Choosing Between PCs and Laptops
Until recently, if you were in the market for a new computer and had to decide between a laptop and a desktop, the choice was simple. This desktop-versus-laptop dilemma was usually decided by whether you prefer mobility or performance. Oftentimes, students and those constantly on the go prefer laptops, while gamers and designers went for desktops.
Luckily for you, computer technology has come a long way since the days of having desktops with cumbersome hard drives and wires and laptops with very limited battery life. Nowadays, when you're buying a new computer, you really can put your needs first.
The Need for Speed
Back in the day, if you wanted a fast computer, a desktop PC was the top choice. The performance of desktop PCs and laptops of today, however, are nearly equal. The only area where desktop PCs and laptops differ greatly is in their gaming capabilities; although there are gaming laptops, these tend to be less powerful and slower compared to desktop PCs.
One of the main complaints people have about computers is the speed, or lack of it. The need for speed is always a big concern especially if you're into high-end gaming or high-performance video or photo editing.
If you're a gamer who needs speed to play the latest games, then a desktop PC is the better choice as you can constantly upgrade its specs. If you're the simple type who just wants a computer for general purposes such as going online or creating documents and spreadsheets, then a laptop is the better choice.
Computer specs vary differently in any desktop-laptop evaluation. Desktop PCs typically boast higher performance specifications compared to laptops of the same price or within the same range.
The core specs you should take a look at when making your purchase are: processor speed, RAM, and hard drive size. The CPU is the computer's brains; the RAM is the space where all your files and programs will be stored and loaded (the more RAM you have, the faster your programs will load); the hard drive determines how many programs and files you can store; while the graphics card determines how well your computer will support games, video-editing, and other graphic-related functions.
A typical laptop also has less RAM and a smaller hard drive compared to a similarly-priced PC, and it will also have a less powerful graphics card. The CPU, which plays the most important role in the computer's performance, is pretty much the same between PCs and laptops.
For the best performance, either in a desktop computer or a laptop, look for a model that uses Intel's Core i3 process or higher, or AMD's Phenom II processor.
The Screen Size Factor
When buying a laptop, the screen size should be suitable for your needs. A bigger screen means the unit will be heavier, but you will be able to view or squeeze in more programs or windows on the screen simultaneously. If you want a big screen for portable movie viewing, then go for the 15-inch screens, while 12-inch screens will be easier to carry with you on the road. 14-inch screens, meanwhile, are a better choice if you want a good balance between portability and size.
When it comes to desktop, screen size is usually not a problem, as long as it suits your viewing needs.
The Bottom Line
There is no bottom line. Buying a computer is a very personal choice, and yours will come down to how you'll use your new computer. The important thing is getting a computer that is comfortable and will fulfill your needs.