When it's time to buy a new computer, many people first have to choose between a notebook and a desktop system. This choice is easy to make if you know that you need to use the system on the road. However, most people find that they end up using a notebook at a desk in the home or office rarely using it on the road.
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Many people buy a notebook so that they can use it from the couch or at the kitchen table without being tied to the desk or one location in the home. Several of my friends like a notebook because they can use them from the couch while watching TV or browse the Internet. A media center PC will let you surf the net from the couch as well.
There are times when a notebook is definitely the way to go, but for many people a desktop computer could be better for their needs. One key difference is that desktop computers are harder to steal. That can be a big deal in an office where there is foot traffic. That small 15-inch notebook sitting on an unattended desk takes mere seconds to walk out the door. A desktop sitting on the same desk on the other hand would raise some suspicion if a thief started walking out the door with a desktop system under their arm.
Another key difference is that the average desktop can be much more powerful and flexible than the average notebook computer. For instance on many desktop computers you can easily upgrade components like the hard drive, RAM and possibly even the CPU as needed. For the same money, desktop computers are often significantly more powerful than the notebook rivals of the same price range.
A desktop computer of the same price range as a notebook will often have a more powerful processor, more RAM, and a larger hard drive. The more powerful components can make your workday easier and faster by speeding up the computer system as a whole.
The upgradability of many desktop computers is one key feature that many shoppers overlook. There is no way to add more powerful graphics to a notebook should you find after you purchase that you need more power than your notebook offers. With a desktop, you can likely add a new video card, on a notebook you will be looking for a new computer.
Desktops do take up more space than a notebook, but that's not always a bad thing. The average laptop has a 15-inch LCD. With a desktop, you can get much more screen space, which can make you more productive and help reduce eyestrain by offering larger text on many displays.
I have had friends and family ask me about computers before and many didn’t realize that desktop computers can be fitted with wireless network cards. Some computer shoppers mistakenly believe that only notebooks can access wireless networks, which isn’t true.
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In the end, what sort of computer you should buy depends on your needs and your budget. Upgrades are easier and can be less costly for desktop systems. However, there is no chance of taking your desktop with you to work from the road like you can a notebook computer. My opinion is that if you are in an office all day and have the space, go with a desktop. Mobile workers will need a notebook and should go that route.