If you’re about to make a thousand-dollar investment into your workstation, you’ll want to make the right decision on whether you should choose a desktop or a laptop. You have the option of high performance of a desktop, but sacrifice the performance for mobility in a laptop. Not only that, laptops can cut into the amount that you spend on performance.
Here is how to between a desktop or laptop for your next computer.
The Pros of a Desktop
A desktop computer is a lovely piece to add to the home and create a home office that reflects the type of desktop that you go for. You can get the top-of-the-line components and relatively make out cheaper than a middle-of-the-line laptop.
Down the road, you’ll find that upgrading is a piece of cake. Whether that be the CPU or GPU.
You’re going to be paying less for more when it comes to a decent computer compared to a laptop. Desktops are bulkier but are assembled in mass-produced parts, rather than individualistic motherboards that need to be fabricated for each version of a laptop.
Not only that, desktops have a lower computational cost because they have more room for parts. Rather than trying to fit everything into an inch or less, they have an entire case with open space to fit in everything. This means more room for cooling, lighting, and performance.
Check out these business workstations from Lenovo for the best deals on desktops.
With a desktop, the world is your oyster. You can create a setup that completely matches your style and switch it up at any time. You can incorporate high-end speakers, a mechanical keyboard, however many fans you’d like, and even the monitor you want.
These customization options are more appealing, as they can be exactly what you pick rather than what the laptop manufacturer picked out. Not only that, you can quickly change than at any time. If you want the latest and greatest monitor on the market, rather than being stuck with a single display, you can quickly go to the store and buy a new one.
Desktops also come with a wide variety of RGB items to choose from. These color schemes can be customized for the style you’re going for. Whether that be an all-out color explosion or a more minimalistic style.
Ease of Repair
With the ease of customization comes the ease of repair. Because desktops only require one to two screws to get into, you can even look for yourself to see what may be happening. Depending on the motherboard you have, it might even tell you the error code to quickly find the problem.
From there, depending on the problem, it might be as simple as changing out the graphics card for one. To do so, all you do is unplug it from the computer, unscrew the two or three screws holding it in, unclip it, and it’s good to be removed and replace. All of this can be done in about 10 minutes or less.
The Cons of a Desktop
Just because they offer a better price doesn’t mean that desktops come without their flaws. They aren’t going to be easy to move and you can quickly see the cost savings diminishing when you start adding up all the components you need to buy.
Lack of Mobility
The most common problem people have with desktops is the lack of mobility that they offer. While they do have small form factor cases, these cases often cost extra money and still require you to bring a monitor everywhere you go.
Even if you find yourself needing to travel with your desktop, you need to be careful with the vibrations that can come with traveling. Vibrations might cause components to be damaged and even hard drives to fail. You need to take extra care when transporting a computer from point A to point B.
Your desktop will draw more power from your outlet than any laptop can. At most, a laptop will draw around 210 watts. This is to stay within certain limits for batteries when traveling.
Whereas a high-end computer can quickly get into the 1000 watt range because every component within it draws over 100 watts each. While most computers will only fall into the 600-watt range, that still triples that amount of wattage used compared to a laptop.
Requires Extra Components To Start Working
With customization comes the cost. To get up and running with a computer, you’re going to need extra components that don’t always come with them. Do note that companies will run deals where you can get these extra components thrown in for purchasing the computer.
These components can include a mouse, keyboard, monitor, mousepad, an audio device (speaker or headphones), and a place to rest all of this equipment like a desk. So while you can fully customize these options to your liking, this does mean you’ll be forking over money to simply start the process of working or gaming.
The Pros of a Laptop
The laptop computer has evolved over the years to compete with the desktop. While it still can’t go toe-to-toe with its stationary sibling, it can at least put up a fight and provide benefits that the desktop can’t. Mainly in the areas of mobility and the user-friendly nature of laptops.
Mobility and Size
The main reason anyone buys a laptop is due to the mobility and size that a laptop offers. Being able to quickly pack up and go while throwing it into a safe carrying case makes it appealing for students, professionals, and everyone in between.
Not only is it easy to go, but easy to set up anywhere. You can put it on a desk, a bed, a counter, or anywhere that has good airflow and start working. All the laptop requires is a small amount of space, around 13 to 20 inches, and you’re good to go.
Beyond the ease of carrying the laptop, you also get the benefit of getting a new laptop and being ready-to-go out of the box. You’ll have the display, the components underneath, the keyboard, and the touchpad already in front of you the moment you open the laptop.
You’ll still have to go through the setup process, but there is no worry about whether you’re plugging in a speaker into the right audio jack. Everything comes clearly labeled and you have the benefit of adding extra accessories down the road.
While not all laptops have this, a touch screen or the ability to turn your laptop into a 2-in-1 can be appealing. This comes as another win for those that want to save money on extra components.
This option fits the needs of creatives that need to draw or edit with a pen. Instead of having to buy a drawing tablet and figure out the controls, you can instead draw as if you were on a canvas and directly see the results.
The Cons of a Laptop
Laptops come with caveats of their own. While they offer mobility, they can quickly turn into a money hole themselves in a different way. Not only that, the price to performance ratio often takes a hit and you might experience extreme heat in the process.
Price and Performance
The biggest issue with laptops is the price to purchase one. Laptops are at an all-time high in terms of price to performance. While you can get a decent laptop that consists of mid-tier products, you can pay roughly the same price for a high-end desktop that runs circles around the laptop option.
The price to repair laptops often makes repairing them pointless. Components on a laptop are often soldered on and require special tools and replacement parts to get them up and running.
In the event that a laptop breaks and it’s the RAM that causes the problem, you’ll be looking at a repair cost of around $300 minimally. The same problem on a laptop would cost around $60 to $80, depending on the price at the time.
You also have to worry about thermals becoming an issue and slowing down the performance of a laptop. When components get too hot, they tend to thermal throttle and slow down the performance to start cooling down.
If they fail to thermal throttle and you have the laptop on your lap, you might run the chance of burning yourself. Always keep a laptop off of you and a place where it can receive good airflow.
What Should You Buy, a Desktop or Laptop?
So, what should you choose, a desktop or laptop? If you’re working from home and want the best price to performance around, stick with a desktop. But if you’re on the move and need performance that can deliver both at home and the local coffee shop, go for the laptop.
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