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Should I consider a desktop or a laptop if I was going to be moving abroad?

Generally I would prefer a desktop, since it's generally cheaper for the same specs, but it's about 50% likely that I will have to move to Japan (from UK) for a couple of years in two years or so. I have never heard of anyone traveling with a desktop - is it even possible without getting it destroyed?

If anyone have experience in this area, could you suggest me if It's better to choose a laptop just for this reason? I don't really care about mobility on daily basis that much as I already have a netbook.

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You’re moving for a “couple of years”? So it’s not a brief thing, you’ll be living there for a protracted period of time. Obviously you’ll be bringing more than just an overnight bag with you; things you’ll need or want with you, including things that are bigger than a breadbox. > I have never heard of anyone travelling with a desktop ‽‽‽ Are you implying that when people move long distances, they throw everything big or fragile out and buy all new things? How do people normally move stuff when they move to another country/continent? Look into that and you’ll have your answer. –  Synetech Mar 6 '11 at 0:33
    
@Synetech inc. :No idea, when I moved to UK 3 years ago I only had a backpack and a small handbag ) Same when I went to USA for 4 month some time ago. I'm a students so I don't had much stuff and never have an experience of moving with a lot of stuff. I suppose I'll look into it though. –  alex Mar 6 '11 at 1:13
    
Sure, but other people have moved permanently to far off places without ditching everything they own. Find someone who has done so and ask what they did or call a moving company, pretending to be a family moving to the other side of the world and need to take all your stuff, and ask what your options are. ;-) –  Synetech Mar 6 '11 at 1:15
    
Thanks! Although that's pretty much what I'm trying to do here ))) –  alex Mar 6 '11 at 1:18
    
That’s more of a moving question than a computer hardware/software question. Unfortunately I don’t think there are any specifically moving related SE sites. Besides, the solution will depend on what’s available to you. –  Synetech Mar 6 '11 at 4:01

2 Answers 2

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My grandmother has done this, though that was before the current climate of air travel and security risks. If you DO check in your desktop, you might want to invest in shock watches - little stickers which let you know if your luggage has been mishandled - in addition to that, it lets the airline staff know that you will know, which would reduce risk somewhat.

You may have to switch the voltage on the PSU if you do move your desktop. I'd also strongly recommend keeping the original packaging and shipping the PC in that, and removing, securely packing, and bringing the hard drives with you.

Also, don't forget that you'd also need a screen, keyboard, mouse and other parts to make a desktop usable. The sheer volume of things needed makes laptops more viable for travel.Even with a mini ITX system, this is a non trivial amount of things to ship

Considering hardware is considerably cheaper in asia than the UK, in my experience, it may be worth just getting what you need in japan. Or just get a laptop or netbook - the price differencial isn't as bad as it used to be.

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If you're careful with your desktop machine, moving it won't be a problem. I'd recommend shipping it with a trustworthy parcel courier. Read reviews, and buy insurance. Do not carry it with you as checked baggage on board a passenger airliner, as this is an excellent way to destroy anything.

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