Plusses (+)
Minuses (-)
Laptops are portable and can do almost everything a desktop or tower computer can do (see minuses of laptops below). » Desktop or tower computer are not portable (see plusses of desktops and tower computers below).


Minuses (-)
Plusses (+)

Laptops cost more than desktops or tower computers for comparable systems.


Demand and competition drives the prices lower on desktop and tower computers.

If the laptop is your only computer and is dropped, lost, stolen, stops working, hard drive fails, etc., all of your data (in most cases it is irreplaceable) is gone. The longer a laptop is in use (the more of your life you put into it)- the more catastrophic this will be.


Desktops or tower computers (and all of your data) never go anywhere. Your data is always more secure.

Laptops have considerably smaller screens. They are not very bright, lack in contrast and in resolution- all making for poor viewing (especially in natural light). Further, they need to be viewed from straight on and not from the slightest angle (notice how you see people hunched over them).


Desktops and tower computers can have any size and type monitor you like for your viewing needs. Can be viewed from all angles. Much better resolution. Can also get the newer 1" thin LCD panel monitors to save space.

Using the pointing devices on laptops is very tedious, slow and frustrating (both the standard keyboard pencil pointing stick and the touch pad). People get frustrated and wind up adding a regular mouse and sometimes a keyboard (then wind up having to carry it/them around).


The pointing device is the most important and most used peripheral on a computer using Windows as the operating system. You can get any type mouse or track ball you like for your preferences and needs (even cordless) with a desktop or tower computer.

Because of limited space, a laptop does not have expansion slots inside. It must share space for peripherals (CD ROM, floppy drive or backup drive) - usually only one at a time can be used. You have to change them back and forth and wind up having to carry them around with you all the time.


Usually four to six expansion slots are standard on a desktop or tower computer to allow you to add items as you needs and technology grow (example- fast DSL for Internet access, digital camera, networking, scanner, etc.). Also, CD ROM and floppy drives are included as standard.

Laptops are limited in the size hard drives they can hold (data storage space) and fill up fast. You must have multiple smaller drives with different names and paths (which gets difficult to manage).


You can put one large drive (e.g. 30 GB and more) in a desktop or tower computer and everything is always easy to find (in one place).

Laptops cannot be easily upgraded in speed (CPU) or memory (RAM); their design makes it difficult to do so. So you usually wind up having to buy a new laptop if you want or need more speed.


It is easy to install more memory as needed in a desktop or tower computer and pay for it as you go.

Docking stations are unattractive and bulky, with wires coming out of them that will always take up space on your desk, even when the laptop is elsewhere.


Your desk stays uncluttered. Keyboard, mouse or track ball can be hidden with a pullout. The desktop or tower computer can be hidden under or in a desk.

Since laptops are portable, most people plug them straight into an unprotected electrical outlets and telephone lines. They are not protected against power surges and suffer damage.


Most people put a power surge protector on desktop and tower computers and minimize damage.

Service (especially parts) on laptops is more costly, takes longer and harder to find. You do without your computer longer when getting serviced.

» Can find parts easily for a desktop or tower computer. The price and time of service / parts is kept down by competition.
Laptop                                                               Desktop                  

Overall Recommendation:

It is better to always use a desktop computer for you main computer due to the minuses of having a laptop as your only computer (see above).

If you need portability as well, you can supplement a desktop or tower computer with a laptop or a Palm Pilot (see below). This gives you the best of both worlds and minimizes the frustrations and liabilities.

 Palm Pilots (PDAs)  vs. 

     » See Palm Pilots (PDAs) for more detailed information  Go

We all know what a laptop can do. Palm Pilots would not be good for word processing, but they can do Wireless E-mail, Contacts, Phones Books, Appointments, To-Do lists, Notes and more (even maps from the Global Positioning Satellites). They are much smaller and weight a lot less than laptops. They can be clipped onto your belt or put in your wallet, checkbook, coat pocket or purse (these options make them very convenient).

Further, Palm Pilots have an automatic bi-directional synchronization of ALL of it's data with your computer at one time (with the push of ONE button). This way your data is always updated and current in both locations. This very important to most of us. You no longer have to lug around that bulky DayTimer that never gets updated. A laptop requires you to manually copy each file (one at a time or in groups) using a floppy disk between computers (very limited capacity, is tedious and slow) or by using a network cable if you have access to a Local Area Network (LAN).

Palm Pilots cost MUCH less than laptops (so no big deal if it gets lost, stolen or damaged). Palm Pilots can be used in the dark, if needed (they have a backlit screen). There is also a small portable trifold keyboard with trackball for PDAs that folds up to the same size as the Palm Pilot (if you do not want to use the touch screen all the time). Lastly, the battery of a Palm Pilot will last for weeks, versus the battery of a laptop lasts for hours.

Let us install a Palm Pilot with battery charging/data synchronizing cradle to your computer.
See Palm Pilots (PDAs) for more detailed information. We will install and configure the software and link the database from your Palm Pilot to that of your computer. We can also install additional memory, expansion cards and accessories.

You'll wonder how you ever got by without it. We can also add e-mail to the Palm Pilot if you want. Enjoy these exciting times.

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