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Should I purchase a desktop computer or a laptop computer?
Requested and Answered by Gene Amtower [pcbgene] on 08-Jul-2009 14:21 (3344 reads)
Deciding between a desktop PC and a laptop is largely based on how you intend to use your new computer. While the interest in laptops is greater than ever, there are pros and cons to this buying option. Whenever our customers ask this question, we respond with a series of questions intended to assess the need for a laptop.

First, do you really need the mobility provided by a laptop? If you're going to use your computer at a desk and don't intend on traveling with it or using it in other rooms of your home or office, then a desktop computer is the best choice. For the same money, you can get better performance, more storage, and more advanced features in a desktop computer. Or, to put it another way, you can get the same performance, storage, and features for less money by buying a desktop computer.

Why is this the case? Because laptops are designed for portability, their design is focused on light weight and small physical size. In order to meet these design goals, many of the components used in a laptop are smaller than equivalent components in a desktop computer. For example, the hard drive, optical drive (DVD), and power supply components are usually smaller in a laptop. Smaller component have a harder time dissipating heat, so slower processors, smaller hard drives, and lower capacity memory are used. The smaller size of these components usually means that laptop component specs lag those of desktop computer components. Also, the smaller case of a laptop also means less cooling capacity through vents, compounding the heat problem further by causing higher internal temperatures in a laptop as compared to a desktop. The smaller size of a laptop also restricts the size of the keyboard and screen in the laptop, while desktop monitors can be purchased that are much larger than the largest laptop screens.

For these reasons, buying a laptop over a desktop computer means you will have to compromise in one or more areas. So, buying a laptop should only be considered when you intend on using your computer away from a work space. If you're considering a laptop for that reason, then careful consideration of the features that are important to you will determine which laptop you should purchase. You can choose to select a laptop based on its weight, its features, or the physical size of the laptop.

If you need help sorting through the purchasing options of a new computer, PC Backup can help. Call us at (937) 478-7624 or submit in inquiry through our Contact Us form on this web site.

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