Why you may want a desktop instead of a laptop

Patrick Moore asked the Laptops forum about the advantages of going with a desktop computer.

Laptops long ago surpassed desktops in sales, and tablets and smartphones are taking major market share from laptops. The tendency is clearly towards smaller, lighter, and more portable computing. But there are some good reasons to stick with a big box that sits on or below your desk.

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First off, there's the price/performance ratio. Whether you're spending $300 or $3,000, you will get a more powerful computer for your money if you're willing to give up portability.

You have more upgrade options with a desktop. Most laptops will let you easily add RAM and swap out the hard drive. But your average desktop can take more RAM than your average laptop. And with a desktop's multiple bays, your drive options open up considerably. For instance, you don't have to choose between an SSD and a hard drive on a laptop; you can have both. Upgrading a CPU or graphics card--reasonably easy tasks on a desktop--are difficult to impossible (usually impossible) on a laptop.

Which brings up the issue of repair. It's easy to open up a desktop PC, check to make sure the cables are secure, clean out the dust, remove a broken part, and replace it with something generic. Laptop repair takes considerable skill, and many parts are specific to that model.

On the other hand, laptops are portable. That's a very good reason to buy one. They also use less electricity.

At first glance, desktops have an ergonomic advantage, thanks to the big screen and full-sized keyboard. But not really. At least when you're home or in the office, you can plug that screen and keyboard into your laptop.

Another option: Buy a desktop PC and a tablet. That way, you can have desktop power and more portability than a laptop can offer. The problem: You can't have both at the same time.

Read the original forum discussion.

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