Why Are Laptops Usually More Expensive Than Desktops?

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Why Are Laptops Usually More Expensive Than Desktops

One of the most common questions computer shoppers ask is why are laptops usually more expensive than desktops with comparable power and features? To answer this question it’s important to compare their features, and the pros and cons of each type of computer system.

Laptops are popular due to their portability and convenience, they provide users the freedom to work from anywhere. But they do offer less power and come with a higher price tag. Desktop computers offer more storage space and it is far easier to swap out hardware components. These factors contribute to the overall cost difference between these devices.

Which Is More Expensive Laptop Or Computer?

Laptops typically command higher prices than desktop computers due to the complexity involved in their compact and portable design. This involves specialized components and power-efficient hardware, such as batteries, which increase production costs. In contrast, desktop computers have no such limitations, it is why PCs are generally more affordable.

While a desktop PC may be a cost-effective solution, it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly for those who need portability or have limited space. In such cases, a laptop computer would be a more appropriate choice even if a new laptop comes at a higher price.

My Current Gaming Laptops
I have been testing gaming laptop for years, even though I am not short on space

Keep reading to learn more about why laptops are commonly more expensive than desktop computers? We compare the motherboards, CPU, memory, battery, and the graphics cards.

More Helpful Content: Why Razer Laptops Are So Expensive? I purchased the Razer Blade 15 to find out, I was surprised with the results.


Differences That Affect Their Price Tags?

When it comes to choosing between the best laptops vs desktop PCs. There are several differences that can affect their respective price tags. Including design complexity and specialized internal components, such as the video card and the processors.

Also, upgradability, durability, size constraints, and the engineering that goes into each device. While laptops and desktops may offer similar performance in some scenarios, a desktop computer is still the clear winner in the raw performance they offer.

The Motherboards

The motherboard is the core of any laptop or desktop PC, and without them, not much would work. However, the 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 portable laptop computer.

Additionally, the type and quality of motherboards for laptops are different from those which can fit inside desktops computers. The motherboards designed for laptops have to support both the CPU and GPU. Something not necessarily needed 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 that fit into any desktop PC.


The Processors

There are several differences between laptop CPUs (central processing units) and desktop processors that should be noted to understand why laptops are usually more expensive.

Laptop CPUs are designed to be more power-efficient and this means that they consume less energy and generate less heat. Since laptops have limited battery life and smaller cooling systems, they require more efficient and costly components than a desktop PC.

What’s more, laptop processors are generally less powerful and they typically have fewer cores and run at lower clock speeds. Mobile CPUs are also soldered onto the motherboard, making them more difficult to upgrade or replace. Desktop CPUs are mounted in a socket, allowing for easier upgrading or a less costly replacement.


Graphics Card
Source: NVidia

The Graphics Card

Laptops are also more expensive due to graphics, they come standard with built-in integrated graphics attached to the CPU and this extra work adds to the overall cost.

Laptops with dedicated graphics chips require extra cooling. So further development work is needed to not only fit the GPU into a smaller space but also keep the components cool. This is also why gaming laptops are always more costly than standard laptops.

Desktop computers have no such problems. They have more space inside and can fit larger heatsinks and fans with less work. Desktop PCs are also less susceptible to overheating under heavy use. That said, laptops can be upgraded with these parts, but are usually more expensive to replace with better graphics and require much more technical know-how.


The Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop
Razer Blade With A QHD Display

The Display

Desktops tend to be less expensive than laptop computers because they don’t need as many components as laptops do in order to operate them. For example, desktop monitors are often cheaper than laptop screens because they don’t need to be as thin or as light. 

Also, to enjoy the same experience as a desktop computes, laptop users would need to invest in external monitors. Which drives up the overall price tag of your gaming experience.


The Storage

Another important factor to consider is the cost of storage for laptops is generally higher than for desktops. Laptops require smaller, thinner, and more compact storage. This also necessitates additional engineering to fit the storage slots or bays into modern laptops.

Furthermore, the availability of laptops that can accommodate traditional HDDs has declined in recent years. New laptops now come with M.2 slots designed to hold solid-state drives (SSDs), which are typically more expensive than HDDs.

In contrast, desktop PCs can accommodate larger HDDs with greater capacity, making it more affordable to upgrade with more storage. It is also challenging for laptop manufacturers to include a larger hard drive with enough storage space, given space is at a premium.


The Battery

Desktop computers do not include internal batteries as opposed to laptops. But they have bulkier power supplies known as Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). Since UPS is a standalone unit, no additional design work is necessary. 

In contrast, laptop batteries are integrated into the device and occupy a significant amount of space. This not only results in additional costs for designing the battery compartment, the battery itself costs money. This is another reason why laptops are typically more expensive.


Image Showing Inside the Razer Blade Laptop
High Level Of Design Work Goes Into A Gaming Laptop

The Cooling System

Gaming laptops have become increasingly powerful and can easily run the latest AAA games at the highest settings. Providing performance comparable to that of a gaming desktop. This can be attributed to the advancements in their cooling systems.

The cooling system is a crucial feature that requires a significant amount of design and engineering work, to incorporate powerful NVidia RTX 30 and 40-series GPUs alongside fast AMD and Intel processors, which generate a considerable amount of heat.

To address this challenge, some now feature advanced cooling systems such as vapour chamber cooling, as seen in the Razer Blade series. While these advancements are costly, they are essential to ensure that the laptop can handle the demands of the latest gamers.


Which Computer Should You Choose?

When deciding between a desktop or laptop, first consider your needs. A desktop is best if you don’t need portability and want more power or easily replaceable parts. Desktops are great for gaming, work, and school, offering more storage, power, and versatility.

Choose a laptop if portability, looks, and ease of use are important, and have limited desk space. Laptops are ideal for people on the go, they can be used for heavy gaming, streaming, and editing. However, upgrades and repairs can be costly, and battery life is limited.

Consider buying a gaming laptop if you need high performance or are willing to spend extra money for better performance down the line. Overall, it is best to weigh up the pros and cons of each device based on your needs and requirements for a new computer.

Some would argue that a desktop is better than a laptop computer. But I have been using gaming laptops for years and I believe they are better. They are perfect for what I need.

There are several benefits to buying a laptop instead of a PC, including:

  • Neatness: Laptops only require one power cable, unless you have additional devices like a cooling pad or second monitor. This means there will be less clutter on your desk.
  • Portability: Laptops are becoming increasingly thin and lightweight, and even the most powerful ones can weigh less than 2 kg (4lbs). This makes them easy to carry around
  • Battery life: Modern laptops are much more power-efficient, which means you can use them for longer periods without needing to plug them in. On the other hand, using a PC to send an email would often require being plugged into a power outlet.

Conclusion

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.

If you’re still wondering why laptops, including budget gaming laptops are usually more expensive than their desktop counterparts, it comes down to mobility and convenience. You may need a laptop if you travel frequently. On the other hand, those who work at their desk all day will likely prefer ha more powerful desktop computer.

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Until next time, Cya!! 🙂

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