By: Lisa Brand
When it's time for a new computer, whether it's your first or an upgrade, it can be difficult to choose today between a laptop and a desktop. There are so many more choices than ever before, and each comes with a variety of competitive features and price ranges.
In the past, the laptop was a downgrade from a desktop, unable to perform as well and as fast and missing many of the features that a desktop had but with the benefit of being mobile. Today, the two are nearly equals with the main difference being that on a laptop you are confined to your battery life. While batteries are improving and you can purchase a back-up battery, your "on-time" is still dependent on the battery life.
Of course, if you are using the laptop at home or at the office, you can also just plug it in to operate. You can also plug desktop accessories such as a mouse and keyboard into it. You can even hook your laptop computer up to a desktop monitor if you want a larger screen. With so many options, how do you choose which is best for you?
When deciding between a laptop and desktop, consider where you will be using the computer the most. Are you a student who will travel from classes to study sessions and back to your dorm room? If so, then the laptop is much more practical for you. It's possible to store everything you need for personal and educational use on the same computer and take it with you wherever you go. It takes up less space in a dorm room, and you can take it home with you for vacations and off-seasons.
If you work from a home office and will be accessing this computer primarily for work purposes and for long hours at a time during business days, then a desktop will probably suit you best. A desktop will have less risk of overheating from extended use, and you don't really need to take it with you.
When looking for any computer, features are going to be important. When comparing a laptop versus a desktop, consider the features that each one has and to what capacity it can perform. For example, many laptops have built-in webcams and media software preinstalled for ease of use. Some laptops are designed and marketed towards gamers and will allow you to play certain games with ease.
If you are a serious gamer, a designer, or some other type of computer user that requires the latest and greatest features, you might choose a desktop over a laptop because it's easier to upgrade your video card, sound card, memory, and other parts and pieces as the computer ages.
Performance is another deciding factor in choosing a laptop or a desktop. A desktop is better suited for long hours of performance and lots of multitasking. So consider what you will use the computer for to help decide between a desktop or laptop computer.
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