Laptop vs. desktop- Final guide to purchasing your next computer

Most users, who are willing to purchase a computer are often confused between whether they should go for a laptop or a desktop. This confusion is quite expected, as both devices offer the same functionality if considered theoretically. Obviously, depending upon the budget of a particular user, one should always go for the best deal, however, there are several other factors associated with, whether one should go for a laptop and desktop. Both laptops and desktops are available in several form factors, and thus, you should not out of choices if you are looking for a product within your budget, that will cater to all your requirements. 

There are several points that come to the mind of a particular user when he starts exploring the options available for purchasing a laptop or a desktop, and it is only after judging the points, that the user finally makes a decision. I will consider all the points and then will talk about how well a laptop and a desktop perform in that particular aspect so that you can easily find out which one is the best one for you. This is going to be the ultimate guide to make a decision between purchasing a laptop and a desktop for most users who are really confused about this matter.

Laptop vs Desktop PC

Laptop vs Desktop PC

Then, without any further delay let’s get started with the. Which most users think about before they purchase a computer. Here are the areas where we are comparing laptop and desktop computers, to know which one is good for whom and when.

Space

The first thing that comes to the mind of most users is, how much space they will need for their computers. If space is an important aspect for you and you have limited space in your home, you should better go for a laptop, as laptops hardly required any space. You can start using your laptop, by keeping it on your lap and that’s why the name lap-top. However, in the case of long sessions, keeping the laptop on the lap might not be a grand idea, and if that is the case, you should keep the laptop on a small table or in front of you.

However, in the case of a desktop, you require relatively more space as there are several components in the case of a desktop. As the monitors have gone slim nowadays, you do not require as much space most desktops required a decade ago, however, it still requires a lot of space. You need to dedicate a small part of your room to use a desktop and if you have a very small room, a desktop might not be a good option for you. You at least require a small table or desk having a dimension of 60×70 cm, along with a chair in the room if you want to have a desktop.

Thus, if you do not have enough space in your room you should better go for a laptop. However, there are several brains that are building desks for computers and they require very small space. You can have a look at them before you decide.

Brands

If you want to get a laptop, you do not have any other option other than choosing a brand. Laptops are offered by several brands and you should choose a laptop that comes with the configuration that you are looking for, within your budget. You have to stick to a certain brand if you are looking for a laptop. If you think of combining components from several brands to build your own customized laptop, you might have to wait a few more decades or at least years, before your dream of building your own laptop comes true.

However, this story is different in the case of a desktop. There is no doubt, you can so always get a desktop from a particular brand, but that is not the end of the world. You can build your own desktop by combining components from several brands or manufacturers. The majority of users nowadays build their own desktop by combining the components of several brands that offer better value for money compared to that of a desktop from a particular brand. Branded desktops are also popular among a small class of users, but, if you are looking for better value for money, you should always go for an assembled desktop with the component from several brands.

Hence, if you are willing to build your own computer, you don’t have any other choice other than going for a desktop computer.

Upgradability

With time, we all need to upgrade our computers, and sometimes, we need to change the overall setup altogether. But still, we need to upgrade our computers from time to time, long before switching to a new setup. In the case of a desktop, you can upgrade everything from the motherboard to the hard drive. You can also connect a new processor to your desktop, provided, your existing motherboard support it. If you are fond of playing games or need to do some work that requires a powerful graphics card, you can connect it at any time on your desktop computer. Needless to say, you can change your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals at any time without breaking your system, and without running into compatibility issues with your existing hardware.

If you are using a laptop, it is an integrated device, that cannot be upgraded with the latest components. You can obviously replace the hard drive, add more RAM, if it has some free slots, and that’s mostly where things come to an end. You cannot replace the existing graphics card, or can’t even connect one if you do not have a dedicated card. The options for upgrading your laptop is quite limited, and you can hardly go a notch above replacing your hard drive and adding new RAM sticks. There are certain laptops, where you can find more options for upgrade, but such models are quite limited in the market.

If you want to upgrade your computer from time to time to cater to ever-changing requirements, a desktop is an ultimate option that you should go for.

Customization

The ability to customize a computer will not add more functions to your computer, but that is something most users look out for. When it comes to a desktop, you can choose a stylish computer case with a transparent cover or one that interests you. You can also bejewel your computer case with RGB lighting on the fans and everywhere and that will definitely make your system look cool. There are custom-built computer cases, that look different from run off the mill computer cases. There is a broad spectrum of different ways you can make your desktop look gamer-friendly. You can even find RGB keyboards and mice that will add more flavor to the look and feel of your system.

Talking about laptops, there are several laptops that come with stylish designs, and there are also certain laptops, which come with two screens to boost your productivity. Most laptop manufacturers keep the gamers in mind, and deliver a cool and nice look to the laptop, however, they are not close to the options available for customizing your desktop. There are a few laptops that come with RGB lighting, which most uses crave, but such models are very limited and are not affordable for most users. You can always get an external keyboard and mice to your laptop, but that is not going to change the actual look and feel of your laptop. All laptops come with proprietary designs, which is the biggest reason behind the unavailability of multiple customization options for such devices.

Well, if you want to customize your computer, a desktop is again the best option that you should go for.

Performance

Performance is one big aspect for most users when it comes to a computer. In the case of both a laptop and a desktop, you can get the performance that you are looking for if you choose the appropriate model. Keeping the discussion limited to just desktops, these are performance beasts and you can skyrocket the performance of desktops through overclocking. If the overclocking requires additional cooling options, which you will need in most cases, you can always get a liquid cooler and get more ways to ventilate your system for better heat management. In the case of an assembled desktop, you can mix and match several components to find out which one is offering you the peak performance, and then plan your ultimate PC build.


But, when it comes to laptops, these are integrated devices and you have to go opt for what the brand is offering you. However, depending upon your work, you can always get a laptop that comes with all the specifications that you are looking for, and thus, it is not going to be big trouble For you. But if you want to overclock your laptop, that is possible but there is one problem. You cannot add more ways to keep your laptop cool and keep the mercury down. So, even if your laptop supports overclocking to ramp up the performance, that turns out to be practically impossible as you can’t keep your system cool, and that’s not the way overclocking works. Furthermore, laptops automatically downgrade the performance, if the system heats up, and that might again be a problem for serious users who are looking for continuous high-performance.

Those are looking for the best performance ever, you should go for desktops. However, I must say, there are several high-performance laptops, which offer a great price to performance if you are ready to invest a premium for your laptop.

Portability

Portability is something that most users might need in their computing work. Desktops require a lot of space, and these devices are not portable at all. You can move your overall setup from one room to the other on the same floor of the building and that’s mostly it. You have to disconnect all the peripherals, and it is only after that, you can reallocate a computer within a goods truck. Desktops are thus, not at all meant for portability, and that is a major problem with desktops, but there is no doubt, these are powerful beasts.

Laptops, on the other hand, are small devices, and you can put it within the bag, and move on. Laptop easy-to-carry devices and these devices are meant for students, working persons, and for other users, you need to carry on their work, consume content on the go. Laptops might have a number of limitations, which I have already discussed, but portability is the biggest advantage of laptops, and that’s why these devices are still popular among a big class of users. Additionally, you can carry your laptop to any part of the house, and keep doing your work at your convenience by sitting at one corner of the bed or at any comfortable spot on the couch.

If your biggest requirement when it comes to a computer boils down to portability, you are literally out of options if you don’t want to get a laptop.

Usability

Both laptops and desktops can be used by several classes of users as the brands are always doing continuous researches to offer the best value for money for different users looking out for carrying out different types of tasks. In the case of a desktop, you can choose the components depending upon what exactly you want to do with it. You can do everything from basic computing tasks to gaming and carrying out and other activities like video rendering, photo editing, and everything else with the help of a desktop, as long as you have the necessary hardware. So, there is hardly any limit, when it comes to what we can do with a desktop.

The laptops can also cater to a number of requirements by a particular user. From carrying out basic computing tasks to gaming and everything else that you can think of, a laptop can do it all, obviously if you have the necessary hardware. But you have to choose the most appropriate device having necessary hardware depending upon how exactly you want to use your laptop. But, if you want to do complex tasks with your laptop you might need to spend a premium for that.

It doesn’t matter, whether you are a student, a working person, a professional, or an artist, you can do everything with both the devices. You just need to choose, whether you want to do your work on the go or at your home. If you have the budget to get a high-end laptop, just go for it, if you want to work on the go. Otherwise, go for a desktop at a rock-bottom price if you want to work at home.

Service and repairing

Electronic gadgets have the tendency to malfunction from time to time, and the same is also applicable to computers. In the case of a desktop, most users can carry out the repair themselves. If some component is malfunctioning, we all can get a replacement from the local computer shop and start using the computer as if nothing happened. Even if you are not an expert in repairing computers, you can call the service person at the computer shop and the problem can be resolved fairly easily. This is mostly the story for assembled or custom-built computers, but not with branded ones. In the case of branded computers, we have to make a call to the customer care team, and the repair will be carried out by the authorized technicians within a short span of time. However, if you can get the component of the same brand from a local store, you can even repair a branded computer yourself.


The thing is completely different in the case of laptop computers. Most users find it difficult to repair laptops, as these devices can easily break if not handled properly. There are certain users, who can repair their own laptops, but the number is much lower than self-reliant users, who can repair their own desktop. As laptops are proprietary builds, the process to replace the components and repairing them isn’t the same for every device. So for the most part, you will have to call the customer care team and they will bring a replacement for the component that is malfunctioning and will carry out the necessary repairs. Most components within a laptop are also proprietary, and that’s why replacement isn’t easy to find, and can mostly be taken care of by the brand.

This aspect is trivial, considering the portability of a laptop, and the other benefits you will get if you go for a desktop. Service and repairing are easy on a desktop, but that shouldn’t be a decision-making aspect to choose between a laptop and a desktop.

Security

Security is again something that most users overlook when it comes to a computer. I am not talking about software security, which is in the hands of the user, and also in the hands of the operating system that is used by the user, and the OEM. I am talking about hard security. Laptops are easier to steal, as these devices are easy to carry and if the user is not careful, it can easily be stolen by some unscrupulous person, who can simply get hands on the laptop. However, there preparatory security systems like CompuTrace on most Dell systems, that offer some level of security but the user will still have to be careful in all the situations to keep his laptop safe from the thieves. As laptops are like mobiles, they can also be stolen in transit. Furthermore, as laptops can be carried everywhere, and if it gets in the hands of some unscrupulous person, he can also see the data that is there on the laptop. Here comes software security and data security, which I will discuss at some later time

However, it is very difficult to steal a desktop as it is supposed to be there within a safe corner of the home. But, if somebody breaks into your house or some burglary happens, neither desktop nor your laptop is safe. But, burglary doesn’t always happen every time, and it can thus, be said desktops are less prone to get stolen compared to that of laptops. As desktops are not supposed to be carried from one place to the other, the data on a desktop is also quite safe, provided, nobody can break into the system online. If you can trust your family members or those who live with you, the data on your desktop is less likely to be stolen compared to that of a laptop which can be stolen by several users at several places, if you’re not careful.

When it comes to data security, you should try out everything to keep your data safe and it all depends upon how precious your data is. It hardly has to do anything with whether you are using a laptop or desktop. However, when it comes to the overall security of a laptop or desktop, laptops are more prone to be stolen.

Price

Price is also an important aspect when it comes to purchasing a computer and things become interesting when it comes to the price of a computer. Let me talk about laptops first. You can find a laptop at a budget, or you can also get premium laptops that are highly-priced and many other options in between. But if you are looking for a laptop with a powerful CPU and GPU, all the other peripherals like the display, keyboard, touchpad, and every other peripheral will be premium that will eventually increase the overall price of the laptop. However, if you are looking for a budget laptop for you everyday computing requirements don’t expect a premium display on a laptop running on an Intel Atom processor. This can be a problem for certain users. For example, if you are purchasing a laptop with a not-so-powerful processor, as you want to enjoy streaming shows and movies on the go, you cannot get a premium display, and sound output from the device, which is the only thing that you need. It will mostly have an entry-level screen with poor viewing angles, and an average sound that will not give you a lot of fun.

On the other hand, if you are using a desktop, these devices, are best for offering you the balance between money and performance. For example, if you are getting a very high-end graphics for gaming, you definitely need a high-end monitor, but you can compromise on a high-fidelity surround sound. So you can get a budget audio device and spend the money that you have saved on the audio device to purchase a great graphics card and monitor. Additionally, a desktop offering certain hardware configuration will be priced lower than that of a laptop counterpart in most cases. There are several ways you can save money on building a desktop, by emphasizing on the most important performance-centric components and save money on those components, which aren’t essential, or if there are scopes to upgrade it later.

Therefore, if you want to kickstart your PC building with a low budget, and ramp up your hardware with new devices from time to time, that is only possible in the case of a desktop. In the case of a laptop, you have to be happy with the package that you get for the price you want to pay.

Finally, when it comes to whether you should go for a laptop or desktop, there are several points that you should keep in mind. But everything boils down to whether you want to carry the computer from one place to the other or not. If portability is the only thing that you want, a laptop is your answer. Otherwise, there is no point in investing a laptop and you should better go for a desktop. Laptop computers are improving day by day and in the coming days we can even find laptops that will be as powerful as a desktop and they will also be available at a budget. However, talking about the present, portability should be the deciding factor for most users.

So that was all about whether you should go for a laptop or a desktop. I hope you got all your answers. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment on the same below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.