10 Reasons Why You Should Own A Laptop

Posted April 30, 2009 6:42 am by with 26 comments

It’s my opinion that everyone should own a laptop. Two years ago I couldn’t say this because the price point wasn’t low enough. But with the netbooks quickly becoming the new norm of laptops, I can say now that yes, you should own one.

And if you needed a reason why, here are 10 good ones.

1. Better resale value.

PCs hold little resale value – but laptops hold a lot more. Even if you own a Mac, the Macbook will always sell later for more than the desktop version.

2. Portable.

When I say portable I’m not necessarily referring to sitting in a Panera Bread click-clacking away with their free wi-fi (although you could). Portable can be as simple as bringing it elsewhere in your house or apartment/flat. Sit down in your easy chair or couch, watch the game and surf the ‘net? Sure, why not?

3. Space-saver.

One does not know the joy of owning a laptop until you put it on the computer desk and then realize all the space you get back. All you have is the laptop and possibly an external mouse and pad. That’s it.

4. Energy-saver.

Laptops use far less energy than desktop PCs do.

5. Easier keyboards.

Laptops use short profile keys with a scissor-style spring underneath. Your typing speed will increase almost instantly. And after using one for a while, going back to the desktop feels old and clunky compared to the super-easy laptop keys. Additionally, the place where the trackpad is serves as a built-in wrist rest, so it’s also ergonomically sound.

6. Better LCD screen.

More often than not the LCD screen on a laptop is far superior to your desktop LCD monitor. The colors look more true, gradients don’t "fuzz" and it has a more crisp picture.

7. Easier to work on.

Most laptops only require one screw to remove the hard drive or RAM. After that it’s literally pop in/pop out to upgrade. It doesn’t get any easier.

8. Proprietary architecture means everything works better.

The vast majority of laptops are very proprietary. This means there is no guesswork as to whether the unit will function properly or not. Even Linux "likes" laptops better because it absolutely knows what to expect, so to speak.

9. Easy-access USB.

Most laptops have 4 USB ports (two on the side, two on the back) and are in easy reach.

10. It’s not a throw-away computer.

This goes back to point 1. The laptop is more or less the only type of computer you can buy where you know it will sell later when it’s time to get rid of it. Even if you have an older laptop with a busted optical drive, someone will still buy it because of what it is. Older desktop PCs on the other hand turn into paperweights that you can’t sell for a decent price no matter what.

So go ahead, get that laptop. You’ll be happy you did.

26 responses to 10 Reasons Why You Should Own A Laptop

  1. David M April 30th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    The reasons I don’t own a laptop….

    1. They are not upgradable, not like a desktop.

    2. You cannot fit two high end graphics cards in SLI in them.

    3. I enjoy building computers. You cant really build and totally customize your own laptop.

    Sorry to be a stick in the mud but there is another side to the story.

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    • Adam April 30th, 2009 at 11:30 am

      Price/performance-wise, laptops are a rip-off compared to home-built PCs. I don’t need my computer to be mobile… that’s why I’ll probably never make the switch to a laptop.

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  2. Raul April 30th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t like laptops because if something goes wrong, you have to send them back to the manufacturer or whoever you bought the warranty (extended) from.

    That can usually take days or weeks (Best Buy)

    If you don’t buy the expensive warranty, then you end up paying expensive fees, for example, on the monitor, you will most likely pay 400us+ to get the replacement plus any labor fees.

    If you want to do it yourself, the parts are delicate and hard to access.

    There is also the problems with getting video card drivers, well for Windows anyways, where if your driver has a problem, you can’t just go to Nvidia’s site and download an updated version. You must wait for your manufacturer to update it, this is for everything, like BIOS and other essential drivers that on a desktop, you can normally find easily.

    That is why between work and home, I use a LAN party computer, the Sugo SG05 case, with the Zotac 9300 Mini-ITX motherboard and slot loading drive. I have a quad core CPU and 4 GB of RAM. Also using a laptop drive. And it has a handle and is very light.

    I’m not saying this thing does not have any disadvantages and that laptops are bad, but unless you get an HP or a Lenovo Thinkpad, in my experience, you are going to have a lot of trouble. Stay away from Gateway (bad drivers, sorry build quality) Acer (overheated for my brother in law, has to open up every month to blow out dust accumulations from bad laptop design).

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  3. makkay April 30th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    It’s my opinion that everyone should own a laptop except for a small fraction who really needs a portable computer.

    I really don’t understand why such things all over like laptops, mobile phones, tv ( yeah i think the tv one of the most stupid things that exist in any house!! why should u need it anyway) and not to forget pepsi/cocacola ..etc drinks .. many many things are all over coz of ???? i don’t really understand why they are all over everywhere

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  4. makkay April 30th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    sorry .. i wanted to say everyone should NOT own a laptop

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  5. Felice April 30th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I was about to write an exactly opposite post… good reasons to avoid laptops!
    Some examples:
    - They cost twice as much for the same performance
    - Difficult/impossible to repair due to components integration
    - Difficult/impossible to upgrade for space reasons
    - Memory, HDD etc upgrades are also more expensive
    - Hard Disks are usually slower
    - More difficult to find Linux support for the hardware
    - Worse, not better LCD screens. And smaller.
    - After the 1st year, batteries become a problem.
    - And batteries are an expensive replacement
    - Fewer USB, serial and other connections available
    - Impossible to build your own
    …and so on…

        Reply

    • Janie June 7th, 2009 at 5:44 am

      Why do you say laptops are impossible to build yourself? Obviously millions of people do it a day because laptops are beginng to outsell desktop computers and if they can do it, you can do it. You just need to be able-bodied, able to read, not retarded, and know what your doing. I know some stuff about pc buildng, and although I’ve never actually built a pc, I’ve read a lot about it and it’s actually pretty simple as long as you know what you want for your computer. The assembling is really simple(desktop computers at least). The only thing that still bohters me are the expensses because I have no idea what they’re going to be because I’ve never actually been really serious about building a pc.

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      • Drew June 8th, 2009 at 11:59 am

        There are so many ridiculously stupid points in that reply, that I don’t even know where to start first…

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        • Clark June 9th, 2009 at 2:37 am

          Janie makes a good point although just becasue more laptops are being made, doesn’t mean actual people aer building them. I think mostly robots do the job. I still prefer desktops over laptops because they tend to preform better, are cheaper to build, and you have space to add more computer components in the future such as a few extra hard drives if your extravagant enough(actually it’s just a really impractical, but possible example). I still think it’s possble to buld a laptop yourself. It would jsut be really difficult because of all the small parts. Building a desktop is way simple, so I’m with desktops.

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      • Honski August 2nd, 2009 at 4:59 pm

        “I know some stuff about pc buildng, and although I’ve never actually built a pc, I’ve read a lot about it and it’s actually pretty simple …….”
        This is the best joke I’ve read for a long time.

            Reply

  6. Bryan Price April 30th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Resale value? Who sells their used computers? By the time I’m done with them, they are done.

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  7. lefty.crupps April 30th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    For the keyboard, I very much disagree. The shallow keys give very little physical feedback so users end up typing *harder* on them than on on older keyboard, and even than on a newer desktop keyboard. On the machines that I work on, I have keyboards with a very deep keystrok that are very ‘old school clickity clackity’ and I much prefer that experience when typing. I’ve recently read that the deeper keyboards also help to prevent carpal tunnel but I cannot say for sure; that was on a recent post on Slashdot.org.

    Additionally, proper typing requires that your wrists are higher in the air than the keyboard itself — using the touchpad area as a wrist rest doesn’t do this, so that is of little medical benefit for carpal tunnel concerns.

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  8. Drew April 30th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve got 2 laptops as well as my PC and am planning on purchasing a netbook soon. Once you buy a laptop and realize how truly awesome the portability factor alone is, especially w/ traveling, e.g. watching movies w/ an aircard while on a road trip, saving money at airports instead of paying for wireless Internet usage, watch sports while checking scores on another game, etc. you’ll understand the power behind the portability.

    Anyone who doesn’t own even a laptop can’t really comment to the contrary b/c they’ve never known what it is they’re missing out on. Laptops are not meant to be powerhouses for dual graphics cards, high end gaming or whatever – as per the points mentioned in this post, laptops are not meant to be a PC replacement.

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  9. Steven April 30th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    I don’t have anything against laptops (in fact I even own a laptop, in addition to my desktop), but I need to dispute some of these points.

    Point 1, The resale value of (at least PC based) laptops generally revolves around the entry price for laptops (regular laptops, not netbooks) still being higher than desktops, so people are willing to pay more for a used one. Laptops are also usually sold earlier in life because, due to the lesser power and more complex hardware, they generally have a shorter useful life expectancy, at least to the first owner (more on that in counterpoints 7 and 8).

    Point 2, When laptops are left as laptops, then yes, they are obviously far more portable than any desktop. However, when people try to use a laptop as a replacement for a desktop, by the time they are finished plugging in their power cord, printer, scanner, external hard drive(s), and in some situations, keyboards, mice, and external monitors, the “portability” of the laptop has been almost completely voided.

    Point 3, See point two. Generally yes, a laptop as a laptop doesn’t take up nearly as much room as a desktop, but when used as a desktop they take can up just as much space, if not more because you pretty much loose the option to put the laptop on the floor.

    Point 4, This one is true. While a high powered “gaming” and desktop replacement laptops can use as much power as a modest desktop system, for the most part a laptop will use less power than a desktop.

    Point 5 is completely a matter of opinion. For the most part, yes, easier to press keys will help with RSI, though this can be achieved on a desktop keyboard with mechanical switches. But, in either case, it won’t necessarily help you type faster, and definitely not immediately. A lot of people have a trouble adjusting to the different feel of laptop keyboards, and generally end up getting an separate keyboard anyway. Also, how ergonomically sound it it is depends more on how your sitting and holding your wrists then how the keyboard is designed. A laptop keyboard with the “built-in wrist rest” isn’t necessarily any better than a desktop keyboard with a wrist rest. Also, In order to get a number pad on a laptop keyboard, you generally need to get a fairly large laptop, which starts to affect portability.

    Point 6, if by “Better” you mean lower dot-pitch, then yes laptop monitors are generally “better”. But for the most part, a halfway decent desktop LCD monitor will trounce a laptop monitor in response time, color reproduction, backlight uniformity, viewing angle, and, of course, size. Also, using a super high resolution laptop screen set to it’s highest resolution can be really hard on your eyes and the penalty switching to a non-native resolution on an LCD screen destroys any picture quality gained by the lower dot-pitch. Because of this, a lot of people end up using their laptops with external monitors anyway, which also voids the benefits of point 3.

    Point 7, sure if all you want to do is change your RAM, hard drive, or CD drive a laptop is marginally easier to work with than a proprietary desktop. But, usually changing anything else means dismantling half the laptop. What if your monitor dies, what if the CPU fan stops working, motherboard or processor fries, etc… All of those scenarios are much more easily fixed in a desktop. Also, what if you want to add another hard drive to your laptop, upgrade your video card, add a sound card. It’s pretty much impossible to do any of that in most laptops. A lot of DIY desktops are much easier to work with as well, with tool-less PCI slots, hard drive bays, and 5.25″ drive bays, not to mention cases that have removable mother board trays.

    Point 8, Most of the reliability problems I have had can be traced to a specific piece of hardware or a driver problems, not usually the interaction between them. I have had these kinds of problems in both laptops and desktops. In my experience once hardware problems are worked out, both laptops and desktops are extremely reliable these days. And, on an individual basis, quality desktop components are generally more reliable than their micro-sized counterparts, thanks to heavier gauge wire, thicker traces, larger electrical components, and heavier duty mechanical parts, which all comes together to give them longer life expectancy.

    Point 9, Most LCD monitors have USB hubs built in, and almost all desktops have front or top USB ports that are easily accessible regardless of if your computer is on the floor or on the desk.

    Point 10, While a lot of people do simply dispose of or sell their old desktops (and laptops) when they are finished with them, desktops are far more powerful than laptops, which makes them more versatile later in life. When combined with the more reliable parts, easier maintenance, and longer life expectancy, desktops are far easier to re purpose as a file server, HTPC, guest computer, computer for kitchen, etc….

    I’m not saying people should not own laptops, but I don’t think they should really be used as a primary system for most people. Laptops are really good when used as a laptop, such as light usage while laying on the couch watching TV, moving around the house, or traveling. But if your going to do even remotely heavy computing, it’s generally more comfortable to work at a desk with a desktop-style setup.

        Reply

  10. David M April 30th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I own two old laptops right now and I use neither. So I am speaking from experience.

    The consensus here seems to be that the advantage of owning a laptop is that they are portable. That’s it! All the other factors favor the desktop.

        Reply

  11. David M April 30th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I own two old laptops right now and I use neither. So I am speaking from experience.

    The consensus here seems to be that the advantage of owning a laptop is that they are portable. That’s it! All the other dozens of factors favor the desktop.

        Reply

  12. Anonymous April 30th, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Yes, desktops are generally much better in terms of everything except portability. I say if you’re concerned with customization, you’re probably the type of user who’d build their mini pc with a nice handle that’s nearly as portable (like me). Or you can just buy an MID or smartphone.

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  13. Katie April 30th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I agree with Rich. They are really nice for moving around the house and even outside for some R and R on the back porch or patio. I depend on it for work also. I can take it and get the paper work done almost anywhere. I do have 3 desktops but I can’t take them with me so laptops are convenient. I don’t know about the resell value however, it almost seems you can buy a new one for not much these days.

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  14. Dean Pugh May 1st, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I agree that you should own a laptop, but I think everyone seems to see this as a “why a laptop should replace your desktop”, which it isn’t, although some points do seem to suggest that.

    I use my laptop for simple computing ie surfing, word processing and low end programming. It’s generally a backup for my main machine. My laptop has a 12.5″ screen, so it fits in my bag, and allows me to leave the office.

    A laptop should only replace your computer if you only do basic computing, like word processing and surfing and maybe a few games, otherwise I would suggest a laptop as a second computer, and a Desktop as your main one.

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  15. Craciun Dan May 1st, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I think the portable and space-saver reasons are really good points to buy a laptop. But regarding the easier working factor, I always found laptops to be a pain in the ass. For me it’s twice as slow, not to mention the touchpad (if you don’t have a pad and mouse) is ten times harder to manoeuvre. Of course, maybe that’s because I was only used with a desktop for so many years. But it’s true, you can’t take your desktop in a trip, which is the greatest advantage of a laptop in my opinion.

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  16. Links 01/05/2009: US Navy Picks Linux, Another Massive GNU/Linux Migration | Boycott Novell May 1st, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    [...] 10 Reasons Why You Should Own A Laptop Even Linux “likes” laptops better because it absolutely knows what to expect, so to speak. [...]

        Reply

  17. Preetam May 7th, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Laptops don’t offer one thing for us people:-

    Gaming!

        Reply

  18. Janie June 11th, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Laptops can still acess a desktop computer on a trip if you have remote desktop connection enabled. I think it’s one of the best features of windows.

        Reply

  19. alexander the great October 13th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    i disagree, laptops aren’t always better. while i own both a laptop and a desktop, i use my desktop over my laptop every time. the simple fact is, desktops are easier to upgrade and maintain then your laptop. like you said most things pop out of a laptop. but only a few things, the ram, and hard drive. often you can’t upgrade parts of your laptop like the graphics card, there often are no PCI card slots and if there are, the average user wouldn’t know how to do it himself. desk tops are easier to clean out…i don’t know about you guys but, i take EVERYTHING apart and clean the dust out of it once a year or so, that means, taking apart the PSU, taking off the heat sink….taking out ever component. i have done this with laptops, and it is a headache. from my experience desktops are more powerful, excepting more ram card, better processors, and much larger hard drive capacities.

    i’m not saying laptops are bad, i’m just saying, that at least for me, they arn’t better then desktops, i’d say that they are on an equal playing field because when i go to a customer’s house to work on there computer, its better to bring my laptop then my desktop to service there computer.

        Reply

  20. Andrew M April 13th, 2010 at 4:51 am

    I don’t own a laptop sice when i want to run a heavy task that demands resources for long like simulations of neurall networks they end up collapsing, they can’t sustain a time span that a desktop can rub

        Reply

  21. Miss. Andrea borman. June 10th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I recently bought my first computer which is a laptop and a portable one,a notebook. But mine has a webcamb built in along with microphone and speakers. so i am able to do the same things i can with a full sosed computer. Nowdays most people who have broardband at home have laptops not computers as laptops that have been made in the last 2 years now have all the functions of a computer if not more. And most people including me do not have the space or room in their homes for a computer,also computer is more expensive than laptop. And computer is no good if you want to use wirless broard band as you cannot take it around the house,where as laptop is portable and can be taken and used anywhere if you have an internet connection.Outside the home you can use mobile broardband,which can be used when you are on holiday abroard ,so you don’t miss out on the internet while away from home.Indeded some home broardband providers offer free wi fi as part of their packages now. In fact a laptop IS a computer a more modern one at that and laptops have a lot of storage space too. Some have disk drives but some like my notebook does not. but you can install a disk drive to play CDs for eg by pluging a usb extension cable to your laptop and the other end to disk drive to play CDs and back up files on CDs. And you can plug a mouse into the side of laptop as I do so you don’t have to navigate the keyboard or click with your fingers which is difficult. and lets not forget that now most laptops are installed with Windows 7 not vista which is faster and reliable and most have webcambs too. so you can chat on messengers,make videos etc as you can on full sized computer.So nowdays laptops have taken over from the old fashoned and outdated and bulky computer. So if you are thinking of getting internet at home then laptop is the way to go and they are cheaper. andrea.

        Reply

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