These days, it’s not unusual for individuals or families to have more than one type of computer. If you’re looking to carry your computer to work or on vacation, you obviously need a laptop. And some have slimmed down to weigh as little as a couple of pounds.
If mobility isn’t a concern, get a desktop, because it’s very likely that you’ll get more performance for the same money—plus more flexibility in customizing the machine once you buy it. (That’s one reason lots of serious gamers have desktops.) Those are two major categories of computer, but there are several variations to consider—and we haven’t even mentioned the choice of operating system yet.
Choices among computers are becoming more confusing as the boundaries between categories blur. For instance, some new desktops are almost as small and inconspicuous as a laptop. Conversely, you can easily find a laptop that’s just as powerful as a typical desktop. And then there are some slightly unconventional categories, such as laptops that can be used like tablets and all-in-one desktops that don’t need a separate monitor.
Top 7 Pcs
- System: Intel Core i5-9400f 2.9GHz 6-Core | Intel B360 Chipset | 8GB DDR4 | 120GB SSD |...
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6GB Video Card | 1x DVI | 1x HDMI | 1x DisplayPort
- System: Intel Core i5-9400F 2.9GHz 6-Core | Intel B360 Chipset | 8GB DDR4 | 120GB SSD |...
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Video Card | 1x DVI | 1x HDMI | 1x DisplayPort
- System: AMD FX-6300 6-Core 3.5 GHz (4.1 GHz Turbo) | 8GB DDR3 RAM | 1TB HDD | Genuine...
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 710 1GB Dedicated Graphics Card | Display Connectors - Dual...
- System: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6 Core | AMD 760G Chipset | 8GB DDR3 | 1TB HDD | Genuine...
- Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 240 2GB Video Card | 1x VGA | 1x DVI | 1x HDMI
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- HP 8000 Core 2 Duo 3.0 GHz Processor
- What's Inside: 4GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive, DVD Optical Drive,
Many people have moved away from desktops in the past decade. However, they still may be useful for many consumers. Desktops typically offer more performance for the money than laptops and are less expensive to repair. They may allow for a more ergonomically correct work environment, generally come with better speakers, and allow you to view your work on a larger screen.
Though they require a lot of room under or on top of your desk, full-sized desktops are the least expensive and the easiest to upgrade and repair.
At less than half the size of full-sized desktops, compact or slim desktops are ideal if you lack space under your desk or if you plan to put the computer on your desk.
All-in-one desktop computers, also known as “all-in-ones,” incorporate the computer and monitor in one case. The components are tightly packed behind and underneath the display, making them difficult to upgrade or repair. Meant to be space-savers, they’re also designed to look less stodgy than traditional computers. You’ll pay a premium for these models.
Laptops let you use your computer away from your desk, but you pay for that mobility with a keyboard that’s a little more cramped, a higher price, and (sometimes) reduced performance. A laptop can also be more difficult and expensive to repair than a desktop. Whether your main consideration is portability or power, screen size will be an essential factor in deciding which type of laptop is right for you.
Smaller (10″ to 13″ screen size)
A 10- to the 13-inch laptop is best for people frequently on the move.
Why? For one, these laptops are typically light enough to be brought, say, to and from your office without needing the strength of a powerlifter. They may not have the absolute fastest processors around, but laptops in this size range are nowadays more than capable of handling everyday productivity tasks with ease. Battery life varies but should get you through a typical workday with no questions asked.
Medium (14″ to 16″ screen size)
This size range offers the ideal balance of performance, portability, and price for many users. Midsized models are a good choice if you take your machine along less frequently or if you need to use it extensively for work or school. Such a laptop can easily be configured as a desktop replacement.
Larger (17″ to 18″ screen size)
For folks wanting a desktop replacement, big enough to sit semi-permanently in one place but portable enough to take from room to room, these laptops will deliver. They tend to use top-performing processors with standard hard drives that give you tons of storage, though not top performance.
How Much Memory?
The more memory a computer has, the faster it is, up to a point. Memory is measured in gigabytes (GB). On both desktops and laptops, 8GB has become common, with 16GB found on higher-end devices. Unless you regularly have multiple large apps open at the same time, 8GB should be your target.
Windows 10 brings a more uniform interface across a variety of devices: computers, tablets, Xbox consoles, and smartphones. In addition, “universal apps” developed for Windows 10 will look and work the same on a variety of devices. And far more games are available for Windows computers than for Macs.
Graphics Adapter and Graphics Memory
Also known as the video card, graphics processing unit (GPU), or graphics card, this hardware is responsible for drawing what you see on your screen. Graphics processing comes in two basic flavors: It can either be integrated into the same chip that’s running the rest of the computer or it can run on a discrete piece of equipment.
Many of today’s laptops come without an optical drive, saving weight and cost. With high-capacity flash drives available, extra storage isn’t a problem on these models. But installing older software—usually distributed on a CD or DVD—could be a problem. Most of today’s software is distributed via download, so there’s little need for an optical drive.
When not plugged into a wall outlet, laptops use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power. Laptops go into sleep mode when used intermittently, extending the time between charges. You can lengthen battery life if you dim the display, turn off WiFi connectivity when it’s not needed, and use only basic applications.