Saturday, 15 September 2012

How to Choose Between a Desktop and a Laptop

| Saturday, September 15, 2012 | |

Whether an individual is purchasing their first computer, or a replacement for a previous system, deciding between a desktop and laptop is no easy task. Here are some considerations from PC Tips World on purchasing a computer.

Upfront Costs

Not long ago, cost was a major factor in the decision between a desktop and laptop. Since basic laptops are more affordable, the decision can be more difficult. In general, a desktop will come with faster processing speeds and more hard drive space than a laptop for the same price. However, it cannot be assumed that a desktop comes standard with certain accessories or features. Most advertised prices for desktops do not include a monitor.

Desktop vs. Laptop: Portability and Space

A major deciding factor when purchasing a computer is determining the need for portability. Laptops are designed to be easily transported, considering their all-in-one design and rechargeable battery. Even if an individual has no intentions of carrying their laptop to work or school, or using it while traveling, there may be a need for portability. Laptops provide users with the flexibility of using a computer in various areas at home, which can be useful for individuals that spend long hours in front of the computer. The portability of a laptop can be convenient when needing to work in bed, or move to a quiet area. Larger laptops can be quite heavy to carry around for long periods of time, and their compact size makes them prone to accidents and theft.
Desktops need more space than laptops, even those that are designed as all-in-one systems or with slim towers. Another component when considering space is the size of the desk or table that will accommodate a desktop. Since desktops can be heavy, a sturdy table will be needed, which can be difficult in a confined space. Learn more about the benefits of desktops at

More Flexibility with Desktop Computers

Although both types of computers can last many years with proper maintenance, desktops provide more opportunities to grow with the changing needs of the user. Many individuals choose to upgrade their computer at some point, to increase memory, add or replace a hard drive or increase the capabilities of the computer. Upgrading a laptop can be more difficult and more expensive due to space limitations within the case of a laptop. In many situations it can be less expensive to replace a laptop entirely, than try to upgrade.
There are more options for different sizes and types of monitors when using a desktop. Having a large, good-quality monitor is beneficial for gaming, reading or for individuals with vision problems. Laptop users are limited to the attached monitor, or they may choose to add an external monitor, which eliminates portability.


Laptops are more prone to overheating than their desktop counterparts. Electrical components inside computers get hot and the closer they are to each other, the more heat they retain. Overheating of electrical components can potentially destroy a computer. It is not uncommon for a fan to stop working or not function properly, and need to be replaced. Desktop fans are less expensive and easier to install. Replacing the fan on a laptop may need to be done by a professional to avoid unintentional damage to the system. Seeking the services of a professional can substantially increase the cost of the replacement.
There are many benefits and disadvantages to purchasing a laptop or desktop. Considering the major factors when choosing between the two, can help individuals make an informed choice that meets their expectations.
Author bio: David works with Dell. He loves laptops and working on the go. Learn more about laptops here. When not working he enjoys hiking and writing about technology. 

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