Ask the Readers: Desktop or Laptop?

By Ashley Jacobs on 5 April 2011 (Updated 12 April 2011) 131 comments
Photo: sneaka

Editor's Note: Congratulations to CgK, @ldelangel, and Steve Sforza for winning this week's contest!

Computers have become a huge part of our day to day lives.  I personally am a huge fan of laptops and cannot imagine life without my laptop. However, there are many people who prefer having a desktop computer as opposed to a laptop.

Do you have a desktop or laptop computer? Or do you have both? Which do you prefer and why?

Tell us whether you have a desktop computer or a laptop and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Enter 1 of 3 Ways:

  • Post your answer in the comments below, or
  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, then "Like" the update mentioning this giveaway (you can comment, as well — but you don't have to for entry), or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, April 11th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 11th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email, Facebook, and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Lynda

i have one of each, thanks to my brother the techie. i like convenience of laptop, but desktop feels so much more stable...

Guest's picture
Ryan

I pretty much only ever use a desktop workstation to edit video otherwise my laptop is practically always with me. I got into the Google CR-48 ChromeOS pilot program and the laptop I got from that program is the best netbook I've ever used!

Guest's picture
Mike C.

I have both a Desktop and a Laptop. Desktop for gaming and MS Office work (I do all my financials in a speadsheet still).
Laptop for couch/ travel and netflix.

Guest's picture
Deb

At the risk of sounding like a luddite, I prefer a desktop. I telecommute, so my desktop is very important to my livelihood. I have 2 large monitors for videos and movies, a great sound system for music streaming, and my set up is ergonomically friendly. Desktops last longer and can be upgraded - perhaps they are more environmentally friendly? Because hubby travels for work, he also has a laptop. Not so crazy about it.

My current desktop is 7 years old, and we'll need to replace it soon. After a thorough discussion, husband and I agreed that we'll be getting another desktop! My Droidx covers many of my Internet needs when I'm away from home.

Guest's picture
maylynn

laptop- it's portable!!!

Guest's picture

Laptop, because I can take it with me anywhere! Right now, I'm on a LayZBoy recliner and am Wayyyy more comfortable than an office chair. I love it!

Guest's picture
Raina

I own a desktop at home, and my work computer is a laptop on a docking station so it basically functions like a desktop anyway. I MUCH prefer desktop computers and have no plans to buy a laptop. I have problems typing on laptop keyboards, the screen needs to be at a specific angle in order to see clearly, the built-in mouse is a pain in the butt (and having to carry around and plug in a mouse at every use would be a pain in the butt too), the screens aren't big enough for my liking, and I don't like having them so close to my face or so low compared to my line of sight (which they have to be because of the nature of the keyboard). Desktops 1000000000%.

Guest's picture
Joel

I use a laptop. The mobility is important to me (I work from home, the office, occasionally while traveling), as is having all my files in one place. The downsides are that price/performance is much higher for laptops, and you simply can't get as powerful machines.

Guest's picture
Michael

A huge laptop for computer use, and a small desktop (eg. Mac mini) for a media center.

Guest's picture
Laurel

Had both, sold the desktop. I don't have Internet access at home so I take my laptop to local WiFi spots for weekend access (I use the Internet at work, all day, every day).

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Karyl

LAPTOP/Macbook no question about it. We move every 2 years, and travel a lot in between. It's so nice to have it with us everywhere we go.

Now I'm also getting hooked on my IPOD Touch and awaiting our IPAD2. This will even be way lighter than a laptop. Yay for technology!!!

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nic

Laptop, got tired of lugging around a tower every time I moved in college and the technology caught up in laptops for the pricing so there you go...

Guest's picture
Nick Schachterle

I have both a desktop and a netbook. I use the desktop most because of the scanner and printer functions I use regularly and take the netbook with me when I go out or my son wants to use the computer. My financial, journaling, and address software is kept synced with Dropbox. The performance of the netbook isn't great but it does the job. It was what I could afford at the time.

Guest's picture
Max

I use my laptop as my mainstay, and then my desktop occasionally, just because it's a PC, so I still need that once in a while. I just figure they'll stop making desktops at some point in the future and they'll become obsolete. Then people will look back and laugh about how they used to kick their shins on the big clunky computer boxes below their desks.

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Joel Whitaker

I use both a desktop and a laptop. The desktop has much greater storage capacity for archives, etc. But I use the laptop in the family room, and when on the road. Nowadays, I'm backing stuff up in the "cloud."

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kristina wittchen

I have both.

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Kevin

I used to have both, though as my desk top became a dinosaur, I never replaced it. I keep my laptop on my computer desk for the most part, but then also have the flexibility of taking it wherever I need/want to go with it, whether to another part of the house or going somewhere away from the house. I can't imagine not having the flexibility the laptop gives me, especially since I am old-fashioned in the sense that my cell phone only does calls and text messaging!

Guest's picture
Katie

I have a laptop. I prefer it for portability to play or work where ever I go.

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KelR1

Laptop, but it's usually on my desk anyway. It's nice to have the portability though for when I do actually need it (traveling, etc.).

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Guest

Desktop all the way! I have a desktop that I built myself and I save so much money by buying quality components and installing myself when something goes wrong or more frequently when I need an upgrade. the extra room allows for me to have a much faster computer with a lot more storage.

a lot of people say its all about portability, but I have had laptops in the past and they mostly sit on the desk. I cant think of anyone who dosen't have access to a computer at work, and when you are at the coffee shop they have these wonderful things called books that are even lighter than a laptop and even more entertaining!

Guest's picture
Christine

Our home office is in the corner of the dining room. It's compact and organized, but I've never liked having people over for dinner with that big gray computer lurking in the background. (Think Thanksgiving family photos with a 19-inch monitor behind your head.)

When it started dying, I started shopping! We replaced it with a laptop and wireless mouse that can easily be hidden on the desk's slide-out keyboard tray, or tucked in with the place mats in a buffet drawer. It looks much more clutter-free without all those desktop components in plain sight.

We now have three laptops - one for the family, and one for each parent's work. And, come to think of it, we rarely use them at that desk - love the portability. Never again will we buy a desktop!

Guest's picture
Meggerz

I currently have an aging media-monster laptop. Essentially it was the worst of both worlds: not powerful enough to (effectively) run my engineering software, and not (pleasantly) portable due to being both heavy and lacking good battery life. And it was pricey to boot.

Lesson learned. Now, for the price of another laptop, I'm building a desktop with the specs I need, and getting a netbook. I end up with more power AND more portability.

It's also worth noting that while a desktop can be upgraded, a laptop MUST be replaced if it fails or falls short. To those who need to 'replace' your desktop, consider adding more ram, another hard drive, or upgrading the video card. It's really not as scary as you think. It's actually not scary at all.

Guest's picture
Jay

Desktop, by far. Much more power for the same money!

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Stefanie

Laptop for sure! I like that it is portable - whether in my house or across town or across the country; I feel like i can bring my work wherever I go and I can get out of the house and still do work at any time. I really like the freedom a laptop allows.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have both a desktop and netbook, preferring the desktop for real work, and using the netbook for web surfing and light work. In the past, I did everything on the notebook, but using a desktop seemed to increase my productivity.

Guest's picture
Vale

I have a desktop but would love to have a laptop - I like the idea of having more portability instead of being tied to my desk for all computer related tasks.

Guest's picture
Stacy

Laptop - Major space saver! I couldn't do without mine.

Guest's picture

LAPTOP!- My laptop 6 years ago is still faster and more powerful than my desktop of 2 years ago. Alienware m9700. granted it only gets 20-35 minutes on battery but i can take it anywhere i want and its screen is the same size as my desktop anyway...

Guest's picture
Kate

I have a laptop at home. I had a desktop at work but then I switched positions and my new role necessitated switching to a laptop

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Guest Jenni

I like having a desktop computer. I recently got a new tower and key board, along with the mouse. I can change parts, so if a part breaks down, I don't have to take the whole thing to get fixed. I like that it won't easily fall off, and I have the printer connected for convenience.

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Debbie

I currently use a laptop. I recently sold my desktop... it was collecting dust. It's all about portability and space.