I’m using a single laptop computer where I’m living now. I’m temporarily living in an extended stay apartment complex and there isn’t enough room for much of anything else. I just fixed an old Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop computer, but I’m not using it. It’s intended as a gift for a niece in the Philippines. I’m going to be buying another laptop computer and letting my wife use the one I’m using now. I was intent on buying a new desktop computer when I return to the Philippines at the end of 2014, but I’ve changed my mind. I don’t need a desktop computer because I can use my laptop computer as a desktop computer. It’s simpler to use it that way than you can imagine.
The Limitations of a Laptop Computer
I’ve always preferred a desktop computer to a laptop computer because a desktop computer usually has a bigger monitor, a bigger keyboard and a mouse as an input device. A laptop usually has a smaller monitor, sometimes much smaller. A touchpad is the default input device.
I like laptop computers for two features they always have – a laptop battery and a wireless receiver. These are add-ons for most desktop computers (a UPS instead of a battery and an added wireless card, both more expensive than what laptop computers already include).
I’ve been intent on buying a desktop computer upon my return to the Philippines, to replace the desktop computer I was having issues with before I left. It’s been my plan for almost a year.
Yesterday, I had an epiphany of sorts and I’ve decided it’s a better idea to buy a laptop computer here in Phoenix than to buy a desktop computer in the Philippines. I’m trying to be practical. I don’t really need a desktop computer.
Laptop computers tend to be more expensive in the Philippines than in the United States while desktop computers tend to be less expensive. Unless that changes, I’ll never buy a laptop computer in the Philippines.
I may someday buy another desktop computer in the Philippines, but it isn’t a priority anymore.
Using my Laptop Computer as a Desktop Computer
I already use a USB optical mouse with the laptop computer I’m using now. I’ll be using another USB optical mouse with the one I’m buying. A USB mouse is one of three things needed to use a laptop computer as a desktop computer.
I have three spare monitors. Two are 19-inch monitors and one is a 21-inch monitor. Hooking up an external monitor is the second of the three things needed.
The third item needed is a USB keyboard. Some laptop computers have PS/2 ports, but the less expensive ones don’t. The one I’m using doesn’t and the one I’m buying doesn’t. I have several spare PS/2 type keyboards and the only thing I need is a PS/2 to USB adapter. They’re cheap, usually only costing a couple of dollars.
I’ll be placing a laptop computer between a monitor and a keyboard on my computer desk. I’ll have to change the power options so that I can close the lid without affecting operations. I don’t have any gripes about hitting the Win+P combination to switch to the external monitor since I’ll only be doing it once a day.
If you think about it, it’s like using a laptop computer as a limited docking station or replacing the computer case of a desktop computer with a laptop computer (which is being used for everything other than the monitor, keyboard and touchpad). If I need to take it with me somewhere, all I’ll have to do is shut it down, remove the external components and head out the door.
Until a few short years ago, I wouldn’t have considered laptop computers reliable enough to replace desktop computers this way. The netbook revolution forced manufacturers to make laptop computers better while making them cheaper. Sure, you can still buy more expensive laptop computers. The choices are from one extreme to the other, from cheap to expensive. Most people don’t need laptop computers from the expensive end of the spectrum. I know I don’t.