Laptops have become capacious, fast, affordable and in other words, theyâ€™re great if you work on the move, need a powerful workhorse, or simply want to replace an aged desktop
With more computing power packed into smaller spaces, todayâ€™s laptops have become a serious alternative to their desktop counterparts. About a decade ago, buying a laptop meant sacrificing power for mobility. Not so any more. If youâ€™re looking to upgrade your desktop, there are even more alternatives to consider. There are many niggling doubts that people have about laptops: they break down often, they have poor processors, and so on.
But all studies conducted show that these presumptions are completely unfounded. In fact, desktops malfunction more commonly. In addition to being portable, laptops are increasingly becoming more ergonomic. Even a low-cost laptop is powerful enough to run simple programs like word processors and finance management software, as well as more complicated programs like games with good speed and graphics. Plus, the notebook (Laptop) has a small footprint and comes without the messy cables.
Though the options to expand or upgrade a notebook arenâ€™t aplenty, you can add a net working card, a printer, scanner, joystick, a monitor, speakers, PC cards, more memory, and different options to the drive bay. But before you buy, itâ€™s important to recognize that not all laptops are the same.
If you need the freedom to access constantly, then you would want a laptop that has a long battery life. If you can access an external power source constantly, then maybe screen size is more important.
The recently conducted study by the research firm Gartner is a strong indicator of the rising popularity of laptops. According to the study, the laptop sales grew 99.4% to touch half a million units in the third quarter of last year, also came from home users who had been exclusively buying desktop PCs.
People have come to realize that whether its work, games, music, managing email, or even editing movies, it can all be done on a machine small enough to tuck into a backpack. Pay more for the privilege of portability, but gone are the days when a laptop cost twice as much as a similar desktop model. Laptops today are thin, lightweight, mobile, loaded, and truly portable. Laptop weighs no more than 1.5 to 2 kg, with consideration to any additional accessories one might be hauling along.
A 4.5kg laptop may come with all the bells and whistles. If you simply use Word documents, check e-mail, and surf the web, a mainstream notebook is adequate. Most people looking to replace their desktop system donâ€™t want to sacrifice the essential robust qualities that they have become accustomed to: high-end processing unit, abundance of RAM, hard drive space, and an assortment of peripherals.
If youâ€™re looking for a laptop with higher power, full-blown graphics capability, a DVD burner, wide screen, and wireless capabilities, youâ€™re shopping for the more expensive kind of laptop. Keep in mind, though, that you may not need every feature. But youâ€™ll need to do the balancing act. Firstly, scoop out in the market, learn about the features available on various products, and do a little homework on customer feedback.
You will need to weigh all the pros and cons, like technical specifications and functionality, multidimensional performance capability, the complete package, back up, after sales support, and price in terms of â€œvalue for moneyâ€. Once you have determined use and mobility, you will need to consider the differences between display, graphics controller, memory (RAM), hard disk, removable storage, networking options, peripheral connectivity, sound and battery.
Laptop graphics performance is still inferior to that of desktop machines, so donâ€™t make a direct comparison. The application of graphics is expected less from the laptops due to their widely used portable data storage capacity and referencing.
Laptop memory and storage is another key component in choosing the right laptop for you. If you will be using your laptop as your primary memory and data base, upgrade to the higher capacity models. Choosing a laptop becomes much easier once youâ€™ve decided on these basic requirements.
If you are an average user, youâ€™ll be using an operating system (OS) or two. If you are on a limited budget, donâ€™t look beyond the Acer Travelmate and Aspire series. They are cheaper, and you get your moneyâ€™s worth in terms of processing power, memory, storage, graphics, portability, and connectivity options.
A baseline laptop still costs considerably more than a desktop of equal performance, especially with the more high profile brand names. The notebook has limited expandability especially when comparing it to a desktop computer. One canâ€™t upgrade the sound card, video card, or processor at all.
Further, you canâ€™t upgrade the speakers, monitor, or add extra drives that donâ€™t fit into the drive bay, without losing some, if not all, portability. A laptopâ€™s bus speed is slower (66 or 100 MHz) than some desktops. A few budget desktops can run a bus speed up 133MHz. The bus speed may matter little to the average user, but the difference would become more evident when using a high-powered program.
The best graphics and sound cards are for desktops only. The ability to enjoy a movie on a big screen and a high-end speaker system is greater in a desktop computer. If you were to add these to your laptop, it would no longer be portable. You would be constantly connecting and disconnecting equipment to take your laptop anywhere.
Last word If you are thinking of replacing an existing desktop with a laptop, and clear that mobility is not something that you will need, then just stick with a desktop. Youâ€™ll get better value for money in terms of features and performance. But if you have the extra cash, the laptop drives a strong argument for itself. The additional feature of mobility could still come in handy sooner or later.