Notebook Computers

Notebook computers and desktop computers both serve their purposes, but in vastly different capacities. While notebook computers are built around their portability, desktop computers focus on raw power and productivity.  It’s often said that you get what you pay for, but in comparing notebooks and desktops this isn’t necessarily true.  Part of the cost of the notebook is in the specialized parts that enable it to be so small in the first place.

Notebook computers feature integrated circuitry, which can be a convenience for the travelling professional.  Most models come with both telephone modem and networking connections, in addition to WiFi support.  This alone allows the business traveler to connect to the Internet almost anywhere they go, as most hotels today offer Internet access through at least one of the three aforementioned methods.  Notebooks are generally designed in the mid-range as far as computing power goes, and usually can see improved performance with a memory upgrade.  In addition, with the use of multiple USB ports, there are many accessories that can be used with a notebook, including a mouse, printer, webcam, etc.

The downside of notebook computers is simply the computing limitations placed on them by the compact size.  While computer processors are becoming more and more advanced, notebook processors still have to fit into a small space.  All CPUs generate an exceptional amount of heat, and this is the primary challenge for notebook designers.  Because the battery and hard drive also generate heat when a notebook is in use, cooling the system is a priority.  Under frequent and daily use, it becomes almost necessary for a notebook user to purchase a cooling pad to help stop the unit from overheating.  Any overheating of the CPU can compromise its effectiveness and can even damage the unit if the computer shuts down prematurely.

Desktops are still around because of one thing: computing power.  Let’s face it, they are bulky and require an initial setup which often involves lots of wires and peripherals.  In addition, some things that come integrated in a notebook computer may be add-ons to a desktop, increasing the cost (such as a WiFi card, network card, or webcam.  However, because of their size, they can contain more optical drives than a laptop, as well as more expansion slots which allows the addition of specialty cards such as additional USB ports.  In addition, the extra room allows for extra air flow and built-in cooling fans, typically eliminating any cooling issues.  Higher end gaming models sometimes feature water-cooling systems to provide extra cooling to the video and processing components.  Desktop models also typically support more memory than a notebook model, simply because there are more memory expansion slots available, again derived from the extra size.  So while the desktop model is definitely not a portable device, it can outperform most, if not all, notebook systems.

Dollar for dollar, notebook computers cost more than desktop models for comparable computing power.  In other words, you will get more bang for your buck if you choose a desktop model.  However, if portability is a requirement, then obviously the notebook is your choice.  In addition, because of its compact size, notebook computers often have integrated peripherals, suck as networking cards or video and audio circuits.  Because of this, notebooks are less than optimal for gaming considerations.  Because of this, most gamers will choose a high-end desktop setting, seeking raw processing and superb video power. Business professionals, however, will likely be better off choosing a notebook computer, despite the fact they will get less computing power than a desktop.  Portability can trump power under the right circumstances.