Make Mine Mobile: When Your Laptop Is Your Main PC - InformationWeek
03:42 PM

Make Mine Mobile: When Your Laptop Is Your Main PC

A laptop isn't just a desktop PC with a handle on it--it's got its own advantages and disadvantages. If your main computer is (or will be) a notebook, here's how to get the most out of your all-laptop life.

Anyone who has both a desktop and a laptop computer can attest to the headache of synchronizing information between the two, not to mention keeping both systems running efficiently and free of spam, viruses, and spyware. Then there's all the space that having two separate systems takes up -- who among us wouldn't welcome a bit more elbow room? Small wonder, then, that more and more people are deciding to dump their desktops for good and become full-time laptop users.

Your Laptop As Your Main PC

•  Is The Laptop Life For You?

•  Choosing The Right Laptop

•  Adding Key Peripherals

•  Moving Data And Apps

•  Setting Up Security

•  Connecting On The Road

•  Livin' La Vida Laptop

But using a laptop as your sole computer can be tricky. It all boils down to The Rule Of Portability, which states that, inevitably, there are tradeoffs in price, performance, and usability when computers and other devices become smaller and more mobile. In addition, there are security issues related to leading a laptop-only life that you don't face with desktops.

I had been considering the switch as I found that the time I spent managing three home desktop computers and a laptop was increasing. Plus, I've become increasingly mobile. So I consulted a few experts about the best way to lead an all-laptop life. Here's what they had to say about how to live happily -- and securely -- with your full-time laptop.

Step 1: Is It For You?
The first decision is whether ditching your desktop is right for you. "There are two core reasons for making the move from a desktop to a notebook," says Brian Beeler, who is president of, a site devoted to laptop computers.

The first reason is sheer necessity, Beeler says. For example, a change in your job could mean that you are now more mobile than before. The second reason is simply that laptop computers can be better even for users who don't travel a lot. "Many people find notebooks easier to use, cleaner on their desk, and it gives the flexibility of being mobile should the need arise," Beeler explains.

I hoped that switching to a laptop as my primary computer would reduce the number of computers I needed to maintain and manage. Also, when I'm away from my desk, I often forget to copy an important file or bit of personal information to my laptop, making me much less productive.

There are tradeoffs to relying on a laptop as a main computer, and I was painfully aware of them, because I've used laptops a long time, starting with the old Compaq "sewing machines" in the late 1980s. However, the drawbacks can be offset by selecting the right laptop.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 5
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
2017 State of IT Report
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll