Laptop vs. Desktop PC
So you want to buy a computer! The question you ask yourself is: should I buy a Laptop or a Pc?
I was discussing this very same topic the other day with a non-technical friend. Now well may you ask why discuss it with a non-technical friend in the first place!! Even why discuss it at all? Well the reason this discussion started in the first place was because I had a very upset friend on the phone the other day bemoaning the demise of her much-loved laptop. As usual the damage was done by spilling a full cup of tea over the laptop. After I gave the usual advice : do not start it, unplug it and leave it open to dry out for a couple of days and fingers crossed give it a try then. Of cause the most common damage that happens to the majority of laptops has to be spilled liquids and falls, of which 90% of laptops do not survive. Yes I am afraid the previous mentioned friends laptop was one of the 90% that did not survive. The most common problems with liquids on laptops, besides the fact liquids and electricity do not mix is that the motherboards are usually fried. Now the same full cup of tea falling over while on a desktop will only result in a very sticky keyboard which can be replaced for under €10. So back to the reason, why discuss the merits of a laptop v’s a desktop with a non-technical friend! The main reason is, and I hate to offend the majority of the population of Ireland but the majority of the population in Ireland who use computers are not technical minded. Yes I can hear the shouting from here, I am no experts on computers myself but maybe its an age thing!! We learn by our mistakes. So when someone wants a computer to lets say: email, Skype and just look up stuff they look towards the laptop without a thought to a desktop.
So the reasons mentioned by my non-technical friend who uses her laptop to get her emails, Skype etc etc. was that a laptop is mobile, well can not argue with that!! or can we!!! Now lets break that down, she says because its mobile!! Well that is true but for how long!! The longer you have a laptop the less the battery will hold its charge. By the end of the first year of the laptop you would be lucky to get an hour out of using the laptop especially while surfing etc. So the laptop has to be kept plugged in for the majority of the time anyway. Ah but what about the portable Netbook with a 10 hour battery!! Right, good luck using that for anything more than checking your emails, as anyone who has read my previous blogs will know I am not a happy camper when it comes to Netbooks. In fact not impressed at all with Netbooks. Check out my Netbooks Vs Computer Tablets for anyone who has not read it. Now the next reason why my friend purchased a laptop as opposed to a desktop was size and storage. Yes the laptop is neater and easier to store and has a certain mobility to it. Modern desktops come in many sizes and are neat enough to fit in to quite small spaces these days. So I really do not think that should be such an issue, especially since LCD monitors are so neat as well. For the price your definitely get a lot more specks for your hard earning money if you purchase a desktop. The same specs on a laptop would be double your money and the risk of damage is also doubled. Games run better on a desktop computer , to run games on a laptop you would be paying out huge money and is it really worth the risk paying out that much money and with one slip its gone!! Instead of bringing a clumsy laptop around the place why not make more use of all that cloud storage that is now available and can be easily accessed from any pc any where.
Another great advantage in having a desktop is now you can easily attach your desktop to your nice new LCD television very cheaply using a hdmi to hdmi lead (if your pc does not have a hdmi connection, a VGA to hdmi lead can be used). This will allow pictures and sounds from your pc to your television. In this way you can use your desktop as a total multimedia experience to view RTE player, or Netflix etc. You can also play you music collection from your pc’s hard-drive through your surround speakers on your television, and not forgetting your desktop optical drive will play also dvd’s. If you own a smart phone you can even download an app called desktop remote that will allow you to use your mobile smart phone from the comfort of your sofa to control the mouse on your desktop to start or stop what ever is playing on the pc. How is that for comfort! Music centres can be easily replaced by making the most of your desktop.
To get a good perspective of the pros and cons argument for Laptops Vs Desktops I decided to asked a fully qualified and experienced computer and electronics technician who has her own business, Kerry Computer Services, down in the lovely Caherciveen in Co. Kerry. As I would not be qualified in the technical side of the argument, and can only speak from my own experiences. So below are the reasons why they consider desktops far superior than laptops.
I have decided to write this article for a specific reason, the world has gone laptop mad. Everyone I know seems to be buying cheap budget laptops and ditching their Pc’s!!
Here are some pros and Con’s before you go spending your hard-earned bucks..
1. Better specs for the cost: If you want performance and high specs a pc will cost you far less for gaming or other high performance tasks
2. Ease of Use: A desktop pc is easier to use (have you tried typing a 100 page report on a laptop?)
3. Easier to Upgrade: It’s so much easier to buy bigger and better parts for a pc than for a laptop. Not to mention cheaper. And its far easier to replace the parts too
4. Easier to Repair: Pc’s are much easier and cheaper to repair and not as easily damaged either. For example.. if you bring your pc to me to be repair its simple for me to whip out a part that’s bad and replace it with another.. its quick, simple and cheap.. so it saves me time and money so save you too. For diagnosis faulty parts it’s also simple to take practically any other pc component to test it with. With laptops you practically need the exact same model for most components
5. More Robust: It takes a heck of a lot more knocks to break a pc… You barely have to sneeze at a laptop and it keels over
6. Security: Pc’s are not quite so easy for someone to steal and carry off down the road
1. Immobile: Of course you can’t carry a pc around with you
1. Mobility: Of course the greatest attraction to laptops is you can carry them around with you
2.Battery: The other benefit to laptops is you don’t have to have them plugged in to work, well for some of the time anyway.
1. Less Specs for the cost: To buy a laptop with great specs you pay a small fortune.. Yes I know there are a lot of cheap laptops out there now but they are cheap for a reason that’s why they’re called budget laptops.. You may save money on the purchase but they will cost you dearly in the long run
2. Fiddly: I love my laptop and wouldn’t be without it but i hate using the touch pad so I always carry a laptop mouse with me and if I want to do any amount of typing then forget it I use the pc or plug-in an external keyboard
3. Security: Of course laptops like any mobile device are an easy target for the opportunist
4. Repair and Maintenance: Don’t get me started on repairs.. I said to my friends only 2 years ago when everyone was going mad buying cheap laptops for their kids that in a years time I’m gonna be inundated with laptops for repair and no one will want to pay for the repair because it will cost too much.. Well I do love being right.. I’ve lost count of how many laptops I’ve had in to me in the last year with motherboards completely fried from water damage, broken screens, dc jacks broken off the boards and many of them just die as soon as there warranty runs out (surprise surprise)
Customers who have a laptop and it then develops a fault have taken their laptops to at least 3 repair techs in town to be told it will cost them €300 and upwards to repair (and get charged €50 just to be told that) before they then come to me..
Now there’s a new craze started that’s gonna be even worse. Everyone’s buying netbooks for their kids instead. They’re buying them even cheaper but guess what? Even smaller parts, more expensive to replace and a whole lot more difficult to repair.
Do you see a pattern here?
The bigger the computer the easier it is to repair and maintain, the cheaper it is for the performance and the longer it lasts so saving you a whole lot more money in the long run
If you wanna buy a computer for the family, for the kids to play games, the hubby to download the latest footy matches or play poker and the missus to chat on Facebook then for goodness sake buy a desktop pc
If you just want something for business that’s portable and you’re not too worried about cost then a laptop or netbook will suffice.
So there you have it from the horse’s mouth, so to say. Could not have said it better myself. So I hope you find the advice worth following. I have always recommend Kerry Computer Services as they operate on a no fix no fee basis. I know there based in Caherciveen, but they pop in to Tralee now and again and their website has a great discussion forum for any advice you may want to know.