This is a question I hear many times in my daily routine from individuals wanting to buy a laptop computer. Many times people think that they want a laptop because they are “cool” or “neat.” While laptop computerss can be very useful in certain situations, they are not necessarily the best option for many people. I generally suggest that if you need the portability or if room is a major consideration, then consider a laptop. This is particularly true if you are on the road or travel a great deal. Laptops in these situations can be helpful, if you are going to take them with you. If you are not and generally use them at home, I would suggest that a PC be considered. The advantages of a PC over a laptop is that they can be configured much easier, are generally less expensive and if something breaks it is easy to fix. Additionally, it you want to add more features through putting in different computer cards, it is just a matter of opening the case and putting the new card in.
Laptops on the other hand are not easy to modify once you have one. Many of the components are built right onto the mother board. Although some items such as the hard drive or memory strips (RAM) can be switched out, most of the other components are fixed. If you have trouble with your laptop malfunctioning, it all most always needs to be serviced by a trained technician. In other words, it a particular part of the laptop fails, you will need to get it serviced under warranty or take it to a computer shop. Either option is time consuming and/or expensive. A desktop PC on the other hand can frequently be serviced by your self, with a little knowledge and help from your computer manufacturer technical support team, as long as you computer is under warranty. This is why I strongly suggest that you purchase as long of a warranty as is available, for any computer, including and particularly laptops. Additionally, desktops a functionally easier to use, being able to hook printers and scanners into them with ease. The array of custom PC cards with specialized function is also much more readily available for your PC than your laptop.
In summary, a desktop PC is much more practical, generally more powerful and less expensive than a laptop. Adding better or more sophisticated computer components (including sound systems) is much easier. Still, it you need the portability, there is nothing better than a laptop for this. The smaller screen laptops are great for traveling. If you are not going to be moving the laptop around that much, I would suggest getting a 15 or 17 inch LCD screen. Your eyes will much appreciate this. If you need portability then I would recommend the smaller laptops with 12 inch screens. General computer configurations should include Windows XP (Pro if you want to network other computers), 200-300 GB hard drive space, 1-2 GB RAM memory, DVD burner, 19-20 inch LCD screen and good video and audio card. Don’t forget to have both antivirus and spyware protection software installed and kept up to date. For reviews on various systems, try going to PC World computer reviews for desktops or laptops. PC World also has reviews on video and sound cards as well as printers. Good luck.