Most people these days would choose a portable laptop over a desktop PC, but portability can come at a cost both in power and affordability. Desktop PCs may not be as popular as they once were, they are however still immensely popular amongst hard-core gamers and those who prioritise power and cost over portability.
Laptops have become very popular and the biggest advantage with them is of course that you can take them anywhere. Work-wise, many people rely on the flexibility a laptop offers - if you travel a lot or have a need to be able to work anywhere and anytime, this offers a lot of convenience to you. Many students also prefer the great advantages that a laptop offers. It takes much less space than a desktop PC, and is therefore a good alternative if there is little space.
However, if you mainly use your computer at home, you may want to invest in a desktop model. A desktop PC provides in principle better performance and greater storage capacity per dollar compared to a laptop. It has more user-friendly display and the keyboard is more ergonomic to use compared to a laptop, where the distance between the screen and keyboard is fixed.
There are many different laptops - and even several different configurations. There are also many other things to take into consideration when choosing a model - such as size, weight, battery life, screen type and connectivity. Regarding configuration, it is a very individual preference as to how powerful the computer should be, how fast, and how much storage capacity you need.
It is important to have a monitor with good image quality. Sharpness, brightness and contrast are basic requirements, and if you intend to watch movies, it is important you get one with a high screen resolution. The smaller and lighter a laptop, the smaller the screen usually is. Screens come in both traditional 4:3 format and widescreen. It is a matter of opinion as to which one is the best, but if you're into movies or working with image processing, widescreen is preferable.
Should you intend to use your laptop for games, CAD programs or 3D graphics, it is advisable to buy a laptop with a separate graphics card and a powerful processor.
The larger and heavier the battery is, the longer it can last without recharging. Unfortunately, this means the laptop will also be considerably heavier and more inconvenient to carry around. Battery life is affected by a number of factors depending on how you intend to use your laptop. Heavy applications and games require more energy than, for example, word processing or Internet browsing. Also screens brightness and powerful internal components such as graphics cards will put an extra drain on the battery.
All modern laptops are equipped with wireless technology that allow you to connect to a wireless router within a certain distance. This is a big advantage over desktop PCs and provides maximum mobility. You can also connect your laptop via a wired connection, if you prefer. If the laptop is to be used for studies, you should choose a model with a wireless network, since many schools have the facilities to connect wirelessly.
Most laptops also have a HDMI port, which enables you to connect your device to your big screen television. HDMI allows high definition digital transmission of video signals, and is therefore is far better than conventional analog transmission.
If you want to protect your laptop from scrapes and bumps remember to buy an appropriate case. Your laptop should not be subjected to shock, moisture or dirt, so a case offers good protection when transporting it.
Size and weight
If you intend to travel a lot with your laptop, it is important to choose a small and lightweight model with a long battery life. If you are mainly using it as a stationary device, you can choose a larger model with a larger screen.