|Laptop or Desktop: the great divide|
I don't carve the Sunday roast with a penknife, I don't live in a caravan, I
don't own a one-hole punch, and I don't
Apple types see themselves surfing the web while sipping latte, with their left leg hooked behind their right ear, squatting on the floor of their local Starbucks. Fair enough. It's a free country. Real computer users doing real computing sit at a desk. With space for the mouse to roam freely. The mouse. Not a touch-screen. Not one of those Freudian nipple-substitute things. For real computing, you need a pointing device that works.
Unlike me, goatee-wearers probably aren't bothered by all the compromises portable computing entails. Laptops are expensive to buy and almost impossible to upgrade. When you want to add a peripheral, it has to be external. Pretty soon, the setup occupies a large table. Moving the damn thing entails forty minutes of disconnecting and re-connecting cables; a large, square, heavily padded bag with the words "Steal Me" printed on the front in large letters; and a small team of sherpas.
When it's sat on your desk, your laptop is slower than an equivalently-priced desktop. When it's sat anywhere else, it's processor is running at 1Mhz because you want the battery to last slightly longer than a jellyfish is a blast furnace. This is just as well if you actually use the thing on top of your lap, because the damage to your legs is restricted to mere second-degree burns.
If you're a full-time Powerpoint warrior, or you regularly need to get work done on planes, a laptop probably makes sense. If your house is nine miles from a paved road, 4X4 probably makes sense. If you buy either just to make yourself seem interesting, you fully deserve the slow and expensive "lifestyle" you're going to get.
If, unlike Nigel, you love gadgets take the gadget test.