Laptop vs dragtop

Every now and then I find myself defending why I think the MacBook Pro is the best laptop money can buy. People bring up the high price and the seemingly underpowered GPU and CPU. They bring up examples of cheaper laptops and desktop machines with better specs, and in a way, they’re not wrong. If your main concern at the end of the day is raw performance, don’t get a MBP. In fact, if you have a choice in the matter, don’t get a laptop in the first place.

Most laptops sold today shouldn’t be called laptops. When the consumer switch from desktop PC towers to laptops started somewhere in the mid 00s, a new term should have been coined for these devices: dragtop.

In my mind there’s a clear difference between the two:

Laptops are designed for people who rely on getting work done while sitting on a plane or on a train. Laptops have a long battery life, they’re compact and are built to last (this post was typed on a early 2011 MacBook Pro). Laptops manufacturers provide excellent warranties and customer service.

Dragtops are portable computers which mimic what laptops do, badly. Dragtops are heavy, have a short battery life and their build quality and physical design is lacking. Dragtops fall somewhere in between desktop computers and laptops, not living up to either standard. Dragtops have better specs than laptops, but worse than desktops.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate “dragtops”. I used to own one myself and they’re a perfectly good, valid choice for most people looking for an inexpensive computer. I do however feel frustrated at times trying to justify my hardware choices, even (or especially) to other IT professionals. I hope this short post helps to convey my thoughts on the matter.