by Gary Cox
In 2018 when asking what to look for in a computer we have so many different choices at much lower prices than ever before. So let us start by looking at what is now the typical computer in the home?
PCs, Laptops and All-In-One Computers
Over the years the computer market has undergone major changes and now PC Desktops, All-In-Ones are not as popular as they were and laptops/notebooks have become more popular, this started to occur once they dropped below the magical $1000 price in 2005.
There are now 3 main groups of computers:
- Desktop PC – standard and slimline (also called low profile).
- All-In-One computer such as the iMac or offerings from HP and Dell.
- Laptops (notebooks) and Netbooks (lower powered less weight) units.
What to Look For in a Laptop – What to Look for in a Computer or All-In-One
Here are some tips on what to look for in a laptop or what to look for in a PC – some considerations to weigh up when you are deciding when to purchase a new computer:
- Portability: every computer is a compromise between power and portability. The gaming laptops or desktops tend to be bigger, heavier and more powerful than the standard fare. If portability is required then the obvious choice is a laptop or netbook. Apple MacBooks sell well in portability/weight area as they are light, made of aluminium so therefore very sturdy and thin. Desktops and All-In-ones on the other hand are completely immobile. They need a dedicated area to be setup in.
- Power and Price: More power and usually therefore more price means that more room is required inside the computer to avoid overheating. This is a big killer of computers of any design. If you want power then a desktop would be the way to go. Power consumption in a laptop is generally less than an equivalent desktop. This may not necessarily be the case in some NUC (Next Unit Computing) units which are small cubes often 4x4x2” (100x100x50mm). However the monitor needed or used would take more power than a laptop’s monitor.
- Screen size: Most laptops are in the 11” to 15.6” range. Some do get to 17” but that’s when they stop. A laptop can usually have an external monitor attached so that could help in some cases for people who like the now standard 19” and up monitors. If that is what you require then check that availability before you buy the laptop.
- Flexibility: If flexibility is on your list of what to look for in a computer then a PC is probably best. With a laptop you “get what you purchase”. Other than small changes such as adding more memory (RAM) that would be about it. With desktops you have a vast choice of processors, the amount of memory, several internal Hard Disk Drives or SSDs, more than one DVD/Blu-ray player, choice of video cards and expansion cards. All these latter items are generally unavailable with laptops. If it isn’t built in when you buy it then most likely it’s not available.
- Posture: Experts recommend that the computer screen be at eye level and then the keyboard and mouse be at a different level. All this is impossible to obtain with a laptop at the same time, other than adding external monitors, external keyboards and mice, which then makes the laptop not as portable as it once was.
- Money: Dollar for dollar, a desktop generally beats a laptop in most cases when comparing such items as:
- Processor power
- Memory (RAM)
- Local hard disk or SSD storage
- Graphics power
- Expansion ports
- Screen size
- USB, video, etc. – generally more connections
- DVD/Blu-ray inclusion/availability
- Expandability (can add things which you now discover you need)
- Choice of components
Buying a computer does depend on “horses for courses” in that deciding what and where you want to do you computing will eventually depend on what you purchase. The most popular makes for 2017 are listed below.
The top 6 personal computer vendors for 2017
- Lenovo with 20.7% market share
- HP with 19.4% market share
- Dell with 14.6% market share
- ASUS with 7.6% market share
- Apple with 6.9% market share
- Acer with 6.8% market share
We trust that this blog on what to look for in a laptop or what to look for in a computer helps you in deciding which computer you should buy. It may also interest you to know that we custom build computers which offers you a great deal more choice and can be tailored exactly to your needs.
Call us on 072-898-0362 to answer your questions or to provide Computer and IT Support, we would be happy to hear from you. We at GCComp have the experience and technical knowledge to help your business with your technology issues “We know technology so you don’t have to”.