Mobile vs. Desktop computing
Analyze where you are when you need a computer. If you spend most of your day away from home and you don't work in an office, you may find it preferable to buy a laptop computer. If you often work in hotel rooms, coffee shops, libraries, or customer offices, a standard laptop should do. You can get one that will run all the software you need for your job so the type and volume of work you do will be just as good as if you had a desktop computer. If you travel a lot and are away from a place where you can plug in your laptop's AC adapter you might consider one of the battery-efficient netbook computers that are available. Some of these devices can run almost all day on a single battery charge and are great for email, Internet access, and basic productivity tasks such as Word Processing.
If you find that you need to use a computer primarily at home or in your home office, you might consider purchasing a desktop computer. This usually will get you more for your money and give you a lot more options than you'd have with a portable computer. For example, desktop computers are easier to use with multiple displays, so you can see multiple full size windows simultaneously. Desktop computers also are usually a little bit easier to expand and upgrade.
Be sure to give these options careful thought: a great computer won't do much good if you're never around to use it.
Hopefully, you've been able to decide between a laptop and desktop computer, so now you need to identify the things you need to do with your computer. For example, if you are a gaming enthusiast you are going to need to make sure you have the graphics adapter and CPU horsepower that is able to run the latest games.
If you need maximum flexibility for gaming or other specialized uses, you need to make sure that the computer or laptop you choose is able to support additional expansion and upgrades. Such system requirements might even impact your choice between a desktop or laptop computer.
For office work, you can probably get by with a low end desktop PC or laptop. Almost all computers have multi-core CPUs and plenty of memory to run program suites such as Microsoft Office. If you need to run Adobe Creative Suite or CAD, you probably would need something better.
Many people make the mistake of shopping for a computer or laptop by looking at price alone, only to be disappointed by the inability to run all their software. The best approach is to shop with both cost and purpose in mind so you get a computer that will accommodate your needs without busting your budget.
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