Desktop vs laptop: which office computer is best for your business?

Whether you’re starting a business for the first time or looking to update your current office furniture and technology, the age-old question remains: is a laptop or desktop office computer best? 

When investing in something as important as an office computer, which your employees will be using 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, making the right decision is crucial. Here, we’ll be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of both laptops and desktop computers for the office so you can decide which one will be better suited to your business needs.

Advantages of Laptops

  1. Portability
    We may be stating the obvious here, but laptops are portable devices which make them ideal for employees and offices using a hybrid working method or salespeople who travel to client meetings frequently. By giving your employees a business laptop, you’ll be allowing them the freedom to work wherever they feel most comfortable, which can lead to greater job satisfaction.
  2. Compact & lightweight
    Powerful and capable, laptops are super lightweight and don’t require any additional add-ons such as a keyboard or a mouse either. If your employees work in the office often, it’s common to have several docking stations around the space which laptops can plug into and access the business network or a larger screen if needed.
  3. Easy connectivity
    Another big advantage of a business laptop is how quickly and easily it can connect to the internet. Laptops, unlike desktops, can connect wirelessly to any available internet connection. Though some desktop computers do offer wireless connections, you are still limited to one location. Laptops can be taken to a coffee shop, the gym, the park and any other public places while still being able to connect to WI-FI or even hotspot from another mobile device.
  4. Familiarity on the go
    If an employee is presenting or pitching to a client at their offices, rather than relying on their technology and having to spend valuable time setting up and learning how their system works in order to present, everything will already be stored and ready to go on their laptops.

Disadvantages of Laptops

  1. Cost
    On the flip side, laptops are generally more expensive than desktop computers – especially the high-spec laptops, as you are essentially paying for the flexibility and all of the computer components in a single, compact device. It’s also difficult to improve and upgrade aspects of your laptops, such as the memory and graphics, as opposed to a desktop.
  2. Risk
    With laptops, there’s a great chance of it being stolen if using them in public, so they’ll need a higher level of insurance alongside the cost of the laptop itself. You’ll also need to be sure you can trust your employees enough to use the laptop purely for work purposes rather than gaming or other business ventures.
  3. More delicate
    Laptops are also a tad more sensitive than desktops and are far easier to damage – if an employee is carrying the laptop around, for example, it’s very easy to drop it. So, you may need to expect more repair costs. As the laptop gets older, the battery life will become more unpredictable too, and the last thing anyone wants while presenting in a client meeting is for the laptop’s battery to suddenly die.

Advantages of Desktop Computers

  1. Higher specs at a cheaper price point
    If your employees are in the office 5 days a week and don’t take their work home with them, then a desktop computer may be better suited and will offer greater value for money over a laptop. Typically, desktop computers provide access to more powerful components than a laptop at a more affordable price. Plus, with a dedicated monitor, you’ll likely have a higher resolution, faster refresh rates and a wider choice of technology, in general.
  2. Easier repairs
    It’s also a lot easier to obtain different components for a desktop computer than it is for a laptop. So, when it comes to any repairs, you’ll be looking at a more reasonable price. With a wider variety of components available, the lifespan of the computer can be extended considerably. Desktop computers are also far more robust and easier to maintain, making a long service life more likely for a variety of reasons.
  3. More powerful
    While laptops are very powerful, they can slow down and deteriorate quickly if they’re used for demanding tasks. For example, a graphic designer who requires a full suite of design tools will benefit more from the larger, more powerful desktop computer with plenty of RAM than a laptop which will likely be slower and more prone to crashing.
  4. Ergonomics
    Desktop computers come available with full-sized keyboards that some may find more comfortable to use, that include a number of unique keys and functionality. They also have a larger screen size making it much easier on the eyes and reducing the risk of eye strain. 

Disadvantages of Desktop Computers

  1. Not portable
    Of course, the main disadvantage of the desktop computer is that it lacks flexibility. With a desktop, employees are tied to one area of the office. This can be inconvenient when it comes to office meetings or when an employee wants to show a co-worker what they’ve been working on. It also means that salespeople can’t take a computer with them to meetings which may hinder their pitch.
  2. Power usage & dependency
    An office filled with desktop computers will use vastly more power than people bringing in laptops, so you’ll need to expect to have higher energy bills. It may also take more time to set up a desktop computer over a laptop as there are more components and wires required for it to work. Plus, with the desktop computer so reliant on the office’s power, if you ever get a power cut, your employees won’t be able to work until everything is up and running again.

Laptop vs Desktop: Which Is Best?

Choosing between a laptop or a desktop computer for the office is entirely down to personal choice and which you think your employees will benefit from the most. If you know your employees work well with the freedom to move around and work from different locations, then a laptop will be the better option. However, if your employees prefer using a dedicated workspace and leaving the work there instead of taking it home, then a desktop may be more suitable.

Our advice is to, first and foremost, speak to your employees as they will be the ones using the computers on a regular basis. Ask for their opinions and which PC they’d be most comfortable using. You could also supply a mix of options, with several dedicated desktop computers available for anyone to use in the office as well as laptops to take home or to meetings.

For more information about the services we provide, take a look at our business laptops and office computers solutions.

You can also contact our team, who will be more than happy to discuss your office computer needs and options.

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