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Desktops are from Chrysler(tm), Laptops from Refrigadare(tm)?

Author: Chancer Reese


Desktops are from Chrysler(tm), Laptops from Refrigadare(tm)?
By Chancer Reese, Copyright 2003

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So why would I compare a car manufacturer to an appliance maker? And
what the heck does any of that have to do with your computer?

When people ask me to either upgrade or repair their laptop, I usually
tell them to take it to an authorized dealer, wait 6 to 8 weeks and be
prepared to take out a second mortgage. I'm just kidding, but only a
little bit.

Of course you can replace parts in a laptop like you can any other PC,
but the point I'm trying to make is that desktops and laptops are
fundamentally different.

Ok, smarty-pants, we both know that laptops were designed to be ultimate,
portable computing tool for road warriors, students and other mobile
users. And desktops, on the other hand were made to be the stay-at-home
workhorses.

The point I'm trying to make is that desktop computers (either a true
"desktop" model or a floor-base "tower") are designed like cars and can
be easily modified and upgraded with common after-market parts.
This is called "open-source" since any hardware producer using standard
sizes and configurations can sell their components and be assured
that it will fit inside any industry standard computer.

Laptops are designed to be more like a household appliance than an
automobile. Sure you can upgrade a laptop but all the parts are habitually
proprietary or custom made for that laptop manufacturer to fit inside
that specific model. With the exception of the memory or RAM and
the hard drive (which is still smaller than a typical desktop hard disk)
often the only other "standardized" items are the connector ports on
the back and sides for phone jacks, mice or printers.

Everything else, from the keyboard, pointer device and screen plus all
that other nifty internal stuff is designed to either be smaller or
lighter weight than the norm. Also laptops use "molded" high impact
plastic cases that don't contain any easy, user-friendly screws or clips.

Like a television set or a refrigerator, laptop manufacturers don't
really want you monkeying around inside their units. What you buy is
pretty much what you get. Don't like your laptop's case color?
Buy a new laptop! Is the screen too small? Buy a new laptop! Keyboard
too clunky and you can't type comfortably? Buy a new laptop! Hate that
tiny, little red pointer "dot" or can't get the hang of a glide point?
Buy a new laptop!

Laptop replacement parts for the average Joe are expensive, hard to
come by and tough to work with. Trust me on this. Imagine lots of
itty-bitty screws and tiny plastic parts and that's just opening the
case. Since you are not an authorized dealer you will spend hours
online tracking down spec sheets, part numbers and used/new laptop
components. The word "labor-intensive" is not applied lightly.

You get the picture. All those things could be easily modified or
changed on a regular old desktop with a quick trip to your local
electronic superstore. And I won't go in the short battery-life, slow
processing speed and overheating issues some laptops have, the article
is just too short for that.

Anyway, the TechDiva recommend's..

Unless you have to have one for work or study I would say why spend the
cash? For the same amount of moo-la it would take to get an average
laptop, you could have a superior new desktop or two older "legacy"
machines (you know the ones, just one or two years old). But if you
just like working on a computer while sitting in bed, or sitting in
the living room, why buy it?

Part of the DIY mindset is learning to conserve your money for those
important technology functions which push your business to greater
productivity (i.e. profits), not just get a cool new toy or gadget
to impress your pals.

About the Author

Chancer Reese has been computer technician and trainer for over ten
years. She also has attained five certificates in various technology
fields. Ms. Reese specializes in assisting small businesses in
effectively utilizing and managing their computer systems. She can
be contacted via her website
http://www.technoweasel.com


Article Keywords:
Laptop Computers


 



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