If you need to use the computer on the go, you would want the laptop. However, if you need a computer for the home and have room for a tower and monitor, you can find some nice desktop computers. The laptop can be used as a stationary computer by adding a monitor and external keyboard and mouse as well as a printer.
The screen size of the laptop ranges from a 10-inch screen to a 17-inch screen. The desktop screens can be larger so that viewing is easier. You can find screens up to 24 inches or larger. Both the laptop and desktop can be connected to a television screen via the S-video cord.
The sound of the desktop and the laptop are completely different. If you hook external speakers to the desktop, you will have more control over the volume than you would with the laptop that can only be as loud as the sound card allows. For a system with higher volume, the desktop is best, but some laptops that are Bluetooth compatible now have a higher sound volume, but the cost is higher than a desktop computer.
The keyboard of the laptop is much different from the desktop keyboard. On the laptop, you have no numerical keys on the right side as you do on a desktop keyboard. For someone that needs the numbers for performing job duties, this could be a problem. Some of the other keys are in a different place, which could cause problems for a typist that relies on touch instead of sight to type.
The laptop runs on a battery and must be charged as the battery runs down. The desktop is plugged into the AC outlet. If the power fails, you would lose power to the desktop, where as with the laptop, if the battery is charged, you would not be affected by the lost of power until it is time to charge the battery. However, you can buy a separate backup power supply for a desktop in case of a power outage.
Upgrading and Storage
There is a greater ability to upgrade a desktop more so than a laptop. It would be easy to upgrade the RAM on a laptop, but as for the TV tuner cards and DVD burners, laptops are not upgradeable because of the size difference from a desktop. The storage capacity of a laptop is still smaller than a desktop. The laptop could hold 60GB, but the desktop can max out at 250GB and this may even go higher over the years to come.