Remember the 1980s when mobile phones were the size of water bottles and computer units looked like mini fridges? Thankfully, we have left the clunky computing devices in the past and are now upgrading to slimmer and lighter devices with each passing day. With laptops getting more and more powerful, is there still a case for the old school desktop computer?
Laptops: Here, There, and Everywhere
The portability of laptops is without a doubt their most desirable trait. Because of their compact sizes, laptops can be carried in backpacks or shoulder bags and taken from home to holiday. For college students, having a laptop means being able to take notes during lectures and do group projects in the school library. For working professionals, laptops allow them to present to clients and continue to be productive regardless of where they are. Laptops have given travel bloggers, remote workers, and independent journalists the flexibility to stay active and connected to the world.
Aside from requiring less muscle to lug around, laptops also consume much less power than their desktop counterparts. As they have smaller components, laptops require much less electricity to function, leaving a reduced carbon footprint for the environmentally conscious and a sweeter power bill for the budget conscious. Laptops also have batteries, which means that they do not require a power socket to boot up, allowing for use on the go and during emergencies. The battery acts as a safeguard, preventing a system shutdown and loss of unsaved work during sudden power fluctuations or outages.
Another great feature of laptops is that they are incredibly easy to use and set up. You can simply take it straight out of the box, press the power button, and you will have a working computer. For somebody who needs a computer for basic functions such as online classes, word processing, streaming videos, or using social media, laptops are a convenient and easy choice. Mini laptops with 11-inch screens are relatively affordable and are popular with those who are looking at a first computer for their children.
Desktop: I Have the Power
Despite the many advantages of laptops, many people are still fiercely loyal to their desktops. The ability to customize a desktop PC is its greatest benefit. Desktop computers are versatile and you can add or modify components to suit your needs. The newest and quickest processors on the market are generally released first on desktops, making them the fastest computers available. The added space on your desktop CPU tower means that you can add extra storage, multiple pieces of RAM, and a better graphics card to improve your user experience.
This flexibility extends past the initial setup of your desktop computer system. Upgrading and fixing a laptop is complicated and finicky, and often requires professional assistance. Because desktop CPU towers are much easier to take apart, users with a little computer hardware knowledge can improve their desktops, performing basic upgrades such as adding another hard disk drive or installing a better off-the-shelf graphics card.
Unlike laptops that generally peak at 17-inch screens, desktop computers can be connected to large screens or even multiple screens, creating a more immersive environment for gaming, or a more functional setup for intensive video editing work. Desktops likewise can be installed with massive cooling systems, allowing the motherboard and graphics cards to run at their top performance, delivering exceptional computing power for gaming or audiovisual work.
When comparing the prices of laptops versus desktops, a desktop would generally have a lower price tag than a laptop with the same hardware specifications. Therefore, desktops represent better value for money. And desktops need not look boring and lumpy either. With various LED light attachments, modern desktops can be just as sexy as their laptop counterparts. In fact, some gaming PCs are sleek and futuristic, with liquid-cooled PCs striking enough to be on the set of cyberpunk movies like Tron.
Finally, the weight of desktop computers can conversely become a perk because it makes them difficult to lose. We often hear of laptops being misplaced or stolen, but rarely come across the theft of an entire desktop computer system. Even in the event of theft, there is not a large market for second-hand desktop computers, as opposed to a thriving market for used laptops. Therefore, they are not very attractive to burglars and thieves, who would probably take your television instead!
For a family that has multiple uses for a computer, the desktop represents a solution that is versatile enough to suit everybody’s needs. However, if several users need to have access to a computer at the same time, then laptops would be more realistic in terms of space. Ultimately, choosing between a laptop and a desktop is a matter of personal preference and requirements. For a lightweight and fuss-free solution, laptops are the best. For a powerful and customizable machine, desktops reign supreme.