Which is right for you – desktop, laptop or tablet?

Today there is a huge range of different types of personal computer available and today's computer buyer is spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which machine works best for them. However, before splurging on your next machine, you should spend some time working out which type of computer will be the best fit for you.

As a starting point, you should always think about how you use a computer and consider the type of computing tasks you do most. Just like buying a car, the practicalities of what you need a computer to do should always be the criteria when choosing your next machine.

Portability – the main difference between desktops and laptops/tablets
It should go without saying, a desktop machine with its tower design and external screen simply isn't a practical choice if you need portability in your computing. Rather, the smaller design of a laptop with its built-in keyboard and screen or just a tablet with its keyboard/screen combination should be your go-to choice if you need to go mobile.

The argument for desktops when it comes to running power apps
Not so long ago, desktops held the crown when it came to storage and processing power, but with the massive advances made in HDD storage, smaller chips and minute processors, today's higher-spec laptops are now more than capable of performing tasks that were once only possible on desktop machines.

Moreover, if you embrace cloud technologies, you can remove the burden of processing and storage requirements from your local machine and instead pull on the power and space of remote servers.

Given these considerations combined, you would be forgiven for thinking that desktops simply aren't a viable choice for most computer buyers. Indeed, this notion is borne out by recent studies that show laptop sales have eclipsed desktops for more than a decade. Furthermore, by 2023, global laptop sales are forecast to top 171 million compared to just 77 million desktops.

The difference in price
In truth, it would be hard to claim any particular type of computer offers the best value as systems vary differently in terms of performance. However, it is true that as the demand for portable devices has grown, the price for this laptop tech has tumbled. The days of laptops being considerably more expensive (yet underpowered) in comparison to desktop machines are long gone and it's now possible to pick up some great laptop deals if you search online.

Scalability and upgrades
One area where desktops still reign supreme is when it comes to upgrading components or replacing faulty parts. The current trend for single-form encased laptop designs makes them almost impossible to upgrade – well, certainly for the typical user who lacks the skills to dismantle a laptop anyway.

If you're looking to tinker with the inner workings of your machine to make upgrades or add additional components, a desktop is the only logical choice. Also, while it is true that laptop tech has come a very long way and can handle the majority of tasks required by most people, if you're a power user that works on processor-hungry jobs like video editing or complex 3D modeling, you will likely benefit from having a desktop machine.

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