What are the advantages and disadvantages of a desktop pc?

Updated April 17, 2017

Laptop computers generally receive the most advertising attention today, but desktop computers remain available and are unlikely to leave the market in the near future. Desktop computers are powerful and cost-effective, making them appropriate for business as well as entertainment. However, desktop computers are large and difficult to move. Before purchasing a computer, familiarise yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of desktop computers to determine the product that best meets your needs.


Desktop computers typically have multiple expansion slots for add-on cards, as well as several bays for hard drives and optical drives. This means a desktop computer can grow with you as your needs change. If you enjoy downloading media, install a new hard drive for added storage. If you want to play games, install a new video card. You can upgrade virtually any component in a desktop PC. Generally, the upgrade possibilities for a laptop computer are very limited.


To move a desktop PC to another location, you must move the computer chassis, monitor, keyboard and mouse at the very least. You may also have to relocate your printer, scanner and other peripherals. You cannot put a desktop computer into a bag or bring it to a coffee shop as you can do with a laptop. If you need to take notes in a classroom or want to use a wireless card for Internet connectivity when you are on the go, consider a laptop over a desktop PC.


Because of size, heat and battery factors, computer designers must make compromises with laptop computers. The processor and video card in a laptop computer are generally not as powerful as those in a desktop computer. A desktop PC does not require the ability to run on battery power and it has plenty of room in the chassis to add fans to cool hot components. Because desktop computers do not require the same compromises as laptops, they are generally more powerful.


Desktop computers are generally more economical than laptops, especially in the high-end market. While entry-level desktop and laptop computers tend to be comparable in price, laptops go up in price more quickly as upgrades are added. If you want a computer capable of playing the latest games, for example, you can expect to pay less for a desktop.


Laptop computers are meant to be portable. As a result, they have small screens and keyboards. If you spend your days working on a computer, a laptop can eventually cause strain on the eyes and wrists. Although you can purchase a large external monitor and ergonomic keyboard for a laptop computer, they add to the cost and you cannot take them with you when working outside of the home.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Aramenta Waithe has been a professional writer and ghostwriter since 1989. Her work has appeared in Florida's "Sun-Sentinel" and the "Miami Herald." She writes about a variety of subjects from home improvement to medicine. Waithe attended the University of Massachusetts and Florida Atlantic University, majoring in oceanographic engineering.