Are they both connected by wireless? You says the laptop is but don't state whether the desktop is.
Are they both wireless n? If the laptop is wireless n but the desktop is only wireless g (either the limit of the card or the settings) then this could be a limiting factor.
You state the distance apart of the two machines. What about the distance from the router to both devices - 10 metres is a significant amount of extra distance for wireless. Does the distance from router to laptop involve additional walls etc?
Have you tried the laptop next to the desktop and next to the router? This is the true comparison!
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