Congratulations! Today is your day, you’re off and away. Sorry to get all Dr. Seuss on you, but deciding to buy a new computer is exciting stuff. So you’ve made that decision- now for the tricky part. What sort of a computer?
One of the first questions to ask of yourself is:
Do I want a laptop or a desktop computer?
If you spend a lot of time travelling and like to get your work done on the go, a laptop is obviously the best option, having the edge on desktops in terms of portability. But if you only want portability so you can check Kim Kardashian’s latest sage musings on Twitter, you might be better using a smartphone and opting for a desktop at home. Desktops generally offer better performance at a cheaper price than a laptop. The cost of a laptop is magnified because of the smaller technology involved. You’ll probably pay about twice as much for a laptop as for a desktop computer.
Another thing to consider when looking at the differences between a laptop and desktop computer is your back. The ergonomics of the laptop are problematic when they’re not used correctly. Hunching over a laptop can cause nerve damage and spinal ‘humps’- all the more so if you take the name of the thing seriously and use it on your lap.
Personally, I choose to use a laptop. I like the convenience of being able to take it with me wherever I go, and I often work on my writing in different locations. I have a portable wireless connector that I carry with me so that I have internet connectivity wherever I go. I must admit, I also like that I can turf my daughters out of the living room to watch 101 Dalmations on my laptop while I watch The Farmer Wants A Wife the 7:30 Report. But my close friends have a fantastic desktop computer, which works well for them given that they’re both academics and do a lot of marking and prep at home. When they’re not at home, they’re using their work computers, so the need for a laptop is not really there.
If you take some time to figure out what your requirements are, you shouldn’t have too much trouble settling on the right computer option for you.