The Best Family Computer – Laptop Vs Desktop

Trying to decide what type of computer to buy for your family is hard enough at the best of times because there is so much that you need to consider. Do you want a huge desktop for the family, or just a nice, compact laptop? It can be hard to decide.

This article will discuss buying a laptop versus a desktop as a family computer, to hopefully make your decision easier.

Read: Best Kids Computer(Desktop, Laptop, Netbook and Chromebook)

Some Factors to Consider

Some factors to consider are of course the price, portability, maintenance and upgrades, as well as ergonomics and space. We will also recommend some choices for the best family laptop.

Read on and find out more about these areas …

1. Price

As a general rule of thumb, you should expect to pay for more a laptop than a comparable desktop machine. The laptop uses smaller components which are more expensive to manufacture, and so this cost has to be recovered through higher prices in the stores.

Should you buy a desktop or laptop for the family? If you and your family are mainly going to use the computer for simple tasks such as word processing, checking email and surfing the internet, then a laptop may be a practical choice.

However, advanced tasks such as playing the latest video games, and desktop publishing require lots of memory and hard drive space. This will add to the cost of the laptop, as well as making it physically heavier.

2. Portability

Obviously a laptop computer is a lot more portable than a desktop computer, so if your family require a portable computer, then buying a laptop is the best choice.

Perhaps you will want to use the computer in different parts of the house, perhaps the kids will want to use the computer in their bedrooms, perhaps you will even need to use your computer while traveling or commuting.

If this is the case the portability of a laptop is essential. However, if you have a dedicated space for a computer, perhaps an office or study, and you don’t plan to move the computer frequently, you should consider a desktop machine.

Read: Best Tablets & Laptops for Online Tutoring/Teaching

3. Upgrades and Repairs

Laptops can be repaired and upgraded, however, it is certainly easier to do this to desktop machines. You will also tend to find that replacement or upgraded parts are cheaper for desktop computers too. This is something to consider, especially if you want your computer to play the latest games.

You will be likely to need to upgrade the memory and/or graphics card at some time, and upgrading a desktop is almost always easier and cheaper. Also, if you have young children you should remember that a cracked screen or spilt juice on a laptop is much more serious than similar damage to a desktop.

4. Ergonomics

There are certain factors a workspace should have to ensure the healthy and safe use of the computer, and minimize the risks of eye strain or muscle ache around the neck and wrists such as height of the desk, height and position of the chair, and the sitting position of the person using the computer.

Many people use laptops on the sofa, or while sitting on the floor, which is not healthy in the long term. A better solution would be to have a fixed workstation such as a desk or table, which may somewhat defeat the purpose of having a laptop over a desktop computer.

5. Space

Desktop machines are getting smaller and smaller, however, a laptop is still going to take up less room than a complete desktop computer. The great thing with a laptop is that you can easily tuck it away out of sight if you need to create some free space on the table or desk. So if space is at a premium, a laptop is a fantastic solution.


So, when asking yourself ‘do I buy a desktop or laptop for family use?’ there really is no straight forward right or wrong answer. Buying a laptop versus a desktop as the best home computer for family use totally depends on your situation, and how you and your family tend to use the computer.

Read : Guide to Choosing PC or Mac for College

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