Desktops vs. Laptops
A desktop computer usually includes a tower (the actual computer), a monitor that is hooked to the tower (so you can view the video output), a keyboard and mouse (used for input into the computer), and speakers (so you can hear audio output). Desktops need to be plugged in to a power outlet when in use and are usually hooked all together on a desk or table. They are not made to be mobile, but as a stationary device to be used at home or work. Most often you will find desktop computers in homes and offices, used by families and business people.
Benefits of a desktop computer:
- More of a solid, stationary feel when using the computer
- They typically come with more RAM and hard drive space than laptops (more powerful)
- More input options
- Option for multiple disc drives
- Fully upgradeable (graphics cards, hard drives, etc.)
When purchasing a desktop, keep a couple things in mind. Do you need portability at all? If not, then a desktop will be fine; otherwise, consider purchasing a laptop. Is there a possibility that you may need to add more peripherals to the computer later on down the road? If so, then a desktop is definitely the way to go, because it is fully upgradable. Desktops are typically better for someone who is interested in gaming or professional editing of photos and videos, this is because you have many options for upgrading the RAM and the graphics to be a more powerful machine.
A laptop computer (also known as a notebook) is a full computer setup within itself. The monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers are all built in to one unit so that it can be portable. Laptops have batteries so they can be used on the go and when a power source is not readily available. Just about everyone these days has some sort of computer, but the laptop is more common because of its portability.
Benefits of a laptop computer:
- Fully portable - Can be used on the go
- Works the same way as a desktop, just in a compact size
- Can also be plugged in and used like a desktop (mouse and keyboard hook-ups are available)
- Battery operated, so no need to plug it in (except to charge the battery)
- Most of the laptops today have wireless internet (Wi-Fi) capabilities built in
When purchasing a laptop, there are a couple things to think about. Laptops come in many different physical sizes. They are usually rated by their screen size. The most common screen sizes available today are 13", 14", 15.6", and 17.3". If you're looking for portability, then smaller is better. The bigger the screen size, the heavier the computer; so keep this in mind when buying your next laptop. If you bought a 17.3" screen and plan on carrying it around, I can guarantee you'll regret it shortly after making your purchase. Laptops with bigger screens are better used as "desktop replacements"; a laptop that will mainly be stationary on a desk, but occasionally will be taken on the road (for example, on vacation). Finally, consider what I said earlier about what you'll use the computer for. If you want a machine that's fully capable of anything you throw at it (not literally), either plan on spending a lot of money on a high end laptop, or reconsider purchasing a desktop computer instead.