Byte Me Article 370 – Laptop Or Desktop

16th June 2018

Desktop or Laptop For You?

A question that I get asked several times every week – “should I get a laptop or a desktop”?  Customers are often unsure of which way to go here and ask which is the more reliable device.  There is no perfect answer on either account as computer usage is different for everyone however today we will look at some of the differences that can influence your decision.

Let’s start with the reliability of laptops vs desktops.  There are reliability advantages to either machine simply based on their design and use.  Looking at laptop disadvantages first, there is always the worry of an accidental drop or the comparatively greater risk of theft.  Next, they have a hinge that can become stiff and eventually create chassis damage.

Laptops are also costlier to fix when the keyboard or touch pad (mouse equivalent) plays up and needs replacing.  We have also seen number of laptop with faulty power plugs and USB ports due to their cables getting pulled from an angle or knocked.  Lastly laptop hard drives are far more likely to fail because of movement and knocks compared to desktop hard drives.

Desktop PC’s also have failings.  Unlike a laptop, desktop PC’s can be ‘thrown together’ by any wannabe computer tech or backyarder.  We often see the disastrous results of desktops that have not been assembled correctly or have mismatched or cheap components.  Desktop PC’s are also far more susceptible to power surges than laptop PC’s.

As you can probably guess the larger part of reliability comes back to brand names and models.  If you purchase a business grade HP laptop you can forget about any worries of the hinge becoming stiff.  Worries about keyboard and screen failure also diminish in these models.

In similar vein a business grade desktop from HP is going to be a well thought out and proven product.  The custom build desktops that we offer have also evolved over the last 20 years into a premium product with instant local backup and well-balanced performance per dollar.

Other considerations are the greater performance and capacity offered by desktops as well as their ability to be easily upgraded with extra ram or larger hard drives.  The luxury of a big screen should always be considered if you are going to be spending considerable time in front of a PC and this cost should be therefore be accounted for as an addition to a laptop purchase.

If you absolutely need the portability of a laptop for intensive PC work then I strongly suggest only looking at laptops with solid state drives (SSD’s) for extra reliability and performance.  Conversely if the purchase of a desktop PC is on the cards then again, I would strongly recommend the addition of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for anywhere in Central Queensland and especially if you are outside of our urban areas.

Your own computer use habits will normally dictate what you decide to purchase but consider what I have said in previous articles.  If you frequently use a PC a lot at home then a laptop is less than ideal compared to a desktop PC.  If you only need a small amount of portable PC use then consider a tablet or your smart phone in conjunction with a desktop PC.

If you can afford to have all three/four then you have all your bases covered.  Next week we will look at keeping a degree of synchronisation between multiple devices.  

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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