Ask yourself this question – do you want mobility with your computer?
If the answer is yes, then a laptop is for you but they come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s have a look at these.
- It’s compact with everything you need integrated into the one small unit. No separate computer box, mouse, monitor or cords. Can be cordless through the use of batteries.
- You can set yourself up anywhere – airport waiting lounges, in the car waiting for your child outside school, with a client.
- Memory can be upgraded easily.
- Add-ons are easy through the PCMCIA slot or through the USB connection.
- Connection to the internet can be wireless.
- Because it is portable, it is susceptible to damage especially the LCD screen, the keyboard and the power jack in particular because it sticks out from the laptop. If it gets bumped, it can damage the soldering inside which connects it to the motherboard, which is the most expensive part of the computer. The laptop then has to be completely dismantled to get at the parts which have to be re-soldered and this is an expensive, time-consuming exercise.
- The laptop can be easily stolen or even lost.
- Upgrades and repairs are more expensive than on a desktop computer even though the initial cost of both is about the same. The long term cost of ownership is higher with a laptop.
- Many laptops cannot be used for certain activities like multiplayer online games and business activities for engineering and architecture etc.. These require greater capabilities than the average laptop has. However, a very expensive laptop might meet these needs.
- If you spill a liquid onto your laptop, it can destroy your motherboard, which rarely happens with a desktop computer.
So you have to weigh up these advantages and disadvantages before making your decision on whether to buy a laptop or a desktop computer.