I'll never own a laptop

You do enough work in the office. You don't need no stinkin' laptop!

When I first joined the TechRepublic team, my “temporary” computer was a laptop that had a full-size monitor, keyboard, and mouse attached. I never took it home.

The IT folks offered me a laptop for my permanent machine, but I declined. “I’ve got a desktop machine at home,” I reasoned. Besides, I hate laptops.

Get a life already
A lot of my co-workers love their laptops. They take their laptops home with them every night. And that’s the number one reason I don’t want a work-provided laptop! You’ll be tempted (or expected) to take work home every night.

I don’t need one more thing to drag in and out of my car. If I need to put in some extra time, I’d rather come in a little early or stay a little late. I have a desktop machine at home, and if I absolutely have to, I can dial in to work using a virtual private network connection. I’d rather have a life. I sit in front of a computer all day—that’s not what I want to do all night.

If the laptop fits
With all due respect to the people who make and sell laptops, many of my friends and co-workers couldn’t do their jobs without a laptop system. They travel, and the laptop lets them check e-mail from anywhere.

If all you’re using the laptop for is e-mail and creating the occasional document, they’re adequate tools. And I’ll admit that someone’s laptop has bailed me out of a crisis or two when the desktop system I was using crashed. But for most serious computer users, a laptop just isn’t an efficient tool because:
  • The keyboard’s too small.
  • The monitor’s too small.
  • The function keys are set up differently.
  • The touch-pad mouse is difficult to use.

On top of the usability issues, you drag a laptop around and you’re going to drop it or bang it on something. If you want a full-size keyboard, mouse, or monitor, you’ve got to drag those items around with you. On arriving and leaving, you have to take time to synchronize your e-mail.

I don’t need the hassles associated with a laptop. I like to click the shutdown shortcut on my desktop machine and hit the road.
Is it just me, or is anyone else anti-laptop? Put your two cents in by posting a comment below or sending us a note.Each Tuesday, Jeff Davis tells it like he sees it from the trenches of the IT battle. And you can get his report from the frontlines delivered straight to your e-mail front door. Subscribe to Jeff's View from Ground Zero TechMail, and you'll get a bonus of Jeff's picks for the best Web stuff—exclusively for our TechMail subscribers. To respond to this article, please post a comment below or send Jeff a note.

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