Laptop vs Desktop How to Know What's Best for You

Did you know that the average life span of a computer is between 3 to 5 years? While it’s normal to need a new computer after 5 years or so of use, there are some things that you can do to prolong the life of your PC.

Knowing what type of computer you need before you purchase a computer, and the differences between a laptop vs desktop computer, is especially important. That way you can make sure that you purchase a PC that you can be happy with for at least a few years. 

In this article, we’ll help you decide if you need to purchase a laptop or a desktop computer. We’ll break down the pros and cons of each type of computer, as well as tell you about a few of the deciding factors to keep in mind when shopping for a new PC.

The 7 Deciding Factors

When it comes to deciding between a laptop or a desktop computer, there are 7 deciding factors that you need to keep in mind when shopping. If you can find your personal answers to the questions that these 7 deciding factors pose, it’ll make your decision to go with a laptop or a desktop that much easier.

Below we’ve broken down each deciding factor and explained how they relate to both desktops and laptops. After reading, you’ll be able to clearly see which choice is right for you.

1. Portability

It goes without saying, but the biggest difference between a laptop and a desktop computer is portability. While you can move a desktop from one location to another, desktop computers are not designed with portability in mind.

With that being said, the biggest reason to own a laptop for most computer users is the ability to take your laptop with you wherever you go. That could mean taking your laptop with you to work, school, or on vacation. Or simply carrying your laptop from one room in your home to another with ease. 

So, ask yourself this question: do you need a computer that you can take with you wherever you go? If the answer is yes, a desktop computer is already eliminated from consideration. But, if the answer is no, you still have a few more things to figure out before you make a smart purchase.

2. Customizability

If you’re new to computers, odds are you aren’t looking to build a computer from the ground-up with you and your needs in mind. But, if that is something that interests you, it’s important to note that desktops and laptops differ greatly when it comes to customizability.

While it is possible to customize a laptop, desktops offer you more options to choose from. That means that making the exact computer that you want to handle what you need your computer to do is easier when building a desktop.

Again, laptops just don’t offer as many options to choose from. When it comes to picking things like processors and graphics cards, your possibilities are more limited when building a laptop computer.

3. Overall Power

Depending on what you plan on using your computer for, you may require more overall power than the average computer user. For example, if you’re going to be making youtube videos, you’re going to be working with large video files, which means a computer that can handle that kind of work is a must.

If you are indeed looking to build the most powerful computer that you can, a desktop computer is going to be the best option for you.

While it is possible to build a powerful laptop, due to the size of desktop computers, you can build something with more punch going that route. We’ll talk more about budget later, but it’s important to note that you can build a more powerful PC for a more affordable price when building a desktop PC, too.

Of course, if power isn’t a big deal for you, a laptop is going to be more than capable of handling most computer tasks. And the last thing you want to do is pay for a computer that is super powerful, yet not take advantage of that power, as that’s a waste of money.

4. Memory

Let’s stick with the idea that you’re going to start a YouTube career soon, and thus, need a computer built for making video content. Those large video files that we mentioned earlier not only require a lot of PC power to work on, but they also need plenty of memory to store them, too.

Because of the sheer size of desktop computers, it’s no surprise to find out that they usually have more memory than laptop computers in a similar price range. So, if you need a ton of storage space, for any reason, going with a laptop computer might not be a smart move.

With that being said, there are some tricks that you can use to expand the memory of both laptop and desktop computers. Picking up an external hard drive for all those video files, for example, is an affordable way to get another TB or two of memory for your computer.

If you have a laptop, carrying around an external hard drive can be a bit clunky and annoying to deal with. But if you don’t mind that, and only need to access certain files occasionally, it’s a great way to get the job done on a budget.

5. Upgradability

If you’re looking to buy a computer that you can use for years to come, upgradability is a factor that you need to keep in mind. Because while it’s fair to expect to have a computer that is up to par for a few years, technology is always advancing at a rapid rate.

This means that a few upgrades over the years may be required to keep your computer running as fast and as smooth as you’d like for it to be.

If you purchase a laptop, you’re pretty much stuck with what’s inside of it. Sure, you can purchase things like external hard drives to boost your laptop’s memory space. But for the most part, your computer is what it is, because it’s built to hold the components that are currently inside of it.

A desktop, on the other hand, is much easier to upgrade. With a larger case, you can switch out just about everything inside of your computer for newer, better parts. This means that everything from core processors to graphics cards can be upgraded as the years go by and better technology is released.

6. Screen Size

For certain tasks, a large screen is an absolute must-have for computer users. For example, if you’re doing digital graphics work, the larger the screen that you have, the better you can see whatever it is you’re working on.

Laptop screens, even on the largest laptops, aren’t big enough to get a job like this done. With that being said, you can pair your laptop with a larger screen at home, allowing you to have a portable computer with a large screen when you need it.

Desktop computers, paired with large monitors, give you the same exact setup. Of course, you can’t take your desktop computer on a plane with you. But you’re almost guaranteed to have a bigger screen with a desktop computer, which is worth mentioning.

7. Price

We touched on this earlier, but a huge factor that needs to be discussed in detail is the price of desktop computers versus laptop computers.

If you’re comparing specs, it’s not uncommon to find a laptop computer that is similar to a desktop computer yet twice the price. You really do pay a great deal for portability, which is something to keep in mind when making a purchase.

If you’re looking to get the most powerful PC that you can, and you’re working on a budget, your money will go further investing in a desktop computer. But again, if you need to take your computer with you, you’ll have to make that sacrifice and find a laptop that suits your needs.

Looking to get a new computer at a great price? Check out  for everything you need, including laptops, desktops, and monitors.

Still, Need Help Choosing Between a Laptop vs Desktop?

As you can see, when it comes to choosing between a laptop vs desktop computer, there are tons of things to consider. But, now that you know what questions to ask yourself, you can decide which type of computer is right for you in just a few minutes.

Looking for more tech tips and tricks? Check back with our blog often, as we’ve got everything you need, from product reviews to buying guides.

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