We are constantly hearing about mobility, our current ease of working everywhere with modern tools, the multiplication of devices of all sizes, the storage of our data “in the cloud”… to the point that we regularly hear great scholars predicting the death of so-called “desktop” PCs (but if, you know, the same ones that said that the personal computer would never work).
It’s true, what’s the point of carrying around these ugly, big, noisy towers, full of cables, when you have everything you need in a small portable machine?
You’d have to be gullible enough to settle for these arguments alone.
And yet, the trend seems to be very strongly in favour of the portable version of the computer. They seem sexier, more hype, more fun-cool-jerk-top.
I still believe that you have to think twice before such a purchase, and not let yourself be carried away by the choice that seems “obvious” if you listen to the fashion of the moment.
Here are some things to think about.
It’s very silly to say, but a laptop is…. mobile phone. Be careful, however, because depending on the format, this concept can vary greatly. Anyone who has walked a few kilometres with a big 17 inches under his arm will know what I am talking about.
Obviously, with a tower weighing a few kilos, it gets a little more complicated. Note that gamers who are fans of LAN parties know how to overcome this kind of problem. Specialized housings for this type of use even exist.
But be careful: before throwing yourself on a laptop “because I could carry it around”, a little question: do you really need your machine to follow you like your shadow?
Because on the one hand, if it’s only to go from your desk to your couch, there may be questions to ask you about your comfort of use (and the existence of other machines for this use, but I’ll come back to them later).
And even if you plan to make him exceed the threshold of your front door: is it really that necessary? If it’s only your data you want to carry, an external hard drive, or an online storage solution, is not enough? Don’t you really have access to any machines where you want to take them?
The choice of components
Unless you are not too interested in the subject and are satisfied with the first assembled machine found in the local supermarket, you will have the opportunity to choose the equipment of your fixed PC that suits you best: screen size (see better screens!), keyboard shape, mouse size, processor type, cooling method…
All combinations are possible, or almost. With the additional possibility of mounting it yourself, or to mount it if the prospect of putting your hands in the chips scares you.
Obviously, for a laptop, it’s less obvious. There is no shortage of references on the market, but unfortunately with configurations that are not always very balanced.
Not only can you choose your parts, a fixed PC will also allow you to evolve them over time, according to your needs, or according to the evolution of technology.
A wartime PC made to play may have lost some of its greatness after a few years, but a little more RAM faster, a faster hard disk, a faster processor or graphics card, or even a brand new motherboard, can give it a second youth.
And on the peripheral side, no problem to change the whimsical keyboard or add a Blu-ray player.
On a laptop, you will be able to add RAM and change the hard disk at best. Note that this is already not bad.
Jedi do-it-yourselfers manage to change the screen panel or even the processor, but it’s a different world.
The risks of breakdowns and breakdowns
Transport means increased risk. Added to the greater fragility of laptops, which are made to be more and more compact and lightweight, this makes it very likely that your beloved machine will end its life sooner than expected, even if you are vigilant.
Of course, it is very difficult to change parts and repair without sending them under warranty.
For equivalent configurations in terms of equipment and power, you should in principle always find cheaper for a fixed PC with screen, keyboard and mouse, than for a laptop…
…on condition that you buy a machine made by a manufacturer.
Because if you start carefully choosing your parts one by one, the bill could quickly increase.
But it’s not comparable!
This is directly related to the two previous points. A “tailor-made” machine with quality components will not need to be replaced after a few years.
Its evolution will be done by progressive updates, and any defective parts can be replaced without having to change everything else.
An important criterion to be taken into account.