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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 May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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