Buying a Laptop or a Desktop?

Teenagers, business people, students, young professionals etc. all have different computer needs. Some might use their computer mainly for emails, word processing and Internet. Others might use it mainly for high performance photo, video or design software in their line of work, and others might mainly use their computer for playing high performance computer games. Whatever category you feel you might fall in under can help determine to choose laptop. Gamers usually prefer desktops and business professionals usually prefer laptops.

If you will use your laptop mostly at home, then built-in wireless Internet networking lets you use it all over your house and you can easily store it when it’s not in use. And all desktop computers take up more space on a desk than a laptop does. Think cables, keyboard, mouse etc. Think big and bulky, a desktop becomes a piece of ugly furniture in your home. If you still haven’t made up your mind whether to get a laptop or desktop. Then here are some advantages and disadvantages of laptops versus desktops to have a think at.

Your most obvious decision should be based, first and foremost, on your computer budget and how you plan to use your new computer. Here are some other advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind. Laptop vs. Desktop!

Weight, size and portability

laptop advantagesToday we want everything to be portal. A laptop computer is per definition portable. This is a big plus in the life people in our busy society, college students to business people. You can take your laptop to the library, on to a plane, to a coffee shop, to your own bed, or wherever you want to work or study. Unlike desktops, laptops can easily make a boring trip somewhere worthwhile.

A typical laptop weighs between 4.5 and 8 pounds, while “Ultra-light” models like the MacBook-Air weighs in at about 3 pounds. Typically, “Ultra-light” models do not have an internal CD/DVD drive. On the other hand, the classic desktop computer, including monitor, keyboard and cables weighs about 25 pounds.

If you want access to files and software on your computer whether you are at home, office or on the road, then the portability of a laptop is an important decisive factor. On the other hand, an USB flash drive can store copies of your important documents and is easily carried around on your key-chain and works with any desktop, laptop, PC or Mac. However, a 4 to 8 gigabyte USB drives can basically only carry your word or excel documents.

Ergonomics and comfort

One drawback of portability is ergonomics. Design over functionality. The small size of laptops (the whole point of a laptop) can make its use less comfortable and sometimes even physically exhausting. On the other side, the design of a desktop computer has developed to ease the comfort of their users. Desktops are easier on your eyes, hands, and backs. A desktop monitor is at your eye level, and the keyboard allows for correct positioning of your back, arms, and wrists. Speaking of ergonomics, carrying a heavy laptop computer around isn’t good for your back either. Yes, you can get lightweight laptops, but they’ll cost you.

Ergonomics can be important concerns, especially when you use your computer for long periods of time. So if you are a “24/7 up-all-night” computer user then you need to consider these factors. Also. You can very easily improve the ergonomics of a laptop by building a more comfortable “home base” into which you can dock your laptop when you return to your desk. A “home base” can include such things llas a standard keyboard, a mouse, an external monitor, etc.

Cost, performance and if the accident happens

desktopAs a rule of thumb, desktops are approximately half the price of a comparable laptop computer. Although overall prices are falling, price gaps still exist largely because of the higher cost of laptop displays and the added cost of miniaturized technology. Laptops are becoming more affordable. But finding a cheap but reliable desktop computer is much easier than finding a cheap but reliable laptop computer. This is not as true as it used to be, but laptops are becoming more affordable. However, dollar for dollar, you get more for your desktop buck than for your laptop buck. Also desktop computers are less expensive to upgrade. So make sure you have enough processor speed, hard drive size and RAM memory installed from the beginning (however RAM memory doesn’t cost that much to upgrade. 1 gigabyte RAM usually costs around US$100). Also, dollar for dollar, desktops are faster. You can get a fast laptop, but it will most likely cost you.

With a desktop usually come greater storage capacity, memory, multimedia features, and expansion flexibility. Also, lets face it desktops cost less overall (prices usually start at approximately US$400, plus another US$75 or so for a CRT monitor, compared with approximately $700 for laptops and their more universal designs transform into lower repair costs. If you have repaired one notebook you can repair any other notebook.

Since laptops are portable, they are more prone to accidents and abuse than desktops. And because of their size, laptops require smaller, more complicated computer hardware resulting in more expensive upgrades and repairs. Desktops are easier and cheaper to repair. If a spill a soft drink on your desktop keyboard, you’ll need to spend around US$10 on a new keyboard. If you spill a soft drink on your laptop keyboard, well, you’ll be lucky if you still have a working laptop. Consider purchasing extended warranties for both laptops and desktops to cover the effective life of the machine.

Internet and connectivity

Both laptops and desktops have identical connectivity. It’s the same hardware in both laptops and desktops. You connect to the Internet through the standard technologies including wireless networking, dial-up modems, DSL or Cable modems, Ethernet etc.

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But having a laptop gives you the ability to take advantage of wireless networks which are available in many locations, such as cafes, airports, city centers, libraries etc. As wireless Internet becomes more widely available, laptop computers become all the more convenient, functional and cool.

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