In the US, 89% of households have a computer. But with how on-the-go we are, it’s not a surprise that many Americans use laptops as well.
While it’s technically a “computer,” laptops offer some benefits that don’t come with desktop computers. But on the flip side, they do come with some disadvantages as well.
So what’s better for you: a desktop computer or laptop?
If you’re thinking of buying a laptop, then you should learn more about this device. Here are 8 laptop pros and cons to know!
- Pro: They’re Very Portable
If you work at your home’s office desk 24/7, then this might not interest you much. After all, you only use the computer when you’re working, and for the rest of them, you hop onto your smartphone or tablet to browse the internet. That’s all the portability you need.
But let’s say the nature of your work has you traveling all over the place, all the time. In that case, a PC wouldn’t be very practical.
A laptop has a screen, keyboard, “mouse” (trackpad), and speakers built into it. It unfolds for you to work on, and then folds back up neatly when you need to get on the road. You can literally get set up or break down your working area within seconds because of how portable laptops are!
You can then slip your laptop into a purse, bag, laptop carrier, or backpack. Compare that with a desktop computer, which you’d need to completely break down and carefully contain its parts in specialized carriers or risk breakage.
- Pro: They’re Lightweight
Because laptops need to be so portable, this means they’re lightweight as well. There are some older laptops that might feel like they weigh a ton, but if you buy the latest models, then you don’t have to worry about that at all.
Today’s laptops are designed to be ultra-thin so they can fit in the smallest of spaces in your bags. As a result, they’re also very lightweight, meaning you won’t feel like you’re carrying around a bowling ball. After all, what’s the use of having a portable device if it’s so heavy, you never want to take it anywhere?
You can expect laptops to weigh anywhere between 2 to 6 pounds. If you’re really concerned about the weight of your laptop, you can always opt for the lightweight versions of the models you’re interested in, which will be closer to 2 pounds. It’ll barely feel like you have anything in your bag!
- Pro: They Come Ready to Go
Speaking of portability, laptops come ready to go. When you buy from a site such as lenovo.com, all you have to do is pick the specs you want.
Then, when your laptop arrives at your house, all you have to do is unpack it, plug it in, and set up your account. After that, you’re good to go!
With a desktop computer, you usually have to source all the parts yourself. It’s true that today’s PCs are a lot easier to put together; you basically just have to plug in the parts to the appropriate places. You can also opt for prebuilt computers, but those are either not that great (if you go with something cheap) or very expensive for what they offer.
But still, if you want something you can use right out of the box, you can’t go wrong with a laptop. Even if you get a prebuilt PC, you still have to take the time to set up your screen, keyboard, mouse, and speakers.
- Con: They’re Not as Customizable
Yes, laptops come ready to go, and that’s a wonderful plus point. But a drawback of this is that laptops aren’t as customizable.
For the average device user, that’s not going to matter much. But if you’re, say, a graphic designer or a serious gamer, then this will create some issues.
Laptops will come with very few customizable specs. You might get 2 choices for how much RAM you get, and that’s it.
While you’ll have to painstakingly source all the parts for a PC, in the end, you’ll get a computer that has every spec you want. Most likely, you won’t have to sacrifice on any part since it’s up to you which ones go in your desktop computer.
- Con: They’re Not as Upgradable
Because laptops aren’t very customizable, they’re not as upgradable either. The majority of parts that come with laptops are there for good, such as the GPU and CPU. Even if you wanted to replace those things, it’d be very expensive, which would make it more economically wise to purchase another laptop instead.
Because the very nature of PCs allows you to plug in parts yourself, this means that you’ll be able to upgrade those parts easily as the years go by. As a result, this means that laptops won’t have as long as a lifespan as computers do.
This means that when you buy a laptop, you have to think carefully about what you want and how much you’re willing to spend to get it. It might be worth shelling out a little more money for a better laptop that’ll survive the years rather than skimping and then having to buy another laptop within 5 years or so.
- Pro: You Don’t Have to Buy as Many Peripherals
Remember how we said that laptops come with built-in screens, keyboards, mice, and speakers? Again, this makes them very portable. Not only that, but it also makes your purchase a lot easier.
When you deal with a desktop computer, you have to buy both its parts and its peripherals. This means you have to do extra research and shopping for all those things listed above, which can really complicate things.
Also, this means that with laptops, the price you see is the price you pay. On the other hand, PCs might seem cheap at first, but when you factor in the other costs, you might end up with an unpleasant surprise to your bank account.
If you’re on a tight budget, then buying a laptop might give you better peace of mind. And if you want the same peace of mind with a desktop computer, you’ll have to do plenty of research beforehand to ensure you don’t go over your strict budget in the end.
- Con: They’re More Expensive
One of the worst downsides of laptops is they’re more expensive when you compare them side-by-side with desktop computers. Put the same specs in both of them, and laptops will always come out pricier than PCs.
This is because manufacturers have to figure out a way to put these parts into a smaller “container.” Plus, laptops need to run on lower power, weigh less, plus withstand more wear and tear, due to their portable nature.
As you can see, a lot of careful thought and design goes into laptops, which is what you’re paying for.
Also, the fact that laptops have a shorter lifespan than PCs means that in the long run, you’ll be paying a lot more since you’ll be replacing your device more frequently.
- Con: They’re Not as Great for Gaming
If you’re a gamer, then in general, you should stick to PCs. Because they’re cheaper, more customizable, and more upgradable, this allows you to get the ultimate gaming experience for the best prices available.
Yes, you have to buy separate peripherals, but let’s face it: a mechanical keyboard is a lot better for gaming than a stock laptop keyboard is. And if you want to game on a laptop, you’ll have to buy a gaming mouse anyway, since practically no game is playable with a trackpad.
In most cases, laptops aren’t machine enough to run popular games. Of course, you can opt for a high-end gaming laptop, but you’ll be paying a pretty penny in that case.
While you’ll have to dismantle your PC to go to LAN parties, it’s a small price to pay for the reasons we listed above.
Know Your Laptop Pros and Cons
Now you should be able to weigh the laptop pros and cons, considering you have a lot more information after reading this article.
Of course, any device will have its plusses and minuses, so just because laptops have their bad sides doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bad for you. It’s important to think of all the advantages they offer you over desktop computers.
In the end, no matter what type of device you choose, there will always be one that’s just right for you. So don’t rush the process and you’ll be able to find either a laptop or computer (or both!) that’ll suit your lifestyle and budget.
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