Harperfan7 wrote:I don't want a desktop because I like to move around in the house and not have to sit in a chair. I want a desktop replacement in particular because they have the largest screens and keyboards (or so I assumed, I'm checking that right now). I don't mind my laptop being big (or ugly). I don't mind paying extra for the mobility and ease of use, but if it turns out that I'm paying like twice as much, then screw it, I'll get a desktop and figure out how to make it mobile.
With a DTR, you'll mostly be in a chair. They're big, hot, and need to be on flat surfaces. I suppose you could move it from the office to the kitchen table, though. Whether that's worth the hit to performance, ergonomics, and cost effectiveness is sort of up to you, but they're generally poor compromises IMO. As a general rule, laptop keyboards suck. Trackpads suck. Displays are mediocre. Harddrives are smaller and slower. CPUs cost more and are slower. The display is in the wrong spot compared to the keyboard. There's roughly zero upgrade path, etc, etc.
This sounds like very good advice. I wasn't aware that top-end things were that much more expensive. As I said, I'm hoping to get something that will stay fast and clean, so if it starts to slow noticeably in only a year or two, I want to avoid it. The computer that just died always had me in fits. I wanted to put my fist through the screen half the time. I suppose thats my main goal - headache/frustration prevention.
7200RPM hard drive, or better yet an SSD, and reinstall the OS every other year, and you'll be laughing. For general interneting and such, a 4+ year old C2D system is still just fine, there's no reason that pattern will not continue to hold true. Most of "slow" turns out to be "filled with crap".
I didn't mean physically tough (though I thought having as SSD would help address that), I meant something quality that will last performance wise, something that won't start acting like a fish out of water in a couple years. My computer, whatever I end up getting, likely won't ever leave my house. That's the reason I didn't mention anything about batteries, it won't ever be unplugged. That said, will the physical toughness-quality of a laptop really matter if it never leaves the house? The 3rd poster mentioned business class, is that still worth it for a housebound computer?
To a degree, yes, but much less. Hinges still wear out, coffee gets spilled, things like that. If it's just sitting there, it's less of a concern, but I'd still avoid the cheapest things around.
-Samsung 830 or Crucial M4 SSD
I'm not sure that I understand what you said about upgrading it myself. Buy whatever comes in the computer (SSD or HDD) AND the SSD that I plan on using, then put in the good one? I don't know anything about self-upgrading (or upgrading in general), I'll have to read up on it.
Is 120-160 GB enough for the things I mentioned? I plan on using some flash drives for storage at least, though I was hoping to get an external hard drive.
That's exactly what I mean. The cost of upgrading to a SSD when you order a laptop is often on the order of twice what you'd pay to just buy the SSD in the first place. Likewise with RAM. With the SSD, in particular, you can also take the old hard drive and put it in a USB enclosure when you're done, so you get that too.
Whether you can live within the storage constraints of an SSD is up to you. I'm fine with 160GB on my laptop, but I'm well past the TB mark on my desktop. Again, with a desktop, you have the option of a SSD for OS and programs, and then adding HDD(s) for bulk storage as needed. To do that with a laptop, you generally need external drives (at which point you've given up even more mobility and performance).
This scares me. Are physical durability and performance-stability related? Assuming I never drop it or get it wet or whatever would happen to it while carrying it around. Say I get one that has all the above specs, but isn't designed for travel, will just using it around the house cause it to eventually fail from poor hardware? I don't know what bloatware is.
Build quality won't have a huge impact on actual stability, or at least not in your use-case. However, that's a hell of an assumption you're making - like trying to plan a ranch with a frictionless field and spherical cows.
Bloatware, crapware, shovelware, etc, are all the questionable-to-useless demos, trials, utilities, updaters, installers, and other general crap that OEMs like to stick on their systems that aren't good for more than burning resources and padding profit margins. It's more prevalent at the low end (where it hurts the most :/ ) of consumer systems, where manufacturer margins are razor thin and every cent they make or save counts. Premium and business class machines tend to have less crud preinstalled on them.
As a hypothetical example:A basic desktop
* is going to give you comparable performance to most decent laptops around the upper end of your pricerange - the i3-2320 is a bit faster than the i5-2540M. Throw in any one of half a dozen good 23" monitors - I'd go for a cheap IPS monitor
myself, and you're still well under a grand. Add a small boot SSD
if you want, for a very solid system. If you still need something portable, you can throw in a Kindle Fire and have something that actually is
portable, and still only be brushing $1k.
*I'm not actually recommending that particular unit, but it's an example anyways.