Desktop Computer vs. Laptop Computers
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Desktop Computer vs. Laptop Computers
The invention of computers has made a huge change in human civilization and society, by changing the way people think. Computers replaced jobs and tedious repetitive thoughts that were done by human originally. People became more and more reliant on computers, and thus, computers became essential to our lives. Computers can manufacture products quickly, and eliminate possible human errors. As technology progresses, new ideas have been brought into computer to make them perform more efficiently. Also, scientists and engineers tend to make things “smaller”, so we can enjoy the benefits from electronic devices anywhere and anytime. Therefore, size and efficiency are two main points for consumers. Desktop computer and laptop computer are representatives for each of these concepts. Although desktops and laptops come from the same origin, they are different in many ways.
The history of computers is an amazing story filled with interesting statistics. “The first computer was invented by a man named Konrad Zuse. He was a German construction engineer, and he used the machine mainly for mathematic calculations and repetition” (Bellis, Inventors of Modern Computer). The invention shocked the world; it inspired people to start the development of computers. Soon after,
“In 1946, John Mauchly and J Presper Eckert developed the fastest computer at that time, the ENIAC I. It was built under the assistance of the US army, and it was used on military researches. The ENIAC I contained 17468 vacuum tubes, along with 70000 resistors, 10000 capacitors, 1500 relays, 6000 manual switches and 5 million soldered joints. It covered 1800 square feet of floor space, weighed 3 tons, consumed 160 kilowatts of electrical power.”(Bellis, Inventors of Modern Computer)
These statistics are amazing, but even more amazing is the development of computers. Now in 2005, in this short 68-year period, computer technology has changed its entire look; now, we use computer chips instead of vacuum tubes and circuit board instead of wires. The changes in size and speed are probably the biggest. When we look at computers today, it is very hard to imagine computers 60 years ago were such big, heavy monsters.
Desktop computers were commonly used since the late 90’s. The increasing number of applications on desktop computers allowed us to do all kinds of different activities like games, music, video, document editing and so on. In comparison with laptop computers, desktop computers have more stable performance, greater capacities, and throughout history, they have proven themselves more reliable to handle every job they have been assigned.
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As the development of computers advance, people have greater needs and desire having a computer that can provide better quality and faster feedback. Desktop computers provide great flexibility to reconfigure or customize any components to boost up the machine to the ideal performance. Therefore, people are trying to fill their machine up with more and more gigabytes (unit for capacity) and gigahertz (unit for the frequency of the central processing unit CPU). On the market today, the speed of CPUs for desktops can go up to 3.8 gigahertz, but laptops can only go up to 3.46 gigahertz. A desktop can boost up its capacity to several terabytes. In comparison, the maximum capacity a laptop can get today is 120 gigabytes that is at least ten times less than the capacities of some top end desktops.
Desktops are bigger and consume more space compared to a laptop. As a college student, we all know that our dorms or apartments are so small that our belongings can barely fit. Thus, the big pieces of desktops may become a headache, and people scramble for a place to set them down. In addition, with the tangled, dusty wires and cords, they may become the biggest frustration in the world.
On the contrary, laptops have become more and more popular in recent years. It takes all the components of a standard desktop and combines it into a compact machine. Therefore, instead of mouse, keyboard and monitor all over the place, we can now take a laptop with all the components that are built-in to the machine. It is just a bit larger that the surface of a regular piece paper, with a thickness thinner than a dictionary, and it is much smaller compared to a desktop computer. With this machine, you can do almost everything you can do on a desktop. The mobility of the laptop is one of the most important selling points. Compare to a big and heavy desktop computer, a laptop is lightweight, and everyone can easily pick it up and travel with it. For college students, a laptop can be used as a notebook for note taking, and an entertainment center. While riding on an airplane, a bus or a train, we can watch movies, play games or work with a laptop. The Internet is one of the important elements of the 20th century. The invention of Wi-Fi, wireless networking, breaks the limits of a laptop. With hot spots and Wi-Fi, people can access the internet anytime and anywhere. Laptop computers are now greater than ever.
Laptops have become one of the spotlights in the news, and people have started paying more attentions to some facts about laptops in recent days. We can always hear news reporters saying that working with laptops for an excessive amount of time will cause strain or damage to our necks. There are similar cases with damaging the back and fingers; “One of the recent researches in Britain showed that putting a laptop on a man’s lap may cause infertility. They claimed that the heat and infrared waves that were produced while the laptop was running could kill cells and organisms inside our body, and damage our reproductive system” (BBC News). This news brings up many people’s concern, but there is no research in the US that has proven this result. Although the research is doubtful at some point, it is reasonable that the long use of a laptop can cause different kinds of physical problems, and we should not overlook these problems. In contrast, there is less research showing that the use of desktop would result in serious health damage.
In today’s market, the competition between computer companies leads to more affordable computers in the market, and the competition pushes the development of computers to go faster. In recent years, the advancement of computers has gone so fast that people cannot keep up with it. New applications keep coming out, and they will be outdated in less then one year. As fast as the improvement of computers goes, there is no absolute limit to what computers can do.
The digital revolution has had very a large impact on human society. Computers have made our lives easier and more convenient. They connect the world to bring people closer together. With computers, the impossible mission will become possible and dreams will come true. There are thousands of possibilities within the computerized and digitalized world.
Within 10 years, computers are going to be involved in all fields of study and researches. Computers will be more intelligent, and it will be possible that one-day computers will be able to communicate with people, share their ideas and unleash their true power. With the power of computers, people can explore the world from the core of the earth to Mars in outer space. Humans and computers will work together to modify the earth into an ideal place for all living creatures.
Comparing desktop computers to laptop computers, desktops are more stable, more powerful and more reliable; on the other hand, laptops are smaller, lightweight and portable. The decision of selection is based on economic measurement and the true need for the performance. Computers have incredible impacts on our society and civilization; computers change our world in every major way. The future will lead us to a better and brighter world.
Mary Bellis. Inventors of Modern Computer: The First Freely Programmable Computer invented by Konrad Zuse. Website: http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa050298.htm
Mary Bellis. Inventors of Modern Computer: The ENIAC I Computer - J Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. Website: http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa060298.htm
BBC News. 2004, December 9. Laptops may damage male fertility.
Desktop computer vs. Laptop computer
Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope
When deciding between purchasing a desktop computer or a laptop computer, you'll need to consider a handful of criteria and make a determination that fits your needs the best. Below is a chart that compares the two types of computers, providing pros and cons for each to help you make a more informed purchasing decision.
|Cost||There is a wide variety of component options available for desktops, allowing for a large range of prices, but the starting point is relatively cheap. Desktops can start as low as $400 for a full package (computer & monitor) and still be a pretty powerful system.||Laptops can have a fairly wide variety of component options, but they are more limited than desktops. To get a more powerful laptop (higher speed, better graphics, more storage space, etc.), the price can be considerably higher, ranging up to $1500 or more, depending on the brand.|
|Portability||Desktops are large in size and have a separate monitor. While it's possible to take a desktop from place to place, it's cumbersome and not the choice for portability. They are designed to be used in a single location and not moved around much, if at all.||Laptops are very portable due to their compact size. They were designed to be taken from place to place, carried in a backpack or laptop carrying case. They are great for on-the-go use.|
|Processor||Desktop processors are a little bit larger in size, but this also means the desktop processors can be more powerful than laptop processors. New, advanced processors on the market are typically available in desktop computers first.||Laptop processors have nearly caught up to desktop processors, but are still limited when compared to desktop processors. Gaming laptops can have an equal performance, but have a much higher price.|
|Ease of assembly||Setting up a desktop takes a bit of extra work to hook everything up, start it up, and begin to use. It also requires more space to set up. While it's not difficult to connect everything together, it is still more cumbersome than a laptop.||Laptops are built to be easy to use, requiring little time to get running. Take it out of the box, plug it in and press the power button. Within minutes, the laptop is ready to use.|
|Keyboard||Desktops can make use of full size keyboards, including a number pad. There are really no limitations.||Smaller laptops with the 14" and 15" screens typically have smaller keyboards and don't feature a number pad on the right side. Larger laptops with 17" screens do have larger keyboards and may include a number pad, but the laptops are bulkier and heavier.|
|Screen size||Desktop monitors can be 15" or larger. It is even possible to hook up a desktop to a TV, so screen sizes could be as large as a TV. This provides for great flexibility on what the desktop is used for and in what environment.||Since portability is a big feature of laptops, smaller screen sizes are necessary and screen sizes typically range from 10" to 17". However, a laptop can still be connected to an external display and support any size of monitor, screen, or projector.|
|Upgrading||Most components in a desktop are easily removable, making it easier to upgrade and since desktop cases are usually much bigger they're easier to work in when doing any upgrading.||Memory and hard drive are about the only components that can be upgraded in a laptop. The remaining components are either built-in and not removable or the laptop is not designed to work with an upgraded version of a component. A need to upgrade anything other than the hard drive and memory usually requires a new laptop.|
|Gaming||Desktops are capable of using high-powered video cards that have higher power requirements and require better heat reduction/dissipation. Due to the space in a desktop and the capability of using 1000+ Watt power supplies, virtually any video card could be used in a desktop, including two or more video cards at the same time.||Physical space is limited in a laptop, which can limit the graphics capabilities. While higher-end laptops can provide better than average graphics for gaming and CAD-based applications, the heat reduction/dissipation is limited by the space in the laptop case. Power is also limited which doesn't allow for video cards needing those higher amounts of wattage to run.|
|Repair||Repairing a desktop computer is much easier since most of the hardware can be easily purchased off the shelf of any local computer retail store.||For most users opening a laptop to repair a part can be difficult and finding a replacement part often requires calling the computer manufacturer or ordering from another online site.|
In the end, the final decision depends on what your needs are. While the above chart may make it look as though Desktop computers are the best overall option, if portability is a big need of yours, the laptop is the best option. There are some limitations to consider, but they are not overly significant for most users.
However, if you want the most bang for your buck and portability is not necessary, a desktop is likely the best choice especially if price is important. Desktops are optimal choices for graphic intensive gaming, use of CAD applications, and for those who prefer to have the option of upgrading more easily. However, they are also perfectly fine for the basic computer user who just needs e-mail and Internet access.