Can a laptop be used as a desktop?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

A newbie here. In fact, I just told you everything I know about
laptops. I've never even used one except to try out a couple in the
stores.

My trusty Celeron 500 98SE desktop needs to be retired, and I would
like to gain more mobility in the upgrade. While I don't really
want to buy two computers (this is all home stuff), I don't think I
could use the laptop for extended periods of typing and other
serious work. So, here's what I thought might work:

I want to bring the laptop into the Data Center, and hook it up to a
real keyboard, a real mouse, and a real monitor (19" CRT), so that
in effect it would work just like a desktop that happens to have a
very small case. :-)

And then when I want to surf the web from the back porch, I would
just unhook all that stuff and use the built-in laptop hardware.

Is this practical? I don't see external keyboard or mouse ports on
the laptops I've seen in the stores, although some do have external
RGB monitor ports (I assume my analog CRT monitor could be driven
from this). So how would the keyboard and mouse be done?

I would appreciate the wisdom of the newsgroup gods on this idea.
20 answers Last reply
More about laptop desktop
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    > My trusty Celeron 500 98SE desktop needs to be retired, and
    > I would like to gain more mobility in the upgrade. While I
    > don't really want to buy two computers (this is all home stuff),
    > I don't think I could use the laptop for extended periods of
    > typing and other serious work.

    Why not? What problems do you anticipate?

    I've used nothing but IBM ThinkPads for the last six years. I have no
    desktop computers, no "real keyboards", no "real mice", and no "real
    monitors".

    As a software developer, I spend many hours a day on my computer. I'm
    extremely fussy about keyboards, pointing devices, and displays. To me,
    those are the most important parts of a computer.

    The ThinkPad's keyboard is fine with me, and I find the TrackPoint to be far
    superior to a mouse for someone who types a lot. Instead of having to reach
    back and forth, back and forth all the time between keyboard and mouse, the
    pointing device is right there in the middle of the keyboard, ready to use
    with no handwaving.

    OTOH, I can't stand the touchpads that most notebooks have. If I had a
    machine with a touchpad, I probably would have to use an external mouse.

    And the display... The display! When I got my first ThinkPad and saw its
    perfectly sharp LCD, I knew right away that I could never go back to a CRT
    with all the problems I used to deal with: focusing, geometry, and moire
    interference caused by the shadow mask or aperture grille.

    My current ThinkPad has a beautiful 1600 x 1200 display, and because it's an
    LCD, it can take full advantage of ClearType subpixel antialiasing. I can
    use smaller text sizes and get clearer, easier to read text than I ever
    could on a CRT.

    So, my suggestion would be to consider the possibility that a notebook may
    actually be *better* than a desktop. It is for me, by far--if it's a
    ThinkPad.

    If you do decide to stick with your plan of using external keyboard, mouse,
    and display, Richard has already given you some good information on that.
    One thing I would add: Many new notebooks lack traditional keyboard and PS/2
    mouse ports. However, they all have USB, and USB keyboards and mice are
    readily available. Or, if you get a docking station or port replicator as
    Richard mentioned, those often have traditional keyboard and mouse ports.

    -Mike
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "George" <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net> wrote in message
    news:dV3cc.53632$_U.14191@lakeread05...

    > A newbie here. In fact, I just told you everything I know about
    > laptops. I've never even used one except to try out a couple in the
    > stores.

    Yes, what you are proposing can certainly be done.

    Almost all laptops have video out ports. Many (most?) also have connectors
    for an external mouse or keyboard.

    Another option is a mouse connected to the USB port.

    Some laptops have optional docking stations to make all the peripheral
    connections much easier when you connect the computer to your desktop --
    just keep the monitor, printer, mouse, and keyboard plugged into the docking
    station and then put your computer into the docking station when you want to
    use it at that location.

    --
    Richard Kaplan
    rkaplan@flyimc.com
    www.flyimc.com
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    No, laptops cannot be used as desktops.

    The most important function desktops
    perform is to support one's coffee
    mug.

    Needless to say, laptops cannot do
    that while being used for other
    tasks.

    ;-)


    dk


    "George" <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net> wrote in message
    news:dV3cc.53632$_U.14191@lakeread05...
    > A newbie here. In fact, I just told you everything I know about
    > laptops. I've never even used one except to try out a couple in the
    > stores.
    >
    > My trusty Celeron 500 98SE desktop needs to be retired, and I would
    > like to gain more mobility in the upgrade. While I don't really
    > want to buy two computers (this is all home stuff), I don't think I
    > could use the laptop for extended periods of typing and other
    > serious work. So, here's what I thought might work:
    >
    > I want to bring the laptop into the Data Center, and hook it up to a
    > real keyboard, a real mouse, and a real monitor (19" CRT), so that
    > in effect it would work just like a desktop that happens to have a
    > very small case. :-)
    >
    > And then when I want to surf the web from the back porch, I would
    > just unhook all that stuff and use the built-in laptop hardware.
    >
    > Is this practical? I don't see external keyboard or mouse ports on
    > the laptops I've seen in the stores, although some do have external
    > RGB monitor ports (I assume my analog CRT monitor could be driven
    > from this). So how would the keyboard and mouse be done?
    >
    > I would appreciate the wisdom of the newsgroup gods on this idea.
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Dan Koren wrote:
    > No, laptops cannot be used as desktops.
    >
    > The most important function desktops
    > perform is to support one's coffee
    > mug.
    >
    > Needless to say, laptops cannot do
    > that while being used for other
    > tasks.
    >
    > ;-)

    That's a good one!

    BTW, have you ever wondered why a computer that goes on the floor is called
    a desktop, and a computer that goes on top of the desk is called a laptop?

    -Mike
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Michael Geary <Mike@DeleteThis.Geary.com> wrote:
    >
    > I've used nothing but IBM ThinkPads for the last six years. I have no
    > desktop computers, no "real keyboards", no "real mice", and no "real
    > monitors".
    >
    > As a software developer, I spend many hours a day on my computer. I'm
    > extremely fussy about keyboards, pointing devices, and displays. To
    > me, those are the most important parts of a computer.
    >
    > The ThinkPad's keyboard is fine with me, and I find the TrackPoint to
    > be far superior to a mouse for someone who types a lot. Instead of
    > having to reach back and forth, back and forth all the time between
    > keyboard and mouse, the pointing device is right there in the middle
    > of the keyboard, ready to use with no handwaving.
    >
    > OTOH, I can't stand the touchpads that most notebooks have. If I had a
    > machine with a touchpad, I probably would have to use an external
    > mouse.
    >
    > And the display... The display! When I got my first ThinkPad and saw
    > its perfectly sharp LCD, I knew right away that I could never go back
    > to a CRT with all the problems I used to deal with: focusing,
    > geometry, and moire interference caused by the shadow mask or
    > aperture grille.
    >
    > My current ThinkPad has a beautiful 1600 x 1200 display, and because
    > it's an LCD, it can take full advantage of ClearType subpixel
    > antialiasing. I can use smaller text sizes and get clearer, easier to
    > read text than I ever could on a CRT.
    >
    > So, my suggestion would be to consider the possibility that a
    > notebook may actually be *better* than a desktop. It is for me, by
    > far--if it's a ThinkPad.

    Amen.

    Thus endeth the lesson, thus sayeth the Lord.

    Now go forth and purchase a Thinkpad and sin no more!

    St. James
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Michael Geary" <Mike@DeleteThis.Geary.com> wrote in message
    news:1071m4bp6riomb1@corp.supernews.com...
    > > My trusty Celeron 500 98SE desktop needs to be retired, and
    > > I would like to gain more mobility in the upgrade. While I
    > > don't really want to buy two computers (this is all home stuff),
    > > I don't think I could use the laptop for extended periods of
    > > typing and other serious work.
    >
    > Why not? What problems do you anticipate?
    >
    > I've used nothing but IBM ThinkPads for the last six years. I have no
    > desktop computers, no "real keyboards", no "real mice", and no "real
    > monitors".
    >


    And no real coffee mugs I suppose?


    dk
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Now seriously:

    The real asnwer is: it depends!

    What apps are you running? What
    are you using your desktop for?


    dk


    "George" <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net> wrote in message
    news:dV3cc.53632$_U.14191@lakeread05...
    > A newbie here. In fact, I just told you everything I know about
    > laptops. I've never even used one except to try out a couple in the
    > stores.
    >
    > My trusty Celeron 500 98SE desktop needs to be retired, and I would
    > like to gain more mobility in the upgrade. While I don't really
    > want to buy two computers (this is all home stuff), I don't think I
    > could use the laptop for extended periods of typing and other
    > serious work. So, here's what I thought might work:
    >
    > I want to bring the laptop into the Data Center, and hook it up to a
    > real keyboard, a real mouse, and a real monitor (19" CRT), so that
    > in effect it would work just like a desktop that happens to have a
    > very small case. :-)
    >
    > And then when I want to surf the web from the back porch, I would
    > just unhook all that stuff and use the built-in laptop hardware.
    >
    > Is this practical? I don't see external keyboard or mouse ports on
    > the laptops I've seen in the stores, although some do have external
    > RGB monitor ports (I assume my analog CRT monitor could be driven
    > from this). So how would the keyboard and mouse be done?
    >
    > I would appreciate the wisdom of the newsgroup gods on this idea.
    >
    >
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Michael Geary wrote:
    >
    > > My trusty Celeron 500 98SE desktop needs to be retired, and
    > > I would like to gain more mobility in the upgrade. While I
    > > don't really want to buy two computers (this is all home stuff),
    > > I don't think I could use the laptop for extended periods of
    > > typing and other serious work.
    >
    > Why not? What problems do you anticipate?
    >
    > I've used nothing but IBM ThinkPads for the last six years. I have no
    > desktop computers, no "real keyboards", no "real mice", and no "real
    > monitors".
    >
    > As a software developer, I spend many hours a day on my computer. I'm
    > extremely fussy about keyboards, pointing devices, and displays. To me,
    > those are the most important parts of a computer.
    >
    > The ThinkPad's keyboard is fine with me, and I find the TrackPoint to be far
    > superior to a mouse for someone who types a lot. Instead of having to reach
    > back and forth, back and forth all the time between keyboard and mouse, the
    > pointing device is right there in the middle of the keyboard, ready to use
    > with no handwaving.
    >
    > OTOH, I can't stand the touchpads that most notebooks have. If I had a
    > machine with a touchpad, I probably would have to use an external mouse.
    >
    > And the display... The display! When I got my first ThinkPad and saw its
    > perfectly sharp LCD, I knew right away that I could never go back to a CRT
    > with all the problems I used to deal with: focusing, geometry, and moire
    > interference caused by the shadow mask or aperture grille.
    >
    > My current ThinkPad has a beautiful 1600 x 1200 display, and because it's an
    > LCD, it can take full advantage of ClearType subpixel antialiasing. I can
    > use smaller text sizes and get clearer, easier to read text than I ever
    > could on a CRT.
    >
    > So, my suggestion would be to consider the possibility that a notebook may
    > actually be *better* than a desktop. It is for me, by far--if it's a
    > ThinkPad.
    >
    > If you do decide to stick with your plan of using external keyboard, mouse,
    > and display, Richard has already given you some good information on that.
    > One thing I would add: Many new notebooks lack traditional keyboard and PS/2
    > mouse ports. However, they all have USB, and USB keyboards and mice are
    > readily available. Or, if you get a docking station or port replicator as
    > Richard mentioned, those often have traditional keyboard and mouse ports.

    I replaced my desktop with a "laptop". Anything this big and heavy
    deserves, IMHO, quotes around the word laptop :) Anyway, agree with
    most of what you said. Except that I love the trackpads, I find a good
    trackpad almost as good as, or maybe better than (depends on the day) my
    favorite Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman. I especially like the
    trackpad version of a scroll wheel, which actually works mostly better
    than an actual scroll wheel.

    Lisa
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    On Sun, 04 Apr 2004 21:55:37 -0500, George
    <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net> wrote:

    >
    snip
    >

    One factor to consider is that standard laptop harddrives are
    designed for low duty rates and heat. They can also be a time
    consuming replacement. IBM/Hitachi has some hard to get 24/7
    designed drives that may be of interest.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "H. Dziardziel" <hdzi@zworg.nospamcom> wrote in message
    news:tor170hbr1shdbgtj3t2n68b20be892gtp@4ax.com...
    > On Sun, 04 Apr 2004 21:55:37 -0500, George
    > <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > snip
    > >
    >
    > One factor to consider is that standard laptop harddrives are
    > designed for low duty rates and heat. They can also be a time
    > consuming replacement. IBM/Hitachi has some hard to get 24/7
    > designed drives that may be of interest.


    And along the same lines, another
    factor to consider is the fact
    that desktop or server drives
    are still a lot faster than
    laptop drives.

    No laptop drive (and that includes
    the IBM/Hitachi Travelstar E7K60 or
    the Toshiba MK-5024GAY 7,200 rpm
    units) can match the performance
    of a WD SATA Raptor or that of a
    Seagate FC Cheetah or Barracuda.

    It all boils down to what work
    you are doing (or planning to do)
    on your computer.


    dk
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    George <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net> wrote:

    >Is this practical? I don't see external keyboard or mouse ports on
    >the laptops I've seen in the stores, although some do have external
    >RGB monitor ports (I assume my analog CRT monitor could be driven
    >from this). So how would the keyboard and mouse be done?


    Get a USB keyboard, a USB mouse, and a hub. Keep the keyboard and
    mouse plugged into the hub at all times, then just plug the hub into
    your laptop when you want to use it as a desktop.

    One thing I've always liked about Macs is that there are third-party
    docking stations that allow you to keep peripherals attached to the
    docking station, then just slide the laptop into it. I do not know if
    there are any docking stations available for the new titanium
    PowerBooks, but you can get them for the iBooks.


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    H.B. Elkins -- Beattyville, KY
    http://www.millenniumhwy.net hbelkins(at)mis.net

    "There's no doubt he's the best race driver in the world."
    --Dale Jarrett, on the late Dale Earnhardt

    Go Big Blue (Kentucky Wildcats)! Go #15 (Michael Waltrip, NAPA Chevy)!

    To reply, just remove the restrictorplates...
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Michael Geary" <Mike@DeleteThis.Geary.com> wrote in message
    news:1071m4bp6riomb1@corp.supernews.com...
    >
    > And the display... The display! When I got my first ThinkPad and saw its
    > perfectly sharp LCD, I knew right away that I could never go back to a CRT
    > with all the problems I used to deal with: focusing, geometry, and moire
    > interference caused by the shadow mask or aperture grille.
    >
    > My current ThinkPad has a beautiful 1600 x 1200 display, and because it's
    an
    > LCD, it can take full advantage of ClearType subpixel antialiasing. I can
    > use smaller text sizes and get clearer, easier to read text than I ever
    > could on a CRT.


    Sorry to butt in, but however good the ThinkPad's LCD screens are,
    they don't even come close to the sharpness and detail of good
    standalone LCD displays such as Sharp or Viewsonic, let alone
    that of top of the line CRTs such as Viewsonic's P225fb which
    can display 2048 x 1536 at 90 Hz non-interlaced. I use only
    LCD's in my work, except for extreme graphics tasks which
    can only be handled by CRT tubes. LCDs have come a long
    way, but they still have a long way to go.


    > So, my suggestion would be to consider the possibility that a notebook may
    > actually be *better* than a desktop. It is for me, by far--if it's a
    > ThinkPad.
    >
    > If you do decide to stick with your plan of using external keyboard,
    mouse,
    > and display, Richard has already given you some good information on that.
    > One thing I would add: Many new notebooks lack traditional keyboard and
    PS/2
    > mouse ports. However, they all have USB, and USB keyboards and mice are
    > readily available...


    My desktop assistant is already salivating... ;-)


    dk
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    I appreciate everybody's responses, particularly the critical
    information that laptops do not come with cup holders.

    Some wanted to know what I use a computer for. Well, I spend a lot
    of time typing email and newsgroup messages, and a lot of other
    correspondence and documents. The laptops I've seen have such small
    keyboard areas that I don't know how I would be able to use them
    productively. I have big hands, and don't type very well, and it
    just looks like everything is too close together. Is that my
    imagination? Perhaps I should measure.

    And the mouse "pads" just seem awful. Maybe I don't know how they
    are supposed to work, but I've watched others using them, and it
    seems to take forever to actually get the pointer to the right
    place. Very awkward. But I haven't seen the IBMs. Maybe they are
    better.

    At the other end, I also do video editing, video format conversion,
    and CD burning. And that's where I really need more power than I
    have now.

    So I was hoping that a laptop would provide both the additional
    power that I need plus the wireless operation when I just want to
    fart around on the back porch.

    My suspicion is that money is going to settle the issue. Since I
    already have a good monitor and hard drive, I could upgrade the
    desktop by getting a new case with power supply, motherboard,
    processor, RAM, video card, DVD burner, and XP, and I suspect all of
    that wouldn't cost very much. On the other hand, I suspect a laptop
    that would handle the "power" functions would be pretty expensive.

    Well, anyway, all of you have given me a lot to think about, and I
    appreciate it.

    Apparently, even old, used, obsolete laptops aren't cheap. That's
    too bad, because I think that would be good enough for the remote
    farting-around stuff.
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    George wrote:
    > Some wanted to know what I use a computer for. Well, I spend a lot
    > of time typing email and newsgroup messages, and a lot of other
    > correspondence and documents. The laptops I've seen have such small
    > keyboard areas that I don't know how I would be able to use them
    > productively. I have big hands, and don't type very well, and it
    > just looks like everything is too close together. Is that my
    > imagination? Perhaps I should measure.

    If you are looking at standard notebooks and not subnotebooks, it has to be
    your imagination. The notebooks I use--my ThinkPads and a Mac
    PowerBook--have key spacing and size exactly the same as a desktop keyboard.

    A notebook keyboard is smaller, but it's because there is no numeric pad,
    and the F1-F12 keys and navigation keys between the QWERTY area and the
    number pad are relocated and often smaller than on a desktop keyboard.

    However, the main QWERTY area should measure the same as on a desktop
    keyboard. Other than keyboard "feel", there's no difference between touch
    typing on a notebook or desktop keyboard.

    Notebooks do vary in how they place those relocated keys. I like the way IBM
    does it because it most closely resembles a desktop keyboard.

    > And the mouse "pads" just seem awful. Maybe I don't know how they
    > are supposed to work, but I've watched others using them, and it
    > seems to take forever to actually get the pointer to the right
    > place. Very awkward. But I haven't seen the IBMs. Maybe they are
    > better.

    Touchpads seem to be much more popular than TrackPoints, but for me, IBM's
    TrackPoint is superior to both a mouse and a touchpad. As a touch typist,
    only the TrackPoint allows me to both type and move the "mouse" without my
    hands ever having to leave the home row.

    The TrackPoint does take a bit of getting used to. If you try one for five
    minutes, you may not like it. But give yourself a few days with it, and you
    may come to the same conclusion that I did: It's the best pointing device
    for a touch typist.

    Of course, as you mentioned, you'll get more for your money in a desktop.
    It's all tradeoffs...

    -Mike
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Sure, what you suggest is entirely practical. In these days, you use a
    USB keyboard and mouse.

    I don't want to give you the impression that there are no compromises in
    using a laptop relative to a "real" desktop. There are some
    compromises, but mostly they are on the outside fringes of performance
    and expandability. For anything like routine desktop applications, the
    laptop, even a "low-end" model will be just fine. On the other hand,
    there is no laptop on which I'd want to do, for example, video editing
    and DVD authoring, even though the laptop makers would suggest that you
    can (and they'd be technically right, you can, but I wouldn't want to).


    George wrote:
    > A newbie here. In fact, I just told you everything I know about
    > laptops. I've never even used one except to try out a couple in the
    > stores.
    >
    > My trusty Celeron 500 98SE desktop needs to be retired, and I would
    > like to gain more mobility in the upgrade. While I don't really
    > want to buy two computers (this is all home stuff), I don't think I
    > could use the laptop for extended periods of typing and other
    > serious work. So, here's what I thought might work:
    >
    > I want to bring the laptop into the Data Center, and hook it up to a
    > real keyboard, a real mouse, and a real monitor (19" CRT), so that
    > in effect it would work just like a desktop that happens to have a
    > very small case. :-)
    >
    > And then when I want to surf the web from the back porch, I would
    > just unhook all that stuff and use the built-in laptop hardware.
    >
    > Is this practical? I don't see external keyboard or mouse ports on
    > the laptops I've seen in the stores, although some do have external
    > RGB monitor ports (I assume my analog CRT monitor could be driven
    > from this). So how would the keyboard and mouse be done?
    >
    > I would appreciate the wisdom of the newsgroup gods on this idea.
    >
    >
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Arguably the best keyboard in the world for touch-typing is a keyboard on an
    IBM Thinkpad laptop.
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    There is no laptop that will really be good for your video applications.
    It's technically possible to do it, mind you, but not well, and
    probably not in a way that you will be happy with. Disk drive
    limitations are a big part of this, but laptops are not as fast or as
    powerful as desktop systems with a CPU having the same clock speed.
    And, in many cases, you won't even be dealing with the same clock speed.

    I don't think that anyone would argue that touchpads are better than, or
    even as good as, ANY mouse. But they are useable. Once you get your
    laptop, be sure to configure the touchpad for your taste, including
    sensitivity, speed and "acceleration". Also turn on "tap to drag" which
    may or may not be on by default, and learn how to use it. Most people
    never touch the configuration, and the factory configurations are often
    terrible.

    One final comment, while no laptop may be well suited to video editing,
    ANY laptop will be more than satisfactory for everything else that you
    mentioned. Really good laptops with Celeron 2.8 GHz can be had for
    about $1,200 or less (perhaps down in the $800 range), I'm thinking of
    something like a Toshiba A45 series. Obviously you can spend more, and
    perhaps there is reason to, but for most people, $1,200 to $1,300 (or
    less, perhaps much less) is all that it's necessary to spend.


    George wrote:
    > I appreciate everybody's responses, particularly the critical
    > information that laptops do not come with cup holders.
    >
    > Some wanted to know what I use a computer for. Well, I spend a lot
    > of time typing email and newsgroup messages, and a lot of other
    > correspondence and documents. The laptops I've seen have such small
    > keyboard areas that I don't know how I would be able to use them
    > productively. I have big hands, and don't type very well, and it
    > just looks like everything is too close together. Is that my
    > imagination? Perhaps I should measure.
    >
    > And the mouse "pads" just seem awful. Maybe I don't know how they
    > are supposed to work, but I've watched others using them, and it
    > seems to take forever to actually get the pointer to the right
    > place. Very awkward. But I haven't seen the IBMs. Maybe they are
    > better.
    >
    > At the other end, I also do video editing, video format conversion,
    > and CD burning. And that's where I really need more power than I
    > have now.
    >
    > So I was hoping that a laptop would provide both the additional
    > power that I need plus the wireless operation when I just want to
    > fart around on the back porch.
    >
    > My suspicion is that money is going to settle the issue. Since I
    > already have a good monitor and hard drive, I could upgrade the
    > desktop by getting a new case with power supply, motherboard,
    > processor, RAM, video card, DVD burner, and XP, and I suspect all of
    > that wouldn't cost very much. On the other hand, I suspect a laptop
    > that would handle the "power" functions would be pretty expensive.
    >
    > Well, anyway, all of you have given me a lot to think about, and I
    > appreciate it.
    >
    > Apparently, even old, used, obsolete laptops aren't cheap. That's
    > too bad, because I think that would be good enough for the remote
    > farting-around stuff.
    >
    >
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Dan Koren" <dankoren@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<40719cf6@news.meer.net>...
    > Sorry to butt in, but however good the ThinkPad's LCD screens are,
    > they don't even come close to the sharpness and detail of good
    > standalone LCD displays such as Sharp or Viewsonic, let alone
    > that of top of the line CRTs such as Viewsonic's P225fb which
    > can display 2048 x 1536 at 90 Hz non-interlaced.

    Well I couldn't let this pass.

    Laptop LCD's are by nature digital display devices. A pixel on your
    screen is equal to a pixel being rendered by your video chip. It's
    *impossible* that any laptop display could be any less "sharp" than
    any standalone LCD *or* CRT, because a pixel is a pixel, and you can't
    render a pixel any more sharply than it really is. A laptop display
    will be the sharpest display you could possibly buy; a desktop LCD
    with a DVI input *may* be *as* sharp, depending on whether or not your
    video card is in spec (Extremetech did a test a while back that showed
    that the majority of video cards they tested were not in spec, and
    image quality with the DVI interface could suffer as a result when
    using these cards). A CRT will not be anywhere near as sharp; it
    doesn't matter how good it is, it's not rendering actual pixels.

    Now, the appearance of sharpness can be affected by a number of things
    (appearance being the key word), including brightness, contrast, and
    color rendition. In contrast and color, high-end desktop LCD's do
    have an edge over most laptop LCD panels (brightness is not really a
    factor anymore; most desktop and laptop LCD's are capable of being way
    too bright to be either accurate or good for your eyes). CRT's have
    an edge over LCD's too, although the gap is closing, and a high-end
    LCD today will have better color rendition than a low-end CRT.

    But in terms of raw, actual sharpness, a laptop display is as good as
    you can get. Any laptop display, as long as it's running at native
    resolution.

    I use only
    > LCD's in my work, except for extreme graphics tasks which
    > can only be handled by CRT tubes.

    Some graphics tasks can best be handled properly by LCD displays, such
    as CAD work, which demands perfect screen geometry. That's something
    that only an LCD screen with a DVI interface (or a laptop LCD) can
    provide.

    Not to say you *can't* do CAD or similar tasks on a CRT - many people
    do (just as many people do design or photo editing work on an LCD) -
    just that LCD's are better suited.

    As to the original question, a laptop can do anything a desktop can
    do. Yes, including video editing, depending on what kind of video
    editing you mean. If you're talking real-time stuff, then no - but
    then few desktops can do this either (there's a reason why Avid
    systems are so expensive). If you're talking opening a project, doing
    your edits, then rendering the result back to a file, then yes. I do
    this all the time with Adobe Premiere, along with image editing, game
    playing, and menial office-type tasks (email, word processing, etc.).
    In short I do everything I could otherwise do on a desktop.

    I will say I loathe touchpads. I had a Thinkpad for a long time and I
    love the trackpoint device (it's very accurate once you get used to
    it), but I wouldn't use even that for something like video editing -
    my finger would just get too tired if I had to do a lot of clicking
    and dragging. Touchpads are next to useless for anything other than
    browsing the web; they're just not accurate at all. I can quickly
    move to a general area of the screen but to get that one little menu
    item I want may take me 5 seconds. This is obviously unacceptable
    when you've got a lot of mousing to do. Good thing you can hook up a
    standard mouse to any laptop these days.
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Actually, your statement is not correct. It's possible to operate the
    video display of a laptop at a resolution other than that of the LCD
    panel. In which case, depending on the video circuits and the software,
    the laptop MAY "scale" the display to fit, producing the same type of
    distortion presnt on a desktop display run at a resolution different
    than that of the panel. [Some laptops won't scale the display, but
    rather will either give a small image on a larger screen with a black
    border, or give a virtual desktop that can scroll horizontally and
    vertically).

    The behavior here is no different on a desktop vs. a laptop, and it's
    not a questions of DVD (digital) vs. VGA (analog) interface. There is
    no law that says that panel pixel resolution and the resolution at which
    the video card is run have to match, for either laptop or desktop, for
    either analog or digital interface.

    However, I agree with your point that "in terms of raw, actual
    sharpness, a laptop display is as good as you can get", at least for any
    given combination of VGA and LCD parameters. However, the panels used
    in desktop LCD displays have some advantages in terms of the
    availability of power and size, so while sharpness won't be any better,
    brightness, contrast and response times may be.


    Jeff Williams wrote:

    > "Dan Koren" <dankoren@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<40719cf6@news.meer.net>...
    >
    >>Sorry to butt in, but however good the ThinkPad's LCD screens are,
    >>they don't even come close to the sharpness and detail of good
    >>standalone LCD displays such as Sharp or Viewsonic, let alone
    >>that of top of the line CRTs such as Viewsonic's P225fb which
    >>can display 2048 x 1536 at 90 Hz non-interlaced.
    >
    >
    > Well I couldn't let this pass.
    >
    > Laptop LCD's are by nature digital display devices. A pixel on your
    > screen is equal to a pixel being rendered by your video chip. It's
    > *impossible* that any laptop display could be any less "sharp" than
    > any standalone LCD *or* CRT, because a pixel is a pixel, and you can't
    > render a pixel any more sharply than it really is. A laptop display
    > will be the sharpest display you could possibly buy; a desktop LCD
    > with a DVI input *may* be *as* sharp, depending on whether or not your
    > video card is in spec (Extremetech did a test a while back that showed
    > that the majority of video cards they tested were not in spec, and
    > image quality with the DVI interface could suffer as a result when
    > using these cards). A CRT will not be anywhere near as sharp; it
    > doesn't matter how good it is, it's not rendering actual pixels.
    >
    > Now, the appearance of sharpness can be affected by a number of things
    > (appearance being the key word), including brightness, contrast, and
    > color rendition. In contrast and color, high-end desktop LCD's do
    > have an edge over most laptop LCD panels (brightness is not really a
    > factor anymore; most desktop and laptop LCD's are capable of being way
    > too bright to be either accurate or good for your eyes). CRT's have
    > an edge over LCD's too, although the gap is closing, and a high-end
    > LCD today will have better color rendition than a low-end CRT.
    >
    > But in terms of raw, actual sharpness, a laptop display is as good as
    > you can get. Any laptop display, as long as it's running at native
    > resolution.
    >
    > I use only
    >
    >>LCD's in my work, except for extreme graphics tasks which
    >>can only be handled by CRT tubes.
    >
    >
    > Some graphics tasks can best be handled properly by LCD displays, such
    > as CAD work, which demands perfect screen geometry. That's something
    > that only an LCD screen with a DVI interface (or a laptop LCD) can
    > provide.
    >
    > Not to say you *can't* do CAD or similar tasks on a CRT - many people
    > do (just as many people do design or photo editing work on an LCD) -
    > just that LCD's are better suited.
    >
    > As to the original question, a laptop can do anything a desktop can
    > do. Yes, including video editing, depending on what kind of video
    > editing you mean. If you're talking real-time stuff, then no - but
    > then few desktops can do this either (there's a reason why Avid
    > systems are so expensive). If you're talking opening a project, doing
    > your edits, then rendering the result back to a file, then yes. I do
    > this all the time with Adobe Premiere, along with image editing, game
    > playing, and menial office-type tasks (email, word processing, etc.).
    > In short I do everything I could otherwise do on a desktop.
    >
    > I will say I loathe touchpads. I had a Thinkpad for a long time and I
    > love the trackpoint device (it's very accurate once you get used to
    > it), but I wouldn't use even that for something like video editing -
    > my finger would just get too tired if I had to do a lot of clicking
    > and dragging. Touchpads are next to useless for anything other than
    > browsing the web; they're just not accurate at all. I can quickly
    > move to a general area of the screen but to get that one little menu
    > item I want may take me 5 seconds. This is obviously unacceptable
    > when you've got a lot of mousing to do. Good thing you can hook up a
    > standard mouse to any laptop these days.
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "George" <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net> wrote in message
    news:%rmcc.54565$_U.48890@lakeread05...
    > And the mouse "pads" just seem awful. Maybe I don't know how they
    > are supposed to work, but I've watched others using them, and it
    > seems to take forever to actually get the pointer to the right
    > place. Very awkward. But I haven't seen the IBMs. Maybe they are
    > better.

    The touchpad mice aren't bad; the problem is people leave the stock
    settings. I have my pointer speed set almost at the fastest. This way,
    dragging my finger from one corner to the next drags the pointer from one
    corner of the screen to the opposite diagonal corner. When I laptops
    belonging to people who don't adjust the settings, it's just impossible.
    Richard
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