Time for a New Computer? What shall it be, a Laptop or Desktop?
Think Twice, Buy Once!
In addition to selling all types of excellent new and refurbished desktop and notebook systems, The Computer Guru in Santa Fe does a lot of service, repairs, and upgrades. So I’m in a good position to see what kinds of machines operate well for all types of customers under various conditions.
Many people, it seems, “automatically” choose laptop over desktop computers, nowadays, perhaps without even giving it much thought. There is a perception that desktop (“tower”) systems are somehow old-fashioned, unnecessarily large, “bulky” or “clunky,” and that smaller lightweight portable systems are more advanced, or reliable, or convenient, or sensible, or something.
In fact, this isn’t true at all, if it ever was. For one thing, The Computer Guru in Santa Fe builds and sells desktop systems in many different shapes and sizes, and many — if you can believe it — are smaller than portable computers!!! As for elegance, are desktop computers styled by the BMW Design Group (yes, THAT BMW!) elegant enough for you?
More urgently, even the best portable computers are severely compromised machines, engineered primarily for small size, light weight, and battery-powered operation. These capabilities are fine when you really need them, but when you don’t, they nevertheless affect the performance, reliability, servicability, upgradability, cost-of-ownership, and expected lifespan of the machine.
The “downside” of portable computers is significant, so I’ll mention just two major limitations:
The first is the very common problem of portable computers being dropped, or when liquids are spilled onto them. In both these cases, the computers are usually “toast” and must be replaced. I have one client who is going broke because his young children keep trashing the family’s $1500 Macintosh laptops! Whereas desktop computers are seldom dropped, and when liquid is spilled on the keyboard, a $25 keyboard replacement will usually take care of the problem.
The second limitation of laptops is demonstrated clearly by two customers who came into my shop recently. Both were carrying dead portable computers.
The first computer, a dead HP Laptop, had to go back to HP for a factory repair. It needed a new hard drive, a new “mainboard,” and a complete reinstallation of the operating system. Only HP could do the service, because only HP had the replacement mainboard. The system was promptly sent away, and the customer was without their computer for THREE FULL WEEKS while HP fixed it.
The second computer, a custom-built desktop, was also completely dead. But after 45 minutes of testing, I determined that the system needed a new video card. I replaced this component (I keep most desktop repair parts in stock), and the system ran perfectly.
Repair time for the desktop computer? TWO HOURS!
I could go on, but it should be clear by now: when it’s time for a new computer, you may not want to just run out and buy the first laptop you see. Come visit The Computer Guru in Santa Fe instead, sit down, and have a cozy chat. You may find that a larger, faster, reliable and robust desktop system is a much more sensible choice. You can always take a laptop with you when you travel — or simply use an iPhone when you are not at home or in the office.
The Computer Guru is located (since 1997) at 844 Agua Fria Street in Santa Fe, at the Southeast corner of the intersection of Agua Fria Street and St. Francis Drive, across from Lotus Beauty. There is plenty of free parking. Open Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday from 10AM to 6PM, Wednesday & Friday from 10AM to 6PM, other days/times (occasionally) by appointment.