Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Laptop vs. desktop a personal choice

I read in your Aug. 7 column about replacing an old PC rather than trying to improve the old one. My Dell PC is 10 years old and very slow, so I think I will take your advice and purchase a new one. I have two questions: Should I buy a PC or a laptop? (I do have a Sony laptop now, as well.) You mentioned an HP PC in your column, so I looked up the HP Pavilion P6120T. What do you think of that idea?

Your 10-year-old Dell owes you nothing. I'd say that it was pretty good service to get 10 years out of any piece of electronics.

Desktop or laptop is a personal choice. For me, once wireless connectivity became common, laptops became the more practical choice. And for college students (I have three) it is the only choice.

Desktops require desks (what a coincidence), monitors, wires, cables and the inevitable dust and heat that come with it. But laptops are usually more expensive, less powerful than a comparably priced desktop and are more difficult to fix when and if parts need replacing.

I've owned most of the popular brands at one time or another. All have had their good and bad points when it came to quality and level of support. I've had very good luck lately with HP/Compaq. The model you're considering seems to have all the basic or better specifications of a good system.

I took your advice and ran MSCONFIG and stopped starting up unwanted programs. The Startup tab lists the startup programs. It also shows in two different places, blanks (spaces) in the STARTUP ITEM and the COMMAND area but then shows a LOCATION and has the check mark in the left-hand column. What are these blank lines and should I uncheck them?

If the Location is a registry listing such as HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, then it is possible that these may be remnants of an incomplete removal and you can go ahead and uncheck them. It could also be symptomatic of malware/virus.

If the location is pointing to a folder, use File Explorer to browse to that location and make note of the file names, then do some Internet research on some of the names. This should give you a clue as to what they are. Always preface any system checking with full runs of your up-to-date antivirus/spyware software and make sure it is returning clean scans.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Laptop vs. desktop a personal choice 08/23/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 23, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PolitiFact: 6 questions about the Senate health care bill and transparency


    Now that a Senate health care bill has been unveiled, senators will be jousting over its provisions to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks following a closed-door strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington on June 20. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  2. Bicylist critically injured in crash involving SUV on Bayside Bridge


    A bicyclist was critically injured Friday morning when a driver drifted into his lane and struck him on the Bayside Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Remnants of Cindy expected to drench Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia (w/video)


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Forecasters expect remnants of Tropical Depression Cindy to drench parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia Friday afternoon and evening, bringing heavy rainfall, possible flash flooding and higher river and lake levels through the weekend.

    Wth a rising tide, strong southerly winds from Tropical Depression Cindy lash the lakefront Thursday, June 22, 2017 in Mandeville, La. [David Grunfeld | The Times-Picayune via AP]
  4. North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier (w/video)


    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Friday denied it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who was detained for more than year and died days after being released in a coma.

    Mourners line the street after the funeral of Otto Warmbier, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Wyoming, Ohio. Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labor in North Korea, died this week, days after returning to the United States. [Associated Press]
  5. Johnny Depp jokes about assassinating President Trump at Glastonbury Festival (w/video)


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has asked a crowd at the Glastonbury Festival when was the last time an actor assassinated a president. The remarks came during a segment Thursday in which Depp was speaking about President Donald Trump.

    Actor Johnny Depp introduces a film at the Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, England, Thursday, June 22, 2017. [Grant Pollard | Invision/AP]