Has anyone ditched their full computer setup at home for simply just a laptop?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 18, 2010
Reason I ask is because Ive noticed this is the way a lot of people are using their computers at home today. They dont have full fledge setups anymore. They have their laptop and thats it. My neighbours (a lot of them) and a lot of my relatives, have kids, work busy schedules and when they get home everyday from work, theyre usually cleaning up and prepping dinner for the kids, cleaning around the house etc. So they have their laptops and use it wherever in the house - couch, bedroom, kitchen. And just about every single one of them told me the same thing - the last thing they want to be doing when they get home everyday is sit at another desk.

Also, ive noticed that the way I use my computer at home these days (13" laptop btw) is much different from years ago. Im considering getting rid of my nice computer desk, big office chair, nice 2.1 setup and my two big monitors (all depending if the Surface Pro 3 can fufil the void permanently), simply because I find that (even on weekends) I just dont want to be sitting at a desk when at home. I find the only time Im at the desk is on the weekends when I want to type with the keyboard, otherwise Im in my bed or lounging around the house. I used to always love sitting at my desk at home but now its all about having your computer mobile wherever in the house.

I do think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I sit in front of a computer for 40 hours a week at work, and the reason why im just wanting to hit the couch or bed once I get home ha.

The biggest thing i would sacrifice (and my worry) is the extended desktop but I find that the only thing I do on my computer at home is surf the web, check email, listen to music and import photos. But that would mean pretty much no more multitasking.

If I went this route, i would sell my 13" laptop and upgrade to a 17" one.
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macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2010
I run a laptop + ext monitor/kb/mouse setup. The laptop is mostly docked at my desk but does come with me when travel.

I use this setup every single day

But for around-the-home and couch computing i use my iPad.


macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
The Far Horizon
Actually, I have had nothing but a laptop for over ten years, and have used only Apples since 2008 - as my own personal computer - the work world still uses Windows based machines, so I am proficient in both. Back in the 1900s, I did have a desktop, but not since 2000.


macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2009
Down the rabbit hole
Yep. That's me. Sold my MP five years back and got his and hers MBPs. Hers tends to float around and mine stays in the Book Arc plugged into a decent Dell display. I've got all muscle I need plus the option of portability. The only way this setup would be more perfect/cleaner is if Apple would stop delaying and release the next Thunderbolt display.


macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
Vilano Beach, FL
I run a laptop + ext monitor/kb/mouse setup. The laptop is mostly docked at my desk but does come with me when travel.

I use this setup every single day

But for around-the-home and couch computing i use my iPad.
Yep, exactly the same here:

15” MBP + MM + Logitech KB (wireless/BL 880) + ViewSonic 24” IPS display

Love it. Even though I’m “docked” about 95% of the time, but I love the option to work on the deck, easily take it with me offsite for business, etc., by just disconnecting power and TB. Occasionally I use the internal display as a 2nd display at my desk (and/or for the using the camera during a Hangout, FT).

I’d never go back to a desktop - for me convenience > performance (and outside of the MP, the performance disparity isn’t all that much anyway).



macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
For serious photo editing I could not give up a wacom, mouse and keyboard. I also couldn't get rid of a 30" display. If I didn't care about that I would ditch the desktop all together.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
I still love my iMac in dual screen mode with Dell screen when I need to sit at a desk, but with MBPr and 2 iPads I need to sit at a desk less. I don't intend to replace the iMac when it dies though I might get a Thunderbolt Display for MBPr when it is retina or at least much better than the current one.


macrumors newbie
Jun 26, 2014
I use my personal computer professionally (independent software developer) and haven't used a desktop except for gaming in ages. The reason for using a desktop is that it's hard to find a good gaming laptop that isn't 20 pounds or have a five minute battery life.

That all changed when I bought my first MBP in March. Got the 15" Retina with 16GB of RAM and nVidia GPU. It plays all the games I'm interested in like a champ. Even the Windows Exclusive games run fine in Parallels. (Truth be told, I haven't booted up Windows on my MBP since the first week after I got it.)

I plug it into my desktop monitor when I'm at home for extra screen real estate, but truth be told, I've never had a lack of screen space when traveling.

The average computer user (who doesn't write software for a living) should be more than comfortable using a laptop as their only device.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2007
I bought an iMac in 2006 and loved it. It was my first mac so I really enjoyed using it. However I ended up getting my mbp ~1 year later because extended periods of sitting in a desk chair was just brutal on my neck and back. I really needed the flexibility of a laptop.


macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
St. Louis, MO
I run a laptop + ext monitor/kb/mouse setup. The laptop is mostly docked at my desk but does come with me when travel.

I use this setup every single day

But for around-the-home and couch computing i use my iPad.
Same here.


macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
I'm in the process of doing this. I went from having a decently powered Linux box and a high powered PC (mainly for flightsimming) to ditching the Linux box for building a Hackintosh to go along with my MBA (disk space was the issue for me). This was all in a 2 monitor setup with a KVM between the two desktops.

I'm tired of being locked away in a home office and away from the wife and kids that I just bought a Synology diskstation, put 2 * 3TB drives in it (RAID 1), and am about to move everything to that, map it to my MBA, and ditch the Hackintosh. If I want to sit at a desk, I can use the freed port on the KVM to connect the MBA to a monitor externally.

So in the next week, my MBA will be the computer of choice, and to be honest, I haven't really touched the PC; having fun with my wife and children has taken my flightsimming time, and justifiably so.

But I can't wait to be unhitched from a desk.



macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2002
Sarasota FL
Sure. My MBP is more powerful than my wife's iMac despite being a year older. Add a 27" monitor for when it's at the desk and I'm good to go.

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
Shady Dale, Georgia
I still use a MacPro for the household computer but the truth is, I don't use it much. It is in the "office" (formerly a bedroom) and it is the computer that all iDevices sync with and where all family photos are stored, etc. (backed up to an external drive).

That said, we use laptops and iPads for everything. There are those rare times I need to go into the office and use the multiple monitors or the scanner.


Staff member
May 3, 2009
I've been on a laptop now for years, I think it was when apple went from the G5 to intel. I do have a Mac Mini for my kids, mostly because of the price point but for me, I've been on a laptop for years.


Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
I haven't. I still run an iMac (using it now), but I do use the MBP more, since I can be on the couch watching TV with it.

The iMac serves my heavy lifting needs with video production for my church and also serves as my media hub to the iDevices and the Apple TV.


macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
Yes! I'm a HUGE fan of using the laptop as a desktop.

I have a 13" 2.6/8/256 MBPr late 2013 and I hook it up to my Dell Ultrasharp 24" external monitor.

I also have a Book Arc to place my MBPr in.

It's a lovely setup and I love it!

And when I go to school then I have a laptop! It's perfect.


macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
I've been laptop only since I could afford my own laptop as a teenager - so a good 13 years or more.

I can't remember if my Toshiba Satellite running Windows ME was my first or second, but after a year or two it was sold to go towards an HP Pavillion, which I ran into the ground burning out my monitor in about 4 years of intense gaming. Then it was the switch to Apple - my late 2006 MacBook bought in March 2007, which lasted me up until May of this year.

MacBook still works, but sort of poorly in OS X and moderately well in Windows XP. Second battery is swollen and never used (plug only). I also needed Office 2010/13 for courses this semester, so a new laptop it is, also in sig. Loving the larger sized (15.6" 1920 x 1080) screen compared to previously only owning 13.3" laptops.


macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
I have a desk setup, 27 inch imac. The other desktop formerly there, a asus desktop is in my daughters room now. I've got a samsung laptop, 2 iPads too. Lol

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
An island in the Pacific Ocean
Nope….. and unlikely to ditch a desktop for a laptop. In truth I have seldom used a laptop, and have never owned one.

I have a Mac Mini set up with a decent sized monitor, OK speakers, printer, USB hub and all in a home office. As a teacher, I seldom do any non class work on campus. On the odd occasion I require transportability the Mini can be disconnected and in a backpack in a minute or two. Setting up, usually with a projector takes about the same.

If more frequent portability was required, I might consider a laptop to supplement the desktop, but not to replace it. I can't see that happening any time soon though.

On leaving my desk, I like to leave my computer, and being on-line, behind. On the rare occasion I carry a phone, it is far from smart… just a basic monochrome Nokia.

I certainly don't want some pretty, delicate little laptop to tote from home to office to cafe, to park.


macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
Atlanta, GA
Actually, I went the opposite way. I used laptops exclusively from 1997-2011. From 2004-2011, I had a 23" external hooked to my 17" MacBook Pro, but it was all set up at a desk, then the laptop went with me when I needed it on site.

A couple of years ago, I bought a 27" iMac instead, and it is flanked by two 23" displays. That's at my main desk. My laptop generally lives in the living room, then goes out on site with me as needed. I likely won't go back to just laptops, as I just prefer the screen real estate when I can get it.

The laptop and iMac sync back and forth to each other every hour for the most part, so I always have the most up-to-date files on both.
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