Laptop Over Desktop


Today’s Question: Your post [which referenced using a laptop computer exclusively without using a desktop computer] piqued my interest regarding doing away with using a desktop. I can’t imagine doing all the work I do on a laptop and am curious if you wouldn’t mind sharing the rationale or just give the advantages of laptop over desktop, at least for you.

Tim’s Quick Answer: My original rationale for abandoning a desktop computer was quite simple. I got to the point that I was traveling so much that I wouldn’t have access to a desktop computer that remained at home while I was away. In the approximately ten years since I started only using a laptop computer, I’ve never missed having a desktop computer.

More Detail: Before the current pandemic caused my travels for the year to be canceled, I was scheduled to be traveling for almost ten months of this year. If I had a desktop computer sitting at home, I would hardly ever be able to use it.

Around ten years or so ago, as my travels were starting to get more extensive, I originally had a desktop computer at home that I could remotely access with an Internet connection. However, if something went wrong with my desktop computer, I might lose remote access for the remainder of a trip. That could prove problematic.

So, I opted to make a laptop the only computer I use. Not only does that mean I don’t have to manage a desktop computer at home, but it also means I never have to swap data between computers. I have access to my core applications and data anywhere I go as long as I bring my laptop. And I typically have my photos and other data with me as well, as long as I’ve brought my external hard drives.

Even though I haven’t traveled in the past six months due to the pandemic, I still find it advantageous to use a laptop computer exclusively. This setup makes my work more flexible, with the ability to switch locations at any time, take my laptop with me, and still have everything I need.

To be sure, you can potentially get faster performance with a typical desktop computer compared to most laptop computers. There are certainly times when I wish my laptop was as fast as the top desktop computer. I also wish I could have more internal storage on my laptop, so I wasn’t as dependent on external hard drives. But on balance, I’m happier using a laptop, and can’t imagine ever getting another desktop computer.