One of the most common questions asked by computer shoppers is why are laptops more expensive than desktops with comparable power and features? Is it because laptops have several advantages over desktops?
They are the preferred option by most people who travel a lot because they can be easily packed and carried around in bags or cases, giving you the freedom to roam while using a computer.
Desktop computers aren’t bad either as they have their own set of advantages. I mean, Desktop PCs can provide a lot of space for data storage, and you can easily swap out your hardware without breaking a sweat, much easier than with a laptop. Not to mention many other additional features compared to laptops.
But this doesn’t explain why laptops cost so much.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why laptops are generally more expensive than desktops. We’ll compare their components and highlight who should choose a laptop and who would be better off choosing a desktop.
- Are Laptops More Expensive
- Main Hardware Differences
- Laptop Vs Desktop Storage
- Why Laptops Are So Expensive
- Who Should Choose Desktops
- Who Should Choose Laptops
Are Laptops Always More Expensive Than Desktops?
The main reason why gaming laptops are nearly always more expensive than desktops is because of the development costs. It costs much more to create hardware that is compact enough to squeeze into smaller spaces.
At the same time, laptops have to meet an expected level of performance. Desktops have no such limitations and do not require any additional effort to create.
In recent years, the price difference between desktops and laptops has decreased. But it remains a fact that you still get more for your money when buying a desktop computer than with the purchase of an expensive gaming laptop.
Unfortunately, this means that if you’re looking for an inexpensive solution, you are better off purchasing a good desktop computer rather than buying the latest laptop, which may not be ideal for your situation.
The only exception to this rule is if portability or battery life becomes more important than performance. In which case, laptops become the obvious choice. Even then, it would be worth considering why portable power is so much less important compared with other factors such as general power and capabilities.
So, to help answer this question, why laptops are commonly more expensive than desktop computers, we’ll dive into and compare their main components, the motherboard, CPU, memory and GPU.
Why Are Laptops More Expensive Than Desktops?
The most common components in laptops and desktops are the CPU, RAM (Random Access Memory), storage space, and graphics card. There are also ports for everything from monitors to printers!
But the key reason why laptop computers tend to cost more than their desktop counterparts is that they have so much smaller spaces where manufacturers must fit all those components without compromising performance or usability.
It would be tough with such small areas available, and there would undoubtedly be compromises somewhere along the line if something doesn’t work as it should. Mainly due to just being too crowded up against other components.
In addition, when building a laptop compared to a PC, additional design time is needed for the placement of each component. In such a way, you don’t experience heat issues which results in a higher cost. As a result, laptop prices can be much higher when compared to desktops despite having similar specs or performance.
Laptop Vs Desktop: Motherboards
The motherboard is the core of any laptop or PC, and without them, not much would work. Laptop and desktop motherboards differ in the type of components they are compatible with.
Desktop motherboards have more expansion slots making them easier to upgrade. Laptop motherboards are designed specifically for the layout of each laptop.
Additionally, the type and quality of motherboards for laptops are different from those which can fit inside desktops. The motherboards designed for laptops have to support both the CPU and graphics card – something you wouldn’t necessarily need in a standard desktop build.
And this results in the top-of-the-line motherboards made specifically for laptops being slightly more expensive than those which come standard with desktop PCs.
Laptop Vs Desktop: Processors
The processor is another key component of any computer, laptop or desktop and keeping your computer running smoothly is important. But many people don’t realize that the processor has a huge impact on performance.
This component of any laptop or desktop PC isn’t always a top priority because other parts might be lacking power too and still allow for functionality in some form. However, this should not fool you into thinking otherwise, as processors cost more than anything else when upgrading from an old machine without enough muscle under its hood!
In a standard desktop build, the processor doesn’t have to be as powerful, or efficient as those found inside laptops. This means that laptop manufacturers have more freedom in designing their own processors, and to save space, they are soldered directly to the motherboard.
Furthermore, the latest mobile processors are equipped with advanced power-saving features that add to their cost. But do produce less heat. This is why they are usually more expensive than those which come with desktops.
Laptop Vs Desktop: Graphics Card
Another reason why laptops are more expensive than desktops is because of the graphics card. Laptops come standard with built-in graphics called integrated graphics, which are attached to the CPU. This extra work adds additional costs to the laptops.
Another major factor why laptops are usually more expensive is the dedicated graphics card. There are no standardised rules on what manufacturers can charge for this component, which means that some are able to sell it at a premium price.
In addition, these advanced graphics cards require extra cooling. However, desktop computers can fit larger heatsinks and fans, making them less susceptible to overheating under heavy usage or long periods. Although laptops can be upgraded with these same parts, they are usually more expensive to replace and require a lot of technical know-how.
Desktops, on the other hand, allow you to change your GPU at any time by simply plugging in a new one. This means that you can upgrade your graphics from time to time by spending more money on better, faster and stronger graphic cards, which allow for a smoother experience when playing games or rendering video files.
If your not sure the difference read this; Integrated Vs Dedicated Graphics
Laptop Vs Desktop: Display
Another factor why laptops are more expensive than desktops is because of their screen size. Having a laptop with the same power as a desktop computer would require you to purchase an even bigger monitor. Which, in turn, will drive up the overall price tag of your laptop experience.
Why Are Laptops More Expensive Than Desktops? The Storage
We all know that laptop storage is more expensive than desktop storage, but why? First, laptops are typically much smaller and thinner, compact and portable, but their storage capacity is limited. Whereas desktop PCs can easily use larger hard drives with much more storage capacity at an affordable price.
In addition, desktop hard drives offer better performance with much greater data security at a lower cost per GB than smaller laptop models. Besides, it is difficult for laptop manufacturers to include a hard drive that has enough storage space, with space at a premium.
Finally, in my opinion the type of components that go into laptops are usually more expensive because there’s less demand for them on the open market.
Related: How Much Laptop Storage Do I Need?
Why Are Laptops So Expensive?
There are many factors why laptops typically cost more than desktops with comparable power and features. Including their size, weight, display differences, and more.
Laptops can become very expensive, especially if you choose one pairing the latest Nvidia GPUs with Intel 11th Gen or AMD 5000 series processors. This makes it very hard to find a powerful but also affordable laptop.
In addition, laptops are usually much harder to upgrade than desktops, which means if you want a laptop with the latest hardware, it will cost you extra because there aren’t very many models that come equipped with these features.
Laptops are also more expensive because they’re made to be portable, and extra design time is needed for the placement of the core components, like the positioning of the heat sinks.
The positioning has to be precise so as not to touch others inside the laptop. The same can be said for the fans. The fact of the matter is that the inside of a laptop is far more complex, compared to that of a desktop PC. The components are much smaller, although in some cases just as powerful.
Who Should Choose A Desktop Computer?
A lot of people are wondering if they should get a desktop computer or laptop. I am here to let you know that it is really up to what you need the computer for. If you want something more powerful, but don’t plan on moving your machine around often, then a desktop would be perfect for you!
In addition, if you need all of their add-ons and parts to be easily replaceable, then you should choose a desktop computer. But if you instead choose a laptop and you’re not satisfied with your laptop’s performance. It will be harder for you to upgrade or swap out components without spending more money than what your original laptop cost in the first place.
These types of computers, I mean PCs, have a lot more room for expansion, so it’s much easier to switch out parts or upgrade if you want to change something about your computer in the future.
You should choose a desktop if you’re looking for a computer that can handle your gaming, work and school needs without being too expensive. However, it’s not as portable as a laptop, but it offers more storage, power and versatility than laptops could ever hope to have.
Another good thing about desktops is the price – since laptops have more features but less space for components to fit in, they tend to be way more expensive than desktop computers with comparable power and features.
Who Should Choose A Laptop?
People for whom portability, looks and ease of use are the most important things to consider should choose a laptop. Plus, anyone looking to save some space, anyone with limited desk space.
They can be used for many different purposes and are the perfect choice for people on the go. Laptops can be used anywhere: at home or in school, on your commute or even during flights!
You should consider buying a gaming laptop if: You want something portable; You need high performance, or you can afford to spend extra money upfront for better performance down the line.
However, laptops tend to run out of battery quickly, something you don’t have to worry too much about with a PC, but their lightweight design makes them ideal for carrying around all day long.
In addition, advances in laptop hardware make them excellent for heavy gaming, streaming, graphics and video editing or watching movies. On the other hand, it can be very difficult to upgrade a laptop, and repairs can also be expensive.
Laptops tend to heat up faster than desktops, this makes them less suitable than desktops for intense tasks such as gaming and video editing. Unless though it has excellent cooling.
Besides, you could always grab a laptop cooling pad that will help cool the laptop. And before you ask, Do cooling pads work? I tested one with my gaming machine, and it reduced the operating temp by as much as 5 degrees.
Benefits of Laptops
Some of the most common benefits of buying a laptop over a PC are:
- Laptops have one cable, which is the power cable, and unless you have a laptop cooling pad or a 2nd monitor plugged into the outlet, it would just be one cable. So that means less mess around your desk or table.
- Laptops are getting thinner and lighter than ever, and even the most powerful and ultrathin laptops pairing the latest Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics cards with the fastest Intel and AMD mobile processors can weigh less than 2 KG. So that’s two bags of sugar which is no weight at all. Making it easier than ever to carry around your gaming, whether that be on planes, trains or automobiles.
- The latest laptops are now far more power-efficient than a few years ago, meaning you can do much more while on battery power. Whereas, just to write an email using a PC you would need to ensure it is plugged into a power outlet.
The cost of a laptop is typically higher than the price of a desktop computer because laptops are more expensive to manufacture and require additional software. Even though laptops are smaller and more mobile than desktops, they generally cost more upfront because of that mobility.
If you’re still wondering why laptops are usually more expensive than desktop computers, there might be a case to argue that it comes down to mobility and convenience.
You may need a laptop if you travel frequently or don’t have access to power outlets in your home office. On the other hand, those who work at their desk all day will likely prefer having everything they need right there, in which case a desktop PC would be the better option.
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Until next time, cya!! 🙂