When it comes to doing work, I’m very much a traditionalist. Unless I’m on the road, I do 100% of my work in my office at my desk.  I’ve never been tempted to try dual monitors (or more); I only use one 24-inch monitor. Most importantly, I use a desktop computer. My current model was the most powerful machine sold by Costco a couple years ago…I am looking to get a better model but will likely wait until after Windows 8 gets released before upgrading.

I have (what I believe is) a reasonably powerful Asus laptop for traveling. Got it about 1 ½ years ago…it’s one of their ultra-light models with super-long battery life. I use it primarily for hooking to my office flat screen to watch movies, though it does double as a travel computer. I know there are more powerful laptop models out there, but I do believe I have a solid model that balances portability and power.

At PPC Associates, I work with some really large, “dense” client accounts, and even on my desktop, it takes time to do account updates or make global changes via AdWords Editor. I recently spent a few days working in our home office in San Mateo, and during that time, I was forced to use my laptop to perform the huge data-crunching tasks that I’d taken for granted with my desktop.

My laptop did not perform well at all. The parts of my days that required crunching data were not remotely productive.

In our very mobile search marketing industry, using desktops regularly is definitely looked down upon. However, certainly in paid search, I fervently believe that desktops (and only ones that have “Eldorado”-like power) have to be the work instrument of choice for anyone involved in account management.

The twin tenants of paid search account management are performance and productivity. Certainly, my clients judge me on the former. My peers judge me on both. I have worked with AdWords since its inception, and my level of experience means that I can perform tasks quicker and with a higher level of competency than someone newer in my field. But at my advanced level, the quality of the tools used to perform my craft become much more critical. Many of the tasks that I perform can be described as “complex rote”…things that I’ve done many, many times and when I get really dialed into my work process, I have the expectation that my tools are good enough to keep up with my thoughts and actions. My laptop couldn’t keep up with my brain, and I lost my work “edge” that I pride myself on, making my laptop work time far less productive than it should have been.

I will gladly acknowledge the utility of these newfangled mobile/tablet devices that are the rage these days. But IMO, they’re more for show than for doing any actual, important work apart from checking email and updating your social media accounts. I’m sure there are some laptops out there that can perform at close to desktop level (but they’re likely pretty spendy). For serious work, computing power should be the only consideration in your choice of tools, and the desktop computer should be the instrument of choice.

Todd Mintz, Senior SEM Manager
– Questions? Comments? Email us at blog at ppcassociates dot com.

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Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz, who has been with 3Q Digital since March 2011, has worked in search engine marketing since 2000 and has used Google AdWords since it began. He also is very visible in the SEM social media space and is a curator/contributor at MarketingLand. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group), is a current board member, and writes regularly on their blog.