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Desktops vs. Laptops: Does Using a Desktop Still Have Benefits?

Desktops vs. Laptops: Does Using a Desktop Still Have Benefits?

Desktop sales have been plummeting, and some experts predict that we will eventually replace PCs altogether with smartphones and tablets. However, it is important to consider your current computer needs before you definitely decide to purchase a laptop instead of a desktop. This is due to the fact that in some cases, desktops still rule.

1. Price Comparison

Laptop prices have been continuously falling throughout the past several years, and it is now possible to get one for less than $200. However, most experts agree that it costs at least $399 to get a laptop with any real power, and the price can shoot up dramatically when you add on more memory, a faster processor and a better graphics card. Desktops are usually the better deal when you compare power and other specs, especially if you already have a monitor. It is important to note, though, that specialty desktops can still cost more than $1,000.

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2. Power Needs for Special Functions

One of the biggest perks associated with purchasing a desktop computer is that they typically offer more power for a lower price. This becomes particularly noteworthy for people who will be using their computer for photo editing, gaming and video editing. Additionally, laptop screens are getting progressively smaller, and this may not suit your needs if you will be utilizing your computer for special functions. After all, video games are more immersive on a larger screen.

3. Portability Issues

It is undeniable that laptops and even tablets are far and away the best choice for people who require easy portability. Some people will link their desktop to a device with better portability so that they can access their files from anywhere, but this still requires an investment into at least two devices instead of just one. Therefore, if you need to be able to quickly and easily take your computer with you wherever you go, it will be best to purchase a laptop.

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4. Component Variations

Laptop manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to make their products lighter, more efficient and less expensive, but this comes with some pros and cons for consumers. For example, many of the newest laptop models do not come equipped with components that were previously standard such as a DVD drives. You can hook up an external drive, but this reduces your portability.

According to industry expert and Marketing Director Michael Bi of Shopping Express, this is creating a consumer divide:

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“Although younger users are eagerly adopting a streaming and cloud storage approach, there are many consumers who still wish to use their physical DVD and CD-Rs. As a result, desktops have actually seen a slight resurgence during the past two years, and sales will most likely continue to grow.”

5. Out of Box Usage

If you want to be able to pull your new computer out of the box and get started almost instantly, then a laptop is definitely the right choice. You will still need to go through some basic setup steps, but laptops have a large out of box usage advantage because you do not need to hook up multiple components.

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6. Keyboard Comparisons

Desktops naturally come with a better keyboard because they are larger and offer more room for nice extra features such as the side numeric keypad. This is very useful for people who frequently type numbers because it is more intuitive than the top numeric design. Of course, you do have the option of purchasing a separate keyboard or even just a side numeric keypad that can be hooked into your laptop. As with any other external add-on, these extras will reduce portability.

7. Upgrading Options

Almost every component within a desktop can be removed and upgraded with ease. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for laptops. Instead, laptop owners usually only have the option to upgrade their hard drive and memory. This can reduce the useful life of your laptop, which is something you should carefully consider if you need to get more than two to three years out of your purchase. On the other hand, if you invest in a laptop that has a fast processor and every other component you currently need, it is possible to receive a decent level of performance for several years.

Ultimately, the decision between a desktop and laptop computer should be based upon your most pressing needs. If portability trumps all, a laptop will be the wisest choice. However, if you desire power, a DVD drive or a large screen for the best possible price, you may need to invest in a desktop instead. Either way, make sure that you take proper care of your computer to make sure that you get the most out of your purchase.

Featured photo credit: Image Catalog Public Domain via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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