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Old 06-14-2009, 06:58 AM   #1
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Default Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

Hi guys, just wanted to put forward an idea and ask a few questions.

Well first of all I am looking for a new PC. I want a desktop setup but also need a laptop for school. I was thinking, what if I just buy a laptop and connect it to my monitors using it as I would a desktop PC when at home? Has anyone had any experience doing this or know if this is a good idea or not?

I won't really be doing much on it, other than IMing, torrents, internet and word processing etc, so I won't really need a super powerful laptop right? I also want to use dual monitors and other hardware (such as mouse, keyboard, webcam etc). This is all possible with most laptops?

Anyway thanks for your time. If you don't understand something, or need me to explain better, just say My English is not perfect.

tl;dr: Is it wise to save money and buy a laptop to use as a replacement for a desktop PC when at home?
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

You can use dual monitors on most laptops... but you will have to use the LAPTOP monitor as one of the monitors, if you see what I mean. You can also buy a DualHead adapter thingie, I think that Matrox Make them.

It should work fine. I once worked at a place that did a lot of off-site work. People would carry a laptop with them, and when they got to their desk, they would put the laptop down on a dock-type thing, and it would automagically connect the Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse and Ethernet Cable to the laptop, which basically turned it into a desktop.

Edit: I'm going on about the Matrox DualHead2Go
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

I actually have setup what you are wanting to do. I have a USB keyboard and mouse with an external monitor hooked up and everything works fine. When I want to use the laptop, all I have to do is use the FN key to switch my monitor to the internal laptop monitor and then change the screen resolution.

As for the dual monitors part, I think it would be easiest to just use the laptops internal monitor as your second one. I've done this before but always went back to a single because I never used my other screen for much.

Also, I recommend you get a USB hub if you want to hook up a lot of things to it. For me, my mouse, keyboard, and webcam are hooked into the hub. I have the hub plugged into one USB port with my cooler in the one under it. This leaves me with 2 USB ports on the side so I can easily plug in things like flash drives.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

Though you can buy Docking stations for most laptops so you just have your keyboard,mouse,monitor and ethernet plugged into this dock so when you dock your laptop,it's all read to use.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

Thanks for your replies, guys. I might go through with this and buy one, it sounds like a good idea. Just some quick questions:
-Is the docking stations for laptops specific to the type of laptop or how do they work? I haven't really heard of them before.
-Do USB hubs bottleneck the speed of your USB devices in any way? Since it is enabling more USB slots through one USB slot.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono2006 View Post
-Is the docking stations for laptops specific to the type of laptop or how do they work? I haven't really heard of them before.
There are some generic brands out there, but generally each manufacturer will have a specific dock for each product line.

Quote:
-Do USB hubs bottleneck the speed of your USB devices in any way? Since it is enabling more USB slots through one USB slot.
Some USB devices might act up if you connect them to a USB hub. Others should work fine.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

Ah thanks for the reply.

I am now thinking of getting a Dell laptop as I get an 8% discount on them as a bonus from my car insurance. Has anyone had any experience with them or know anything about them? Are they a good brand to go with. The ones I am looking at are on this page:
http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/prod...hs1&l=en&s=dhs

*Note: The currency is in Australian Dollars don't get confuse.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Using laptop as a desktop replacement?

Let me comment on the first question you had...

I bought a laptop "just to carry around" and now I no longer use my desktop. I have a docking station and everything hooked up to it. Although I hardly ever dock it... I will probably never go back to desktops ever again.

Second question to the Ispirions... I personally dont care for that particular Dell line due to build limitations. If you build it right then you shouldnt have any issues with it. I have two Latitudes and they work great. I opted for the better video card and the most RAM I could shove in there. It handles "Need For Speed" games just fine. The other machine is more for my music and video editing/burning. I would say step up to the Latitude D-Series or the E-Series, many more build possibilites and you can get faster components.
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