It’s a rare computer user these days who hasn’t at least considered purchasing a laptop computer. That’s because laptop computers obviously have a lot of advantages over desktop computers. Laptop computers are more portable and can be used just about anywhere.
In fact, some people have bought them more for their portability than for the fact that they can be run off of a battery. In fact many of us have continued to use our laptop computers for years after the batteries completely died. A nice side effect of the fact that laptop computers are designed to be powered off of batteries is that they’re also much more efficient than desktop computers. LCD screens are well known to be less energy intensive than the power hogging cathode ray tube screens that are still used with some desktop computers.
And the fact that most laptop screens are smaller than most desktop LCD screens means that they still consume less power. Since laptop computers have all of their components packed closer together than with desktop computers, they have to generate less heat to keep them from baking each other. In addition to consuming less power, this also means that loud fans that consume extra power aren’t as necessary.
One thing that makes laptop computers much more attractive as time goes by is the fact that the gap in price between them and desktop computers is continuously shrinking. As is the difference in performance. It used to be that a desktop computer cost one half or even a third of what the equivalent desktop cost. Now comparable models can be within a couple of hundred dollars of each other.
There’s less obvious difference in the performance of the two types of machines as well. For example, dual core and 64 bit processors are available in both laptop and desktop computers. As are massive amounts of RAM and hard drive space. Most laptops come equipped with CD burners and many also have DVD burners built in.
The screens that come with laptop computers have also gotten a lot better over the years since the passive matrix LCD screen was the standard. Now many laptops have active matrix high definition LCD screens. At the same time that all of this extra horsepower has been built into new laptops, better processors and battery technologies have increased the amount of time that these machines can operate on battery power.
There are still two areas in which laptop computers can’t compete with desktop computers: ergonomics and expandability. While most people probably won’t notice the difference between a laptop computer and a desktop computer in terms of ease of use, a laptop computer will never be as comfortable to type on as a well set up desktop work station. Also, a laptop’s touch pad will never be as easy to operate as a mouse.
These shortcomings probably won’t be noticed very much except by people who do massive amounts of typing on their computers and devote gamers though. As far as expandability goes, a laptop computer simply doesn’t have as much space for new hardware as a desktop computer. Many laptops have room for additional RAM and various kinds of enhancements that come from PC cards.
Desktops on the other hand have room for additional optical drives, hard drives, modems, and other types of hardware. Of course there is a solution to both the ergonomic and expandability shortcomings of laptop computers. Namely peripheral devices like detachable keyboards, mice, and various kinds of drives; but they obviously decrease the portability of laptop computers and therefore the main point of the devices.
That said, new technology is sure to make laptop computers increasingly usable and therefore attractive for people to buy for a variety of purposes.