The choice between buying a laptop or a desktop is not an easy line and it comes down to portability requirements, specifications, price and manufacturer. Here we have put together a helpful list of some of the main desktop and laptop computer manufacturers that you can use when it comes to making a decision.

Laptop vs. Desktop

Laptop Advantages

  • Greater portability with immediate access to files
  • Flexible connectivity with wireless internet on the go
  • Easy to buy off-the-shelf

Laptop Disadvantages

  • Ergonomic shortcomings as a result smaller size of fixed peripherals such as screens and keyboards
  • Higher cost of displays and miniaturized technology makes laptops more expensive than a desktop with comparable specifications
  • More vulnerable to theft
  • Upgrade options are more limited

Desktop Advantages

  • Better price-to-performance ration
  • Better ergonomics allows for proper positioning of arms, wrists and back

Desktop Disadvantages

  • Lack of portability
  • Size – if space is a concern then a desktop might not be a suitable option
  • Not as easy to buy as a laptop
  • Has an outdated ‘corporate’ image

 

Manufacturers and Brands

With so much choice out there it’s getting increasingly harder to pick the right model for your computer, whether you’ve decided to buy a laptop or a desktop. Here is a summary of the top manufacturers and what to expect from each of them and their products.

Apple leads the pack when it comes to laptop manufacturers, followed by Dell and HP according to LapTop Mag’s 2015 ranking. Apple also leads when it comes to desktops, with the Apple Mac with Retina 5K Display top of the charts for PC Magazine, followed by Acer, Asus and Dell. The thing with desktops is that you don’t have to go for the branded solution as long as the key components such as processors, hard drives and integrated graphics are from reputable manufacturers. If you want to buy a custom-built desktop you can get really good value for your money from a trusted service provider.

Reliability

When you buy a new computer, you want to make sure it will last for a reasonable amount of time. Therefore it is crucial to look at statistics when it comes to breaking down. Surprisingly, failure rate (according to a study by SquareTrade, 2009) is lowest for Asus (15.6%), followed by Toshiba (15.7%) and Sony (16.8%). Apple is in fourth place with 17.4% even though based on anecdotal evidence, most people will say it should be rated highest.

Budget

When it comes to budget, PC’s have the best balance between performance and price and they are becoming increasingly more affordable. Acer certainly tick the affordability box with the Revo One RL85, which is a compact and media friendly PC. The HP Pavilion 300-020 Mini offers big storage and fast performance at a good price to rival the Apple Mac Mini.

Tech Support

Most people would prefer to keep their machine for over a year, thus the quality and reliability of the technical support offered by the manufacturer is an important consideration. Apple is the undisputed leader in this area

Multimedia and Gaming

If you are going to use your computer for multimedia video or photo editing (work or personal) or you are into gaming, your best option is to go for a desktop. Lenovo’s Erazer X510 is one of the best value for money gaming desktops.

Software

It can be hard to adjust to a new Operating System so it’s probably best to stick with what you are already used to. Whether it’s Windows, Mac OS or Linux. One thing to bear in mind is that not all software is available for each OS, so if you need to use a particular package, check in advance if the operating system on your machine will support it to avoid costly mistakes.

Speed and Memory

It is crucial when you are choosing a desktop or a laptop to figure out in advance what your requirements are in terms of speed, processing power and memory. f you want a fast machine that boots up programs and completes tasks quickly, then make sure you have the strongest processor available that your budget can buy. Look for the number of cores and the speed.

The amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) can affect the how much multitasking your machine can do and how fast it will go. More RAM means  the computer can access more data that’s kept close at hand rather than go into the slower hard drive. So if you are going to be doing multiple tasks at the same time, you should invest in more RAM so you can switch between tasks quickly and reliably e.g. having multiple browser windows open at the same time.

Summary

The choice of desktop or laptop can be overwhelming, but if you set yourself a realistic budget, clearly define your needs in terms of portability, reliability, technical specs and support, you should be able to reduce the number of machines you can choose from to a realistic few. There are many sites dedicated to reviews that also offer reliable ratings based on consumer and expert opinions, so it’s worth spending some time going through them before you make a decision.

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