Laptop vs Desktop

"Ray, I need a new computer, what do you think I should get?"

I hear that question....often. The answer may be simple for some, but most people do not realize how cheap they can get a decent computer or laptop...which brings me to another question I often hear: "Should I get a laptop or desktop?"

There are many websites out there that compare computers and most are just trying to get people to purchase their brand. In my opinion, all manufacturers are better than they were 5 yrs ago. I personally have 2 Dell desktop computers. One is about 4 months old, the other is 7 yrs old. I am not promoting Dell, but I never....not at all....had to call someone at Dell about my computers. They just "work".

In saying that....most people just need to find a computer that fits what they need to do with it. Now for the purposes of this post, I am going to stick with Dell because I use them at home so I can help someone choose the right model for what they need. There are basically 3 different types of people that need a computer:

1) The college student
2) The parents/grandparents or computer beginner
3) The gamer

I'll give a brief breakdown of what each group should purchase but of course, each group has its people that actually fall into more than one group.

1) The college student: Usually, a laptop is the best decision for a college student. Why? Because they will always be studying somewhere. Whether at work or the library, most places these days have wireless Internet access so they can connect to the Internet if need be. Besides that, laptops are portable and easy to carry anywhere. The college student generally does not need a high powered processor or extra RAM. Just the basics. Here is the laptop I would recommend to a college student:

Dell Inspirion 1525

2) The parents/grandparents or computer beginner: This group is also simple....although they probably need a desktop instead of a laptop. Again, unless the parents are into gaming or other graphic intensive things, a simple desktop will do. Here is my recommendation:

Dell Inspirion 530

3) The gamer: This group is a fun one. People in this group could range from kids to adults and vary from all different types of games including online gaming. To play a PC game, your computer should be maxed out in all areas as much as you can afford at the time. I recommend purchasing a desktop, not a laptop for gaming, even though there are some companies that sell "gaming laptops", its not the same. Video cards are still not the best in laptops. Most games are so memory and graphic intensive that a gaming computer will need to have the best available at the time of purchase. Of course, there comes a huge price for this...but hey, if you are willing to spend this much to play games and you love doing, why not? Splurge if you can. Here is what I would recommend to a PC gamer:

Dell XPS 720

Ok, well that sums it up for deciding to purchase a laptop or desktop. Like I said, the above list is just general. There are more questions I ask people before making a recommendation but at least whoever is reading this will have an idea of what to look for.

RChase Computer Consulting recommends Dell PCs with Microsoft Windows Vista.


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