Hardware

Laptops vs. desktops

Are you a laptop fanatic, or are you a desktop junkie? Let us know where you pledge allegiance in this week's edition of Point and Counterpoint.

Point and Counterpoint's purpose is to present a balanced discussion among our members regarding hardware, software, and any other topic that our members wish to debate. If you have a suggestion for Point and Counterpoint, feel free to send us a note.
A popular disagreement
One of the most popular debates I’ve heard during my time in the field of IT would have to be the one regarding laptops versus desktops. Sure, you’ve heard the comparisons; both camps think that their machines are better than the other. I’ve heard both sides of the argument over the years, and now I wish to know what you think about it.

Laptop roundup
To say that most laptop users love their machines would be an understatement. They love the laptop’s convenience and mobility, not to mention the fact that laptops are just as powerful as most desktops around. Why should they give up their systems?

The dissenting view would come from the people who have to support the end users who use laptops—support and IT departments—as well as regular desktop users. Why don’t they like laptops? Here are a few reasons:
  • Limited functionality: Unlike desktops, laptops are generally limited in terms of functionality. They generally have smaller hard drives, slower processors, and limited memory capacity.
  • Upgradeability: Ever tried upgrading a laptop? Good luck on your efforts! Ask any support or IT tech if they would rather upgrade a laptop or purchase a new one, and you’ll find that in most cases they’ll choose the latter. With expensive memory, specific processors, and even more specific hard drives, upgrading can be a long, hard, and unfulfilling experience.
  • Keyboard, mouse, and monitor: One of the biggest problems that comes with the laptop territory would be the small keyboard, the small built-in mouse, and the very small monitors. In order to be semi-productive, a user must purchase an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

Desktop power users
I know people who just don’t understand why anyone would use laptops. They don’t get why anyone would give up a powerful machine, with built-in floppy drives and CD-ROMs, just so they could take their computer with them somewhere? Why would people want to take their work home with them?

Laptop users, of course, have their reasons not to use desktops, just as desktop users have their complaints about laptops. Here are a few reasons why laptop users may stick with their portable PCs:
  • Portability: Let’s say you have to take a trip out of town, but still have to work while you’re gone. Do you really feel like lugging around a huge monitor, keyboard, mouse, shell, and a number of cords? With laptops, the only things you really need are an extra battery, power cord, and perhaps a phone cord. Plus, it all fits neatly in a nice, little travel bag.
  • Space: Have you ever noticed that desktops take up an exorbitant amount of space? That’s one thing that you’ll never have to worry about with a laptop. The only space taken is the room needed to set down the machine. Plug in the laptop, and you’re ready to go!
  • Cords, cords, cords: Another problem with desktops would definitely be the numerous cords that come with them. Have you looked behind a desktop lately? All those wires back there make it look like a jungle.

Time to sound off!
Enough from me. I want to know what you think! Are you a laptop floozy or a desktop junkie? Feel free to post a message below, or send us a note with your thoughts.
By submitting your answer, you agree to let TechRepublic publish your thoughts and/or suggestions on its Web site. You also agree that TechRepublic may adapt and edit and authorize the adaptation and editing of each submission, as it deems necessary. TechRepublic may or may not publish a submission at its sole discretion.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox