Here we go, with Part 2 of my thoughts on what you need to know when buying a new computer, no matter what the reason is.

Last time, I asked to you to think about what the new computer would likely be used for.  This time, we'll talk about the pros and cons of desktops, laptops, and tablets.

Desktops

Pro:  Customizable.  Virtually every component of a desktop computer can be upgraded or replaced, so it can be made into exactly what the user wants it to be.

David Lee, Townsquare Media
David Lee, Townsquare Media
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Inside of Desktop

Plenty of room inside.

Con:  Not very portable.

Laptops

Pro:  Portable.

Con:  Limited ability to upgrade/repair.  Space is incredibly limited inside a laptop, and compared to a desktop, there are far fewer things you can upgrade, typically the hard drive, memory, and battery, and that's about it.

David Lee, Townsquare Media
David Lee, Townsquare Media
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Inside of a Laptop

Space is at a premium here.

If something else fails, repairs can be difficult and expensive, so most will just buy a new laptop instead.  The rule of thumb here is, if you buy a laptop, buy the best one you can afford, because you're not going to be able to change it later.

Con:  Shorter life expectancy.  Given what I just said about repairs and upgrades, laptops don't last as long.  Generally, the life expectancy of a laptop is 3-6 years.

Tablets

Pro:  Lightweight and very portable.  Great for travel.

Tablet PC
Oleksiy Mark
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Con:  Non-existent ability to upgrade/repair.  Similar to laptops, if you buy a tablet, buy the best one you can afford, because you're stuck with what you get.  You can't really upgrade anything on a tablet, and repairs are difficult and can be costly, if a repair is possible at all.

Con:  Battery life.  In my experience, unless the touchscreen gets damaged, the first thing to become a problem on a tablet is the battery.  Just like a laptop battery, its ability to hold a charge degrades as it ages, so it needs to be charged more often than it did when it was new.

Con:  Shorter life expectancy.  Tablets have a life expectancy similar to laptops, about 3-6 years.

Next time, I'll try my hand at explaining the important things to look for when you're shopping around.

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