Desktop vs Laptop

Desktop vs Laptop? What do I prefer? What shaped my opinion?

PipedreamEarly Days

The first computer I ever had was while I was still living with my parents.  We had a Gateway 2000, and man was it awesome! Of course, at the time all I cared about was playing Snake, Pipedream, and a easy to hack Wheel of Fortune game where you always could stop the wheel on the $5,000 space if you timed it right.

My First Laptop

Years later, right before college, I decided I needed to purchase a computer to write papers, research, and all the other stuff people did back then before Facebook….I guess hang out on AOL Instant Messenger and Xanga?  At that point in time, laptops were just about the coolest things out there.  I remember when I first opened my new, state of the art Dell Inspiron 6000 Laptop. It was loaded with 1GB of RAM, and a whopping 80GB of storage and only weighed about 8 lbs.  I knew it couldn’t get any better.  Well, fast-forward a couple years later, and this lovely computer was so slow, almost unbearable.  It probably took about 10 minutes to boot up each time.

Back to a Desktop?

iMacAt this point, I knew I need to get something with better performance & longevity.  Apple’s Mac line was very popular with college students. I’m pretty sure over 50% of the people I knew had a white Macbook.  There was an easy way to tell who had a macbook – they would take 35,000 pictures in Photobooth and post them to their Facebook.  Aside from the cliches, Macbooks seemed pretty cool.  But what really got my attention was when Apple was about to release a new version of their iMac Desktop.  Featuring a huge 24 inch screen, and aluminum frame construction, this desktop was like non other.  I knew this would be my next computer.  The speed, performance, and all around beauty of the Mac operating system was perfect.  Once I finally starting using my iMac, I knew I would never go back to a PC.

For several years in college, and many years after graduating, I kept using my iMac.  I didn’t expect it to last past a 3-4 years, but I never had a problem with it. In fact, I would still be using that computer today, if I could have upgraded the RAM past 4GB.  But, being limited to the 4GB RAM, it just wasn’t very efficient to run Photoshop, Illustrator, Chrome, and other programs at the same time.  As reluctant as I was, I knew I had to move on for efficiency sake.


So after working on a iMac Desktop for 7 years or so, I learned what I liked, and what I didn’t like.  I liked everything about the computer, especially the large screen. The list of what I didn’t like was made up of 1 thing – Any time I had to move my computer from one place to another, it was a ridiculous chore.  So as I started to consider what computer I would purchase to replace my iMac, I was conflicted.  It all came down to:

Large Screen vs Mobility

Having a large screen is great for working on designs & building websites, but being confined to work in one place (my desk) was starting to annoy me.  So, after going back and forth, I finally decided to go back to using a laptop.  Apple’s announcement and release of their new 15″ Retina Display Macbook Pro might have slightly influenced my decision.  

Retina MacbookFor the first 9 months after getting my new laptop, I worked at locations other than my office, pretty much every day.  McAlister’s Deli become a favorite place to work and get some sweet tea.  It got to the point where one time, I didn’t go there for a week straight, and the next time I came in, the manager was concerned they did something wrong and scared me away. (After that point, I realized I had been going there too much, and only go occasionally now)

So, after working on Laptop for the past 16 months, do I miss my iMac?  Yes, but only for the large screen because my new laptop is better in every other way. The perfect solution to this is to buy a large monitor I can hook up my laptop to when I want to see my work on a large screen. I’m still waiting on Apple to release a retina version of their thunderbolt display. As soon as they do that, I’m sure I’ll pick one up and I’ll have the best of both worlds – large screen and mobility.