Laptop, Desktop, or Tablet: Which way is best?

by | Jun 1, 2012 | Technical Help

Are you looking to buy a new computer – but aren’t sure which way to go? Should you buy a laptop, a desktop system, or maybe even a tablet? Well, be sure to weigh all of your options with each system. Once you decide and buy, you want to be sure that you are happy with your choice. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of these three types of systems.


Most people these days are looking to replace their failing desktop computers with new laptops. In theory this is a good idea, but in some cases this may not be the best choice for you.

The pros about purchasing a new laptop:

1. Laptops are mobile. You can go pretty much anywhere you want to and still have access to a computer. This makes them great for work presentations. The laptop’s mobility is the greatest benefit of a laptop.

2. Network connectivity on the run. With a laptop you can usually connect with a wireless network someplace when you are on the move.

3. Useful for presentations, or demonstrations. Laptops are just plain easy to lug around.

4. Laptops run on a battery, so they can be used even when the power is out or unavailable.

Looking at this list sure makes laptops sound like a great choice!

Some of the cons of purchasing a new laptop:

1. Maintenance is difficult. You usually have to hire a professional if something breaks or goes wrong.

2. Parts usually cost more. Since the parts for a laptop need to be smaller, this also makes them more expensive as well as being more difficult to replace.

3. Laptop repair expense. Since repairs need a professional they usually cost more, for the service itself as well as for the parts.

4. On a laptop, everything (in terms of human interfacing) is smaller. What is meant by this is, if you want to use a full size keyboard, you have to own and plug in an external keyboard. This which means you have to carry around a bulky keyboard. This is the same for a monitor or any other external devices.

5. Laptops are typically more expensive than a comparable desktop.

6. Laptops are very easy for someone else to pick up and carry off without your knowledge.

So with all that said, you can see both the benefits and the follies of having a new laptop. In my opinion, if you travel a lot or need to use the same computer in multiple locations, then a laptop may be the answer for your needs. If you just use it at home, then you may find that you are paying more for a laptop than you would for a desktop.


Now let’s take a look at the benefits of desktop computers.

1. With a desktop you get more bang for the buck. If you like to play games, or are a gamer, then a desktop will be the best option. You can get better graphics, better monitors, faster processors, etc. Everything is bigger on a desktop so there is plenty of room to put in some nice features without sending up the cost.

2. Less expensive. A desktop will usually cost you less money for the same or (almost always) better components. Although you can sometimes find a new low cost laptop where the owner wants to sell at any cost, for multiple reasons.

3. Desktops tend to be easier to use. Let’s face it, with a desktop you can purchase a nice keyboard, mouse, desk, etc., built for comfort. A laptop isn’t always comfortable to use, especially if you are in the middle of traveling (by car, bus, plane or ferry).

4. Desktops are easier to upgrade. A desktop is much easier to remove or add components to than a laptop.

5. Desktops are easy to keep track of. In other words, someone usually has to break in to get it.

6. On desktops there is usually more memory and hard drive space than for a laptop.

Those are some pretty good benefits if you ask me. Now what about the cons of owning a desktop?

1. A desktop is stuck in one place. When you use a desktop you have to sit down in the same place to use it. There is no mobility without a lot of hassle moving it and all of its attached components. There are companies that have whole divisions devoted to moving equipment around because of this fact. When it comes to cons of a desktop, mobility is the biggest and about the only one. All other complaints can usually be fixed, or upgraded.

That’s a much smaller list of cons. So, if you are in need of more power in your computer and mobility isn’t necessary, then a desktop may be the best choice for you.

Last but not least we have tablets.

It seems that there is a new brand or model tablet on every street corner these days. So what is so great about these anyway? Well, for this article, I will not be getting into the differences between each tablet. Just remember that when it comes to tablets, there are options as far as the operating system goes. You can go with the Apple based iPad, an Android based tablet, or even a Windows based tablet.

What are some of the benefits of buying a tablet?

1. The number one benefit of a tablet is that they are very portable. Their small, lightweight design makes mobility much easier than a laptop in some cases. Some tablets may weigh just over 1 pound.

2. Tablets are great for multimedia and internet. If you are looking for a device to watch Netflix on or listen to your music, then a tablet is great for this. They are also great for internet surfing.

3. Tablets have tons of apps. I know you have probably heard this before: “There’s an app for that.” And it’s probably true. There are probably thousands of apps available for each tablet platform.

4. Tablets are great for simple games. Have you ever seen Angry Birds? Tablets are great for games such as this.

Now what about the cons of owning a tablet?

1. Tablets aren’t as fast as laptops or desktops. If you are looking for high speed everything, then a tablet may not be right for you.

2. The most important thing to remember is that a tablet is not the same as a desktop or laptop computer. At this point in time, they will not replace either ones full functionality.

3. Tablets break more easily than laptops. Having a touch screen to do all of your tasks can be a nice novelty, but touch screens break. They are more likely to break when dropped, than laptops. Once the screen is broken, the tablet is useless. The cost of replacing a screen can sometimes be more expensive than the tablet itself.

4. No keyboard. Most tablets are going to be touch screen only with no option of a keyboard. Although there are some that do have an option to attach a keyboard, this becomes something else to carry around with you, thus making them more bulky.

So it seems that tablets can be a great toy. At least that is how I view them. Yes they have some great functions, but in most cases, they will not become your one and only computing device.

We have gone over a lot here today. Laptops, desktops, and tablets all have their own benefits and drawbacks. The key here is to decide what your main needs are when it comes to your everyday computing device. All this information can be very overwhelming indeed. If you are looking for a new laptop, desktop or tablet, you can always ask an expert to assist you in your decision. Try each one out, weigh the pros and cons, and then make your best educated decision as to what is going to be the best fit for YOU.

About Preferred Computer Solutions

Matt Burke is the owner of Preferred Computer Solutions (formerly Antrim Computer Repair & Services). He has been in business 2004 and has over 25 years of experience in the computer field. You can contact Matt with any questions that you may have at 603-924-7846 or email him at

Preferred Computer Solutions in Peterborough NH

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