Should I Get A Laptop Or Desktop

| February 21, 2012

A common question an IT person will get asked by friends and family is “Should I get a laptop or desktop” when they finally realize their old computer has bit its last byte. This is a difficult question to answer and certainly a question that applies differently to each person. The old answer was usually to buy a desktop because it was an overall better value. Desktops are still usually cheaper, but value can no longer be measured strictly in terms of price. We are living in a portable society, no longer bound by a cord for Internet access. So we’ve broken down some of the best traits for each type of computer so you can decide for yourself if you should get a laptop or desktop.

should I get a laptop or a desktop

Reasons To Get A Desktop Computer

Price – Sure you can get a cheap laptop, but if you were to try and compare apples to apples in terms of speed and capacity,  you would find a comparable laptop is far more expensive.

Upgradeable – Desktops are made to be upgraded. Expansion slots on the motherboard ensure your computer can be upgraded for several years.

Games – If you’re a PC gamer, your playing on a desktop. Sure they make gaming laptops, but a desktop is better-suited for gaming because it’s customizable and handles cooling better. The ability to upgrade the video card is essential for a PC gamer in the rapidly changing world of hardcore games.

Ergonomics – Keyboards and monitors are generally larger on a desktop. And the difference between using a track pad versus a mouse is important to consider, especially for older people who aren’t accustomed to using a laptop’s built-in track pad for scrolling, clicking and moving the cursor.

Workstation – A desktop is more practical for the home office because it’s stationary and you do not have to continuously plug in devices, such as printers, scanners, backup drives and other components.

Reasons To Buy A Laptop

WiFi – WiFi is so readily available in homes, offices and other hotspots that it makes connecting to the Internet trivial. Unplug and explore the world.

Productivity – The portability of a laptop also makes it a more productive computer. Working after hours is easier when you can be in the same room with your family.

Presentations – If you travel, it’s easier to bring along a laptop rather than a full-size computer to give presentations.

Solid State Hard Drives – Many laptops will have solid state hard drives, which mean no moving parts. Solid state drives tend to last longer and run faster that traditional spinning drives.

Built-in Camera – Most laptops will have a built-in camera, so you can video chat with friends, family and work.

Make A Laptop More Like  A Desktop

A the end of the day, a laptop and a desktop are very similar. The can easily merge the benefits of each by using a docking station for your laptop. A docking stations allows your laptop computer to easily interface with things you want to keep plugged in permanently. You can buy a docking station from the manufacturer of your laptop, or a USB model that we linked to above. A docking station will give a laptop user the ability to use a full size keyboard, mouse, larger monitor and printer in seconds.

In conclusion, the question “Should I get a laptop or a desktop” is best left answered by you based on your own budget and requirements. Let us know what your feelings are and whether you decided to go with a laptop or desktop computer.

Category: Opinion

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Shereen says:

    As a 65 year old, I very much prefer a desktop over a laptop for all the reasons you stated in your article: much more bang for your buck, ergonomics: I simply cannot work as fast using a touchpad as I can using a full sized keyboard and mouse! But upgradability and the ability to easily replace faulty components myself is the biggest selling point for me as it means I never have to pay a computer engineer to swap out video cards etc!

    As I live alone and am not a TV addict, not being able to use my computer downstairs is not an issue for me. But since I believe that desktops themselves and all peripherals can all be purchased in wi-fi editions these days, couldn’t you still use a desktop in the same room as your family, as long as you have a desk big enough for just the keyboard and monitor?