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Laptops vs Desktops

Posted on 2014-04-14
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Last Modified: 2014-04-29
What are the pros and cons to using a laptop/workbook to develop websites?  What is the best laptop for website development?

I look forward to hearing a lot of opinions.
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Question by:rgranlund
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18 Comments
 
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 168 total points
ID: 39999256
Pro: you can develop sitting in bed
Con: you can develop sitting in bed

It does not really matter if you develop on a laptop or on a desktop. I know people that would rather use a desktop so when they are away from the desktop they can be free of the work, other people (mostly young) want to be able to work from anywhere.

It's a personal choice, really. And desktops are cheaper :)

HTH,
Dan
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LVL 24

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by:aadih
ID: 39999261
It matters not.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39999269
Best is only an opinion.  The best for you depends on what you need.  They cab both perform the same functions. The laptop provides convenience but cost more due the smaller size and specialized parts.
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LVL 31

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by:Marco Gasi
Marco Gasi earned 168 total points
ID: 39999279
IMHO, there is no difference, since the only limitaiton of a laptop is the screen size and you can easily plug in an external monitor (now I'm working with a laptop and a 21-inchs size external monitor and I'm very happy.

There is nothing you can do with a desktop you can't do with a laptop but manually upgrade/replace hardware components. Otherwise, you can unplug your laptop and bring it with you everywhere you go, and this is really unvaluable, better than every cloud service you can think to!
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LVL 17

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by:pjam
pjam earned 168 total points
ID: 39999283
Just remember a Laptop should not be used as a Laptop, series issues that close to your lap.
so lets call it a notebook, and they are best used on a docking station with all the extra goodies, 22" LED, mouse, keyboard etc.
For repairs I prefer desktops, much easier to replace parts and often less expensive.
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LVL 35

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by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39999286
better than every cloud service you can think
Except I've never heard of cloud services being stolen from cars :)
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LVL 24

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by:aadih
ID: 39999299
Dan Craciun:
Except I've never heard of cloud services being stolen from cars :)

Or causing lap (thigh) burns. ;-)
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LVL 53

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by:
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 168 total points
ID: 39999344
If I had to buy one or the other, it would be a laptop.  I would use an external monitor/keyboard/mouse for the office.   I like the smaller screens for traveling, but some things are best done on a larger monitor or multiple monitors.

I use a mac laptop w/2 monitor and an older imac as a windows pc with windows7.    I found this handy tool that lets me treat each screen separately even though one is only connected via wifi and/or bluetooth   http://www.keyboard-and-mouse-sharing.com/
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LVL 84

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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39999435
I use up to 10 different desktops in a network running a variety of OSs, databases, and web server software to develop websites.  Although I do have a Mac laptop, I only use it to develop one site.  So far, the laptop has never left the house.  I have too much of other people's proprietary info and logins on my computers to let them be stolen from the back seat of a car.
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LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:aadih
aadih earned 164 total points
ID: 39999472
Without any functional difference(s), it's a matter of personal preference, which differs given the individual circumstances, personal-health factors, and a myriad of other conditionings.

Nothing wrong about it,
Nothing right about it.
Do Not Enter Zone
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LVL 38

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by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
ID: 39999577
What do you mean by workbook? Not a desktop-replacement-notebook device that weighs 10 pounds right? And what are your criteria to determine what's best for you? Price? Mobility? Performance? Storage? I'd go for a nice ultrabook a long as it has a decent keyboard ;)
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LVL 53

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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39999644
Dave, do you have to wear ear muffs with all that noise?
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LVL 84

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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40000067
It's nice and quiet here, Scott.
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LVL 70

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by:garycase
garycase earned 164 total points
ID: 40000709
As noted, it's essentially a personal choice.

Note that desktops tend to be more powerful, as they have FAR better airflow, so have much better internal cooling systems -- that's why laptop processors are lower-power & lower-performance than their desktop cousins.

In addition, desktops are clearly more configurable, since they have additional expansion slots; room for more drives; etc.

And as already noted, the worst thing you can do with a laptop is use it on your lap :-)
(This restricts the already poor airflow even more)

Bottom line:  If you need the portability, buy a laptop.   Otherwise, buy a desktop.  You'll get more power/$$ and a more reliable system.

By the way, the usage [i.e. "...  to develop websites "]  is irrelevant.    The pros/cons are the same regardless of what you're using the system for --- unless you need very high-end graphics, in which case clearly a desktop, which can support far higher-performing graphics adapters than any laptop, would be the clear winner.
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Expert Comment

by:ccs241
ID: 40000723
desktops are faster bigger and stronger while laptops are more portable they can also be well it really depends on how often you travel and what you use it for
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LVL 93

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by:nobus
ID: 40000973
i see one advantage for desktops : they cost less for the same performance - about 30%
you can setup big displays - can be easy for working
parts repalcement is also easier
i use laptops only when i need to be moving - then a laptop is of course what you need.

some people will say you cna connect big screens also to laptops - but then it's not really move-able...

the best laptop for web development is the one the other person has..always seems to run better, faster..
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LVL 84

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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40000979
You can get Dell refurbished (off-lease) desktops starting at about $200 at http://www.dfsdirectsales.com/  and there is also the Dell Auction site: http://www.dellauction.com/
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LVL 111

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by:Ray Paseur
ID: 40003995
I use a desktop and a stand-up desk.  If you're developing for a specific device platform, you want one of that device for testing.
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