Choosing Between A Laptop or Desktop Computer

Which Is Better: A Laptop or A Desktop Computer ?

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Choosing Between A Laptop or Desktop Computer |

Desktop computers are much less expensive then equivalent laptops. Desktops are faster and more powerful.

Laptops are more popular than desktops because they are portable. They are smaller and lighter and consume less power. They operate at lower voltages, and have more advanced power-down or sleep modes.

Laptops can connect to the Internet wirelessly wherever WiFi is available. The built-in wireless network is one of the best features of laptops.

A netbook is even smaller than a conventional laptop, so they are even more portable. Netbooks are also less expensive than larger laptops. Tablet PCs are laptops with a flip-around screen that allows a user to holdd it like a large notebook and write notes on it with a special stylus.

Laptops do not perform as well as equally priced desktops. To get a laptop that works as well or better than an average desktop is very expensive. Components for a laptop use the same types of technology as desktops, but are often subpar due to their smaller size. Their processors are smaller and the hard drives are about an inch smaller.

Desktops can be ugraded easily. It is impossible to upgrade the integrated proccessor or motherboard in a laptop. You can’t build your own laptop either. Laptops can only be upgraded through the use of external ports.

Laptops need to be more durable than desktops due to the wear and tear of carrying it around. If the computer case breaks you may need to replace the whole thing.

To save space, laptops often integrate many functions onto one circuitboard (called a daughterboard), such as video, audio and networking. This saves space, but it also means that if one part goes bad you have to replace the entire circuitboard. Chipsets, such as the Intel Pentium M chipset include built-in video processing and networking capabilities.

Heat is a concern for laptops due to their small size. You can’t run a big fan inside a laptop. Three ways to lower heat is to run the processor at a lower speed*, run the computer at a lower voltage, or use a cooling pad that the laptop sits on. Never run your laptop on a soft surface such as a blanket or a bed. Hard surfaces allows for cooling air flow.

Laptops will often run in a lower power state when on battery power to extend the battery life (called throttling)- this also helps to reduce heat.

If you are having a hard time choosing between a laptop or a desktop you might consider a docking station. This is when a laptop is plugged into a computer station for daily use, but then can be unplugged for mobile use. The docking station allows the laptop to function like a desk top computer. For this to work, your laptop has to have a docking port. This is used to connect the laptop to the docking station. The docking station stays behind when your laptop is removed. The great thing about the docking station is that is utilizes full-sized drive bays and expansion bus slots that are not possible inside a laptop. It also includes a port replicator that reproduces the functions of the ports on the laptop so that such things as monitors, keyboards, printers, etc can remain connected to the dock instead of the laptop, so that the laptop can be easily removed. It is important to note that a laptop’s docking port only works with the docking stations designed by the same, specific laptop’s manufacturer.

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