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Difference between Desktop and Laptop

Difference between Desktop and Laptop


A desktop is a physical computer unit with a graphical user interface running on a software operating system. Generally, it consists of a monitor, CPU, keyboard, and mouse. Mainly, it is designed to use in one place. The most common component of a desktop computer is the computer terminal, which is powered by a grounded electrical source known as a wall socket. It cannot be portable, and as it needs the main power supply and has separate parts connected to make up the Desktop unit; thus, it usually resides at one location.


A Laptop, often known as a Notebook, is a computer (All-in-one compute) that is tiny in size and runs on batteries or AC power. Once a battery is charged, it offers the laptop the power supply for several hours. The laptop is different from the Desktop in terms of transport; it can be transported easily anywhere and used easily while traveling as long as the battery lasts. It includes a built-in monitor (LED or LCD screen), touchpad (or trackball), and keyboard that make it portable. It also allows users to use external peripherals by providing different cable connections.

When it comes to buying a desktop or a laptop computer, you will need to know about the features, advantages, or disadvantages of both desktop and laptop computers through which you can determine what best fits your needs. Below is given a table that contains pros and cons for each to help you out to make your purchasing decision.

Topic Desktop Laptop
Processor Despite the fact that desktop processors are more powerful than laptop processors, they are slightly larger in size. Often on the market, the latest processors are available first in the desktop computer. Although laptop processors are still limited as compared to desktop processors, they are very close to desktop processors. However, gaming laptops can have the same performance as desktop computers. But these laptops are much costly.
Cost There is a various range of prices available for desktop, but the starting point is comparatively cheap. However, there is a wide variety of component options available such as desktops can start with a price as low as $400 for a full package that still can be a powerful system for users. Laptops are also available on the market at a different-different price, but as compared to desktops, they are more limited. If you want to buy a powerful laptop that contains better graphics, higher speed, much storage space, better processor, good display, and more, it can be much priceable, ranging up to $1500 or more, depending on the brand
Internal storage Several internal drives may install on desktop computers. For only one internal drive, laptop computers usually contain space. The drive must be replaced if more internal storage is needed.
External storage Desktop computers allow users to attach to various external drives through their available data ports like USB, Thunderbolt, and more. Although a laptop has fewer ports as compared to a desktop computer, it also allows users to connect to multiple external drives.
Portability Desktops need the main power supply and having separate parts connected to make up the Desktop unit; thus, it is cumbersome and not the choice for portability and usually resides at one location. They are designed to not be moved around much and used in one place. Laptops are small in size, can be transported easily anywhere. It includes a built-in monitor (LED or LCD screen), touchpad (or trackball), and keyboard that make it very compact in size. Hence, they are very portable. They are designed to take from one place to another and used for on-the-go.
Ease of assembly To start a desktop computer, it takes a bit of extra work to attach all devices like monitor, CPU, keyboard, mouse, etc. Also, it can take some time and need more space to set up. Although it needs only once to set up and is not more difficult to set up everything, it is still more cumbersome as compared to a laptop computer. Laptops need little time to get running and are designed to be easy to use. They use batteries or AC power for running. They can be used easily while traveling as long as the battery lasts. To start it up, simply take it out from the box and press the power button (if the battery is charged); it is ready to use within minutes.
Screen size The desktop monitor might be 19" or greater in size. As a result, the screen sizes may be as large as a television, and a desktop could even be connected to a television. The portability is the most important feature of laptops; they also include LCD or LED in terms of display but are in small screen sizes, often ranging from 10" to 17".However, an external display can also be connected to a laptop, and it has the ability to support any size of screen, monitor, or projector.
Keyboard A full-size keyboard, including a number pad, can be used with a Desktop computer. In this case, there are no limitations. With laptops, a smaller keyboard can be found with a smaller laptop with the 14" and 15" screens that do not have the feature of a number pad on the right side like a full-size keyboard. However, 17-inch laptops with a bigger keyboard and possibly a number pad are also available. But these laptops can be heavier in weight.
Speed In terms of speed and performance specifications, although both laptops and desktops are becoming more similar. Still, the desktop is considered more powerful when thing comes to the activities like gaming and video production. There are several categories of laptops. A gaming laptop can offer the same speed and performance as compared to a desktop computer. But it can be much costly than a Gaming Desktop. If you need the computer only for basic purposes like photo viewing, internet usage, you can go for a standard Laptop that will be perfectly suitable for you.
Power Usage As compared to a laptop, Desktop computers consume more power. They require a high-power wattage power supply as it contains a monitor and multiple components. If you are working on a desktop computer and the power fluctuates or goes out, the document can be lost if it is not saved. As compared to a desktop computer, laptop computers consume less power. It needs less power as it contains small components. It is better than desktop in terms of power fluctuations; they have a battery, so unsaved work will not be lost if power fluctuates and goes out. When power fluctuates or goes out, the laptop battery kicks in immediately.
Gaming The high-powered video cards can be used on the desktop, which needs better heat reduction and has higher power requirements. Virtually any video card can be used on a desktop, and two or more video cards can be used at the same time. Thus, they offer better performance for gaming purposes. Laptops have limited physical space that limits the graphics capabilities. In the laptop case, the heat reduction is limited by the space, and higher-end laptops can offer better performance as compared to average CAD-based applications and graphics for gaming. Because they have restricted power, they do not allow video cards that require more watts to run.
Upgrading Desktops are easier to upgrade as most components are removable. The desktop offers more room inside to use tools, organize cables and add and remove hardware. Hence, the cases of a desktop are larger. In the case of a laptop, the only components that may be upgraded are the RAM and hard drive. All other components cannot be removed as they are built-in. The laptop, unlike desktop computers, is not designed to work with upgraded components. Except hard drive and memory, if any other component needs to upgrade that led to require a new laptop.
Repair As, there is various hardware required to connect externally to make a desktop unit. The separate hardware makes it easier to repair the desktop computer as users can purchase most of their own hardware self from any local computer retail store. With a laptop, it can be difficult for most users to open it for repair. In addition, finding a new part frequently necessitates calling the computer maker or ordering from another internet site.

Ultimately, the final decision depends on the user requirements what they need. But the above table represents; if you do not have a problem with portability, desktop computers are the best overall option. On the other hand, the laptop is a better option if you need portability. There can be confusing to choose the computer for users as there are some limitations to consider it. But for most of the users, they are not overly significant.

However, if you do not really need portability and want the most bang for your buck, a desktop is likely the best choice. Desktops are optimal choices for those who like to have the option of upgrading more easily. Also, better for graphic intensive gaming and the use of CAD applications. Additionally, the basic computer users who have only limited uses or only need e-mail and Internet access can choose desktop computers; they are perfectly fine for these kinds of users.

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