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Should I get a laptop or a desktop?

Just 'getting a computer' isn't enough - you need one that works for you. And that starts with the simplest of base questions. Desktop or Laptop? Read on!

Should I get a laptop or a desktop? image

Hi everyone! Zarte here! I’ll be with you in just a moment, I’m just doing some measuring up!

OK, and I’m with you. What was I measuring up for? Well I was trying to work out whether I can fit a new desk in my room, so I know whether my next computer should be a desktop or a laptop. I suppose whilst I’m thinking about it, I could give you a few of my thoughts on which you should be getting yourself – or at least some things that you should give consideration to before you start making a purchase.

First of all – and this may seem a very daft question, however you would be amazed how often it isn’t thought through, prior to acquisition – do you have room for a desktop in your home/office? It’s not enough to just have a slot for the tower to go in, you need a desk or other surface to support it, and to have the monitor on. If you physically can’t fit something in, you definitely shouldn’t be buying it! A laptop on the other hand, can even be fit into a cupboard in between usages, should you REALLY be tight for space in between sessions.

The next most important consideration, is whether or not you’re going to need to move your computer around. If your usage is purely home or office based, and you have no need to work outside of your usual space, then a desktop is still an option. However, there’s no way of easily dragging a desktop around with you, short of putting it in the back of a car everywhere you go, which let’s face it, isn’t very practical. So if you are someone who’s going from meeting to meeting, or just someone who needs to be able to work from the same machine, both from the office and from home for instance, then a laptop really is the only option for you.

Now we’re done with the logistical angle though, there is, in our view, really only one answer. And that is that a desktop trumps a laptop every time. Let me give you a few reasons why.

To begin with, the necessary downsizing of component parts to fit into the reduced space that a laptop allows, means that in most cases, performance is also compromised. And if that performance isn’t compromised, then the affordability almost certainly will be. Pound for pound, desktops will almost always come in at a lower price than a desktop with comparable parts.

One of the things that can be done with the additional space that a desktop tower provides, is to make sure that there is sufficient cooling in place for all components. In a desktop, you’re likely to have some fairly heavy duty cooling fans, preventing parts from overheating and causing a machine to cut out. There is still cooling in laptops, however it’s not nearly as efficient, meaning that excessive heat will cause the laptop to shut itself down on occasion, leaving you at the risk of losing progress and data. For many people, that’s simply not worth the risk.

Another major advantage, and the final one I’m listing for today, is that within a desktop tower, the greater space allows more chance to customise, and alter the base specifications. Within a laptop, if you’re lucky you may be able to add some more memory, however within a desktop it’s easier to add an extra hard drive, or replace the original one with a larger one. Memory can be added and removed at will, and other ports and features become much easier to incorporate.

So there you have it, those are the things that we would advise you to consider, the next time you’re thinking of replacing or upgrading your PC.

Until next time,

Zarte