Laptop, Desktop, Whichtop? – The Glasgow Courier
The day has arrived to treat yourself to a new computer.
Your old one’s dutifully limped along for half a decade, obediently assisting you with your tax return and playfully withholding the mute button during Zoom calls.
That testy spacebar and scheduling-worthy boot up time have become too much though, and you’ve decided to splurge.
Faced now with a staggering array of choices, how do you pick a PC partner for your next period of technological matrimony?
As it happens, this choice is now even less stressful than it’s ever been.
Before we consider anything else about your potential purchase of a new and shiny box of fans and blinking lights, the most important factor is what you’re hoping to achieve from it.
If you’re simply looking for something which will last a few years of Facebooking and sending the occasional email, it doesn’t befit you to spend thousands of dollars on anything.
Any computer purchase is an investment and like all investments, it should be a smart one.
If budget is your main concern, it’s often cheaper to start out with a laptop; being that they are “all-in-one” so you don’t need to factor in the screen, keyboard, mouse, speakers and even actual desk you would with a desktop solution.
One thing the average user doesn’t have to worry about any longer is the historical drawbacks of each choice.
Desktops aren’t necessarily any faster than laptops for the tasks most of us are completing, nor do they have to take up the massive footprint they used to.
I regularly supply computers to clients which take up no more space than a snoozing chinchilla, with similarly amusing parallels being drawn for the amount of sound and heat they expel too.
The main things to consider here is space, portability and how often you’ll actually be using this machine. It makes little sense to have a permanent fixture of a computer when all you’ll be doing is recipe hunting once a week; you’re much better off with a laptop or even simply a tablet which can be tucked away for the other six days.
What does more expensive get you, then?
Put simply: the ability to do more things quicker and more space to store whatever those things turn out to be.
Photo and video editing, 3D modeling, gaming and performing any complex computations will all have workflows which benefit from faster and greater hardware capacities.
Another place additional dollars equates to more better is when it comes to screens.
Most people I’ve encountered don’t ever use their touchscreens, so that’s a good place to save, but everyone can see and enjoy the benefits of larger and higher quality displays as let’s face it – it’s primarily how you’ll be interacting with anything you buy in this space.
So pick something well suited to you, your needs and your budget.
While all of the products made by the major manufacturers will be reliable and enjoyable to use, online reviews are your friend and offer a somewhat unbiased view into what ownership of any particular model is like.
For home use, I typically tell people to expect between three and five years from their machines before at least starting to think about replacement.
If you rely on your computer for your income, be prepared to replace a little sooner.
In summary what you’re looking for is simply a good fit from your technology. Manufacturers know the kind of people buying their products, so look for benefits laid out in language you understand.
Most of all, enjoy it!
You only get that first unboxing experience once, so savor the satisfaction of peeling off that plastic.
Richard Noble is the founder of Want For Tech, an IT company based in Glasgow.