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Desktops vs Laptops vs Netbooks

Updated on February 18, 2013

What each one option means

Each one model is an option for the user who wants to buy it. Think of it this way, you want to buy a computer and are given 3 different choices but each choice delivers a different capacity and function to complete a different purpose. A desktop, for example, serves for the use of heavy work loads and offers the tools needed to perform more advanced and prolonged taks. A laptop, on one hand, is sometimes a version of a desktop (the Apple "iMac to go" iBook) which has less docking capabilities and smaller mobile components. Laptops are more designed to have reliable and good power on the go serving the purposes of having a convenient way to work around as you move. On the other hand, netbooks are smaller versions of laptops sometimes (Dell mini) that are even lesser than a laptop and have much less power and upgradable components but are quite smaller and have more portability.

Be specific on what you want before you go shopping

When comparing choices between a desktop, laptop, or netbook it becomes much easier when you think of a computer first and then see what the three options have to offer for you. For example, say a given customer wants an Intel core i5 computer with decent graphics, bluetooth, and capable to support over +4GB of ram and other future upgrades. Then this customer should be as specific as possible and add what features he wants to the list, then see what each option has to fulfill his list.


Desktops computers are the main idea of a computer. Laptops and netbooks came after the large big computers first used. For me, i prefer a desktop computer because of the much more ergonomic work place, the vast docking capacity, and lower operating temperatures, and the almost endless ways to upgrade almost every single internal component.

As for the description above, a good desktop candidate will be the HP Pavilion, 4GB of ram, 500GB hard drive for about $269 on the local best buy store. I do not recommend HP laptops mostly the Pavilion DV series because those models break down pretty quickly. But also based on my own experience HP desktops are strong a reliable.

One of the reasons why laptops are convenient is because you can travel and carry it with you over long distances or just around the house and can work without a power supply source other than the battery for some hours. In addition to that, laptops can turn to desktops with the help of a docking station that will supply power to the computer and provide additional external usb and other connecting ports. That, however, is yet not having a chance to stand against the larger full size desktops. Laptops will work on their original specs, cooling systems, and other internal components that are limited compared to the full desktops that were designed to perform the job. Often the mother board of a desktop will support much more ram, hard drive, and graphics than the motherboard of a laptop.


Following the example above, say the above customer decided to purchase the intel core i5 Dell Inspiron. For about $320 a Dell Inspiron 15" screen, 4GB of ram, 64 bit processor, 500GB hard drive, dual core intel, and intel graphics is the best model to fulfill this option. I personally like Dell computers because they are one of the best looking laptops with switching lids that are endless in color and combinations. I prefer the 14" Dell laptops beaucse that is the perfect size for a laptop, neither too small to work on it nor too large to make it just perfect for transporting.

When a laptop is the best deal?

Laptops are quite better than desktops in one sense, is not half the power of a desktop but just a little less capabilities which means there is stable and decent power on a laptops as well, and when combining that to the fact that they can rely on all day batteries, have endless cases, color switching lids, stick on decals, and hundreds more accessories than traditional desktop computers, laptops become the most interesting and attractive option above the other two.

Please note that the above prices were taken from a local Best Buy store and prices may vary from store to store.


Netbooks are less powerful and slower versions of laptops designed for basic tasks and mostly for basic purposes. The regular and most common processor for Netbooks is a Intel or AMD Atom which i have used before and i have to be honest is not meant for working on my regular basis. Multitasking is no possible and large programs or other windows versions, besides starter editions, are not possible.

I am not a fan of this computers and never consider them as one of my options. There are, however, some models that do bring quite a bit of power for a Netbook their size. The Apple Macbook Air 11" will be the best option in this case for the user


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    • keirnanholland profile image

      pulled name 5 years ago from nowhere

      Also be careful about the CPU architecture, I got a Intel dual core laptop (this was 5 years ago), and the core2duos were popular. The Dual core was not a 64-bit processor, so it lacked the shared cache between the cores which was what the Pentium D line lacked, but the Pentium D's were 64-bit. Pentium D's run hotter, and they are only as fast as Core2Duos anyhow. The Core2Duos are based on the Pentium 3 line, so each core is like a Pentium 3 processor, and they lack hyper-threading. The i-core line uses a shared cache and hyper-threading. Hyper-threading permits sections of a core to be used when other parts are being utilized, it's why the Pentium Single-HT processors had a virtual second core, that was the hyper-threading core. If you have a i7 and you look at your task panel, you will see 8 cores, 4 of those are virtual (HT cores).

    • keirnanholland profile image

      pulled name 5 years ago from nowhere

      I've had them all, and I think each is great except for the netbooks, they are cute but my netbook just collects dust.. It was made before the touch screen iPad, and so it's just a harder to control laptop because it is so small.. But for a child it is probably just right, if you want to learn to program in privacy. The Laptop I prefer for coding, and plan to get soon, is the (formerly IBM) Lenovo line with the TrackPoint controller (the joystick like nipple in the center of the keyboard). That thing is amazing for coding, my hands don't need to leave the keyboard, and I use my thumbs to perform left/right click. I think it's the laptop Mark Shuttleworth prefers.

      Laptops are all self-contained, and it's good to get one that is modular where you can swap out parts, like the Lenovo thinkpad line. If you need to upgrade you usually can find parts on ebay. But it's a challenge to replace things like the LCD screen and keyboard (not much different than taking a vacuum sweeper apart, but more delicate.

      What I like about iPAD's is how the design is limited to force people to think about using the device creatively and not getting lost in the understanding of computers to be spending too much time dealing with say the filesystem or managing background processes. Also because there is no real multitasking (its limited), you have a longer battery life and when the iPad is put in screenlock, the CPU can be stepped down, saving power. Coolest thing ever, the iPAD uses no more than 3 watts, that's like 1/100 times the power consumption of a desktop machine.

      Also mobile devices and laptops are huge enablers overseas. I was romancing a korean girl in uzbekistan, because I was lonely and well on a dating service she contacted me and such. I got her a webcam because I was not sure what she actually looked like. Then she said in the computer cafe where she was the webcam was drawing attention away, and the manager of the cafe said "I could get in trouble for letting you use that". So I sent her my old Thinkpad laptop which had a builtin modem, she was able to get a Internet connection, and we could cam as long as we wanted to.. But then her sister started using it, and then her family, she then used it to obtain the paperwork to move to Russia because she was born there and she could claim her citizenship, so she did.. I never did meet her in person, something I'm kicking myself, because Korean women are damn sexy and she was.. But I can write it all off on knowing a foreign culture a little bit, knowing there is 400,000 Korean people living in Uzbekistan. It's amazing what a little machine can do.

    • profile image

      VernonDudley 5 years ago

      All I can think is please dear God, move that smoothie!


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