Do you need a computer but feel torn between getting a laptop or a PC?
Unlike smartphones and tablets, you can complete many tasks on a computer. Because of its strength, you can find a laptop or desktop in over three-fourths of US households.
Yet, picking between a laptop and desktop can be tricky, especially if you want the best features of each one. In this PC vs laptop guide, we’ll discuss all the differences and include a section to help you pick the best out of the two.
The most attractive asset of a laptop is its portability. Its compact size, lightweight, and foldable nature make it the ideal travel computer.
Compare it to the desktop, which is too large to take from place to place. Unlike laptops, desktops have a monitor that is separate from the chassis or main console. You can travel around with a desktop computer, but it’ll be challenging.
The modern computer’s chassis alone is already heavy and challenging to move around. You also have to pack a keyboard, mouse, cables, and AVR or UPS.
If your focus is portability, the laptop is the right choice for you.
Laptop users can bring their computers with them anywhere they go. If they don’t have an internet connection at home, they can go to a cafe and work there. Most desktop users have to wait until they get back home before they can use their computers.
A PC needs more equipment than a laptop, but don’t let these needs fool you. In the long run, if you want a choice that costs less, pick a desktop. You can find desktops that fit any price range.
The typical starting point for desktops is a little more expensive than laptops. However, a desktop worth $600 can already get you a dynamic system. Plus, PCs have more upgradable and replaceable parts than laptops.
You can buy and install a new graphics card to upgrade your PC’s video card to get smoother graphics. If you want your laptop to perform better in the same way, you’d have to buy a new computer.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find excellent laptops that are worth every penny. For example, Intel’s newest line of Evo laptops features powerful machines at a good price. If you prefer laptops over PCs, get more information now on these quality picks.
3. Power Usage
Do you want a powerful machine that uses less power? Laptops don’t need a lot of energy to run because of their smaller size. If you’re on a budget and want lower power bills, get a laptop.
Also, they’re the best choice if you want something that can still work even during a blackout. The built-in battery makes it possible to work on the go, and they also kick in during an outage.
If you have a PC, you’d use up more power to get it to run. Also, in case of a blackout, your PC can shut down without warning. You can lose any documents or files that you’re working on.
In the PC vs. laptop debate on power usage, the laptop is the clear winner.
PC fans can get a UPS, which protects your laptop from spikes, outages, and fluctuations. However, a UPS can only offer enough power for you to save your files and shut your computer right down.
4. Screen Size
Three in ten US adults get their news from laptops and desktop computers. However, a problem most PC users experience with laptops is their smaller screen size. Unless you’re already familiar with it, you can struggle with the smaller screen of the laptop.
The largest screen size of laptops in the market is 17 inches and the smallest 10 to 11 inches. The display size also ties in with the computer’s portability. A laptop with a larger screen is heavier and bulkier, making it harder to transport.
If you won’t travel much and prefer large screens, the desktop is the better choice.
The typical desktop monitor size can be 19 inches or more. You could even add extra monitors to expand your field of vision. If you plan to add additional monitors, make sure to first look for reliable PC guides.
5. Processor and Performance
The next thing we’re comparing is the processor of a PC vs. a laptop. If you want more processing power, you’d be happier with a desktop. Desktop computers have more processing power because they’re larger.
It’s also why PCs are better for gaming than laptops. They have more powerful video cards, more RAM, and faster CPUs. PCs also don’t need to spend extra power to keep track of battery usage.
While some pick laptops because of their size, in this scenario, they’re at a disadvantage. It doesn’t mean they have less powerful processors, but only that they have more limits. Laptops must also consider battery conservation.
The exception is gaming laptops. These models can have processors that create a smooth performance. Gaming laptops hold processors that can do as well as desktop processors.
6. Upgradability and Customization
Many people prefer PCs because they’re more upgradable than laptops. It’s one reason the market share for desktop computers is 46.67% today. A desktop case or tower is larger, giving you more room to move hardware around.
You can also customize the desktop chassis to suit your preferences. For example, you can change the case to have glass sides to show off its RGB LED components.
In contrast, this is another situation where the laptop’s compact nature acts as a drawback.
Most laptops only have an upgradable memory and hard drive. You can’t remove or upgrade the rest of its built-in components. If you must upgrade a laptop, you’d have to buy a new one.
7. Internal Storage
When compared to PCs, a drawback of laptops is that they have limited internal storage. Most laptops only have one internal drive. To make up for this, manufacturers ensure their models have large storage drives.
One of the best laptop tips is to get an external storage drive. You can also replace your laptop’s hard drive to increase the internal storage space.
If you must have more internal storage space, choose a PC.
A desktop computer can hold more hard drives or SSD. It’s an excellent choice for those who need a place to store videos, games, or other extensive files. PC users can also replace the machine’s storage drives to increase storage space.
Consider the future when you choose between a desktop or laptop. Are you going to do DIY repairs or will you send the computer to a specialist?
If you want to do the repairs yourself, it’s better to get a PC. Repairing a desktop is easier because its components are separate and larger. You can also find many PC tips for DIY repairs online if you want to save on costs.
If you’re not fluent in computer tech, a laptop is the better choice for you. It’s also ideal for people who won’t have enough time to learn how to fix their computer. You only need to bring it to a laptop repair service to get your laptop repaired.
You can also send it back to the manufacturer if you still have a working warranty. The drawback to this is you’d have to wait for the repairs to finish. During that time, you’d have to find an alternative computer for your work.
A desktop grows with you, thanks to its customizability and upgradability. The shortest lifespan of a PC is at least three years. A well-cared-for PC may even last ten years or more.
Compare this with the average three-to-five-year lifespan of laptops. Laptops also get more wear each time you travel with them. Plus, you’re more likely to drop them and spill food or liquids on a laptop.
10. Set Up and Assembly
One of the best laptop features is that you don’t need to set it up at all. You only need to open the device, plug it in, and turn it on. You can use it after you buy it and get to work right away.
In contrast, setting up a desktop computer takes time, effort, and planning. The first thing you need is a computer desk. The computer desk has to be large enough to hold up the monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
You’d also have to plan out how you’ll organize the wiring. You can skip this step, but it’ll leave you with a chaotic tangle of cables. Leaving cables unorganized puts you at risk of fires or accidental unplugging.
Familiarize Yourself With the Differences of a PC vs. Laptop
In the PC vs. laptop debate, the PC is the clear winner of the two. It lasts longer, has more power, and is customizable. However, laptops are more portable and easier to set up than desktop computers.
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