laptops also, including an EEEPC which lives in my 19″ toolbox, because it is a tool I use at work for diagnosing networking problems 🙂

  51. I would hate to see the demise of the desktop. While i enjoy the portablility i dont like the small screen, the even smaller keys with the shortcuts you cant use such as © which i use quite often, as well as my typing is much more horrible on a laptop due to smaller keys and closer together, as well as much more costly to replace a letter than on my multi media keyboard. Also, its much harder to play certain games on a lap top, like pool. As well, it takes alot more work to upgrade a lap top and i wouldnt actually attempt it myself, which means paying someone else. I actually put all the upgrades in my computer myself and my husband built our last other one completely, you cant really do that with a lap top. Also, children would be able to take their own computers where they want. I prefer knowing what my kids are up to. And yes, while lap tops seem to be getting more sophisticated quickly, its because of desktops these advances have been made. I would rather stick with my quicker computer, then go with one thats wow smaller, who cares? Just makes us more reliable on computers and less in touch with real people. Hopefully, we wont see an end in the near future.

  52. I’m up to a 24″ widescreen monitor with my desktop and recently purchased an HP laptop with a 17″ monitor. I also pack an LG VX6800 smartphone for the nitty-gritty stuff. I’ve also got enough RAM and HD memory to challenge the capacity of one of the early ’60s Computers! Truly, my inner geek is showing. . . .

  53. I am hoping someone was just jesting writing the early demise of my desktop. And I also,hope manufactures take notice of the comments here.i know it seems that some folks(i.e.)the youngest able to use a keyboard like smaller faster cooler looking electronics and computing power but even they realize that having it all on a single mobile device has made the product much more complicated even for their younger faster minds.They even see the need to diversify their task.Having everything on a single device keeps them in a perpetual squint and constantly afraid they are going to miss a message or some real”special” news event.My youngest is always glad to sit at the keyboard and monitor and surf the webb at a more liesurely pace.As with th other comments of a desktop is still more powerful and faster, it is true,and i think they will be at least for the near future.

  54. They each have their place therefore I don’t see either leaving anytime soon. Neither one shares each other dexterity either and until my laptop has a 30″ HD screen and a large keyboard and mouse to work on my laptop will be the second class citizen it continues to be. Pal, you missed the boat bigtime on this prediction.

  55. I know the younger genrations my feel like deaktops are obsolete. But until smaller computers (laptops or whatever) are made so “mature” folks can EASILY use them, the desktop will still be a highly desirable option. “Gray Foxes” have a lot of mula to spend,are becoming one of the biggest segments of our society, and many if not most do not like electronic devices that have text too small to easily read and controls too small to easily operate. Many, if not most feel the electronics industry have pretty much written them off. BIG MISTAKE!

  56. As there are many people out there still running old OS’s, there will be many people with desktops. One thing I know from experience, Desktops are easier to work on, more powerful and more realiable than laptops. There are many businesses with desktops and it’ll be a long time before they change to something that can be easily stolen.

    Stop the Hype and keep it real.

  57. Nothing but desktops. I have one at home and another at work. That’s all I’ve ever used. My wife uses the laptop. I got it for her so she would stay off my desktop and she pretty has it on the end table all the time so it might as well be a desktop. It’ll be a cold day in @#$@ before I start scrollin with a finger. lol

  58. Something I forgot to mention earlier: one of the things that makes desktops more powerful and speedy is multiple hard drives. Ever try that with a laptop? Due to the USB interface you would actually slow your laptop down. With my desktop, I have 4 hard drives. I have a primary with several partitions, one of which is just the OS. Another hard drive handles my paging file in one partition, my printer spool in another, cd/dvd burning in another, and a temporary download partition. You do get noticeable speed benefits by putting the paging file on a completely seperate internal drive. With a laptop, you’ve got to leave it in your windows partition, since putting it on another partition on the one internal you have slows you down as much as putting it on an externally-linked hard-drive. Additionally, I can have a large drive dedicated just to games, which increases loading speed and in-game access. Finally, I have a large storage drive. I can do all this with a desktop and still have all components cool, even with 10,000rpm Raptors and velociraptors. No, I say again, the desktop is not dead or dying.

  59. They both have a place and time to use them.
    Desktops will be around until the manufacturers decide the contrary… THEY RULE! I am surprised you have not figured that out yet.

  60. Read most of the comments, i am a proud Desktop Owner and though i can’t take it on the bus with me, i use my black berry when im on the go. I freaking love my desktop. LOVE IT. it’s close to it’s 3 year birthday, and I had to replace a Hard drive and a motherboard, but it was under warranty, and so far nothing has failed me since. I learned how to take better care of my system and perform routine Maintenance. I have a good relationship with my system. The upgrade capacity of my desktop doesn’t compare to any notebook computer I’ve used. I like the large keyboard, as i have large hands. and forget about the touchpad, it’s crazy small and I can’t get the same kind of precision i need, that i can get from my mouse or Tablet. Desktop 40, Notebook 0. Game. Set. Match.

  61. I jsut recently went from a highend desktop that I built to my new dell xpsm1730 at first is was kinda tricky getting used to it, but I converted it to a desktop, bought a 4port usb hub wireless keyboard and mouse from logitech, and an extra power supply from dell so the one I that came with can stay at my desk. With all of the unpluging of 3 cables, the usb port, the LAN, and the power my new lap(desk)top becomes portable, I love it, and have the use of all my periphrials

  62. There will be a breaking point where carrying a PC is not acceptable and a 17″ is getting us closer to it. At best a 21″ portable is about where we will end up before it is consider too much and desktop resolutions are getting better. The desktop is here to stay, but portables have become a much readier compromise on performance than ever before and WILL cut into the market.

  63. Never forget, “us” dinosaurs ruled the earth for millions of years, quite successfully, it seems. My 4-year-old Dell desktop has a 21″ flatscreen, 2GB Pentium, 60GB HD, 512 Meg RAM, floppy,(Yeah, I still love my Sony Mavica camera, floppy only) DVD-R, DVD-RW. The machine will still do things I don’t even know what are!

    At 53, I ordered a machine that I thought would carry me for many years… so far, so good. I have many young friends in college, some come by to use my system, and tell me that they want something “solid” when they take a test online.

    When in doubt, find a dinosaur. I realized that I am, to these kids, the same thing that my Dell is to me. It is a solid, stable base. Sitting in my swivel chair is like being in a cockpit. They know where everything is, they don’t have to look up, down, or sideways to see my screen, they are working with a dedicated land-line DSL.

    I tried a laptop once.

    Once.

  64. Desktops will always be faster than laptops because of the extra space. The faster the processor becomes the more cooling is needed to keep it from over heating. Laptops and PDA’s don’t have near as much room for cooling as desktops do. I’ve never seen a laptop with a liquid coolant system, but the high end gaming desktops do.

  65. I have a desktop that I have rebuilt fully or partially 20 times over the past 7 years. It has 2.5 TBs of drive space which is perfect for my video editing. I have saved a fortune buying and selling parts to keep it upgraded.I use a 20 in. Wide Screen which is essential in the work I do. Soon I will be upgrading again to 64bit and at least 6GBs of RAM. My videocard is also connected to my 37″ HDTV. My point is that at laest at this point the savings and storage alone make it well worth it to stay with my desktop for a long time.

  66. Predicting the death of the desktop is as laughable now as predicting the “paperless office” was 10 or 20 years ago. When I can get a laptop of similar specs to a desktop that doesn’t cost twice the money, then maybe I’ll start believing. Until then, I’ll be raking in every single core “dinosaur” I can find for virtually nothing, re-fitting them with Ubuntu and re-selling them on Craigslist for 100 bucks a pop.

    Some of us are adults trying to make a living, not children playing with shiny new toys.

  67. I am a 45 year collage grad,I don’t Know all
    the jargon you guys use..I am just P.C.
    literate. Im in MENSA and smart enough to
    literate.Just getting were I am has been a
    feat…I have dyslexia that is a 10 on a scale
    from one to 10.What I can do with with my Ten year old computer, only makes me pine for what
    I can’t do.I’ve got it in me I know with a grad-school degree,only because the teacher’s knew it and were flexable,chips and what the consumers demand,(what is on the shelves)are not flexable…….I am very envious of all of you p.c. pro’s .I wish I could interface with my desktop…anything,to need speed and the upgrades you guy’s sell and talk about.J.C.

  68. All I have to say is the reason there are more laptop choices than desktop choices is because it has become so much cheaper and easier to build your on desktop now. You still can not that I know of build your own laptop so you have to buy it retail. Desktops are not going away in the foreseen future due to the fact that they are so much faster and still far better than any laptop on the market.

  69. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I have an HP Pavilion 17 inch laptop with Windows Vista. I hate Vista and I detest the touchpad. It takes 3 to 5 passes across the touchpad to move the cursor from one side of the screen to the other. I use a trackball on the desktop computer and I can move the cursor across the whole screen with about 1 inch movement of my finger and with much better control. And have you ever tried to draw with the touchpad? Or lay out graphical windows cleanly while writing programs for windows. I bought a cordless mouse to use with the laptop. I would much rather have a trackball to use with it but the comfortable ones are too large to fit easily in the laptop case. For me the laptop serves only one purpose and that is for mobility only.

  70. Give me a laptop that can handle the vibration dished out by a Harley and costs under $1,000 and maybe I’ll carry it. Otherwise I’ll keep upgrading to a new cheap desktop every couple of years. I’m not going to work my butt off so I can afford a new laptop for work. If I can’t get it done by cell phone it’ll wait until I get home. I even turn the cell phone off at times…Everyday is a vacation.

  71. Did you stop to consider that maybe the reason that there were so many more laptop models is that they need more models because they are not customizable? If I buy a desktop computer, I can buy a model that has the basics of what I want and then add to it and end up with a combination that is exactly what I want. I can’t do that with a laptop. Then, when I want to upgrade, I don’t have to buy a new machine and scrap a perfectly good machine because it doesn’t have what I want. I certainly hope desktop machines are on the way out. I would like that as much as I like Windows Vista. NOT!!!

  72. Laptops have always seemed like toy computers to me. I can certainly see their immense value for people who are mobile..traveling salesmen etc. but for someone like me who doesn’t travel at all anymore, there’s nothing like a nice desktop system sitting in my room. A pic of mine is on my group website. I wouldn’t trade it for 100 laptops!

  73. I’m with Bigboss, I need a decent sized screen. If a Blackberry can be hooked up to a 19″-22″ or even a 42″ on the wall monitor, that would be awesome!
    But it’s true that desktops will die off, especially now that OLED screens are in our future.

  74. “SSD and no explanation. Never heard of it – what is it?” = Solid State Drive, they are still in heavy development, wait a year then buy.

    As for the death of the PC… some of us view the laptop like ZZ Top did sunglasses, “They come in two classes, rhinestone shades and cheap sunglasses. If your in the sun you may need them, if not you just might be hiding something or from someone. You’ll get my PC if you must, when this body has returned to dust. 😉

  75. I love my desktop, but I’m also a gamer and notebooks just don’t have the power I need at a price I can afford. Additionally, gaming is best done wired. My husband likes the notebook computer, especially its portability, and I can see that someone who uses only productivity software and youtube would be more attracted to the portability of the notebook.

  76. I have been building personal computers since 1982. Desktops will not become extinct, however I admit the notebook/laptop has gained popularity, which has thankfully driven down prices. I have had laptops for the past 20 years, but only one at a time. They usually have to be replaced to upgrade to the latest technology, whereas my main box(es) only need a mobo (much less expensive). I am about to buy a new laptop, my old one having Windows Me (for crying out loud!) My quest is to find one that has the OS on removable EEPROM. My WinMe laptop has the OS on chip, but not enough room to load WinXP and is soldered in. What’s the use of upgrading HDD, etc. if you can’t upgrade the OS? Laptop makers have been getting away with keeping upgradability difficult and/or expensive in order to facilitate replacement, which increases sales. As long as we continue to adhere to a throw-away society, we will line the pockets of laptop manufacturers. My position is I can live without the latest and greatest laptop… I’ll do with what I have invested in a laptop and use my desktop for my main system as long as possible. Money spent upgrading for speed (h/w) and compatibility goes into my desktop.

  77. I was injured and have been in bed for 13 months 95% of the time. Without a laptop I would be committed to an insane asylum.

    My desk top, in 13 months, has become as archaic as Michael Jackson music or a Model-T compared to a Lexus.

    Big laptops are necessary for people with screwed up fingers.

  78. I see alot of people refering to the screen size of the laptops as being to small, I am a contractor and use my laptop both in my office and at home. In my office i plug it into a 28″ moniter and can do takeoffs just fine. At home if i need a bigger screen i just plug it into my 50″ lcd tv (a bit of an overkill, but very cool). I have desktops at my office but will never give up my laptop. I love my wireless printing and internet options as well.

  79. The laptop is portable but for any point in time it is under-powered, severely limited in expansion, has a too small screen and the keyboard is absoluted torture to use when compared to even modest desk top machines.

    Laptops no matter how good are just a pain where the sun doesn’t shin. Short battery life, small screens and lousy keyboards relegate them to being moderately useful under some circumstances unless you are masochistic by nature.

    As for telephones having cameras and a bunch of other gadgets they should stick to being telephones. The cameras lack the quality lens of a real camera resulting in pictures and video of poor quality regardless of pixel count.

    As the population ages and eyesight becomes worse, all these small screened devices will become more and more useless to more and more of the population.

  80. Desktops have thier uses, but not for me. I haven’t used a desktop for almost 5years, since I became legally blind.

    Laptops have pretty much decreased in price, and increased in productivity during that time.I can use my laptop at work without having to bother my employers with such annoying details as having them install special software on one of thier work machines so I can use it, wich frees up thier machine for someone else to use. All I do is tap into thier network with my machine, and I’m off and running.

    The other advantage of having a laptop is that I can work from anywhere. At home, in a coffee shop, A hotel room, or even by the pool. Some folks don’t like the weight of a laptop, but for all mine does for me, I’ll put up with that extra weight.

  81. I use a laptop with a favored external keyboard and a large flat screen in my office, then disconnect to travel. Works for me.

    I don’t do gaming but significantly power-use for business. I could really see downsizing my current high end HP laptop for something more portable as long as I don’t give up computing punch when I use it in the office mode.

  82. What a strange article to suggest that desktop computers are on their way out. With all the additional items that have to run at Startup on laptops, the weird Services that everyone is still trying to identify, all the unknown stuff HP runs in the background that typically prolongs Startup and bogs it down, not to mention the fragility of laptops and the carelessness of the people who own them, I’d rather invest my $800 (or more) in a killer desktop computer that will blow away any laptops that I’ve seen lately. I have a laptop that I can use if need be, but my desktop computer gets all the use. My laptop will never be as fast as my desktop.

    Desktop computers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon (if ever) and to suggest that they are is kind of silly if you ask me.

  83. As much as many of us stick with having desktops around, the fact is that laptops are indeed taking over the market.

    laptops outsold all desktops by a wide marging, that margin is increasing all the time.

    I will have a desktop macine around for as long as I can get the parts to build them, but there is no doubt there will come a day when we will see pictures of them somewhere and laugh at them, much the same way a kid today would laugh at a picture of the first PC made by Apple founders.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Apple_I.jpg

  84. I have been debating whether to get a laptop or desktop for my next computer upgrade. Based on this discusion, I will buy a desktop with a larger LCD monitor. Lower price and speed of computer beat portability.

  85. I think that you are all wet. The size of the laptop makes for only portability. Have you tried to work a laptop 8 hours or more continuously? Think about stability, storage, speed, monitor size, and duribility and you have to think “DeskTop.”

  86. So far as portability is concerned in the home or office, a wireless keyboard is an awful lot more portable and convenient than a laptop. When laptops achieve the size and weight of a keyboard (and with a 22″ monitor), I might buy one for the home and office – if it is the same price as a desktop.

    Laurie Penman

  87. I’m up to a 24″ widescreen monitor with my desktop and recently purchased an HP laptop with a 17″ monitor. I also pack an LG VX6800 smartphone for the nitty-gritty stuff. Truly, my inner geek is showing. . . .

  88. I’ll stick with my desktop. I build my desktops and I don’t need portability or a constant connection for email or any other services. I have a life outside outside of computers, phones and what have you.

  89. surely the main advantage of a desktop (and I applaud all the folks who have cited cheapness and speed) is that you CAN’T take it with you, thereby neatly separating WORK and Leisure. Too many employers have got into the habit of thinking that the employees time is their time; lugging a laptop around just to satisfy this eroneous supposition is just not on. The same applies to the mobile phone, the blackberry and the office manager chasing you down the street after leaving time!

  90. Me and my 2 siblings both have laptops now and my mother once mentioned throwing away the old HP with XP and 512MB of RAM so that would make our house completely laptop oriented. We still haven’t done so but I know that I enjoy getting inside old desktops when I get the opportunity. I certainly would not write them off yet.

  91. I agree that the days of the desktop PC are numbered. I believe however that the PC as such will be replaced by a media centre performing the duties of a PC plus replacing the DVD Player for music and film. The Laptop will run alongside the media centre for portability and freedom of use.

  92. You know how many times I have read about the death of the PC over the past decade?
    Me neither. But, the point is, I was reading this stuff 10 years ago; and we’ll probably be reading it still 10 years from now.

  93. Portables are nice. I have a fancy gaming desktop replacement notebook with all the bells and whistles, including the docking station to make it more like a desktop. It’s great for the road and hooking up to a TV or whatever. But the heat it expells, and the battery life are short. If I trade those off, I get sub-par performance.

    At the time of purchase it greatly overshadowed my old gaming desktop computer. It was a real monster of a laptop. But the desktop just seems more comfortable with a real mouse, full keybaord and so on. Even though I got the upgrades and base for my laptop to have the same fullsize keybaord and mouse, it still isn’t the same. Those little fans are loud and I worry about the heat on a hot day. The slow hard drive and so on plague it.

    I’m sitting at a custom built gaming desktop computer now, and it’s virtually silent. It’s comparable in price to the laptop, but it’s at least twice as fast and runs cool and quiet. No worries on a hot day, and it offers more capacity and easier upgradeability. I’ve taken my laptop apart to clean it, and I can tell you, it’s not easy to upgrade that, besides RAM and video card. I can’t just replace the motherboard and CPU to gain new features or performance. It’s all propietairy. Both have their place. But when I want to enjoy an HD video or HD game, I’ll do it on my desktop with my 25.5″ widescreen and 7.1 surround sound. Besides, the more smaller and portable they get, the easier they are to steal and lose. I think desktops will always have their place, at least in my home.

  94. I travel a lot with my RV and you are going to think that I prefer my laptop. However, I actually prefer my desktop even in my RV. Like many others have stated, they are less expensive, much more capability and easier to operate. The only reason I take my laptop is that there are places where you must take your computer into an office or public place to get internet connection. However, many places now have internet connections in the park which allows me to operate from the RV. I do a lot of video editing and picture editing which is much easier on my desktop.

  95. I can’t believe the number of replies that sound very much like the words of IBM white coats in the late seventies claiming back them that us mere mortals will never use desk top computers…..

    Where’s you’re VHS or Beta player gone? What about the desk top phone with the round dial? When was the last time you used a public phone booth? I’m not a techno-geek but nor am I a porta-phobe and yes I remember black and white HMV TV’s. Listen to you all.

    Lets face it computers in general are obsolete within an operating system release so all the swapping of hardware bits is a seriously flawed value proposition for the desk top environment.

    Unless your a die hard techo who collects cards and chips like car officionados do their old models you cant beat mobility.

    My desktop environment is a Dell Precision M70 portable desktop, (AKA laptop) it runs one the most graphics hungry 3D drafting programs in the world that the majority of desktops with high end graphics just collapse over. It uses the latest release CAD software on a 4 year old machine with everybody’s enemy XP and it runs fine. It came standard with dual graphics card so I have two LCD monitors on my desk.

    Like you I too dislike small key boards and cables so for office work I run a wireless USB 110 extended keyboard and mouse, a wireless USB on-screen calculator, external speakers with all the punch a USB multi-card reader to down load the various work camera chips not to forget a 3D navigator called a Space Pilot that crashes most desk top graphics cards. You should try spinning a 3D model like it was a spinning top.

    Here’s the difference between the chains of the desk top and the FLEXIBILITY of a portable environment.

    I work from home on Friday’s but oh, if it were a desktop I would need another $10,000 CAD program or stay in the office. But wait, I have a portable device. Just unplug the ethernet cable pack up the smaller peripherals and I’m off. Ohhh, sorry guys you’ve got to stay behind your desks, see you Monday.

    Now, it gets better, you see I have teenager daughters and we don’t subscribe to the antisocial concept of computers in bedrooms so we limit the wireless network range at home so we all sit together in the “living” room and work on our interests with and around each other. If somebody wants a little privacy they go into the TV room and plug their laptop in the the LCD TV.

    You’d be surprised at the level of social interaction you have with your family when you are social computing. We watch youtube segments together, discuss news articles, joke over instant message replies and just generally talk about family stuff.

    But wait there’s more. I don’t like traveling with laptops. I still believe their ‘luggables’. That’s when my netbook kicks in. For a few hundred dollars I have a portable office that fits in a lunch box. With a USB 3G modem I use gmail, google docs and all the other online tools so I can go anywhere and you can reach me any time. I can also plug in to someone elses ethernet when I get to my destination borrow an LCD screen and I’m back in front of a desk top environment again.

    There is one desk top in our life. It’s an old box I couldn’t bring my self to get rid of so being a kid of the late seventies I turned it into a classic stand up arcade terminal with all the buttons, joy sticks, coin slot with classic arcade games running XP and MAME software. My daughters and I often dual each other at Gyruss or Space Invaders.

    The games machine is too big to cart into the TV room so we plug my wife’s laptop into the TV and watch online short films before we throw in a DVD main feature. Remember the days you went to the cinema and watched a Road Runner short before interval. We do and it’s off the laptop.

    So there is one use for a desk top computer. I could use an old laptop and save on space but this is my classic collectable moment. One day friends will come over and marvel at my old pentium desktop computer and classic arcade games and we’ll wax lyrical over the good old days of desk top PC’s and the corporate battle that raged for years between two extinct companies called Microsoft and Apple. Ah, the good old days.

    Apart from nostalgia, you have got to be kidding when you say the world should remain desktop. Either that or find a flightless bird for a pet. Hang on, I don’t know if you’ll find a Dodo anymore. Fly to New Zealand I think they still have Kiwi’s there. You’ll probably find a few desktops too. It’s nice to replace sheep jokes.

  96. I agree with the desktop enthusiasts. The laptop is OK for travel, but with its inferior keyboard, smaller display, limited expansion capability, impracticality for significant upgrading and expandability, and price disadvantage, I think the desktop will be the primary computer in most homes and businesses in the foreseeable future.

  97. Major advantage over desktop – not tied to a desk!
    Games? I can play nearly all games. Maybe not at astronomical settings, but I can play them!
    Blu-ray, yep!
    Play Blu-ray at 1920×1080? No prob! Screen is 1920×1200.
    Burn Blu-ray, you betcha!

    Sitting up in bed, on the sofa, out in the backyard on a nice day, where ever!

    Go on a vacation/trip – no way I would pack up a desktop and monitor + keyboard and mouse.
    Grab a laptop? Sure!

    Price? Well, sure! Duh!
    … and if you had the disposable cash, you can get a laptop that will walk away from most desktops.
    Eurocom – Google it!

    Typing this from the livingroom on the sofa.

  98. Laptops are for pussies. I don’t want that crap they call a laptop… too thin, too light, too stuck with the damn innards… give me something big, huge, weighs 30 lbs that I can kill someone with. Give me something I can work on, screw that Apple/Mac mentality that you’re stuck with your wafer thin crap. Free me with PC! PC is king because it’s configurable to what you want when you want it! (so I made mine)

    Yes, there are people out here with muscles that can carry a big machine, work on it, run a network as well. The rest of you are pussies.

  99. I have no way of knowing why computer commentators keep predicting the demise of the desktop; do you all meet at a luxury hotel to make this stuff up? Sure, laptops have a signifcant advantage in portability, but not all of us earn our keep piling up frequent flier miles. Until a laptop comes with a keyboard as good as or better than what a I can CHOOSE for my desktop, try to keep a level head and just send me a note or call telling me what the boys have decided is the “next best thing” this year.

  100. There a couple of problems with the idea of desktops disappearing — namely, screen size and keyboards. Normal sized keyboards aren’t likely to disappear unless speech recognition becomes a lot more widely accepted than it is now. And big screens are not going to disappear either.

    I think that a “docking station” of some kind will be likely to predominate in the future, where you can plug in whatever you are carrying with you and get the advantage of the big screen and keyboard you have in your house. That will be the desktop computer of the future.

  101. Ernie Mink… Vista sucks, its as secure as windows 95 and we know how secure that is.

    Laptops are ok if you are on the go and dont do much in the way of gaming or processing as the battery life on most laptops is often 100times lower than the “speed” the Gpus and Cpus in laptops are often troublesome and more expensive than a desktop to upgrade.

    To sum it up here goes:

    Work processing – Desktop
    Play/graphics – Desktop
    Web/Email on the go – Laptop
    Power and comfort – Desktop
    Upgradeability – Desktop
    Good system over Cost – Desktop

    Laptops are far far far far from being that effective.
    Desktops are faster and will take at least 5-10 years or more before laptops can actually match the same usefulness.
    The big question is: who’s fooling who for profit?
    The companies that sell u “bloatware” laptops at high cost, when u could of bought a higher end desktop for half the price that will last 3-4 years more before an upgrade over a laptop system, generally saving loads of cash, and getting more for less.

  102. What’s the message here?

    Anyways, you also have to look at the format of a computer.
    A desktop-computer with a separate monitor is a lot handier that a block of a computer called a laptop.
    It’s also way easier to work on it’s parts and it WILL perform better.
    Plus, as said before, the smaller the parts, the more expensive it will be.

    “Desktops”, even though they might change, will always be around for static use.
    Portable is portable…

  103. Laptops will only become ‘more portable’, closing the gap with the hand-helds of today. They cannot yet provide the providence of features, graphics, and cost effectiveness of a
    good desktop. Desktops, which I’m amazed no one mentions are also evolving – and will soon be the central cores to many a household, not only serving up the internet and online tv programming, but also controlling and eventually maintaining stereo systems and much more in many households.
    AS for the IT world in which I speak, you can only get so small when it comes to typing that it becomes un-natural, which we’ve already seen.
    When kids can type as fast with two thumbs as most of us can with 10 digits, we’ve bought into the wrong technological
    marvel… we’ll have created a new syndrome of ailments from carpal-tunnel, to joint issues related to repetitive use of only two digits, and over time man will evolve to only have a claw….

  104. So, you’ve pronounced the desktop dead, or a dying breed. Are you insane? Online retailers sell all the pieces necessary for serious computer users who want power, good cooling, excellent graphics, and easy upgradeability and repair. Those sales are through the roof as more and more people realize it’s not rocket science to piece together the individual components they want and suit thier needs. Laptops have a place, but are by no means capable or able to keep up with a good desktop. I’m NOT talking about the desktops sold as a unit by Dell, Gateway, or HP, etc., as those things are weak, full of low-end proprietary parts that are nearly impossible to upgrade or tweak usefully. Take a look at forums devoted to gaming, overclocking, building, and CGI stuff. You will soon realize that there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of enthusiasts out there who build DESKTOPS. If you really want to compare, don’t compare a current laptop of today to desktops 4 years ago. In the computer industry, 4 years is an eternity. Do you realize the advances in speed, capacity, and graphics that have been made in the last 4 years in desktops? It would be the equivalent of comparing a caveman’s stone-tipped spear to a nuclear weapon! Sir, you are off base and premature in your pronouncement. Please check your facts in the future, because it is reckless pronouncements like that which will cause it to happen, simply because of the large number of as-yet inexperienced computer users who will take your words and never know any better. That is, until they buy a laptop, and have a lingering feeling that something just isn’t right when they try to run the future’s equivalent of a game like Crysis (top of the heap) or cannot design a huge architectural design on an intensive CGI interface. Here’s hoping you apologize to those of us who know the truth: Laptops have their uses, but the desktop is king.

  105. Laptops are fine for business travel and general portability but can and NEVER will replace the desktop for power, graphics, better colling and airflow, and upgradeability. That is a no-brainer. And with Vista being better, more secure and smoother than XP (proven by me and millions of others), that is a DEFINITE no-brainer.

  106. You can’t beat a desktop assembled with hand-picked state-of-the-art or current components for power and bang for the buck. I’ve been building them for nearly 25 years and the demand for the latest and greatest multi-media systems isn’t diminishing anytime soon. Best Buy stores just carry cheap disposable systems with ‘Bloatware’ that nobody uses, are outdated several months after purchase and are difficult or expensive to upgrade. Don’t bury the desktop prematurely, though. According to Newegg.com and Tigerdirect.com sales it’s still got many good years ahead of it.

    Many persons have bought into the laptop hype only to realize that that great deal doesn’t perform as well under the clam shell as their ‘old’ desktop that they donated to their kid’s room. But they can watch TV and surf the web now…. You did, however, make many good points about the future of portables and laptops in particular as technology shrinks to fit the portable foot-print. I can hardly wait till GPU’s reverse their trend and get smaller and more powerful. I’m NOT holding my breath.

    Business persons and students benefit the most from portability. Home bodies may too as laptops are easier to store. They are great for surfing the web and attending to email/vmail. Musicians and video producers likewise have migrated to the laptop. Most gamers that enjoy great graphics, speed and lots of memory will look elsewhere to consoles or super PC gaming rigs that are best hand-assembled by the enthusiast, such as myself. And although they may not fit on your lap and are not easily portable many compact systems can be carted about using straps, backpacks or customized suitcases just to name a few conveyances that are seen at LAN parties.

    Even a few gaming laptops are impressive although they cost upwards to 10 grand if you want state-of-the-art multi-GPUs and components, weigh a ton and you wouldn’t want them on your lap for very long. They rival last years best mainstream desktop gaming rigs. But know this: the best GPU’s aren’t getting any smaller. Some multi-GPU varieties barely fit into mid-tower cases crammed with other goodies like harddrives and optical drives.

    I know many persons that no longer own desktops. I’d love one or two or three for that matter. But laptop features continue to lag behind by many years as you noted above. For the price of one fully outfitted gaming laptop I can build three Quad core, multi-GPU super gaming desktops that most laptop owners won’t touch for at least 3 years hence.

    Limiting heat and improving battery life are just two more crucial elements necessary before any threat to the desktop can be taken seriously. I like the idea of the laptop but for now its implimentation is like going to a gourmet restaurant and being told that you may only look at the food on your plate, but go ahead and enjoy the aroma too.

  107. Death of the Desktop — get real! The PDAs, various iterations of the Palm types, elaborate phones and especially the iPhone, will never replace the Desktop. The aforementioned are woefully short in capabilities and are too often just very expensive toys (eg iPhone). For travel purposes, a balanced laptop configuation is clearly the way to go (can be kept cost effective). However, nothing in ‘small’ comes even close to the OQO 02 UMPC (I have one). Even with it’s docking station, a wireless mouse and an optional Bluetooth foldable keyboard, the screen is just too small after a short while. And, it’s screen is a heck of a lot better than most other mini devices. As with fully loaded laptops or very small loaded notebooks, the OQO 02 is very pricey. In a class all by itself. And, forget this nonsense about ‘cloud computing’ — not going to happen at a large scale. The concept is basically ridiculous and few are going to give up the ‘p’ in PC.

  108. laptop will never replace desktop and her why– desktop are upgradeable— expandable– and cheaper then laptop– and you can not drop them lol

  109. I think it will be quite a while – if ever – before the desktop becomes obsolete. They are more affordable and upgradable.

    Portables have their place, but so do desktops.

  110. Laptops are great for leaving home and you realy want and need to take a computer along i have a old singel core lap top some one gave me a few mounths ago i got it up and running with a few setting in the bios and bam windows loads now i do a little checking and not enough memory for running Windows XP so i go to my Desktop and search for memory and with in a day or so found out what kind of memory my laptop took and surfed the web and oredered 2 512mb or ram and put it in whaen it had arived wowo what a difference now it works great for checking the weather or watching something wile im eating but i allways end up on my Desktop when i ready to surf the web check mail or do some serius gameing i have 7 other desktops up and running in the house for in my pc room where when i acn get the children over for some multiplayer gameing ! got a closet of old pc parts that work just fine but need to up grade and make them duel core and more ram and definitly better video cards fot he new game we bought that the old one wont hardly play now so i cant see my lap top ever takeing the place of my many Desktops ever !! I go to my oldest sons house and me and his friends play multi player games there we have 6 desktops there we all play on together so i cant see us ever doin it on lap tops one of his friends tryed one weekend he wanted to play so he signed on to are net work and try to play on his lap top didnt work only his dual core laptop didnt have it to play he laged and solwed the game down so out he had to go lol every desktop i have and my son has i built from parts and im allways halfing to up grade every time some new game comes out that we half to buy and play hope we dont get any new ones any time soon well that enough from me Thanks Matthew

  111. I agree with Mel. I just purchased a Dell XPS 720 H2C with a quad processor for gaming and business. 10Mb/sec cable connection and 750 gig raid setup and dual nVidia graphic cards. You can not currently pack this kind of power in a laptop and if you could, it would run you 10K. Aside from all this, laptop monitors are still behind in clearity and brightness compared to even older anolog CRT’s. After being spoiled on internet speeds of 1.2 MB per second downloads, I have to tell you, you can keep Verizon and your laptop!!

  112. I used to feel the same way about my Toshiba laptop – desktops were history.

    Four years in, though, many of the letters had worn off the keyboard – I don’t even want to think about the replacement cost – then the screen died and the thing overheated massively (as there’s a heat sink and vent directly blow the screen, these two events were probably not unrelated. The cost of repair would have been nightmarish – I bought a new desktop base unit for less than the screen alone would have cost. Until laptops become more user-friendly when it comes to repairs (and upgrades, of course), they’ll never replace desktops. I wouldn’t have another.

    Unlike Ron in Tampa, though, I loved the keyboard’s size – using a full-size one slows my typing – and a mini-keyboard for my desktop machine is on its way.

  113. I have been using a desktop for over 10 years and although they are big, you can easily add new hardware, faster video cards, and it is like working on an old auto where you can easily get to the engine. I am not a gamer but when I see fantastic sales such as hard drives, faster DVD’s and other interesting paraphanalia, and of course higher memory capacities at low cost, it is well worth it. I still even use my CRT 17″ monitor which works well but a flat screen would be better because of small size and light weight. I have changed my motherboard twice as well as replacing my hard disk. I didn’t even spend much money on it. Because I know about computers at least on the hardware end, this gives me an added advantage in doing everything myself including repairs. I save thousands of dollars in doing it myself than relying on outside tech support. Anyway, thats my thoughts.

  114. I have a desktop I have not used for a long time. I had a surgery 1000 miles from home with having to stay in that area for several weeks for follow up. I bought this little Averatec 3280 for the occasion. It is so much handier than a desktop that I use it 100%. I have an ATT aircard that lets me use it on the road. I am not troubled by screen size, in fact I wouldn’t want to lug a larger one around. The handy size is why I chose this one.
    What in the world do these gamers get out of life. I have never been so bored I would do something like that.

  115. I have a water cooled quad core, overclocked from 2.4 to 3.6 ghz. You can’t do that with a laptop. Gloating aside, I used a “laptop” with a docking station in 1993, and it worked great. The laptop had all the power I needed for work on the road, and the docking station gave me a “real” keyboard and monitory in the office. You don’t hear much about docking stations anymore, but I need a real keyboard and monitor to be productive in the office. As others have noted, the small keyboard and screen is great on a plane, but not in the office.

  116. For my personal use, it is a laptop as I am in grad school and use it for note taking etc. Much easier to move the laptop rather than syncing files between a laptop and a desktop. I have done that in the past. It just never seemed to work for me. Of course, I’m not an IT professional so there might have been options I never tried which might have made it easier. It just seemed a bit cumbersome.

    As a high level finance manager, it was desktops for all of us at work. We had no need for the portability that a laptop gave. Also, it is a bit harder to ‘lose’ a desktop. I moved files via a usb drive when I needed to work at home. Also, the cost of a desktop versus a laptop was significant for my budget.

  117. I only use my laptop when I don’t have the option of a desktop. It doesn’t have a 22″ screen, it’s not hooked up to an amp and hi-fi speakers, it doesn’t have an ergonomic keyboard and it doesn’t have a TB of storage. It’s really just there as a means for me to check my mail & forums or watch the latest tv downloads while I’m away from home. It’s prety rare for me to actually do anything productive on it. I only ever switch it on while at home to sync my data.

  118. Hate to point out the obvious but you can attach external monitors and keyboards to laptops. OK – there’s added cost, but it does give you the ergonomic etc convenience when at your desk, and the luggable convenience when on the move.

  119. Laptops spell conspicuous consumption. Desktops can be modified much easier and can be retained longer and cost much less. The laptop screens aren’t built for anyone over 30.

  120. I’ve built 2 desktops for my family. I’ve constantly looked at laptops, but hard to upgrade (a major factor), only one step above current desktop: whereas a new desktop (especially if a build) is at blazing cutting edge. This means you live w/ the extra $$$ spent on a laptop w/out ability to upgrade much, and smaller screen sizes (almost all new desktops come w/ 19-21″ LCD’s now). Laptop has role: but for most of us a performance step down in a less formal environment. I like a lg screen, sit down environment to ans e-mail & compose …, both at work & at home.

  121. Oh man.don’t tell all the musicians and audio engineers that.Maybe lap top are great for business but they lack in the audio department without adding all sorts of add on cards.On board audio on lap tops is crap.
    I’m waiting for Creative Labs to start making their own laptops with their sound card installed in them.

  122. I have two laptops but prefer my desktop because of the keyboard and the monitor size.
    Also, you can upgrade a desktop a lot easier and cheaper than you can a laptop. As far as I am concerned Desktops are here to stay…

  123. I tried to use a laptop for stock market but they are too small. Now I use desktop and 2 screens, 20″, 4:3 ratio so I can see all 22 windows that I need open.

  124. I try to achieve the best of both worlds, and it’s not necessarily expensive. I about a grand for a laptop with a 14″ extra-resolution screen. It’s easy enough to carry around, and the keyboard is full size. That makes it easy to use when I’m on the move. Then, when I’m in my office, I connect it to a nice, big LCD, mouse keyboard and speakers.

    You’d never confuse my laptop for one of the screaming high performance models, but I’ve never had a complaint about its speed, either. Overall, I’m very happy with my dual-role system.

  125. I know I can’t live without my desktop. An affordable and easily available upgrade path is a definite must for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a laptop and it is useful for certain things (traveling, owner’s manuals, music, playing with my truck’s pcm…). I just can’t see shelling out that much money (3-4 grand) for something that has limited upgrade potential. I think I will be sticking with desktops and using my laptop when I need portability.

  126. Two things are stopping laptops from over taking and surpassing desktops… price and the ability to easily upgrade any and every component on the laptop. The latter more so than the former.

    When I can take a year old laptop upgrade the video card or motherboard by going down the street to “John Doe’s Computer store” and buying the part to upgrade it myself (like a desktop), then there will be no real reason to have a desktop.

    Here’s hoping that day comes soon!

  127. Without a desktop I wouldn’t have a computer.

    I don’t use a pda, cell phone or laptop. I have poor vision and trying to see anything on these little toys is impossible. Sorry, I don’t wish to read only 1 letter at a time.

    So, y’all keep you’re little cute techie toys, but leave my desktop alone.

  128. Desktops vs. laptops vs. portables

    Each has their own niche. Desktops have the advantage of easy upgrade, easy addition/upgrade of existing storage, large displays.

    I’m writing this on a dual core HP 17inch. It has all the bells and whistles, 320Gb storage and does not compare to my desktop. And I don’t expect it to, they each have a niche in my computer life.

    Declare the desktop dead when it’s as easy to upgrade a laptop as it is a desktop and the storage and display issues are no longer issues. And yes, I know you can hook a large monitor to the laptop. Kind of makes it a desktop when you do that.

    Until then (and for the foreseeable future) I believe desktops will continue to be very much in demand.

  129. I will be sticking with my desktop (which I built myself) as it is very easy to upgrade and my computing doesn’t require mobility. There is not much you can do to a laptop, so it means ditching it and buying a whole new machine. My son went the laptop route (Toshiba) and a year later it went up in a puff of smoke. Salesman at the store he bought it from said ‘you were using it too much, you can’t use it like a desktop’!!! I rest my case.

  130. I consider a laptop to be a throw away item. They are so small that they are not repairable at a reasonable price. I have a laptop that I use as a 2nd computer and also encase I travel, but they speed of the laptop is much slower than my PC.

  131. Although I have close to a dozen desktops for my employees, I have used nothing but laptops for 20 years. The Toshiba keyboard is by far my favorite. But I upgrade every couple of years, looking now at the T9500 processor and 4GB of ram, since my core duo 1.83 with 2 GB or ram can’t handle what I process.

  132. The desktop is long from becoming extinct.
    Until laps can accommendate more than 1 hdd and dvd drive, they will be nothing but hi-tech toys. And with the high-end prices on them, one can get a very serious desktop that will run circles around any laptop. laptops are for wanna’ be pcer’s and desktops are for the real pc guru’s!

  133. As one of the aging citizens of the U.S.A. I find the laptop screens too small for my aging eyes. And believe me most of you if you’re lucky will have the same problem sooner or later. Price is also a big factor, I can purchase a desktop for half the price of a comparable laptop.

  134. I hope you are wrong. I have a new laptop and a high-end computer I built last year (Intel quad core with sli).

    I use the laptop when I have to, but my preference is the desktop. Not only is it faster, cheaper, and easier to work on, it is much better for gaming.

    To me laptops are (while great for their purpose) a necessary inconvenience.

  135. I think the prediction about the desktop demise is premature because I don’t see them getting any smaller. In fact I see quite the reverse, especially when it comes to gaming machines as well as office machines.

    One of the main reasons as I see it is that laptops and micro machines like PDAs, while great for travel and on the go, are not comfortable to operate because of their small and uncomfortable keyboards for data entry and operating. Also their screens are generally too small – I am using a 21 inch monitor and could use an even bigger one. I doubt any of these things will change for the foreseeable future.

    Ron in Tampa

  136. the reason i dont like laptops (for most people not gamers) is the heat. I know this seems silly but i have had second degree burns from my hp laptop and sony vaio. This needs to be big improvement. ESPECIALLY with multicore laptops.

    Heat kills.

  137. so you like laptops-i’m glad -you will pay at least twice as much for a quad-core laptop than you would a quad-core desktop.laptop memory & harddrives & graphic cards are slower than a desktop. but i’m glad you laptops.serious gamers like desktops.

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