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What is your primary computer?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / October 15, 2010 8:19 AM PDT

What is your primary computer?

- Desktop (By choice or necessity?)
- All-in-one desktop (By choice or necessity?)
- Laptop (By choice or necessity?)
- Netbook (By choice or necessity?)
- Tablet (By choice or necessity?)
- Other (What is it?)

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Desktop For Me!
by dlmadm / October 15, 2010 10:27 AM PDT

I have opted for a desktop by choice. The main reason is for visual purposes. I want a big screen and I want to be able to use a hand-size mouse. So much the better to 'see' you with--and getting there without stumbling over my fingers! I am, after all, a senior citizen Wink Also, the desktop is upgradable and fixable. Laptops are nice for portability. For me, that's not enough.

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Desktop 4 me
by susanai / October 15, 2010 6:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Desktop For Me!

I agree. My husband has a laptop and I hate his keyboard and the screen tends to get grubby - cannot abide a dirty screen.

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Desktop by choice:
by Tania Grant / October 22, 2010 3:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Desktop For Me!

dlmadm said it for me: large screen where I can increase the font size; I am not afraid to open up the PC to add cards, etc., and I've hung thermocouples inside power supplies and on processors for heat testing, etc.; but I am not a real techie. This is something I would NEVER do inside a laptop. Thus, I would consider a laptop as not upgreadable unless major surgery is done by expensive (and who knows how expert?) tech help! Also, a desktop will last much longer-- my 1st PC was pre-Microsoft, my 2nd took me from ME to XP, SP3 for over 6 years, and my current PC is a Dell Vostro 410, cooly running with Intel Core2 Quad Q6600, 2.5 years old. I intend to keep it as long as I can. In fact, my XP is still good except that newer software won't play since MS will no longer support it.

However, I am kinda looking for a notebook as well, or anything that is portable that will allow me to do some basic photo editing while traveling. The serious stuff I would do when I get back home on my Vostro. It's amazing how much notebooks have advanced in the last year and a half!


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Laptop for me
by neakybird / October 15, 2010 10:44 AM PDT

I decided on a laptop, the main reason is the comfort of sitting on my couch while watching tv and using the computer at the same time. The one I chose has so much installed that I doubt I will need to worry about updating any time soon so that wasn't a consideration and I got an 18" screen so playing movies, games or just research is very comfortable from that aspect too.

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Desktop or Laptop
by Ron Geiken / October 15, 2010 11:04 AM PDT

Actually both, but desktops give you more bang for the buck. Laptops are convenient if you really need the convenience. My new one next year will probably be another desktop since I want a multi-core processor with Hyper-threading like the Intel i7s.

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Desktop Main - Will one day get a portable not a laptop
by Old Gen 4 / October 15, 2010 11:26 AM PDT


I have used Desktop computers since they started making them - I retired many years back and PC's help keep your mind active -

I remember the early 1960's when I could walk around the memory banks of my first computer, and had to program in machine language, it was not nearly as exciting as it is today.

In the 1970's our graphics was ascii characters set out in mathematical string arrays. You had to stand back about 10 yards, squint your eyes for the full effect.

Monitors became available in the Mid-1970's for most people.

Today the graphics is fantastic - Game graphics 3D etc. well, there is no comparison.


Ideally, the portable will have to have wireless connections for Keyboard, mouse, Large Monitor etc.
You got it a portable Desktop - made of indestructable materials - just in case I drop it.

Sorry to ramble on - us oldies tend to do that.

God Bless

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by Doh_1 / October 15, 2010 11:49 AM PDT

My primary computer is a desktop, although I use laptops from time to time. I like the power of a desktop, easy to work on and upgrade. And since I work from home on a VPN, it makes that easier to do at a desk with a nice 24" monitor, etc.

Laptops are fine, but are slower, hotter, more limited in lifetime, smaller monitor, generally much more limited. Not comfortable for me for long work stints.

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by theacln / October 15, 2010 12:02 PM PDT

Laptop is portable and enables me to keep up with my company everywhere I go.

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by James Anderson Merritt / October 15, 2010 12:05 PM PDT

I have a widescreen, dual-core laptop of recent vintage (last couple of years), which was a hand-me-down from my college-age son, so he could take the desktop machine, perform a DIY upgrade, and end up with an awesome gaming beast. (We actually did the upgrade as a father/son project over the 2009 Xmas holiday.) The laptop has been sufficiently powerful for a wide range of tasks -- better than the pre-upgrade desktop unit -- and I love the portability, though I have some issues with the specific keyboard and trackpad design/layout. I would prefer a large tablet with the possibility of wireless mouse/full-size keyboard, but tablets haven't yet hit the sweet-spot of price-performance for me yet. They'll probably get there about the time the present laptop is "obsolete." I'm patient.

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Laptop Convenience
by forkboy1965 / October 15, 2010 12:24 PM PDT

While I much prefer using my desktop, I actually spend a far greater amount of time using either my laptop or iPhone for everyday Internet connectivity.

In a weird reversal from the past (due in no small part to the iPhone), I utilize my desktop pretty much only for things that require a bigger screen, greater processing abilities (video, pictures, etc.) and the like.

I love my desktop and sometimes wish I would connect to the Internet via it more regularly, but the convenience of sitting anywhere in the house with the laptop is hard to beat for everyday stuff.

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Desktop by choice or necessity?
by epsunset / October 15, 2010 12:37 PM PDT

I use a desktop by choice. A laptop is not convenient for my uses. Have tried an all-in-one desktop and was not happy with it.

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primary computer a desktop
by jayuutee / October 15, 2010 12:51 PM PDT

I have been using a desktop for about 8 years and have got a laptop to make my genealogy files portable.

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Desk top( By Choice)
by heresme4me / October 15, 2010 12:56 PM PDT

I have owned many computers dating back to the Radio Shack, Commadores, first the late 70's and early 80's. I now own a Desktop and a laptop. I only use the laptop when I travel or doing Internet. I always purchase the highest Cpu processing speed because I do Audio/Video. Also, my TV, Tivo, and computers are on a home network using WiFi and Cat5. I do a lot of transfering of data types. Processing any type of audio or video dictates high processing speed unless you like to drink coffee. Also, a desk top with open slots allows me to interface with any of the video/audio boards and peripherals. I often use two monitors for editing. Finally, I have found the 'life cycle' of my computer before I need to update is extended for up to 6 years. I software update more often. I pay more but I get it back in not having to update the hardware as often and not having the headaches of transfering and updating the programs files so they work on the new Operating system.

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Desktop is the way to hop!
by charlieh44 / October 15, 2010 3:16 PM PDT

The desktop has a bigger screen, a more convenient mouse, more memory, is next to the printer, has other peripherals attached to it, is on my work desk (I am a college professor), and is always on when I want to sit down to it. I don't have to pull it out, open it up, and wait for the slow boot-up process; furthermore, I don't have to lug it somewhere that I probably won't use it; when I am out, I have one-use devices, such as my Nook or my MP3 player, that I can use to ward off boredom should that place be a shopping hole my wife has pulled me to. All of these are light-weight, and some even fit in my shirt pocket. Finally, if it is a computer that I need, there is always one available for me to use, one I didn't have to drag around: the library, at the college, a friend or relative's home. These are the only places I will be when not at home and able to use a computer. At large, the laptop is primarily a nuisance.

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Which computer?
by dayman / October 15, 2010 6:04 PM PDT

It's like asking which car would you buy?
Just about everyone has different
opinion, and/or requirement.
If you needed to carry a large family around, you
wouldn't choose a two seater sports car.
If you had pots of cash, you would be unlikely
to choose a Per Adua.
Just the same for computers!
Those with cash to burn would choose a pretty
looking, and expensive MAC.
We less well off mortals, build our own with
send hand bits and items we have lying around.
It may not look as pretty as a MAC, but it does the job.
As the old adage goes:
Horses for courses!!

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Laptop began by necessity, became choice
by mssusanf / October 15, 2010 8:49 PM PDT

I had a circumstance a few years ago where I was a constant temporary motel resident. One week here, two weeks there, etc. A few times I actually carted the desktop but usually opted for just the laptop. Now bear in mind, this laptop = circa 2003/2004. Well I found that it wasn't a whole lot slower than the desktop. If I dearly wanted a larger screen I could easily plug in a reasonably portable lightweight flat screen monitor. If the keyboard bugged me I plugged in my rubber, waterproof, roll up keyboard. If I felt it was getting too hot I would turn to my temperature monitoring program to confirm or deny - if confirmed, I would turn up the fan (using the same program by the way: Speedfan by almico, found on and boot up the underlaptop fan pad I'd gotten. My biggest issue was storage space. My little old laptop came complete with a huge 60 gb hard drive. (Yes, that was a bit of sarcasm there!) If you do photography and even amateur video clips, 60 gb goes not very far. So that was an ongoing problem - until Western Digital came out with those wonderful LITTLE, POCKET SIZED Passport hard drives. I now own oh about a cabinet full of them. Problem now is remembering whats on which one! Anyways though, my roundabout point here is this - Over time, I found I really didn't NEED a desktop computer. And by using the laptop and little hard drives, I could take whatever I was doing with me - whether I was going out for coffee or 500 miles away. I have since bought a few new laptops. A Dell that kinda just didn't work out for me. From it, I thought I truly hated Vista - until I bought the next one, also a Dell and discovered the enormous difference a built in dedicated graphics card could make! I had another laptop given to me by a school - that one had an even smaller hard drive but it was a nice IBM/Lenovo one. Tried a couple of netbooks and while no specific complaints, they tend to sit on the shelf. Just a little too small and not enough USB ports. I very recently went over to the other side, at least for sometimes, and bought a Macbook Pro. Haven't used it enough yet to comment at all though. Now one very interesting thing I want to note here - I am currently typing this on that very same little old laptop I first mentioned. Yep, the circa 2003/2004 one! It remains a great little machine and I have certain non-transferrable software on it so I still do a fair amount on this computer! (By the way, it is an Inspiron 700m for anyone curious - frequently available on the biggie online auction site for $200 or less - I would recommend it over a netbook anyday and it is almost as small and light!) Okay thats all from me for now!

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Desktop is primary computer
by kevin.barnes / October 15, 2010 8:56 PM PDT

Faster, use of home office space and can be upgraded more easily.

Also better for playing games etc

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Primary Computer
by divemister / October 15, 2010 11:32 PM PDT

What? 69 and only retiring? Oh, well. I just got my "last" computer and it is a desktop with lots of bells and whistles not the least of which is an i7 processor. I can finally open Windows quickly:) I'm 71 and retired for 7 years. But the desk top gives me versatility. Change the monitor, the mouse, the keyboard. Everything is easier to see and use: I have large fingers. I had a simultaneous laptop and rarely used it; gave it to my wife. She's all over the house with it and happy as a clam.

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Desktop for now & much lower cost
by tlnh / October 15, 2010 11:55 PM PDT

I prefer a desktop for my personal computer. Desktops provide high performance at relatively low cost. As I age, I truly appreciate my 20+" monitor & full featured keyboard. My most recent upgrade was less than $280 for a new, full-featured PC. My employer provides a Laptop for business travel reasons. (currently using) As technology progresses, I always purchase the highest performance I can at a reasonable price. In this way, when a significant advancement occurs, I can keep up to date without spending much money. If you want the best of both worlds, it is easy to use a full-featured USB keyboard & large monitor with most Laptops. The only negative is the higher costs.

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Desktop for serious work
by msecour / October 16, 2010 1:16 AM PDT

For serious work in desktop publishing, editing music and editing videos, nothing beats the adult size monitor, keyboard and mouse of the desktop. I use a laptop for taking work with me and backing up files between both computers (in addition to my primary back-up routine). I also like to have a computer available when watching TV and that is where the laptop resides.

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Desktop and Laptop
by fatdave999 / October 16, 2010 2:30 AM PDT

I have both. The desktop is used more for fileserving these days primary drive is a WD raptor, BR burner, 5 Samsung 500Gb internal drives in raid 5 (lot of 5's there) 2 external SATA 2TB drives 4 external 500GB USB 2.0 drives. Monitor is a Samsung HD LCD TV 40". The tower sit under the desk and runs very quietly as all the fans had been replaced with ballbearing type. i7 CPU 1,800watt PSU 1 gigabit ethernet and a 2TB network drive. This gives me about 10TB of storage 23% free (not good).
My laptop is a Novatech (Clevo) i7 CPU 18" display with Geforce 280 GFX card 300GB internal drive and 500GB external SATA 1 gigabit ethernet. I use Cat 6 shielded ethernet cable. as both machines have powerful CPU's the network is very fast between them (not the network drive though) The laptop seems to get used the most as it's a remote control for the desktop, (yea, I know). Both systems run on Win 7.
Why do I have all this stuff? I dont whatch telivision, Not at all, not in 4 years. I dont even have an ariel, although I do view internet TV. I spend an awful lot time on the web, on sites like this one, oh and

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Old Dell E510 Desktop
by rgfitz / October 16, 2010 3:48 AM PDT

It runs XP on one hard drive 90% of the time and Vista on the other drive with 2 GB of memory. It ran Windows 7 fine but I switched that drive back to Vista. I have added various PC cards and R/W drives and it does just what I want it to do. The added card reader is up-to-date and I even have a com port for the grandkids Lego Mindstorms IR tower.

It seems to run everything old and new with no problem.

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Desktop Hands Down!
by gfoley1 / October 16, 2010 4:06 AM PDT

Bottom line, my laptop is convenient, and well, that's it. When it comes to getting the most bang for the buck NOTHING comes close to my desktop! With a desktop, and a decent case you can upgrade easily, and get better and faster components for a lot less mu-la$$$. And what size of screen(s) do you want -- that's right, choose a whopping 25 inch screen or a small one without hooking a cable up to your Big Flat screen TV every time you want to check something out in it's full brilliance. And gaming -- forget it, the desktop will blow away the little laptops. Give me a mouse and a smokin' I7 processor and away I go. With my special video card, and special sound card (which I can swap out in a heart beat, try that with a Laptop)games come alive on my large digital monitor. And Blu-Rays jump out at you....

You got it, for all purpose, I chose the Desktop for my Big-Bang computing!

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iMac by choice
by janisg1 / October 16, 2010 11:33 AM PDT

I just bought my first Apple....actually, it was delivered just 2 days ago and within 15 minutes of taking it out of the box it was up and running and FABULOUS. Can't say that about a PC Desktop OR Laptop. As a lifelong PC user, I know I have a lot to learn to fully transition, so I bought iMAC for Dummies. Any advice?

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Laptop, Mobility
by Hash31 / October 16, 2010 11:04 PM PDT

I use my laptop every day.. at work at home. in the taxi, on the train.. and then i use the desktop at home and at work... But Ilove the Laptop's Mobility

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Both laptop and desktop!

I'm on a (now ancient) 2006-iMac and a 2009 mbp 15. i love the iMac, but it just runs too slow to use daily. I still use it as my primary computer for homework, though. Typing on the mbp isn't bad, but having my own keyboard is much better.

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Desktop 1st then Notebook etc.
by foroughi2of4 / October 17, 2010 4:31 AM PDT

Desktop because it has the direct connection to the modem, wireless router and second hard drive. Notebook second becuase its wireless and portable. Actually we have two desktops (but the other is wireless), 3 notebooks and several other wireless devices (ipod, bluetooth and/or wireless printer etc.) so the Desktop is a necessity.

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Desktop by choice
by blusto / October 22, 2010 8:35 AM PDT

A desktop gives the biggest bang for the buck by far. I have a small footprint Dell Inspiron 580S sitting over in the far corner of my desk and a large monitor in front of me. I use it primarily for financial work of my own with multiple windows open. I've lost count of the number of computers I've owned over the past 23 years. I also have a notebook/laptop which I use mainly for monitoring news, traveling rarely. The others are too limited in either size or what they can do to meet my needs. I do not use a computer as a toy, for games, for video or music (other than Internet radio), or for socializing (other than e-mail).

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PC of choice
by roylzub / November 19, 2010 12:09 AM PST

I have 3 Windows pc's; Desktop, Laptop, Netbook and concider the desktop my primary PC. It's faster, better monitor, larger keyboard but primarily I build my own and am constantly upgrading the desktop. Custom builds are very difficult with any laptop.

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laptop by choice
by kyvette / November 29, 2010 5:16 PM PST

I love my laptop...I call it my "Blue Baby"! I live in an apartment, and I wanted something I could take around my home. My 17 inch Dell Studio is great! It was the first new one I ever first 2 computers were used.

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