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Should I Buy a New Computer?

With the prevalence of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and even convertible laptops that turn into tablets when needed, you may ask "Should I buy a desktop computer?". The answer depends on a number of things, but is mostly dependent on what you use your computer for. A few reasons why you might still want to have a desktop computer are business office use, gaming, specialized applications, or an interest in upgradable components.

Business Office Use: A desktop computer comes at a great price-point for the performance you get when compared to a laptop. Including dual monitors, a high end processor, plenty of RAM, and a large hard drive, you can easily stay under $1,000 and have a top-of-the-line machine, ready for most any software available today. A laptop with the same technical specifications will be considerably more expensive. In fact, you are looking at a price-premium of 30% or more.

Gaming: If you are a gamer and want to play the latest games, you can do it on a laptop, but to get a machine that will compete with a desktop, you will likely pay twice the price of a similar desktop and that laptop will be big, heavy, will run hot, and will drain a battery extremely fast. Whatever benefits come with a laptop are quickly eliminated by these trade-offs.

Specialized Applications: For basic use, like running Office, browsing the web, checking email, and other low-demand activities, most moderate laptops fit the bill just fine, but if you have specialized needs, a laptop, especially a basic one, will be hard-pressed to provide what you need. Video editing, audio recording and editing, graphic design and high-end photo manipulation are better served by the discreet components in a desktop computer.

Upgradable Components: As a general rule, how you buy a laptop is the way that it will stay for the length of its life. Yes, you can upgrade the memory or the hard drive, but that's pretty much the extent of the upgrade options. A desktop computer will allow you to upgrade just about any component and gain better performance in specific areas, replace failed parts, and generally provide a longer lifespan. Another benefit of these upgrades is that they are fairly easy to do and can even be fun. If you can cook a meal, you can probably install a new PC component.

Tablets and other mobile devices surely have their place, but desktop computers still do too. A lot of commentary lately has been on the reduction in the sale of new desktop computers. Part of this is that they last so long and can be upgraded and repaired rather than being replaced and I don't believe that desktop computers are going anywhere any time soon.

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