Desktop computer vs laptop; which is the best option for you? Thanks to technological advancements, purchasing a computer begins with one complicated decision: choosing between laptop vs desktop. The most significant tradeoff is between the power of a desktop and the portability of a laptop.
This article will give you a detailed explanation of everything you need to consider before buying your next computer.
What Is the Difference?
A desktop computer often resides on an office desk. It also comes with separate components; there is a mouse, keyboard, display monitor, and a tower containing the computer’s muscles and brains.
On the other hand, a laptop is a portable all-in-one computer that doesn’t have to reside on a desk. You can bring your laptop with you wherever you are going. That’s because laptops don’t require a fixed source of power like desktop computers do.
A laptop has a built-in touchpad that replaces the mouse, a built-in monitor, and a keyboard for portability purposes. Laptops can also differ in size from 10-inch to 21-inch curved screens to gaming behemoths.
Perhaps the most significant difference between a laptop and a desktop is the size of the battery. Laptop batteries can last between 6 to 12 hours, depending on how you are using your laptop. However, depending on how big your laptop battery is, it can also limit your computer’s portability.
A few decades ago, if you wanted a fast and powerful computer, you had to purchase a desktop. Today, the gap between a desktop’s and laptop’s functionality has considerably closed. That’s because manufacturers started designing laptops with high-end gaming hardware.
However, desktop PCs give great flexibility when it comes to functionality. They are equipped with top-of-the-range components all in one device. The best graphics tech and processors are often used in desktops first before trickling down to laptops.
If you consider the portability of a laptop, the above value differential becomes blurry. While laptops can’t outperform high-end desktop PCs, they provide a more considerable percentage of the performance in an easy-to-carry and integrated package. Unless you’re looking for a PC to perform hardcore gaming and heavy workloads, you won’t notice what you’ll miss out on when you buy a laptop.
If you’re looking for a PC that can perform primary duties such as accessing the internet, watching videos, accessing documents, and staying up-to-date on social media, then a laptop is the best option. Today, laptops are designed with both Intel processors and AMD.
2. Desktop Computer and Laptops Specifications
Key specifications when purchasing a computer are RAM, CPU, hard drive, and graphics card. The CPU is considered the brain of the operation, and the RAM is where all programs run. The more RAM storage you have, the more programs you can run.
On the other hand, the graphics card will determine how well your computer can play games. The hard drive is like a storage facility; it determines how many documents, programs, files, and videos your computer can store.
Desktop PCs have higher specifications than laptops. However, with the increasing range of customizable and pre-made computers, you can always get what you want with the right budget.
However, a laptop will have a lower-powered graphics card, a smaller hard drive, and less RAM than a desktop for the same price. The CPU, which significantly influences the desktop’s performance, can have the same processing power as a laptop. For a better-performing computer, look for one with AMD Ryzen 2, AMD Ryzen or Core i5, i7, and i9 processors.
3. Screen Resolution and Size
When purchasing a computer, you should also look at the screen size and resolution. The best laptops range between 12 to 15 inches in screen size. That’s because they offer a balance between power and portability.
15-inch sized laptops have a lightweight frame while still packing powerful components, making them quite portable. If you need a laptop for basic functionality, you can go for 10 to 12-inch sized notebooks. They are perfect for browsing the internet, going through your emails, and streaming videos online.
Today, most laptops such as Lenovo offer a full HD 1080p display. Some even have the option to go up to 4K resolution for higher-quality videos. However, laptops with these features cost extra.
Standard desktop screen sizes include 22-inch, 24 inch, and even 27 inches. You can also go up to 31 inches if you’re looking for a bigger display. When buying a desktop, ensure you purchase a high-quality monitor to fit your needs.
Pros and Cons of Laptops
Laptops are like desktops but more fine-tuned with everything integrated into one portable device. They are small and light enough for business people and students to use on the go. However, laptops have both advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Laptops
Laptop brands such as Lenovo have taken over the computer market, charming the eyes of most people. Below are the advantages of laptops:
1. Laptops Are Portable and Mobile Devices
This is the most obvious advantage of purchasing a laptop. You can use it while you’re on the bus, on a train to work, or while flying across the pacific. A laptop is like a portable working station that houses your communication with your team, your audios, and movies.
2. It’s Lightweight
You can easily walk around carrying your laptop in your hand. Thanks to advancements in technology, laptop components have drastically decreased in size. This means laptops are becoming lighter with each new invention.
3. Laptops are Compact
Laptops offer the same functional performance as most desktops but with compact dimensions. A laptop will have a keyboard, screen, battery, hard disk, and a touchpad all in one.
4. They are Stable
Laptops are high-quality PCs with anti-crash qualities due to their firmware and hardware errors. All the components of a laptop go through rigorous testing for assimilated-operation stability.
All hardware parts of a laptop, including hard drives, RAM, and processors, work in sync. For this reason, manufacturers test all conditions of the components to ensure they can coexist with each other and work perfectly.
5. Offline Operations
Laptops have a power backup and can work without access to electricity. Their batteries store power that the laptop can temporarily use in the absence of main electricity. This is also another advantage that adds to the mobility feature of laptops.
6. Convenient for Instant Use
Working on a laptop is more convenient than using a desktop. All you have to do is open the laptop and place it on your lap and start working wherever you are.
It’s also relatively easy to log into the system and start working. All you need is to open the laptop lid and press the power button. You can also use the hibernate or sleep modes to lock the laptop while your work is still open partially.
Once you close the lid, the laptop automatically goes into sleep mode. The sleep mode also preserves your battery and ensures your unsaved work isn’t lost.
7. Internet Access
Access to the internet in today’s world is a must. Thus, laptops come with network adapters. These adaptors are used for Wi-Fi connections and cabled LAN.
Other laptops come with a WAN connection for cellular data. Network hardware is a convenient feature almost every laptop has.
Disadvantages of Laptops
While laptops have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages. Below is a list of the disadvantages of purchasing a laptop:
1. They Are Costly
Laptops are more expensive than desktops of the same qualifications. This is because laptops are precisely designed to balance challenges faced by their intrinsic nature with optimized performance.
2. Expensive Repairs
Laptops have proprietary hardware. Thus, their repair is more challenging and much more expensive. This is because laptop components are not easily accessible for repair.
Some manufacturers also use unique compact components and a technology that can’t be repaired. Additionally, trying to repair your laptop yourself could void your warranty claim.
3. Excessive Heat
Laptops are compact; thus, they don’t have adequate ventilation compared to desktops. Using your laptop in a confined space is not ideal. Ensure you place your laptop on a hard surface when working to keep it cool and allow for a free flow of air.
4. Smaller Working Screen and No Mouse
Laptops have smaller keyboard keys and screens compared to desktop monitors. They also have no mouse, and the touchpad can be quite challenging to use. Fortunately, you can always connect an external mouse using a USB port.
Desktop Computer vs Laptop: Are You Ready to Purchase Your Computer?
Are you still torn between the two? Both laptops and desktops meet different consumers’ needs and preferences. Depending on what you’re looking for and your budget, you can go for either.
Are you looking for better battery life or a bigger monitor? Do you prefer portability or more processing power at an affordable price? With the ever-evolving technological advancements, you will have a wide range of options to choose from when purchasing a computer.
Did you like our desktop computer vs laptop guide? If so, check out other informative articles on our website.