David Papp Blog

How to Choose Between a Desktop and a Laptop

There are pros and cons to owning a desktop and a laptop. You may already know some of them if you own both. Remember to choose the type of computer that best suits your lifestyle and living space.

A laptop is a great option even if you don’t check your email or browse the Internet when you are away from home. You can take it anywhere and everywhere you go, including in and around your home.

Laptops are also fantastic space savers. They are small, sleek self-contained units free of a monitor, CPU, and extra power cords. Laptops operate on only one power cord, which you only need to use if the battery needs recharging. Try to purchase one with a long live battery as a wireless laptop is only as good as the battery that powers it. With advancements in batteries, hardware, and software, a laptop can run as long as five hours or even more.

It’s a good idea to purchase a laptop that has a wireless adapter built in, along with a wireless network in your home or community so that you can use your laptop in any room in your home while being connected to the Internet. How convenient! You can even purchase a wireless printer that communicates with your laptop via infrared (IR), WiFi, or Bluetooth technology.

Desktop computers are a viable option if you want to pay less and get more. When you’re looking for great performance features in a reasonably priced package, the desktop computer may be the right solution for you. With a larger tower case, the manufacturer has more space to install more technologies. New processors usually favour desktop computers first.

If you download a lot of music, movies, and videos, a desktop computer is the best choice. Because it can handle more powerful technologies, you can watch movies and videos with remarkable clarity and no lag time. You can also purchase large hard drives and CD/DVD-ROM drives and still have space for upgrades.

Unlike laptops, you can upgrade your desktop and make it better, stronger, and faster. You can add memory, a better video card, and processor if you want the latest technologies at your disposal. With a desktop, you virtually have no limitations.

A laptop may be a good choice if your living space is small, and you’re constantly on the go. Desktops are great if you are home often, and want to get the most out of your money. Choose what works best for you. If ever in doubt, you can always purchase a laptop and a desktop computer.

21 thoughts on “How to Choose Between a Desktop and a Laptop”

  1. I used to have both a laptop and a desktop, but my desktop fried so I’m just using a laptop. I DO have a server I could use as a desktop, but it would be a waste of a great server.

    Now that my desktop is gone, I’ve realized that I’m REALLY more of a desktop person. A laptop is great in a pinch, but I’m truly a desktop person.

  2. I will go with a laptop any day. I’ve had laptops for about 5 years now and I would never go back to a desktop – we still have one for the family and I cringe every time I use it.

  3. I only have a laptop, but I’m starting to save for a desktop. My laptop is 3 years old so it is not very fast, and I’m an engineering student so the software I use are pretty heavy and require a good video card and stuff. A desktop is just easier to modify and improve so I could use bigger software on it.

  4. I have both a desktop and a laptop. I bought the desktop a few years ago which was on sale for less than $500. For internet, lots of power to run web development applications and the ability to play games is great for it’s price. I also have a Chromebook which is for web and internet, which is all I need when I’m away from my computer

  5. I prefer desktop for working, watching movies, and playing games on. The amount of power and speed you can get is much higher then that with a laptop. But I agree, that having a laptop is very nice when you are out and about and want to work from like a coffee shop. Or if you are at home, you can be laying on the sofa, while working.

  6. I much prefer the desktop because it is easy to repair if there is a problem in hardware.
    The powerful desktop PCs can be found for less expensive than a laptop.

    Then when the computer is at the end of life, are easier to update components of the PC. It’s like an upgrade.

    So the desktop Win!

  7. In the long run, I would probably make good use of a desktop more, especially since you can upgrade it in parts. It’s also the option if I want to be able to use powerful applications.

    If I’m going mobile, I’d also suggest the smartphone as an alternative to laptops. They’ve come a long way, are really like mini computers now and they are smaller than laptops. It would be good to have all three but a desktop and a laptop or a good smartphone would probably be sufficient to take care of my needs.

  8. I would have to go with a desktop. They last longer. I can upgrade them. They are more prone for gaming. I like to do that so it weighs in a lot more. They can become as mobile as laptops. I usually carray around my tower for LANs ans such. It is no big deal. A laptop is necessary for school or work but that is about it.

  9. I own both currently, a laptop and a desktop. However, in the recent times my use of the desktop has become rarer and rarer so I’ve finally decided to sell it off.

    The thing still works perfectly and has no problems, but I just prefer my laptop more over it and it’s just more convenient to use it.

  10. I had my last desktop computer in 2006. It was a Dell which lasted for a few years and served me well until after a series of crashes it crashed for good. I immediately went out and bought my first laptop.

    The reduction in computing power was not much of an issue with me as I had not done any gaming or other such activities where it was needed. I am mainly using my laptop for WordPress blogging, surfing the Internet, checking email as well as some work on Word documents and spreadsheets. The laptop easily handles this. I like the portability, too. I travel on occasion and it’s very handy. I also like being able to use it in various places here and there in the apartment.

    In retrospect, now that it has been so many years, I really don’t miss the desktop at all.

  11. It really depends on a person’s lifestyle. I persoannly have a laptop, a small and very light Acer with great battery and it is perfect for me, as I travel very often from my uni town to home town. My sister and mom have their separate ones that suit their style – my sister usues it for drawing so it is always connected with her tablet, while mom’s good for work. But even so, we have a PC, a quite old one, true, but still with a great performance. We use it all together, it is kind of a memory bank (along with the life saving external hard drives) and is perfect for watching movies and games

  12. I find is the smaller keyboard on laptops the biggest disadvantage, and I don’t even have big fingers! I find the smaller layouts harder to type on. (Don’t even go there about the ones for tablet!). I also find it harder to calibrate my screen color to match printouts. This makes it hard when I want to tweak my photos. Overall, I wouldn’t change back to a full desktop, though. I can deal with these small disadvantages. As you say, it depends on the user which is better.

    Quick question: If I don’t fully charge the battery before unplugging the laptop, will it develop the “memory” issue and not hold as much charge? I’ve heard different takes on this.

  13. I feel like theres more to it than just specifications. If you’re someone that travels a lot than it would be better to get a laptop. If you were just someone that settles down and likes to stay perfectly organized, then I feel a desktop would be the preferable option.

  14. I haven’t had a desktop for years. These days sometimes laptops can equal the processing power. Desktops are nice because they’re easier to customize but I prefer the mobility of a laptop. I can use it on the go, take it to meetings, or sit in bed with it.

  15. Honestly, I prefer laptops over desktops. Desktops, while they may be superior when it comes to gaming, performance, and a whole lot of other tasks, laptops on the other hand are great for simple web browsing and light work. I just wish laptops could try to be somewhat slimmer and all, and try to base specs off of minimums needed for performance. Most consumers don’t need an extremely powerful laptop at all, and most usually use laptops for web browsing. I know that Chromebooks are out there, but some applications need to be on the computer itself.

  16. Another great idea is to enroll in a computer basics course right after making the purchase. Whether it’s a laptop or a desktop, taking a computer basics course will help you check and identify the parts of the computers that you need to adjust, like the microphone, the speakers, where to look for help on the web, setting up the internet, and all the details that capture the essence of your computer use. Some of these computer basics courses are free on the web, but you do need an adult’s or a trusted person’s email address in case you need help with the troubleshooting. I didn’t realize that new technologies are friendlier with the desktop, which explains why having a desktop is usually one of the requirements for online jobs or work at home schemes. Based on experience, deciding between a desktop and a laptop is a big deal and a lot of people need help in making such decision.

  17. I prefer owning a laptop just because it’s neat, more compact and you can do many activities on it like you could on a desktop computer, with the bonus advantages of it being much less noisier and it being portable, allowing you to take it any anywhere you want when you are moving about the house or constantly on the go. Desktop computers are stationary but built firmly and are more powerful for using, but I’d still rather have a laptop in my possession. Having the two of them is an even better scenario than to pick between the two to be honest.

    • The only advantage I can see the PC might have over a laptop is the fact you can play very neat video games in one. You can also customize it yourself and build a really neat PC, but I still prefer a laptop. They are so comfy, when I had only a PC I had to sit in front of the PC for very long, I hurt my knees so badly 🙁

  18. I’ll just stick with laptops. They do just about if not more than a regular desktop. Less energy, less, cost, more space, and portable. I desktop is fine if you have a home office that work out of. Both are great but laptops dominate this one.

  19. I still have a PC, but it’s in a room accumulating dust. To be honest I prefer my laptop over a PC, I can’t imagine my life without my laptop. I’d never go back to using a PC, having a laptop feels so free and practical. I love keeping my laptop next to my bed! That way I start working as soon as I wake up in the morning.

  20. Personally, I like desktops a lot more than laptops for a few reasons. My desktop is super old, like I think it’s 10 years old now, but it can compete with my brother’s new ~ $350 laptop because it can be, and was upgraded. I’ve added extra RAM ($20), a new GFX card ($30), and an SSD ($100), and the computer was only $50 to begin with. That means the computer costed $200, and the $100 SSD is reusable in new computers. It runs LoL pretty well for the price.

    Also, laptops just cost more money than desktops do for the same performance, and they’re also not that good for gaming, which is my primary use for my computer. I also don’t like how you can’t choose your own components and all laptops are pre-built.

    For a gamer, I think the best thing to do is buy a cheap laptop for homework and when you’re out of the house, and a good desktop for gaming.

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