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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 06/04/2012 01:14 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 06/04/2012 01:15 PM
Expires: 01/01/2017 12:00 AM

“Should I Get a Laptop or a Desktop PC?”~by Blair Wiley of Wiley Computer Works

Buying a new computer is a bit like buying a new car. The various options, opinions and possibilities may seem fun to some people, but it may seem daunting to others. You can shop to your heart’s content and enjoy the thrill of the search-and-acquisition, or you can ask for expert guidance because rather than fun, it can be confusing – and it most likely is. You can also do both, meaning ask for advice and then go shopping on your own....

Which features are worth buying and which should be avoided? It doesn’t hurt to ask the person who has to set it up and keep it running for you over the years, like asking your auto mechanic about a car.

So, the first thing to decide is whether to get a laptop or a desktop pc. Each has its own advantages, and you’ll need to determine which would best suit you now. A laptop is portable, and a desktop is generally more productive because it has an easier-to-use keyboard, mouse and monitor, and it’s more expandable, too. (Get a full-width case to keep your options open on a desktop! You’ll see why in a later article.)

It’s sometimes preferable to have your own desk space where you can sit and work with all of your stuff – a station with a convenient keyboard, mouse and monitor for fewer bottlenecks to your productivity. It would also have your printer and your stored papers nearby. This is a station where you can be highly productive for a time, and then you can get up and walk away for a time, as well. You can have dual monitors to enhance your multitasking greatly, and headphones to enhance your audio enjoyment or privacy. It’s your own space with your comfortable desk and chair with your familiar surroundings and view.

At such a work station as this, you might prefer to have a desktop pc as the engine powering your work environment. Even though you can connect a more productive keyboard, mouse and monitor to a laptop, you’d have to connect and remove them every time you move your laptop, plus a desktop computer can generally store a lot more stuff and has an available safety factor not found in laptops (which is a mirrored drive to reduce risk of hard drive crashes). The difference in storage is increased by a great new development that I’ll recommend for laptop computers in a later article (which is a solid state drive for greatly increased speed and drop-proof-ness, but it has lower storage space, although it’s usually enough).

A laptop computer, on the other hand, can go everywhere with you in an easy carrying case, and can wait in your car until you might need it. You won’t have files you’ve forgotten at home, or programs you wished were installed like at the office. It will all be travelling with you. While smart phones, tablets and iPads are incredibly convenient for email, for web browsing and for game playing, they don’t replace the productivity of a portable laptop when you need it. And if you get a laptop with a solid state drive, your laptop will turn on and off in a matter of seconds (about 15 seconds), so you’ll never dread having to wait for it to start up for a quick task.

Many people have both a laptop and a desktop, since they both have their own advantages. Plus, if one crashes, you still have the other.

So once you decide on the first matter – whether to get a laptop pc, a desktop pc, or both – then we can discuss the options and hear my recommendations on it.

In the next article I’ll cover what to look for when purchasing a laptop pc. After that, I’ll cover desktop pcs. Until then, if you can’t wait, start with getting the Intel i5 or i7 processor in either kind of computer. More details to come.

Blair Wiley

Wiley Computer Works 209-768-2354

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