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Discussion Starter #1
...or does it seem like desktops are not much cheaper dollar-per-feature than laptops anymore?

I've been looking to replace our desktop with a laptop. I started to consider perhaps buying a very basic, low cost laptop as well as a new desktop thinking that I could get much more computer for my money on the desktop. That does not seem to be the case.

For instance: for $1000. I am looking at an Acer laptop w/17.3" LED monitor, i7 processor, 8GB Ram, 1 TB hard drive, and 1 gb ATI 5650 video card

I can not find a desktop with those features for that price. I require a new monitor with any desktop.
 

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I think netbooks are taking a big share of laptops. You can get fairly descent little machines so the manufacturers have to make their laptops more appealing.
 

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Not only that - despite the names, mobile CPUs and graphics cards do not perform the same as their desktop counterparts. The gap is definitely smaller than it used to be, but it's still there. Furthermore, laptop displays in general are horrible compared to desktop LCDs.
 

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One of the biggest price factors was in the LCD displays. Now that they are dirt cheap and are also used for desktops, that eliminates the biggest price difference. In fact, laptop displays are probably much cheaper than most desktop displays these days. The other difference is that laptop market share has grown tremendously. I haven't seen recent figures but laptops are probably now more popular than desktops (as predicted several years ago.) That means that laptop components are being produced in large enough quantities to make them as cheap as desktop components.
 

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Portability

It really comes down to, does it have to be mobile, the idea of buying 2, a good desktop and a 350 buck Netbook will do the job, best of both worlds...The only reason I can see to buy a 1000 buck laptop is if you need to play high end games and travel alot....everything is on the web, a netbook should be fine and have a killer desktop when you are at home....think of it this way, a desktop is fully upgradable, more ram, faster cpu, better video card, can't do that with a laptop, well more ram maybe...sometimes...hmmm, 300 on a netbook, an 700 buck desktop, there is the 1000 bucks, money well spent...:D

IMHO

Oh yea, you need a new LCD, ok, more that a 1000 bucks....I say buy the best display you can afford...
 

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It depends on your requirement, I guess. If I ever buy another desktop (hopefully soon), I'd want one with 8GB RAM and about 4GB video RAM and 7200 rpm HDD with the largest buffer possible. I don't think I can get this on a laptop even with 17" screen (or larger) and NON glossy screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bought a cheap netbook tonight. Should take care of our immediate portability needs while buying time on the desktop replacement.

Will post in the retailer review forum in the coming days about the sub par experience I had at the big box...
 

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I am going to dd, tht I bought a Netbook early this year, and have been using it most of the time, rather than a desktop system. It uses significantly less power also, 10 watts, compared to 400 plus for the desktop system I ran for the last 5 or more years.
 

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Another problem with Netbook is that they are superslow. Even playing shockwave online game is virtually impossible. The latest Eee PC doesn't have that problem but at the same time they are priced at approx $500, the price of regular laptop that is faster than Eee PC.
 

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My laptop is currently the fastest machine at home LOL

$700 - HP Probook 13.3" Core i5 + H55 chipset, very adequate for heavy duty HD media chore, etc.

Guess what ? The laptop is way overkill for my use. Battery life suffers as a result. I really don't use it for media playback nor enjoy watching on it LOL. It is still too big and heavy to carry around all the time.

While an equivalent desktop is still a bit cheaper, the premium I paid for my particular laptop doesn't translate to usefulness. Like another posted, 11.6" or smaller laptop + a newer desktop machine is much preferred option.
 

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Till recently laptops were premium machines, with prices to match.

Now, feature for feature desktops cost more. I needed a new computer this summer. I looked at many desktops and by and large most in my price range didn't have the range of features I could get in a laptop for the same price. I ended up paying $350 for a decent 15.6" HP with a t4500/3gb/320gb/hdmi/n. I couldn't find a pre-built desktop with those specs for that price. I did however fall prey to a barebones system package. $350 got me the parts to build a 1tb quad core desktop. I still have to add $200 for Windows and a monitor so pricewise my laptop still wins.

There were exceptions, Walmart had an amazing deal for a 20" lcd with a decent spec tower system for $200 but they disappeared before I could nab one. The deal of the summer (I missed it) was a new I-5 laptop with all the bells and whistles, a 9 cell battery, 500gb, 4gb, hdmi, 'n', 13" form factor and more. It was under $400.

I wonder if the laptops aren't becoming the profit center of choice for the manufacturers because I'm sure they're cheaper to manufacture and probably much less cheaper to ship. I wouldn't be surprised if desktops all but disappeared except for specialized needs over the next decade or two.
 

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But there are still some applications where it is hard to see a laptop every making sense - for example HTPCs and media servers. Laptops can't handle a half dozen hard drives nor can you put a bunch of TV tuners in them.
 

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Well, external gear solves that.

I've 3 external drives on one laptop (3x1.5tb) and my tuner is a Homerun with a Diamond 650 usb combo tuner for ntsc stuff (four discrete tuners available)
 

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Well, external gear solves that.

I've 3 external drives on one laptop (3x1.5tb) and my tuner is a Homerun with a Diamond 650 usb combo tuner for ntsc stuff (four discrete tuners available)
Yes, it is workable but what's the point ? You lose the portability and appearance when you connect a bunch of HDDs on a laptop (even 2.5"s).

Copying speed between internal SATA HDD is 2-3x that of USB2 HDD.
 

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Well, I never said I'd get to keep all my portability or performance.

My point really was that a laptop can do it all, except for hard core gaming needing a state of the art video card. And really, if I'm copying terrabytes of data I'm not going to sit there and watch it. I'll be off doing other things. More fun, non-computer related things. :)
 

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Laptops have proprietary components and are more difficult/expensive to repair; (less reliable too) they also have slow hard drives. (5400rpm standard)

Get a desktop unless you need portability.
 

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Laptops have proprietary components and are more difficult/expensive to repair; (less reliable too) they also have slow hard drives. (5400rpm standard)

Get a desktop unless you need portability.
On top of that, consider portability as #1 priority.

10" & 11" screens make the most sense and those 'laptops' are light as well.

I bought a 13.3" Probook and it is too big IMHO + it's heavy = not that portable and actually defeat the purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
update

Update:

Thanks to the feedback from many of you, I decided to buy a new desktop. The price was right.

I purchased an: Acer Aspire X3400, AMD Phenom II X4 810 processor, 4GB system memory, ATI HD5570 graphics card, and 1 TB hard drive. Also a new 23" monitor.

all this for $600. Seemed like a good deal to me, so I went for it. I got a much more powerful computer than I need or expected for the price.

As I already noted in a previous post - I recently bought a small "netbook" for portability, only $225.

With the affordability of my new system, I will have the option to also purchase a laptop in the near future if I still want one.

Thanks from a computer dummie to all of you who shared your thoughts, it helped.
 
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