If you are working from home, you may be in the market for a new computer. There are a ton of options out there for you to choose from, but which type of computer will work best for you?
Types of Computers for Home
There are 3 main types of computers that you should consider when working from home. Desktops, Laptops, and All-in-Ones. We will go over the positives and negatives of each to help you decide which one will work best for you.
Desktop computers are the old standard, and have been around for decades. Users looking for the best performance, or cheapest option will want to stick with a desktop computer.
- Cost: Desktops will typically be the most economical option
- Performance: If you are looking for top end performance a desktop is going to be your best option
- Noise Level: Unlike laptops, desktop computers have space for larger fans and better airflow. This almost always results in quieter operation
- Connectivity: A desktop computer will typically have more ports and connectors
- Upgradability: Standard desktop computers offer easy upgrade paths if you need more power or storage in the future
- Size & Portability: Unless you are going with an ultra compact Mini ITX PC, your desktop will most likely be rather large. Desktop computers are designed to sit on or under a desk. Users looking for portability will want to turn elsewhere.
Monitor/Peripherals: When you purchase a desktop you will also have to buy a monitor, keyboard/mouse, webcam, and any other missing peripherals.
Laptops have increased in popularity over the last 20 years. They seem to get smaller and more powerful every year. Many companies favor laptops because they are easier to setup and work with. For home office use there are some things to consider.
- Size & Portability: Users looking for the greatest level of flexibility will want to go with a laptop as most can be unplugged and thrown into a bag or moved anywhere in your home.
Monitor/Peripherals: Laptops come with everything you need in the box. You have the computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers all in one nice compact box.
- Cost: Laptops typically will be a little more expensive than desktops when comparing similarly performant machines
- Performance: While you can get desktop-like performance in some laptops. A similarly spec’d desktop computer will outperform the laptop counterpart everytime.
- Noise Level: Laptops cram a lot of components into tight packages. Fast spinning fans are used to cool these components which can create a lot of noise depending on the model and workload.
- Connectivity: While some laptops do feature a healthy selection of ports and connectors, they will typically lag behind desktops. There simply isn’t enough space for a ton of ports.
- Upgradability: Outside of RAM and storage, you most likely won’t be able to upgrade the core components of your laptop. Whatever CPU/GPU came with the system is what you are stuck with.
The All-in-One segment was built for very specific people. These computers place desktop components inside what looks like just a large monitor. They offer strong performance and a compact footprint.
All-in-One computers are a nice halfway point between desktops and laptops. If saving space is important to you an all-in-one may be a great fit.
- Size: While not exactly portable, all-in-one computers take up the footprint of a large monitor, eliminating the need for a big box sitting on or under your desk. If you do need to move the system you just have to unplug it.
- Monitor/Peripherals: Just like a laptop an all-in-ones contains everything you need to get going. By building the computer behind a monitor you can have a full desktop experience without some of the headaches.
- Performance: All-in-ones offer performance that falls in between a desktop and a laptop, depending on your configuration. While they have more room for cooling than a laptop, they are still more compact than a full size desktop.
- Connectivity: You will find a desktop level selection of ports and connectors
Noise Level: Noise can be an issue with these systems under load.
Upgradability: Some high end All-in-One computers feature decent upgradability, but with most you will be limited to RAM and Hard drive upgrades like laptops.