Penny Wise, Pound Foolish: Computers
Ah, this is my favorite topic of all time. I love how many of you out there have laptops right now, and you’re telling me that you absolutely need one because you’re constantly on the go. Believe me, I believe you think you need one. After all, some of you legitimately do. Some of you are students and need to set up a workstation just about anywhere to write a paper. Others of you are unbound by the normal laws of society and travel everywhere constantly. And still others of you have virtually no space at home for a desktop, so you use a laptop instead.
I’m going to let you know right now that while the first two of you are legitimately in need of a portable computer, space just isn’t a good enough excuse for owning a laptop. Make the damn space. Here’s why desktops will kick your laptop’s ass.
I swapped out my old laptop computer for a desktop this year and have seen a massive increase in my productivity. Why? Because now I have a dedicated workspace so I get all my stuff done when I’m on my computer at home. I don’t have to find a Starbucks or Barnes & Noble to start typing away at a computer. Instead, I have my own little shrine to getting things done. On top of that, wear and tear on a laptop is huge–you will more than likely break your laptop long before my desktop sputters out. Desktops on average last twice the length of time a laptop can, even the best-maintaned ones. The parts are tinier and therefore more expensive to replace, so even if you somehow end up outliving my beloved computer, you’ll pay through the nose for it.
Do you need portability? Why do you think I asked you to get that smartphone awhile ago? You can now check your email, browse the web, and pay your bills on your phone. On top of that, this latest crop of smartphones even allow you to play games and stream video on them. Tell me why you need a laptop and I’ll tell you that you just need a better phone instead.
Why, oh why, do you need that laptop so badly? It’s more expensive than a desktop too. If you have a laptop, you have to pay on the average 75% more than you’d pay for a desktop, and even then you’re paying for a crippled processor, smaller hard drive, and less RAM. Even if you pay pound for pound for the same specs, in reality you’re not getting the same specs. The Intel i3 processor, for example, has both a desktop and laptop version, and the desktop version smokes the laptop version by almost 100%. Although they’re branded the same, they couldn’t be more different. Of course, your average consumer has no idea of this, so they’ll pay gladly for the same name while getting essentially a cute kid’s version of the same processor. Are you willing to be ripped off?
It is foolish in most cases to get a laptop. When it comes time for your next computer, I urge you to consider a desktop instead. You’ll thank me in 8 years when your computer is still running just fine.