So, I bought a laptop

Alright, now I have to eat a little crow. This is regarding my little essay from less than a year ago titled Laptops vs Desktops. I went with a Toshiba Satellite 1905-S303. I actually bought it from Circuit City of all places. Mainly because I wanted the extended warranty they offered and also because it would be convenient to return it to someplace local if it had problems. Very glad I did, because the first one I got had a single pixel that was always lit. They let me swap it out without any fuss.

Spec-wise, it's very nice. You can click the above links for details on it, but briefly, they are: 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 processor, 15 " display, 512 MB DDR RAM, 40 GB hard drive. DVD/CD-RW drive. Built in Ethernet. Built-in V.92 modem. Ok, it weighs 8.3 pounds -- a little on the hefty side, but I could use the excercise.

Well, so why did I do something I said I'd never do again? Let's re-examine my points for buying a desktop over a laptop in light of my recent purchase (you'll have to refer to the aforementioned essay for proper context):

  • Hey, it's cheaper: Ok, no argument here. Laptops are going to cost more money. But I just so happen to have a little left and besides, Circuit City was offering no-interest-financing for a year. I practically had to do it.
  • Components are cheaper too. Again, very true. But this time I bought the thing fully loaded, so I'm not looking to buy more components for a good while.
  • Long-lasting. My desktops have outlasted every laptop I've ever known, but I don't actively use either beyond 2-3 years, so it's a wash.
  • Customizable. My options are more limited, but my base video hardware is pretty decent (this is the first laptop I've had that I can play Quake III Arena on, so I'm happy with it for now).
  • No squinting. This puppy has a 15" screen which is pretty sweet. Ok, it can only go up to 1024x768, but that's an excellent resolution for browsing the web and doing the kinds of things you'd find yourself doing on a laptop. Hook up an external monitor and it will go up to 1600x1200x32bpp.
  • No legs. Yes, also true. I'm not letting this thing out of my sight.
  • Won't burn your lap. So far this hasn't been the case with this laptop. It's a little warm, but not near as hot as laptops I've used before. It might be due to the built-in cooling fan.
  • No batteries. Definitely true. This one only goes 3.5 hours with it's existing battery. But I didn't buy it for battery life. I bought it for portability and power.
  • Nothing beats a mouse. Also very true -- that's why I also bought one of these.
  • Excellent sound. I was surprised at the quality of sound with this laptop's speakers. It's very good in fact. Good to see some progress in this category.

I still think that if you're going to buy a computer (especially if you don't already have one), a good desktop is hard to beat. You'll get more bang for your buck. But if you've got a good desktop already, a laptop is a good complement to it. Especially with a wireless LAN.


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Francesco said:

Sorry, jus a try

lashlar said:

I have to agree with you. The only reason I bought a laptop instead of a desktop was because there was no way in hell that I would be able to take a desktop across the Pacific and back...

Donna said:

You know, that whole "desktop and laptop and wireless network" option is starting to look pretty good in a house with two avid computer users. Now if I could just convince myself I don't want a Mac...

test said:


rayne said:

I totally agree with all your points...we just purchased another laptop as well, today in fact! ours came from Dell, but husband is thrilled...he can finally play Tribes again! :)


This article was published on November 22, 2002 11:51 PM.

The article previously posted was One Cent Mail Server.

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