Switching desktop to laptop advice


Active Member
Hi there.

I would be really grateful for some advice upon switching from a desktop system to a laptop - primarily for space saving (plus running costs would certainly be a bonus at the moment).

My current desktop has 12GB in it and a cheapy graphics card in and has a Haswell CPU.

My problem is that I need two screens for work and, with the tower on my desk (in a very tiny office), I am really struggling for room.

I was wondering whether I could swap everything out for used laptop - this would also give the benefit of a bit of lower power consumption as well (since I now work from home, at least three days a week - my power bill has taken a bit of unwanted increase as well).

Just a few questions:

1. How much do I need to spend on laptop to get anything half decent (or what sort of specs should I be looking for)?

2. Can I stick the tower in another room (and run it headless) and then remotely log on to that if I need to do anything that might involve the use of a graphics card?


Distinguished Member
If you really want to save power then I'd suggest an M1 MacBook Air. The new Apple processors are orders of magnitude more efficient. It's a bit of a learning curve getting used to MacOS but worth it IMO.

If you intend to stick with Windows then IIRC Haswell was 4th gen so around 9 it 10 years old now so I can't imagine a more recent laptop struggling at all. Are you looking for new or would you be happy going 2nd hand? Do you have a budget at all in mind?


Active Member
Thanks for that.

Am going to have to stick with the old Windows OS as dictated by my work.

I am certainly going to have to go 2nd hand as I have a low budget of around £300 - from what I have read, that still allows the possibility of something half decent.


Distinguished Member
Not convinced by that budget that you will get a reasonable laptop especially one with a half decent ssd which often makes an older laptop/desktop that much better.

How about a used Intel nuc or similar as those are smaller than a laptop and should be available on that price range.


Active Member
Thanks for that.

Sorry - should have said that my current desktop has a 1TB SSD in it that I would whip out.

I had a look at the NUCs and whilst they do seem great idea, I was rather hoping to get rid of one of my two external monitors (and my external speakers).

Plus, I do like the potential flexibility of a laptop.

What sort of budget should I increase to, to be realistic?

I did have a mess around with my Samsung R580 (4GB/i3 version) and whilst that is usable, I am not sure that it really cuts the mustard for modern use, now.

One other quick thing - my wife's work supplied her with an HP 255 G7 that I have been borrowing for various tasks. We are going to have to give that back, shortly (now that lockdown is over) but that seemed a great little machine.


Active Member
I was doing a bit more research, last night, and it seems that used Lenovo Thinkpads is the way to go (cheap, upgradeable, good supply of spare parts, well made).

I haven't bought any x86 hardware is so long (have been messing with RPi and Ordoid SBCs) that I am a bit out of touch with specs.

What should I be looking out for?

I realise that I am gong to have up my budget somewhat - I think I am going to have to have a 15" inch screen and at least 8GB RAM (with a view to upgrading this at some point). SSD size is not important as I have 1TB Crucial that I will whip out of my current Desktop PC.


Active Member
I found a deal on a Lenovo ThickPad L580 that looks pretty good - 240GB SSD, 16GB RAM, i5-8350U, Windows 11 Standard for £352.50.

Has a few scratches on it (advertised as Grade C) but does come with 1 year warranty.

Do you think this looks worth considering?

I am a bit out of touch with CPUs (especially mobile ones) but 8th generation still seems to be pretty good in this day and age.


I use 2 screens with my thinkpad and dock, with no issues
Not a lenovo dock either , just a generic one from amazon


Err. Black one . Don't know the actual spec , been an age since I looked
00s of them issued across the company. We did have a dodgy batch of WiFi cards in some, but once they were binned off, they have been bulletproof for most

T470 i think , with touchscreen.


Novice Member
Switching from a desktop computer to a laptop is quite a difficult decision. Laptops that cost about the same as a desktop computer, though they win in space savings, but usually lose out in performance. For this reason it is necessary to approach the matter wisely, I recommend reading various articles on the subject, determine for what purposes you need a laptop. To get a good and inexpensive laptop need a budget of about $ 1000. For this money you can buy a decent laptop, which is suitable for your tasks, unless of course you are a professional streamer, then prepare a budget of $ 5,000 or more. Perhaps the most popular laptop model for not much money is Acer Aspire 5. If you are planning to buy a used laptop, then this model will cost 2-3 times cheaper, depending on how you agree with the seller. But there is a nuance, when you buy a laptop, I recommend buying immediately and cooling pad. Because under heavy loads laptops get very hot. And by the way, when buying a used laptop, I recommend a careful inspection, so that then it did not turn out that you were sold a laptop with serious problems.
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