The LINC was one of the earliest “personal computers” designed by Wesley Clark, an MIT Lincoln Laboratory engineer. Built-in 1962, the LINC was commissioned so that biomedical researchers could come and make their computers take back to their home institutions to use for research.
In the 3rd quarter of this year, the global PC market grew by around 13%. Sales have continued to increase as a result of Covid-19, but laptops dominate sales.
While laptop shipments increased by almost 30%, desktop workstation shipments have declined by nearly as much.
Knowing whether or not to buy a laptop vs a desktop can be a tough decision. The question you must answer is, which better suits your needs?
Keep reading to learn more about the difference between desktop vs laptop and which one you should splurge on.
Laptop vs Desktop
Over 10 years ago, laptop sales passed desktop sales. Every year since then, portable devices have become increasingly popular. Between 2020 and 2024, the global laptop market is expected to grow by over 7.5 billion USD.
While the 2 pieces of technology used to boast stark differences, there are many ways in which portable devices can now do what desktops do.
Generally-speaking, laptops are more suited for on-the-go use. They can be unplugged from external power and taken anywhere. They typically take up less space and don’t require users to purchase a separate monitor You may also checkout insentient for budget laptops..
Desktops boast some positives too, though. They tend to offer more expandability and power but at lower costs. They’re easier to customize, repair, and upgrade, which is why they’re a popular choice for professional gamers.
Typically, desktops come with more oversized keyboards, more peripheral options, and better speakers.
With so many technological advancements, there are no longer stark differences, though. Some laptops offer the same power as desktops, and many desktops are now inconspicuous and small.
The Difference in Laptop and Desktop Features
Before making a purchasing decision, it’s crucial to better understand the criteria for both machines. Which one better suits your wants and needs?
From cost to portability, we’ll look at some of the many aspects of both computers to better explain their strengths and weaknesses.
Desktops don’t have to break the bank to deliver power. Consumers can get a full package desktop, starting at $400. While there is a wide range of prices, desktops start pretty inexpensively.
Laptops have an array of component options, too, but they’re more limited than desktops. The price is much higher to get a more powerful notebook (better graphics, higher speed, etc.). Depending on the brand, a powerful laptop can easily cost upwards of $1,000.
Desktop processors are more extensive and can be more powerful. Advanced processors are usually available in desktop computers first, but laptops have almost caught up.
While they’re limited in size, for the most part, one can acquire a gaming laptop with as much performance; they are just much more expensive.
Laptop computers typically only have room for one internal drive. If someone wants more internal storage, that drive has to be replaced entirely.
Desktop computers, on the other hand, can have multiple internal drives installed.
When it comes to external storage, desktops can connect to many different external drives, as long as they’re connected to any available data ports (Thunderbolt, USB, etc.). Laptop computers can too, but they typically have fewer ports than desktop computers.
Though some smaller desktops have recently graced the market, generally-speaking, desktops are much larger. Plus, they have separate monitors. If you have to move your desktop around from place to place, it’s cumbersome.
If you know you’ll be using your computer in one location without the need to move it around, then a desktop is an excellent computer choice. However, if you want the freedom to work where and when you please, laptops are great because of their compact size and ease of use.
It takes a while to set up a desktop, too. You must hook it all up and get it up and running before you use it. Plus, you need adequate space for all the components. Laptops require hardly any time to get up and running and require little space as all parts are attached as one.
The Keyboard and Screen Size
Desktop computer keyboards are full-size, so they also include number pads. Laptops will smaller screens have smaller keyboards without the right-side number pad.
Larger laptops (17″) have larger keyboards, but the laptops are then heavier and bulkier.
Desktop monitors are upwards of 19,” and you can even hook up a desktop to a TV. There is great flexibility when it comes to laptops and screen size. Portability is the main feature of laptops, so screen sizes typically range from 10″ to 17″.
However, you can still connect laptops to external displays, too. They can support any monitor or screen size, just like desktops.
Power and Upgrades
Desktop computers require more power than laptops. They must power to a higher wattage supply, and there are multiple components inside the monitor and computer itself.
What that means is those power outages or fluctuations typically don’t result in unsaved work getting lost. When power fluctuates, a laptop computer’s battery kicks in right away.
Repairs and Gaming
Repairing a desktop is usually easier than a laptop because most hardware can be purchased off the shelf and easily replaced. A laptop repair can be more difficult, especially if a replacement part is hard to find or requires ordering from the manufacturer.
Desktops can use high-powered video cards. The cards require better heat reduction and have higher power requirements, in general. You can use almost any video card for a desktop and even 2 or more at the same time.
Thus, it’s safe to say that, for the most part, desktops yield better performance for gaming.
Which Laptop Should I Buy?
Laptops sales are significantly higher than desktop sales because laptops now come with many features that desktops do. Plus, they’re versatile, easy to use, and more convenient.
If you’re willing to spend the money, you can add critical components to your laptop to make it just as powerful as a desktop. The question is, with so many types of laptops, what are the best choices?
Let’s take a look at some key things to consider while you peruse some of the best laptops.
Decide if You Want 2-in-1 and Pick a Platform
Some PC laptops fall under the “2-in-1” category. They’re hybrid devices that can switch between tablet mode, traditional clamshell mode, and a tent mode or stand mode. They come as detachable parts or as 2 connected parts with hinges.
If you don’t think you’ll need to use your laptop as a slate, then stick with the traditional clamshell design.
Is there a specific operating system you’d prefer? Laptops come with either macOS, Chrome OS, or Windows. One isn’t better than the other, but it’s a personal preference for many buyers.
Check the Keyboard and Choose the Right Size
Make sure any laptop you consider boasts great ergonomics. The keyboard should feel solid and comfortable, with plenty of key travel and the right amount of space between the keys.
Consider display sizes before you buy, too. How portable do you need or want your laptop to be, and how big of a screen do you need? While 11″ and 12″ are the lightest and thinnest, the screen is rather small.
The most popular size is 15″ to 16″ as the screen is larger, but moving the laptop around isn’t overbearing.
Pick Your Specs and Know Your Budget
What kind of processor do you need? How much RAM do you want? If you’re a graphic designer, you might want to look at the graphics chip and ensure you purchase a big enough hard drive to save bigger files.
Once you know what specs are a must, it’ll be easier to work around your budget. Remember, laptop sales are plentiful. Take the time to shop around and look for cyber Monday laptop sales before you splurge.
Laptop vs Desktop Is a Personal Preference
When you’re trying to decide between buying a laptop vs desktop, it’s essential to think about your lifestyle and your needs for your new personal computer.
Are you looking for a lot of power at a lower cost? If so, then a desktop might be for you. However, if you want a laptop’s ease and versatility, take the time to look for sales, and you can easily find a great deal.
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