Laptop or Desktop - Decisions, Decisions (One recommendation)

Recently a customer contacted me regarding getting a new computer. Here is what we discussed regarding his needs:

1. Home computing with small farm business
2. Currently running Quickbooks 2010 on Old Microsoft XP desktop computer too old for upgrade
3. Wife is an accountant
4. Uses Itunes
5. Probably does not want to convert to MAC given the recent QB License

Based on this, we discussed the following:

Here is my opinion… today (3/31). If you are going with a laptop, that HP the g6x is the best thing I found given your application… I did not look at MAC. Base there is $999. I assumed that was not of interest. Tell me different if it is.

On any of those configurable machines laptop or desktop, I would stop and think about the $100 Radeon Graphics card option. I am less concern for your application. You can always upgrade later. For a laptop, upgrade is more costly than a desktop, so I would think harder about getting the right graphics card with my initial purchase.

For desktop and this is the second time this year that I found this, Best Buy has a Gateway that I would jump on. It has the “green” technology disk drives, so it’s hard to compare the disk speed on it, but my experience is that it’s not bad for most applications.

Gateway - Desktop / Intel® Core™ i5 Processor / 6GB Memory / 1.5TB Hard Drive Model: DX4850-27EU | SKU: 2248471

Gateway also had a model at their site with a blue ray option for $100. there does not appear to be an option with a better graphics card.

Now… How do I pick a laptop vs desktop… Beyond the obvious portability, there is the question of expansion. I have a desktop in my living room that is functioning as our entertainment center. We watch movies on-line, I have all my music on it, all that kind of stuff. It has been my weekend focal point for NCAA tournament up to last weekend when they went to showing stuff on CBS. Actually, I have had my laptop in my office straining some days during the day. It’s been a trooper…. But I digress. That’s how a lot of people are using their desktop computers these days, so that’s what vendors are designing them for. Over time, I have upgraded the display card and added disk. I need a better sound card and speakers. I have about 2.5 terabytes of drive space in a raid configuration. That’s more difficult to do, but you get my drift. So you have more ability to adapt a desktop. The desktop is going to adjust to home entertainment options longer into the future than a laptop.

If your use remains focused on business work and home finance, then the convenience and portability of the laptop will meet that need and continue to meet that need for as long as the desktop without modification.

Give me a call if you have more questions or if I haven’t laid that out well. I am a little rushed today, but I wanted to get you some information before the weekend. That Gateway is available in the Rochester area stores if you want to take a look at them. I don’t think I will be coming out your way soon… at least as long as Bessy keeps behaving, but if you can think of a real reason for a trip, I am happy to deliver at no extra charge.