Laptop or Desktop Computer – Which One do you Prefer and Why?

- July 29, 2017

laptop and desktop computer Laptop or desktop computer? I read a lot of responses to a similar question on Quora but I didn’t leave a comment.

There’s more to consider than hardware. What about the operating system? What about the software you absolutely need?

In some cases, the software will dictate the hardware. In other cases, it’s the other way around.

Laptop or Desktop Computer

What you and I call a laptop, others call a desktop. Especially when you view hardware metrics. They don’t differentiate between those two platforms.

Personally, I prefer using a desktop computer. I prefer a screen larger than what you find on the largest laptop. I’m a touch-typist, so I prefer a wide keyboard I don’t have to look down at.

I’m using a laptop now and it’s only because I can’t afford to buy anything to replace it. I have three laptops in my house and this is the only one that works correctly. One is running Windows 10, another is running Lubuntu (Linux) and this one is running Linux Mint as the operating system.

I’ll have to get another computer soon and when I do, it’ll be a desktop computer. It’ll be a minimal machine when I buy it. There are places here in Olongapo where I can subtract certain things and lower my total cost.

I have three desktop monitors in storage. I have an old machine with a video card and a large hard drive. I’ll have the store set it up and then have them remove what I don’t need.

I’ve had the Lubuntu laptop for at least eight years. It came with Windows XP. I’ve had the Windows 10 computer for at least four years. It came with Windows 8. I’ve had the Linux Mint laptop for three years, rapidly approaching four. It came with Windows 8 as well. I replaced the batteries in two and the hard drive in one.

I’ve noticed that the “maximum time before failure”, or MTBF, for most computer components is five years. I don’t want to wait for another failure.

Software and Hardware

An example is the Chromebook. It’s a laptop configured to run the Google version of the Chromium OS called Chrome OS. Chrome OS isn’t available separately. CloudReady, also based on the Chromium OS, is similar to Chrome OS and you can install it on a laptop or desktop computer. It’s relatively inexpensive (the home edition is free).

The specifications on the computers being sold change ever year. The beefier it is, the more software it can run. The last time I checked, a good laptop usually comes with four gigs of memory. You can’t usually upgrade a laptop. You can usually upgrade a desktop computer, regardless of specs.


Until few years ago, a laptop was the computer for people who were always on the go. Based on statistics alone, more people now use cell phones and tablets for the same things. Most laptops sit on desks, just like desktop computers, rarely moved.

The modern desktop computer is more compact than the older ones. And easier to get into and replace parts when necessary. Based on how people use laptops these days, getting a desktop computer is probably a better idea.

Many people have skipped the computer thing and gone straight to cell phones and tables. They don’t own or want a laptop or desktop computer. Of those people, a large part of them never would have owned anything at all if smartphones and tablets hadn’t been invented.

Image Attribution: Everything Computers





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Gentleman Jack Darby (2017)

Chromebook for me all the way - inexpensive, secure, fast, simple, and easily replaced at my local Walmart!

Most things that most people do most of the time can be done in the Cloud with a Chromebook - Google Drive for file storage, Minilock for strong data encryption, Google Sheets for spreadsheets, Google Docs for rudimentary wordprocessing, ShareLaTex for sophisticated documents, YouTube for basic video editing, Spotify and Amazon Music Library for music, JADE and Google Drive for SQLite databases, Google Fusion Tables for databases, etc.

E-mail, social media, shopping, music, movies, etc. have been web-based for a long time anyway.

I'm investigating web-based development environments like Cloud9 and Codeanywhere to build my static website and run Jekyll to update it.

Some things that some people do sometimes that can't be done on a Chromebook is more advanced video editing and ripping CDs.

RT Cunningham (2017)

I have yet to see or touch a Chromebook. I left the United States before the first one came out and I haven't seen one locally in the Philippines. They want an arm and a leg for a decent laptop. I can have a desktop machine built (with everything) for half or less. An HP laptop costs around $1000, last time I checked (mostly due to not having competition). That's just too expensive.

Gentleman Jack Darby (2017)

I took a look on Lazada Philippines just to see what's available and there were a couple of reasonable choices.

Chromebooks are gaining in popularity in the U.S. now that people are beginning to realize that it makes a lot more sense to do the heavy processing on the server end instead of the device end.

A lot of people are also getting tired of the constant Windows updates, having to deal with anti-virus, ransomware, and all of the bloatware in Windows.

And let's face it, most people really don't do anything all that sophisticated with a laptop anyway - most of what they do is online so a device optimized for a browser, especially with good hardware (Intel i3 or i5 with 4GB or 8GB RAM and 32 GB SSD) runs rings around a laptop with all of it's overhead.

RT Cunningham (2017)

I actually agree. Most people would do better with a Chromebook instead of a laptop running Windows. I'm saving money to buy a replacement for the laptop I'm using, running Linux Mint XFCE. What I eventually decide to buy depends on cost. I have a limited budget.

I hate Windows with a passion and the only reason I'm running it on one laptop is because that's what it came with. The screen on it is on its last leg, changing colors all the time. Sometimes I see vertical red lines on it. The battery needs to be replaced. My wife bought that laptop in 2011 or 2012 but I didn't use it at all until 2012. It was cheap, under $500.The one I'm using, I bought in 2014, for less than $300. I already replaced the hard drive in it, which wasn't easy.

I would like to go with a desktop tower if only to use some of the components I have stashed away in storage. I have two 19-inch monitors and a 21-inch monitor to choose from. I have a video/sound card that I pulled out of my last desktop tower. I can cannibalize the hard drive and possibly more. I can probably go with just a case, motherboard and power supply unit and put the rest in myself. I can get a setup like that from Lazada for about $200.

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