When weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of laptop computers, it’s important to bear in mind what you’re comparing them to and how you plan to use them for your business. Laptop computers are more portable than their desktop equivalents — a definite advantage for a mobile workforce — although not as portable as tablets. Laptops give you the power and flexibility of a desktop computer, where tablets may be limited in these areas.
Laptops give you the components of a desktop computer packed into a portable unit that you can take anywhere. Working on the move, away from the office or at a different desk is a lot more convenient when using a laptop than a desktop. However, in terms of size and weight, tablets offer even more portability than laptops. If you can live without a physical keyboard or have a Bluetooth keyboard paired and have all the apps you need to work, then a tablet device can be even more convenient than a laptop. Where laptops have a distinct advantage over tablets is in their flexibility. In terms of external peripherals, from printers to external hard drives, anything that connects to a desktop computer can also connect to a laptop. There’s also the keyboard and optional mouse input methods, making it much easier to type for extended periods on a laptop than it is on a tablet. Laptops are typically much faster than tablets, which run only basic operating systems. While desktops, laptops and tablets all have the same core components in terms of processor, memory and graphics capabilities, as you move further along the portability scale, these components become increasingly less powerful. Components inside a laptop case typically run more slowly than those in a full desktop machine, and there’s no room to install extra graphics cards, sound cards or capture cards. Generally speaking, laptops are still significantly more powerful than tablets and almost up to the level of desktops in capabilities. If you need the most powerful computers possible — for video editing, game development or larger screens, for example — then desktops are probably the way to go, but high-end laptops are almost equally capable.