The Desktop Replacement Notebook
Next we come to the desktop replacement notebook, so named because they can almost fully replace a desktop PC. These are larger notebooks, with screens in the 17” range, typically with a full range of input/output ports. Many desktop replacement models also sport more powerful processors and fully loaded memory (4GB to 8GB); expect hard drives from 500GB and up.
The nice thing about a desktop replacement notebook is that bigger screen, a keyboard with a separate number pad, and a bit more power. Unfortunately, this size and power comes at a price – and I’m not just talking about the selling price. Desktop replacement notebooks are bigger and heavier than traditional notebooks, generate more heat, and use a lot more power. That means that you won’t get near as much time on batteries as you do with a traditional notebook – and your lap will get fairly warm while you’re using it.
Figure 2 A Toshiba desktop replacement model with 17.3” screen.
What this adds up to is that desktop replacement notebooks are best used on a desktop, not on your lap or away from the office. Keep ‘em plugged in and off your lap, and you’ll be happy.
As to price, you can find some lesser-featured desktop replacements (with 320GB hard drives and just 4GB of RAM) in the $350 range, although most fully featured models will run $500 and up. There are even a few models with 1TB hard drives priced north of $1,000, if you want to go there.