Friday, January 1, 2016

Why I continue to use a desktop even though I own two laptops.

The majority of my customers have firmly embraced the laptop as their daily computer system. Offering the ability to carry web access, financial data and word processing documents on business trips, vacations and to customer sites, people of all ages are abandoning traditional desktops for the more modern equivalent. Even though my job as a consultant would be exceedingly difficult without my trusty laptop, I’d never relinquish my desktop computer for most day-to-day tasks.
First, desktop computers can be customized with the kinds of options that drastically improve performance, response and usability. My desktop sports three hundred gigabytes of ultra-fast, SCSI, 15,000 RPM disk drive storage along with another terabyte of generic, backup disk space. This means that programs load like lightening off of the SCSI disks, while the SATA drives provide enough storage to archive music, movies and customer data. Most laptops are only available with generic disk storage that rarely exceeds the two hundred gigabyte level.
Second, my desktop is easy to upgrade when technology changes the state of the art. When gigabit Ethernet replaced the old 100 megabyte standard, I simply replaced the old 100 meg card in my desktop with a gigabit replacement. The upgrade cost me a total of $39.00. Most laptops don’t have an easy way to replace parts that are usually an integrated part of the laptop, so I’m still working with 100 megabit performance on my trusty Thinkpad laptop.
The main reason though for returning to a desktop computer is the ability to work with dual displays. Think about it: the average laptop offers a wide-screen, 14 or 15 inch panel to display Word documents, web sites, or mail messages. My desktop sports two, 23 inch Samsung LCD monitors that display one, giant-sized Windows desktop spread across the two screens. This gives me the ability to display a full-sized Word window on one screen, while displaying a full-sized web page in the other. I can drag and drop between the two screens, and easily move windows around as if the screens were melded into one. The best part is that this technology has become very affordable in recent years. Whereas five years ago, two, 21 inch monitors would cost $2800, we can now purchase two decent-quality, 23 inch, LCD monitors for $320 apiece. Coupled to a $69 graphics card with two outputs gives a professional-quality workstation for not much more than a standard PC. I would sooner give up my favorite horse, Brandy, than go back to a PC with a single screen.
Note: Most desktop PCs that are less than three years old can be easily upgraded to dual monitors at a very reasonable cost. Please call us if you have any interest.