I remember growing up in the 90’s. A computer used to be one of those expensive, bulky, heavy, and not so good looking white boxes with the 3.5″ floppy disc that was used to save data. I also remember using dial up internet and getting yelled at to get off the internet so that mom could make a phone call, laughing out loud (LOL) with friends on America Online (AOL) instant messenger, Windows 3.1 Operating System (OS), and having the slowest internet speeds imaginable.
Today, it seems that everyone is hooked up with a different type of computer: PC, laptop, tablet, 2-in-1s, etc. Everyone is using Skype, touch screen operating systems that now use Windows 10, and cable companies are offering faster internet speeds. It’s amazing how fast technology changes over the years, and it’s hard to keep up. That’s why we are going to compare you the differences between these new age computers, such as a PC desktop, laptop, tablet, and 2-in-1s.
Personal Computer (PC) or Desktop
A PC is a general-purpose desktop computer equipped with a microprocessor and is designed to run commercial software for an individual user. They are designed to stay in either a home or business office. If you want a gaming computer, or if you need a computer for multimedia use, then you will need a high performing and more expensive PC. If you just need a PC for emails, typing up documents, or using the internet to pay bills online or surf the web, then we recommend buying a cheaper PC.
- They offer the best performance (fastest) and the most storage.
- Built to last and hardly ever break.
- Hardware is easily customizable and upgradable.
- Best for gaming and multimedia.
- Easiest to repair and maintain.
- They are not designed to be portable.
- Most expensive. You also need to buy a monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
- There are a lot of components to hook up and plug in.
A laptop computer is a much smaller and portable version of a PC. It is designed to be placed on your lap when you’re on the go. I personally don’t recommend putting any device on your lap. Some models can get extremely hot! Make sure that the vents are facing away from your lap. Newer models should have vents on the sides of the laptop. If you would like to bring your computer everywhere with you without sacrificing too much performance, then you should consider getting a laptop. Some are decent gaming and multimedia machines!
- Laptops are light and are easy to bring with you wherever you go.
- A monitor, touch mouse, and keyboard are already built in.
- Great for college students.
- The only thing that you need to plug in is the battery.
- Laptops are not as powerful as PCs, and they don’t have as much storage.
- Very difficult to repair. Expect to pay for a professional to repair any damages.
- Batteries need replacing after 4 years.
- Offers very little customization and upgrade options.
Tablets are very thin and portable computers, usually battery-powered, use a touchscreen as the primary interface and input device, and are lacking a physical keyboard and lid. The difference between a laptop and a tablet is its compact size and lack of keyboard and mouse. Everything, from typing to using any program, works by using a touch screen. They work great for traveling.
- Even lighter and more compact than laptops (Think, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, but instead of shrinking people, they shrunk a laptop).
- Easier to bring with you on vacations and business trips.
- Touch screen user interface makes it easier to navigate than a built in mouse.
- Tablets lack the processing power and storage of both PCs and laptops, so don’t expect to play any large games or use your favorite multimedia programs.
- It’s very difficult to back up files. College students beware!
- More difficult to repair than PCs and laptops.
- Hardly any upgrade or customization options.
The hybrids of computers, 2-in-1s are designed to have the processing power and use of a keyboard in a laptop, and the touch screen and detachable option of a tablet. They even go so far as to rotate 180 degrees. These aren’t the best choice for college students due to the fact that they are less durable than laptops, and they are more expensive, but they are fun to use.
- Processing power of a laptop allows you to do more than a tablet.
- The function of a tablet makes it fun and easy to use.
- Display and battery life are a bit better than some laptops.
- Keyboard is great if you don’t prefer to use touch screen.
- Heavier than most thin laptops.
- Can be a little awkward to use at first.
- Not as durable as laptops.
- Lacks customization and upgrades.
- More difficult to repair than PCs and laptops.
Let’s Hear From You!
Which type of computers do you own? Do they each serve a different function? For example, do you have a desktop computer to play your games, but you use a laptop to do your work? Which one is your favorite? Do you prefer one over the other, or do you think they are all the same? Which type of computer (brand or model) would you recommend people to buy?
I remember growing up with a desktop computer in the 1990’s. It was a Gateway PC with Windows 3.1. The specifications to that wouldn’t hold a candle to today’s smartphones, but I still loved that rig. I used to play Colonization, Civilization, Sim City, and Delta Force for hours at a time, which is probably why I eventually pursued a career in city planning.
The first time I used a laptop was when I entered college in 2003. Let’s just say that electronics came along way since then! More importantly, if you are in college, then don’t ever leave your laptop (or other electronic device) unattended and without a login and password. You’ll regret going to class without first checking your laptop to see if someone messed with it!