How I Fell Out of Love With Laptops and Returned to Desktops

In my last blog post, I wrote about the changes I expect to make through the course of 2022. I’ve been laying out some of these changes since 2020 when the pandemic first allowed and then forced me to review my freelance services.

In March 2021, I purchased a standing desk, a new chair, and an external keyboard and mouse. The main reason for the external keyboard is that two of the keys had fallen off the (not cheap) laptop I bought in July 2020. They would not reaffix and there were signs that more of the keys were coming loose.

Mostly, I wanted to give myself more control over my work. Desktop keyboards are larger and sometimes feel more comfortable to work with when spending long periods at a desk. Ditto a mouse – they always feel more comfortable than using a laptop touchpad.

The Final Straw for Laptops

Since then, another two keys have fallen off and the battery life dropped from 5hrs in 2020 to under 2hrs in December 2021. I didn’t know at the time of purchase that there is no replaceable battery on the underside like every other laptop I’ve had since I first got one in 2006.

I do regular disk clean up, fine tuning, and browser cache clearance but that didn’t improve battery life. Nothing improved even after removing the video editing app and the link to a gaming service.

I also needed something more powerful to continue to develop video editing skills. The laptop was a powerful one (like I said, not cheap) and it worked overtime when Adobe Photoshop and HitFilm Express were running at the same time.

The answer seemed obvious – I already had the external keyboard and mouse, and a standing desk in a dedicated office.

Old laptop vs new desktop: a screen size comparison

Hello Desktops, It’s Been a While

I’d been toying with getting a desktop the moment my standing desk arrived. With money tight through most of last year, I knew I couldn’t go on with the laptop as it was knowing it was only a matter of time before all the keys fell off. So I started digging around and eventually bought a Hewlett Packard.

I spent nearly £900 on an all-in-one HP. I know that’s cheap for a desktop and I’m fully aware of the lack of upgradability of all-in-ones, but it fulfils my needs right now and I expect it will do so for at least the next 3-5 years.

My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. The new desktop allows me to:

  • Work on photo editing with greater ease and more screen space (this screen is huge!)
  • Work on video editing with less lag and more screen space
  • Get back into PC gaming. I downloaded Epic Games onto my laptop over a year ago and sporadically played Civilisation 6

The laptop just about coped with all these processes – “just about coped” being the operative phrase there, but this desktop is far more powerful and far more conducive to doing all of them. For gaming especially, I’m not trying to hear characters talking over the fan going ten to the dozen and the device remaining on constant charge.

What About Mobile Working?

Good question – I’ve written about remote working in the past. I’m sticking with this laptop for now while looking for a future solution to working and writing while out and about. I do like to go to coffee shops and cafes to work, but a decreasing charge on the laptop means finding a charging point is a major priority. Not all coffee shops have this (still).

Short-term, I’m sticking with my current laptop. At the very least I’m going to drag it out until the summer. Lasting for two years doesn’t seem quite as bad as lasting for 18 months.

Long-term, I’m considering my options. Maybe a hybrid laptop or cheap(ish) tablet like a Samsung Tab Lite. I will use this purely for writing and surfing the internet. I may even only use it for writing fiction, depending on how I get on with it. If limited to fiction, all I will need is a screen, a stylus, and a word processor to write in.

Thoughts? Have you recently made the switch back to desktops? What do you use as a remote working device?

2 responses to “How I Fell Out of Love With Laptops and Returned to Desktops”

  1. Oh wow, that’s a big change indeed. I myself love the convenience of laptops too much—even when I’m at home. The only upside I see for desktops are for gaming purposes, but I haven’t done that in ages. Thanks for sharing, by the way!

    1. You’re welcome! I’ve ordered a chromebook so I do have a basic laptop, though with touchscreen capabilities this is more like a hybrid. I will still need remote working capabilities.

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