T Nation

Seeking Input On A Computer Purchase

Hello,

I know for sure I need a laptop. My question is, should I also invest in a desktop or should I just get a docking station and monitor setup for home?

I’m an elementary school teacher. I use my computer for MS Office work, giving presentations, surfing the net, etc. I don’t do any fancy video or audio editing. The most advanced thing I do is create screencasts for video lessons (similar to kahn academy). Sometime I draw simple pictures in inkscape.

I’m just not sure its worth investing in a separate machine to sit on my desk at home when I can just come home and snap my laptop into a docking station to get the large monitor and real keyboard experience.

Is there something I’m not thinking of when it comes to not owning a desktop?

[quote]JSMaxwell wrote:
Hello,

I know for sure I need a laptop. My question is, should I also invest in a desktop or should I just get a docking station and monitor setup for home?

I’m an elementary school teacher. I use my computer for MS Office work, giving presentations, surfing the net, etc. I don’t do any fancy video or audio editing. The most advanced thing I do is create screencasts for video lessons (similar to kahn academy). Sometime I draw simple pictures in inkscape.

I’m just not sure its worth investing in a separate machine to sit on my desk at home when I can just come home and snap my laptop into a docking station to get the large monitor and real keyboard experience.

Is there something I’m not thinking of when it comes to not owning a desktop?[/quote]
You should definitely just get a decent laptop. It will be strong enough for your needs.

I’d just get a decent docking station. Desktops do still have some major pluses over laptops if you’re a power user, but that doesn’t sound like the case here. If you’re not gaming or doing actual video editing, a laptop is fine these days.

Just, for the love of god, don’t get a cheap crappy 300 dollar laptop. Vizio is coming out with some pretty nice ones soon in the 800 range that look nice. Get at least 4 gigs of RAM, a decent quad core CPU and 500+ gigs of storage space. Don’t get suckered into some of the old single core budget CPUs still floating around distribution channels. A GOOD dual core might be fine, but I’d just plunk down for a quad core at this juncture.

Thanks for the input and I think I am going to go the laptop/docking station way. I won’t skimp on the laptop either. Many years ago I was told to buy as much memory and processing speed as you can afford and I think it is still good advice. I’ve always had a positive experience dealing with Dell so I think I’ll start my shopping there.

honestly, CPU speed hasn’t been an issue for a few years now. THe only reason I threw that caution in there is that are still single core CPUs around…but any low to mid range quad core will work for you. Just go with an Intel core i-5 of any sort and you’ll be fine; no point in buying an i-7. You can probably even do OK with an i-3 but I don’t know how common those are in laptops right now. Sadly, AMD just isn’t that competitive right now (which makes me sad, as my last 3 builds were all AMD based).

for what your talking a tablet would almost work… so ya, a decent laptop

Thank me later