There's a third alternative that might be worth your attention when you're trying to decide what kind of computer to buy. If you expect to use the computer in a single location most of the time, but you want the convenience of a portable when you take your twice-a-year business trips and on those rare evenings and weekends when you must take work home with you, consider using a laptop with a separate monitor, mouse, and keyboard. In the office, you have the functional benefits of a full-size keyboard and screen, but when it's necessary, you can pull a few plugs out of their sockets and take the computer with you.
Some manufacturers call this category a desktop replacement because the laptop takes the place of a conventional desktop processor case. Many laptops even include a special docking-station connector that takes the place of all those separate cables and sockets.
Look for information about using a docking station, port replicator, or separate external devices in Chapter 22.