Laptops vs. Desktops on Selecting Your Computer

Around this time of year, people are looking for new computers. Whether it’s for the last minute business expense spending or a generous holiday gift, a computer is a useful and sometimes frustrating tool. Contrary to what some computer dealers suggest, you may not need to spend $3,000 for a computer! Normally, the computer price depends on the use of the system. Are you like me and making a living using your computer? Then, you may need a more robust system. If you are just surfing and on Facebook, then a cheap $300 computer should be sufficient. Let’s look at some of those details.

I’m certain there are many website designers using a laptop to create their websites. Not me, I have a fairly strong desktop system, with a large hard drive and three, count ‘em, three monitors. Three monitors allow me to multi-task or waste more time, depending on what day it is. I can only speak for myself but I normally have to have at least two monitors to do my work. When I travel, I use a laptop and external monitor. It just seems I can work faster. Most desktops and laptops will allow an additional monitor. I encourage everyone to try it. Simply, add the monitor to the VGA or HDMI port and use “the extend your desktop” setting under the display settings. Ask for help at your computer store if needed.

Laptops are great if you are limited on desk space. Most laptops can handle larger programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Quickbooks. If you are mobile or work at home and office, then maybe consider a laptop. Home users like them because they can take them to coffee shops and travel without a lot of effort. If you are an internet surfer and document creator a basic laptop is fine for you rather than an expensive gaming system.

Desktops on the other hand do take up more desk space because of the wires and monitors. Don’t try to hide your desktop in a small area under your desk. They need room to breathe and cooling fans need airflow to work. You risk burning up your computer when putting it in a small compartment. Historically, desktops were more powerful than laptops but that is not the case after laptops exceeded desktops in sales.

But some people are just more comfortable using a desktop to play games, keep the house organized by having the computer in one room and keeping an eye on the kids while on the computer. You can also upgrade desktops more easily by adding RAM or a larger processor.

I remember first starting out with computers and getting RAM (random access memory) and hard drives confused thinking I needed more RAM because my hard drive was full. Remember, sometimes sales people often work on commission so do your home work before purchasing something expensive. Maybe understanding some of these terms can help you find the computer that is right for you.

RAM – This allows your stored data to be accessed. The more RAM the faster your data can be accessed.

Hard drive – This is what stores your actual data files, pictures, computer programs. Some larger programs need more hard drive space. 250GB is sufficient for basic users.

OS Operating System – This is the software that operates your computer such as Windows 7 or XP.

Whatever your needs, shop around or ask friends or family or trusted computer users. ASUS, Dell and HP are all popular brands. And any of those will work fine. Good luck with your purchases and I hope you were nice all year to get a great gift like a computer.

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