“Which should I buy, a desktop or a Laptop?”
A question posed many many times for us here at FMCN. These days, for owners not on a network or who have an existing station, the answer is Laptop.
The simple answer is that laptops today have almost the same power and capabilities as a desktop combined with the convenience of mobility so why NOT?
With the exception of high end multimedia and gaming systems, for the business user there is only 1 criteria about picking a laptop over a desktop and that is price.
A cheap laptop with basic functions can be on par with desktop systems ranging from $499 to $1000. For that kind of money you will get laptops that can use an office suite, surf the net, watch DVD movies, dock your iPod and do most standard functions.
The downside is that for that price range a desktop can come with larger display screens, better sound / speakers and some other options including upgradability that a laptop cannot match.
However, that all changes once you get to the next price point. $1000-$2000 can get you a whole new world of large HiDef screens (17-19″), blue ray players, Dolby surround sound and all kinds of extras on your laptop that often means “death” for the less convenient desktop.
One example being the new Dell XPS 16 with a 16″ high def (1080p) edge to edge screen, running core 2 processor with 4gb ram and blueray combo drive.
For around $1100 you can get this power house of a computer which will replace any desktop and maintain all the features you need.
On the other hand the ultra lite “netbooks” have come into their own with smaller, lighter units that are designed for browsing and moderate work.
These units aggresively priced under $500 in most cases offer full Windows (or Linux) systems using the latest in solid state technology for very low heat, noise and long battery life.
They are the opposite of the high end HD big screen laptops and are designed for the mobile professional who wants to check their email on the go, connect to remote applications and still have traditional Windows functions.
These units are of course a slower processor with an 8″ screen and smaller harddrives (120-160gb). However for people on the go who are not worried about visual presentations on stand alone units, these are almost priced in the disposable category.
They do offer external monitor hookups and similar ports as their full sized brothers, but don’t look for speed or loads of features.
So the next time you find yourself at the crossroads of a new computer, give a thought to what you are going to use it for and see if a laptop is for you.
And as a bonus treat to our Mac friends… Apple’s Newest Laptop Release!