Buying a new computer is great fun, and getting exactly what you need has never been simpler… or more complicated. In the past, computer came with a set of software and a few peripherals. Anything extra had to be installed separately. Now, you can build custom computers and you have almost endless choices already available on store shelves, including one of the toughest decisions – laptop or desktop?
When computers managed to take up less than an entire room, they became desktops. A desktop computer comes with plenty of programs and a great deal of memory and processing speed. It usually can store a great deal more than a laptop simply due to its size and capabilities. A good desktop will store a complete library of music and media files as well as run large programs simultaneously and not slow down. Hard drives are big and so is the system as a whole.
Desktops don’t move. They are set up and then stay put unless you are dead certain you really want to take it apart and move the CPU along with the monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer and more. Laptops, on the other hand are designed to be on the go.
A laptop is designed to be taken anywhere and presumably can sit right in your lap while you work – hence the name. It is light, portable and contains all that you need to get set up anywhere, with the exception of a printer, a ten-key and a separate mouse. Fortunately, all of those are available as accessories, but do affect the overall weight and ease of setup.
Laptops trade portability for function, however. They do not have as much storage as PCs and can bog down with too many programs running. The battery makes them portable, but can limit your activities if it loses charge prematurely. An external hard drive can help store files to keep the laptop running smoothly, but it would just be one more piece of equipment to take with you.
Essentially, a laptop is ideal for individuals who like to be on the move and who use computers for basic functions such as surfing the internet, checking email and writing a few papers. A desktop is essential for anyone running large design programs or storing huge media files.