I have been using a laptop for work for the last ten years. I love the convenience and that I can move it around the house and work wherever I want. I can go to coffee shops, travel and take it with me and have access to it all the time. However, as I have been setting up my office and making it more of a proper workspace, I realized I missed having a larger screen, great for photo editing and my eyes. I also missed typing on a proper keyboard and using a mouse, as it feels way more ergonomic on a desktop.
At first, I thought about selling my MacBook and purchasing a new iMac. Then I realized I would miss my laptop and being able to move it around, so I thought about just purchasing the iMac and keeping my laptop, an expensive option of getting a new computer and then having my documents and everything in two separate devices.
Then my husband suggested getting a high resolution 27″ screen, a wireless keyboard, and a wireless mouse and turning my laptop into a full desktop. By plugging the screen and using it as a desktop, I would be allowed to keep my laptop for whenever I wanted to work out of my office — best of both worlds.
Because I got wireless keyboard and mouse, there are no annoying cables running everywhere, the only cable I have to deal with is the one used to connect the screen to the laptop, but that’s it: simple. Mess-free and the least expensive option. Buying a new iMac was going to be a minimum of $1,300. I got the screen, keyboard and mouse for just fraction of that, close to $500, and got it all from Amazon, delivered free. Couldn’t have been easier.
If you want to keep your laptop but also enjoy working on a larger screen and using a keyboard and mouse sometimes, then I recommend you get yourself a high-resolution screen, keyboard and mouse and set them up to allow you to turn your laptop into a desktop too.
I even got a solar-powered keyboard, so I don’t have to worry about changing batteries. Inexpensive too. I love my new set up, and I am so glad I decided to go for it.
Do you use a laptop or a desktop at home?
22 Comments on “How To Use Your Laptop as a Desktop (Not Buying a New Computer!)”
smart set up you have there. very similiar to the way my husband has his comp and lap top situated
That is such a good idea!!! I love having a bigger screen for certain things myself.
That is a great setup you have! I use a desktop at home, my hubby uses the laptop
This is what I used to do. I no longer have a dedicated space for my computer so I ditched the screen and just use a wireless mouse with my laptop. I prefer it over the track pad.
I had a desktop but now just use a laptop and a wireless mouse Yours is very functional and looks nice
You have such a great office setup. I really like the layout and how streamlined it is.
I love the way you organized this space, very neat and practical!
That is a great idea! I prefer the desk up set up as the screen is bigger and a eye level. Better sitting position.
What a good idea, new computers are so expensive now a days. It’s also nice to do stuff on a bigger screen phones are just too small or I’m getting old haha. Thanks for all the great tips. 🙂
This is so brilliant! I wonder if the average laptop can do that though? A MacBook is pretty awesome and my old laptop is as slow as molasses. I have an iMac but it is seven years old and I just got it back from the shop where my hard drive was replaced for the second time. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to last. I really love this option for a replacement when it does give out on me though, thank you so much for sharing this!
Love the idea of a solar panel keyboard, that would be perfect for us. What type did you get?
I have a desktop and have recently bought a laptop for when I’m underways – naturally with a mouse since I’m useless on the touch pad. I do prefer my desktop as it has a proper keyboard allowing me to type much quicker and the bigger screen is important to me too. Yours is the perfect solution for when my desktop gives up the ghost. Thanks for sharing this super idea. 🙂
I love this alternative! I actually just bought a desktop and am missing the portability factor of a laptop.
that’s a good way to safe desk space
This is a very good idea. Save space and you still have the laptop.
I still struggle with my laptop and kind of miss my desktop.
I‘m in troubles:)
My budget is about €1.500 and I’m trying to choose a laptop for the following tasks:
• 2-8 hours working per day (MSOffice as well)
• ~2 Hours surfing
• TV Shows (Streaming, YouTube, Movies)
• sometimes light photo editing
• The hardest one: someday I have a strong desire to play one game (WoW, dota2 and some of this newEra stuff like RDR2)
So for the first tasks it’s quite clear: the laptop has to have good screen. The last point is a corner stone cause I want this experience to be VERY GOOD – not the „top“ but decent. So maybe the cooling system > edge performance.
Honestly, good using experience at all is a main requirement.
As I want my laptop to stay „up-to-date“ longer, it’s seems that it should carry at least Turing dGPU. Could you please comment this point and the following „high-tech features“ as well:
1) I guess that WiFi ax (6) will be a pretty useful thing in the nearest future (I want it)
2) I guess that Type-C with TB3 and Charging is quite useful
So for me:
• CPU: Intel (guess better, discuss please)
• Memory: 16 or 8-upgradable
• Storage: no matter, may be at least 128 SSD (I have a lot of HDDs and one Samsung 840EVO SSD 120)
• GPU: d, may be Turing
• Screen: a good one of 15-15.6, may be 17. FHD/UHD/4K. IPS (?)
• IOs: ideally like good workstation – USB3 (+/- TB3, DP, charge), LAN, DP/HDMI, SD, mic – all things are Discussable
• Size and weight: not a point
• Materials and design: has to be good quality, „nice to touch“. Not every model in this class has it. And also I don’t like so much these „monster-aggressive-RGB-teenager“ style but ready to discuss:)
The options I’ve found:
1) Lenovo Yoga s740 (15) – rather a „toy“ then a workstation, but I like it a lot. My „wish“:)
2) Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH
3) ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534 – I don’t like ASUS but my wife likes it a lot 🙂 at least it’s she who will work with it every day
4) ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU502 (I would like a GX but it’s out of budget a bit)
5) MSI Prestige 15
6) DELL G3 15 3590
I’ve read a lot of bad feedback on all of these laptops, they have own pros and cons. As you can see there’s no ThinkPad – it’s because I had an experience with it and didn’t have any fun =\ discuss 😉
Great Thank you in advance!
You write things often neglected by other sites (emission, heat map, keyboard, etc). Thank you for that!
I need a recommendation for a work+fun laptop. I’ve narrowed down my basic requirement as follow:
– 14″ or 15″ Full HD, no thicker than 1 inch
– Intel i5 7th gen. Ryzen 5 okay
– VGA Pascal/GTX NVidia with sustainable performance. Above-average cooling. Radeon won’t do
– SSD or SSD+HDD. Optane+HDD won’t do
– DVD Writer. External DVD won’t do
– SDCard, VGA, USB3 Type A
– Plain/Professional finish, no light show, no fancy case, no gaming aesthetic at all
My budget stops at i5 9xxxHQ+GTX1650Ti+IPS/FHD/120Hz however much it cost.
I realize your team has moved on from built-in DVD however in my case, it’s non-negotiable. Not for multimedia/game but for communication with lots of 199x comps in my line of work (like WinNT+FDD+ODD).
This is such a great idea. Thanks for it.
Great idea. I didn’t realize that this could be done. Love that you have a solar powered keyboard (didn’t know that was available),
Good to know that when I need to replace my computer, I can do it with a laptop and larger screen etc. thanks for the idea.
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