Computers are basically designed to do a variety of tasks that are similar in most cases. The basic functions of computer systems include input of data, processing the data, output and storage. This is irrespective of whether it is a laptop, desktop, dell, Mac, Toshiba or a gateway. Just to note, any data entered into a computer system by an end user is usually referred to as raw data but after processing it is known as information. Information is sensible data that can be understood or interpreted. As such, when deciding to buy computer systems there are a variety of factors or features that one is supposed to consider. Some of these features include portability, cost, screen size, repair, gaming, processor, and assembly among others. These choices help a buyer to make informed choices before settling on a particular type of computer system to buy. The paper seeks to compare laptops and desktops based on the different features they possess.
The most typical feature between laptops and desktops is portability. Portability refers to the ease at which a computer system can be easily carried or moved around. Laptops are considered as portable since they can be easily carried around due to their size. Laptop computer parts are integrated together meaning there is no separation between the monitor and central processing unit. They can be placed in bags or cases and moved with from one place to another with a lot of ease. This type of computer system is suitable for people who travel or do a work while on transit. Furthermore, it suits students who may be required to do research from time to time. On the other hand, desktops are usually of large with separate monitors and CPUs. It is considered a bulky and cumbersome computer system since it is difficult to carry it around. As such, it is not portable. Such systems are usually placed in one location and are suitable in offices. Furthermore, they may also be suitable in houses since there is no much movement needed. Therefore, portability is an important feature based on a person’s needs and taste.
Cost is another important feature that buyers consider when deciding to buy computer systems. Desktop prices are generally low as compared to laptops. According to Computer Hope (2016) an average desktop price goes for 400 dollars while laptops range from 1500 dollars and above. It should be noted that prices of computer systems are based on other factors such as the brand, speed, size, and capacity among others. For example, Apple laptops tend to be highly priced than Dell or Hp laptops. In the same line, desktop prices also differ depending on these factors. As such, a Toshiba desktop has a higher price than Hp or Dell desktop. Therefore, price is an important factor and may be based on a purchaser’s budget, income, or urgency among other factors.
Upgrading is another difference between desktops and laptops. Desktops are considered to be easier in terms upgrading than laptops. This is because desktop components can be easily removed as compared to laptops. Desktops usually have many slots that enable insertion of additional cards such as television cards and video cards among others. Furthermore, desktop have slots for hard disk drives, writers and RAM that can be easily upgraded. This means that a desktop can even have three disk writers and still operate. On the other hand, laptop upgrading is somehow difficult. The typical components that can be upgraded in a laptop include hard drives and memory. As such, a laptop may be upgraded by changing the memory or hard drive size. For example, replacing a 160 GB hard drive with a 320 GB one is one way of laptop upgrading. Other components are usually in built and not easy to remove. This means that with serious damages on a laptop, it will require an individual to purchase a new laptop.
Assembly is another feature that a buyer may consider before deciding on either a laptop or computer. Laptops are easy to assemble as compared to desktops due to various reasons. Assembling a laptop requires one to plug in power and boot. On the other hand, desktop assembly can be cumbersome based on the procedures that have to be followed. To assembly a desktop, there must be VGA, power, and USB cables. The USB cables are mainly for the keyboard and mouse. This means that a person with no knowledge on how to connect the monitor and CPU might have difficulties in operating a desktop. Considering the assembly process of a desktop, a laptop is easier to operate and ready as compared to a desktop system.
Screen size is another feature that most purchasers consider before deciding on a particular type of computer system. Desktop screen sizes are usually larger than laptop ones and may range from fifteen and above. Desktop screen sizes may even go up to twenty seven inches. On the other hand, the typical range of a laptop screen is 11-15 inches mainly due to the portability aspect of this computer system, though there are screen sizes of 17 inches (Nield, 2015). Laptops are gadgets carried around and having big screen sizes would be cumbersome and difficult. In this regard, laptops with small screen sizes have small keyboards as compared to desktops. The reason desktops have large keyboards is because of their large sizes.
Gaming constitutes another feature that purchasers consider. This feature is mostly considered for those who like games or parents who would like to buy the children computer systems that can accommodate games. Desktops are more favorable in gaming because of their ability to use many video cards at the same time (Computer Hope, 2016). Moreover, the big screen sizes and physical space makes it better for those who like to play games in large screens. On the other hand, laptops have limited spaces and may not be able to accept many video cards. In addition, there are high quality laptops with quality video graphics and games. Other features such as repair are also considered by some purchasers when deciding on computer systems. Desktops are considered as easy to repair as compared to laptops due to the fact that they are easy to dismantle. Laptop repair can sometimes be difficult based on the way components are integrated. As such, it may require one to purchase a new one or request for repair from specific manufacturers.
There are many differences between desktops and laptops are discussed above. Factors such as portability, cost, assembly, and gaming among others are mostly considered by purchasers of computer systems. Personally, I would advocate for the use of laptops rather than desktops based on portability, processor speeds, reliability, and assembly among other features. Laptops are reliable since they can be charged and carried around while desktops are must always have a constant power supply. Technology advancements have enabled installation of programs that are compatible with specific laptop designs. As such, gaming applications can be installed at ease. Furthermore, there are external drives that can equally be installed in laptops in order to increase memory size. Warranty provided by most manufactures is also another way that repair issues can be addressed.
Summary of features
|Costs depend on brand, memory size, speed and physical size but the average cost is $1500 and above.
|Costs also vary depending factors such as brand and size but the average price is $400.
|Easy to use and assemble. Requires plugging in power and booting. It does not take a lot of time.
|Cumbersome and difficult to assemble based on the various cables that have to be connected. May require some time for assembly purposes.
|Easy to carry around due to its mobility. Can be placed in cases or bags and moved with from one location to another.
|Difficult to carry around due to its big size. Mostly suitable for offices and homes where mobility is not required.
|Difficult to upgrade since most components are in built and not easily removable. Hard drives and memory are the typical components that can be upgraded.
|Easy to upgrade since components are easily removable.
|The range is 11-15 inches but can be up to 17’’.
|15 inches and above and can go up to 27’’.
|Requires high quality gaming programs and laptops. Small based on screen sizes.
|Favorable due to large sizes and ability to use many video cards.
|Difficult to repair based on the complexity and integration of components.
|Easy to repair since components can be dismantled and purchased.
Computer Hope. (2016). Desktop computer vs. Laptop computer. Retrieved from http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001399.htm.
Nield, D. (2015). Desktop vs. laptop: which should you choose for your next computer? Retrieved from http://www.t3.com/features/desktop-vs-laptop.