Now that most of us are working from home, our work set-up has become important – including home office space and using gadgets that makes it easier for us to do our work. If you’re like me, you might have debated with yourself whether to buy a laptop or a desktop instead. In my case, I was not sure if a gaming laptop would cover my needs and use or should buying a desktop is a better idea.

Last November 2020, I was fortunate to have enough funds to buy a new computer. Though the one that I was using was enough for me to do my work, it was not enough for me to explore more and learn to improve my work.

Why do I want to buy a new computer?

I’m a software programmer, and sometimes there are things that I wanted to explore that needs a higher computing power than my previous laptop, like running Virtual Machines (VM). Multiple VMs at the same time.

Of course, I want to play games too. I’ve been missing a lot of popular games since I do not have a gaming computer. I’m not a hardcore gamer, more like an occasional gamer. I like single player role playing games (RPG) as I like solving puzzles and riddles while going on an adventure.

Desktop versus Laptop

When I had saved up around 90,000 PHP I was more inclined to buying a gaming desktop, but what if I wanted to travel or go to a coffee shop? Or what if I was in the mood to work at the dining table instead of the computer table? Since I was asking these questions, mobility is important to me.

Of course, there are other questions that are positive to a gaming desktop. What if I wanted to upgrade to a newer processor or a better graphics card? Obviously, a gaming laptop could not do that since the processor and graphics cards of gaming laptops are soldered to the mother board.

From the previous computers that I had, the better the processor, memory and storage is the lesser chance that I will be needing to buy a new computer. Reducing the need to upgrade. That is why I bought the best gaming laptop specification that I can buy eithin ny budget. I even upgraded the memory from 8 GB to 32 GB, also within my budget.

What about those cool changing color LEDs? I actually hate LEDs because its distracting, unnecessary, just a waste of electricity and I’m paying the electricity bill. In fact when we were buying the gaming laptop one of the first questions that I asked the sales man is if I could disable the LEDs. If I could not disable it, I’m not going to buy the laptop.

What if I wanted to use multiple monitors? Laptops can actually do this, even on my previous laptop I am always doing this setup. There are even setups in the internet that uses laptops like how you would use a desktop.

In the end, mobility is highly important to me that is why I bought a gaming laptop.

After buying the gaming laptop, I was still having some regrets of not buying a gaming desktop, but the two stories below solidified my conviction on being happy with my gaming laptop.

My cousin’s story

During a meetup with my cousins, I was proudly telling them that I bought a new gaming laptop. When I told them about the dilemma I had with buying a desktop or a laptop one of my cousins suddenly said that I made a good choice choosing a laptop.

She said that she made a mistake of buying her son a gaming desktop.

Her son attends homeschool and for them to bring her son to their travels even on weekdays they need to bring the gaming desktop.

Imagine unplugging the system unit, monitor, voltage regulator, mouse and keyboard, load it into their car, then reassemble everything in the hotel. Then doing the disassembly and reassembly when going home. That is a hassle compared to closing the laptop, putting thr laptop and the charger inside the bag and move on to other tasks.

With my cousin’s story, it made me happy that I bought a laptop.

Emergency Evacuation

One evening, me and my wife were doing exercise when we heard someone shouting outside the window of our condominium unit. When we looked outside, the establishment beside the condominium was on fire and the fire was almost as high as the condominium.

We quickly sprang into action. My wife was assigned to pack all important documents and identification, and I was responsible for securing our important electronics.

I unplugged the laptops, packed them inside my trekking backpack and also jammed the chargers and external hard drives inside. All 3 laptops (old, new and my wife’s laptop) and their peripherals in a single bag.

We were out of the condominium unit in less than 3-5 minutes.

Imagine doing that with a desktop. I bet you could not even fit the monitor and the system unit in a single bag. How much more 3 desktops.

We did have neighbors who brought down their desktops. But they came down after around 5 minutes from the time we went down, and they were having a hard time carrying them.

Luckily, the fire did not reach the condomium thanks to all staff, neighbors and firefighters who helped in stopping the fire. All praise and honor to God who protected us from tragedy.

With the emergency situation that happened, it removed all my doubts of buying a laptop instead of a desktop. It was the right decision given my situation.

Previous Laptop Specification

Model: Asus Zenbook UX305L
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Processor: i7-5500 CPU @ 2.40 GHz 
 - 2 cores
 - 4 logical processors
Graphics Card: Intel(R) HD Graphics 5500
Memory: 8 GB
Storage: 512 GB SSD
Weight: 1.18 kg
Buy Date: December 31, 2016
Buy Price: 59,990 PHP

New Laptop Specification

Model: Asus TUF A15 FX506
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 4900H with Radeon Graphics
 - 8 cores
 - 16 logical processors
Graphics Card:
 - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
 - AMD Radeon(TM) Graphics
Memory: 32 GB (upgraded from 8 GB)
 - 512 GB SSD
 - 1 TB HDD
Weight: 2.30 kg
Buy Date: November 29, 2020
Buy Price: 89,995 PHP Total
 - 79,995 PHP - Asus TUF A15 FX506
 - 10,000 PHP - 2 x 16 GB Memory

I knew about the heating of issue of the Asus TUF A15, but I still decided on buying it since I only spend around 4 hours per day, 2 days a week playing games. And my type of programming does not really do high intensive computing for long durations.

If ever I need a higher computing power that requires a longer duration, I can always borrow compute time from the cloud.

Going back to the topic, I’m really happy with the new gaming laptop. I get to play with games and with programming without being limited by my hardware. And mobility is important if I want to spend time with friends and family, and during emergencies.

If there is anything that I regret that is not having more money to buy a lighter gaming laptop like the Lenovo Legion 7i Slim.

If you ask me, do I encourage people to buy a gaming laptop versus a gaming desktop? I would definitely say yes, but it really depends on what you need and what you want.

Buying a computer, regardless if it is a laptop or desktop, or gaming or not is a personal decision.

At the end of the day, what is important is that you are happy with your purchase, you get to do what you want, get the job done, and most importantly, do not go into bad debt buying the computer that you want.