Need to buy a computer but don’t know which one to buy? I get it, not all have the technical know how to determine which kind of computer to buy. Most of the time, we refer to “someone” who we think is techie enough to point us to the right direction – only regretting later on that the purchase isn’t worth it. At the end of the day, it will all boil down to the end user, and the tech requirements he will be needing to enable him to be productive – be it at work or play. 

So, what’s the difference between a Laptop and a Desktop computer, and how do you know which one to buy?

Today, we’re going to talk about the different types of Personal computers and help you determine which one is best for you. We want to make it as easy for you to understand, so we can help you determine the best computer depending on your work load and budget.


Computers come in many sizes, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll narrow them down into three types:

  1. Tower – the traditional desktop PC. It’s large, upright, and the most familiar type of desktop computer.
  2. Compact – which is also known as the “SFF” or small form factor computer. These are basically miniaturized computers with cut-down components.
  3. All-in-one – are computers with a built-in monitor/screen. Like the compact computer, they also have cut-down components.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits and weaknesses of each of these three which may help you decide which one is best-suited for you.

1. Tower Computer

Tower computers are big, bulky, and heavy. They are not meant to be moved around. Nonetheless, they are easily upgradable and can be a real powerhouse. Need more storage? No problem! You can either change the existing storage drive, or add new ones as long as there’s space and if your motherboard can accommodate more. You can also easily upgrade its RAM, add a Graphics card, and more. Towers are very flexible so they can be used for any type of work that doesn’t require moving around. School work, data entry, web-based applications, graphics design, video editing, and more. For prices and models you can check out this link.

2. Compact Computer

Compact computers are mostly used in tight office spaces. They function the same way as tower computers but are significantly smaller. You can mount them behind or under your monitor! But since they’re mostly pre-built – upgrading them can be a challenge. The components are very specific to the pre-built compact’s model. But if you’re just doing basic data entry work, online schooling, writing, web-based apps and the like – this is enough; just make sure that the CPU and the RAM meets your requirements.

An All in One computer has its CPU built in at the back of the monitor.

3. All in One Computer

The all-in-one computer is basically a compact with a built in screen. They’re almost like a laptop… which you can, but I most certainly wouldn’t recommend – place on your lap. They are also very challenging to upgrade especially since they’re built into a monitor – so you’re essentially stuck to the screen size of the all-in-one that you bought. Nonetheless, the all-in-one is the easiest to use. Newbies will enjoy the plug-and-play mechanics of the all-in-one. If you’re a minimalist – it’s also gratifying having only your monitor, keyboard & mouse on your desk. Much like the compact – all-in-ones are mainly used by data-entry workers, online students, people who work on web-based apps, writers, and similar fields of work. Check out some of the AIOs here.

Whichever interests you amongst the three – make sure to check the specs before you buy to ensure that it would meet your work requirements.

Now, let’s talk about laptops.


Both laptops and desktops have advantages and disadvantages, so the one you choose to purchase will depend on your individual requirements and tastes. These are several justifications for picking a laptop over a desktop:

Laptops are created with portability and convenience in mind. They are perfect for students, professionals, and tourists who need to work on the go because they are portable, lightweight, and easy to carry around.

Battery life: Laptops come equipped with built-in batteries that let you use them independently of a power outlet. A laptop’s battery can last for hours depending on the model and usage, making it an excellent choice for outdoor work or lengthy commutes.

Space-saving: Laptops are significantly smaller than desktop computers,

Versatility: Laptops can be utilized in a variety of locations, including conference rooms, airlines, and coffee shops. Also, a variety of peripherals, such external monitors, keyboards, and mouse, are compatible with them, which might improve their functionality.

Although premium laptops can be pricey, there are many of inexpensive versions with top-notch performance and features available. Moreover, software and extra benefits like free cloud storage or warranty coverage are frequently included with laptop purchases.

Due to market demands for extremely light but powerful laptops starting in 2011 – ultraportables and ultrabooks came about. These are ultra-light versions of the notebook laptop. They may be the same size like 13” or even 16”, but they are significantly lighter – some weighing just about a kilogram. The great thing about these ultraportables is that their performance are just as good as notebooks, but the downside is that there are less ports.

During this same year (2011) – the gaming laptop was born. These are basically gaming desktops crammed into a laptop’s body. They can run triple A games like your gaming desktop, but they get extremely hot and their batteries don’t last for long. So, you’ll always need a power source to keep them running.

These two segments of the laptop are basically portable power-houses which are in league (if not more powerful) than some desktops.

At the polar opposite of these powerful laptops are budget-friendly laptops like the netbook and the chromebook.

  1. Netbooks are essentially low-cost, low-performance laptops – which you should generally stay away from. They were born in 2007 to meet the demands of budget-conscious consumers looking for light laptops, but soon fell out of demand due to higher spec requirements for current applications. Nowadays, they’re only ever useful for light internet browsing and email.

2. Chromebooks on the other hand are on an entirely different segment. Much like the netbook – they are very affordable, and are also powered by low-power CPUs like Celeron and Pentium chips. They also run only on the Google operating system called the Chrome OS. This means that Windows and MacOS programs will not work on these devices.

To sum this segment up – get a laptop if you want mobility and/or you want to be able to move around with your computer. Furthermore:

  • If you’re on a very tight budget and will work on light internet browsing and email – get a netbook.
  • If you’re on a very tight budget if your work is focused mainly on Google’s suite of apps- get a Chromebook.
  • If you’re on a budget and your work does not demand image editing, or video work- get a cheap notebook with integrated graphics.
  • If you’re on a budget and your work needs you to do extensive Excel work – get a notebook with higher specced CPU (newer gen i3, i5, i7)
  • If you’re on a budget and you work on graphics and video – get a used notebook with dedicated graphics or a used gaming laptop.
  • If you have a good budget and you work on heavy Excel tasks and need extreme portability – get an Ultrabook.
  • If you have a good budget and you work on graphics, images, or video – get a gaming laptop.

    In conclusion, a laptop can be the best option for you if portability, versatility, and space-saving are important to you. A desktop, however, might be more appropriate if power, upgradeability, and customization are your main priorities. Whatever device best suits your demands and budget will ultimately depend on you.

    iRentMo offers Desktop computers, All in one PC and Laptops, which can be bought via straight purchase and through installment.  Know more about their offerings here.


    Laptop vs desktop: which should you buy?

    Desktop computer vs. laptop computer