Time for a laptop?

By inet32 ·
I buy a new PC every few years and it's that time again. Every time I do it I consider getting a laptop because I could take a laptop to conferences and client meetings and workshops. But I always end up getting a desktop because I need lots of power for what I do and the desktops always seem to offer more.

I do software development using VS2010, mostly in WPF. LOTS of 3D, often with several VS2010's open at the same time. I also edit still images in Photoshop CS4 often with 30 or 40 layers in a file. And I edit full HD video files of several gigabytes. So (multi-) processor speed is critical, as well as bus speed and HD size and speed. (disk speed seems to be a big weakness on many laptops)

Has the time come when I can do these things on a laptop without spending lots of time staring at an hourglass?

Thanks for any comments.

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All Answers

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How much do you plan to spend on a laptop?

by seanferd In reply to Time for a laptop?

You can have all the speed and power you need. It will just cost more per feature in a laptop versus a desktop.

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As Seanferd says

by NexS In reply to How much do you plan to s ...

Laptops CAN possess "The Power!" but the price can really make your cry.
I mean, inferior powered laptops are already more expensive, and that's before you supercharge it.

Another thought is that you can make a compromise and go for a more portable desktop. I've seen boxes around that are a third of the size that a usual tower is, and you can get away with a smaller monitor if you so wish. Power accessibility would be an issue for you though.

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The Price Premium . . .

by inet32 In reply to As Seanferd says

The impression I get is that laptops seem to have about a 2-3X price premium for similar performance. A Dell mini-desktop with a quad processor, 1333 MHz FSB, 4 GB RAM and a 300 GB 10K RPM drive was about $1400. The closest laptop I could find had a SLOWER quad processor and only a 7200 RPM drive and it was $4300!

Maybe I overlooked it (their website is confusing) but I couldn't find any Dell laptop with a 10K RPM drive, and all their quad processors were < 2 GHz. And yet they charged 3X the price!

My biggest performance issues tend to be disk-access. Firefox, VS and PS take a long time to load, and big PSD, MPEG-4 and TIFF files take a long time to load. So fast spindle times and RAIDed multiple disks help a lot. And laptops just don't seem to offer as much there, even at 3X the price.

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I have studied them for the longest time

by santeewelding In reply to The Price Premium . . .

Still do.

Their only appeal to me is to stuff them in, close the drawer, and be out of sight and mind, while I'm off doing other things.

You can tell, my situation is not your situation.

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I think you need 2 computers

by TobiF In reply to Time for a laptop?

I think you need 2 computers:
One "Monster" at home, with lots of storage, memory and computing capacity.
+a small netbook computer for the road.
Then use logmein or something similar to connect to your monster at home while you're travelling.

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