I’ve struggled with that question in the past. I can say truthfully that having both was a royal pain in the butt. Keeping data synced wasn’t fun, nor was the electricity bill. Me being me always had the solution so it was never a big deal to just vpn into my home network to get the data I needed, but the reality is most people aren’t me.
The ability to set up a VPN server properly is beyond the scope of even most senior technologists. I did it, yes, but it was still incredibly inconvenient. The advent of the cloud only made things worse. Cloud storage fees + synchronization + version control was not fun.
So I finally did decide to get rid of my desktop and just get a really powerful laptop. I ended up with a Macbook Pro 17″ which I upgraded to 16GB RAM + a 512 GB SSD and a thunderbolt promise R6 array on the side. Can I complain? no.
This is my second only “laptop” setup and to tell you the truth, I don’t miss it. I just added a bluetooth mouse, a high quality USB hub and an external thunderbolt array.
The only problem with Apple Hardware is they don’t release Bootcamp updates that allow you to take full advantages of your awesome hardware, although, much of it has been overcome by me, because I refuse to accept defeat.
So why didn’t I go with a Lenovo or a Dell Laptop? I needed desktop “like” power. I also wanted thunderbolt and rock-solid hardware.
I got it all. I even have the built in GPU transcoding (something Apple natively prevents).
Was it worth all the hacking? Yes..
My laptop is on 24/7. I keep my home office at a steady 78 degrees, I have a powerware dual-conversion UPS and a brother MFC color laser printer fax jammy. My phone system is in the cloud and I run Polycom phones + a softphone on my computer. I run a rooted Samsung Galaxy S3 (rooted) so I can have internet virtually anywhere and it’s all done via my mobile vpn service so I actually get very decent performance without the throttling and pain of regular 3G/4G limitations.
Overall? I’m a happy camper. My home office is literally wherever my laptop is.
As for computer desk? People.. Do yourselves a favor and just buy an unfinished kitchen table and just coat it with poly-urethane. More room and it works just wonderful.
I have a photo printer (epson 1400) which I almost never use, but it’s there. I have a check scanner (actually 2) from my bank so I can do my banking online and never step foot into a branch.
I run a pfsense firewall at home with my own Motorola Docsis 3.0 modem so I don’t have to pay for the overhead of renting for $5.00 a month and I don’t have to deal with double-natting through a machine (cheap d-link) router provided by the carrier giving me superior performance.
So before you go and spend a ridiculous amount of money replacing your desktop, consider the solution I’ve proposed (am using). It’s cheaper, more reliable, and just as powerful. (I don’t do any gaming).
Just get yourself a comfy chair and you’re good. I would also recommend a clamp on light so you can use your webcam if you ever need skype without looking too dark or light.
If you need help setting up a proper home office, let me know. I’m more than happy to make suggestions. If you’re wondering what OS I’m running, I’m running Bootcamp win7 64 bit + MacOSX as a backup.
If you’re wondering if this is a realistically usable setup? I would say yes.. 10 stars. Just remember to get yourself a good wireless mouse.