Desktops vs. Laptops

The last 10 years have seen an explosion in the technology of personal computers. Where once the customer was limited almost solely to large, expensive desktops or heavy laptops with markedly less power and space, now the market has seen both become less expensive, more capable, and even seen the advent of a new format, tablets. That said, the ultimate arguments for and against desktops and laptops remain similar, even if the hardware itself has advanced.

  • Laptops are not only far more portable than desktops, but use much less electricity and require no assembly to use out of the box, whereas desktops require construction and time to install vital programs. However, desktops are typically cheaper to repair because of how much easier it is to open them and change components
  • Cost-wise desktops are typically less expensive than laptops, especially if you assemble the desktop yourself (a good system with up-to-date parts can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars) whereas laptops have far less component options (its almost impossible to build your own laptop) and starting prices can be heavy, typically between 1,000-1,500 dollars for a laptop with similar, powerful components as an up-to-date desktop.
  • Though there have been great strides to eliminate this disparity, laptop processors are still generally less powerful than desktops, and those laptops with the fastest processors, gaming laptops, are precisely the ones that are the most expensive
  • Because they come pre-assembled, laptops are generally less modifiable than desktops; desktop users can more easily change keyboards or screens to suit their tastes compared to laptops

When put side-by-side like this it seems clear that desktops generally have better components for cheaper prices, but the advantage of portability is a huge one, and one not easily discounted. Depending on the consumer’s business or personal schedule, the ability to work on the go or quickly switch networks can far outweigh the ability to modify components or a higher price. Ultimately it boils down to not just personal taste, but intended use whether a laptop or a desktop is a better choice.

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