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Disadvantages of Using Laptops

Updated February 21, 2019

There are some excellent reasons to use a laptop. Laptops are trendy, portable and small. Expensive models may even rival the computing power of large desktop computers. But these advantages can sometimes come with disadvantages. Consider where and how you plan to use a laptop before using one. It may be the case that a laptop is not the right computer for you.

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Higher Costs

Laptops are more expensive than desktops of equal computing power. Since manufacturers design laptops with portability and size in mind, a laptop's components have to be smaller and lighter than they would be in desktops. Also, the tight quarters inside a laptop case make ventilation an issue, forcing manufacturers to develop low-heat components. These extra levels of component specialisation make laptops more expensive to build than desktops, and therefore more expensive to buy.

Difficult to Upgrade

Upgrading most desktops is considerably easier and less expensive than upgrading laptops. Desktop manufacturers typically include numerous expansion slots in order to accommodate emerging technologies. But laptop manufacturers cannot provide these due to the strict design requirements for laptops. Also, because of the smaller market for laptop upgrades, there are not as many cheap parts available as there are for desktops.

Disadvantages of Portability

Having a small and portable laptop may be a good thing in some situations, but it can also lead to some downsides. If you carry your laptop around, you are more likely to drop it accidentally, misplace it or have it stolen from you. While proper care and attention will help you avoid these issues most of the time, all it takes is a momentary lapse in judgment and you can end up damaging or losing your laptop.

Note-Taking Downsides

Many students attempt to use laptops for note-taking, but there are some disadvantages that laptops have compared to handwriting or recording. For example, some professors do not allow students to use laptops in class because the clacking of the keys can distract other students. Another disadvantage is the relative difficulty of quickly drawing diagrams or figures on a laptop. Finally, the availability of checking e-mail or going online with a laptop while in class or studying may be distracting.

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About the Author

Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.

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