Is A Laptop Considered A PC Or Desktop


Yes, a laptop is, in fact, a type of personal computer (PC). It’s an ideal choice for those who need or want portability, but still need the power and versatility of a desktop PC. With its smaller size, it can easily be moved from place to place, while still providing the same computing functions as a desktop.

Laptops are even capable of connecting to larger displays and external storage devices when necessary. While technically any system suitable for individual use could be classified as a personal computer (PC), the term has come to mean Windows-based desktops and laptops in most cases. As such, the majority would consider laptops to fall within this classification of PCs.

What is a laptop?

A laptop is a personal computer that offers increased portability due to its smaller size, battery power, and ability to run off of AC power. It is designed to be easily taken with you and used in various settings such as on an airplane, in a library, or at a meeting.

Laptops are usually equipped with features like a keyboard, touchpad, display screen, and other ports for connecting external devices. They typically come pre-loaded with operating systems like Windows or Mac OSX, along with applications like Microsoft Office or Google Drive.

Laptops can also be connected to docking stations which add additional connections for peripheral devices such as monitors, keyboards, and printers. This makes it possible to use the laptop just like a desktop PC when needed.

With these features combined, laptops offer users the flexibility of having their powerful system on the go and at home. From this point, it’s apparent why laptops have become an essential tool for business professionals, students, and travelers alike.

History of laptops

You’ve probably heard about the invention of mobile computers, but do you know when and by whom the first laptop was created?

It all started in 1981 when Adam Osborne launched the Osborne 1—the world’s first-ever laptop. Here are some of its features:

  1. Modern port incorporation
  2. 5 ¼ inch floppy drives
  3. 5 Inch screen

It had a big collection of Software applications and, most importantly, it was portable! This invention was quite successful in its market and it was being sold at USD$1795.

The introduction of laptops sparked an entire era that changed the way we use computers today.

With the launch of the World Wide Web (www), PCs became even more popular and now they play a huge role in our lives – be it for office work, entertainment, or education. It’s hard to believe how life would look without these amazing devices!

Types of laptops

You have a variety of options when it comes to choosing the right laptop for your needs. Size, screen resolution, processing power, memory, input ports and devices, durability, design, accessories, and battery life are all important factors to consider when selecting a laptop.

Laptops come in a range of sizes from small netbooks to large notebooks. High-resolution displays with high pixel density provide sharper graphics and increased viewing area. Depending on the user’s needs, laptops come with either two or four-core processors which vary in performance capabilities. Most laptops offer 8 GB of RAM as standard, but some can be upgraded with more memory if required.

Input ports such as Lightning, HDMI, and USB are common features found on laptops along with built-in microphones and video cameras. Durability is another important factor to consider when purchasing a laptop; some models are designed for use in rugged conditions while others may require more delicate handling. Design options include hybrids that detach from the computer to function as tablets or convertibles offering different form factors depending on the user’s preference.

With an array of accessories available such as detachable keyboards or secondary touchpads, there is something for everyone. Last but not least is battery life; most laptops have long-lasting batteries, but it is best to check before buying for those who need longer periods away from power sources.

Moving forward, we will now look at the features and characteristics of laptops in more detail…

What are the features and characteristics of a Laptop?

Moving on from the types of laptops, let’s take a look at what makes a laptop unique.

Laptops have several components that make them different from desktops and other computers.

  • Firstly, they have an internal power supply to recharge the battery. This is in contrast to desktop PCs which require an external power source.
  • Secondly, instead of having a CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit), like most PCs, laptops are equipped with both processors – making them more powerful than many desktops.
  • Additionally, they feature RAM (random-access memory) as well as storage for long-term data access when the computer doesn’t have power. I/O ports are also included so you can plug in external devices such as a monitor or mouse.
  • Finally, laptops come with displays embedded into their body so they’re portable and easy to use anywhere you go. All these features come together to make laptops quite convenient for those who need the power of a PC but don’t want to be tied down to one location.

With all this information about laptops out of the way, let’s move on to examining how they differ from desktops.

Should You Consider Laptop As A Desktop PC or Computer?

No, a laptop should not be considered the same as a desktop PC. Whilst they share almost the same components, it is their properties that differentiate them and make them suitable for different purposes. Thus, one cannot simply assume that a laptop can substitute for a desktop computer.

It depends entirely on what an individual needs to do with either device. A laptop may offer convenience but won’t necessarily be suitable for any task in hand; similarly, although a desktop offers more power and stability than its portable counterpart, its bulky size renders it inconvenient at times.

Therefore, when choosing between the two devices it is important to take into account both your daily activities and lifestyle preferences before making your decision.

Do you need a laptop and a desktop?

As someone who works from home, I only need a desktop computer for my daily tasks.

However, if you travel frequently for work or pleasure, then having both a laptop and a desktop would be ideal so that you can stay connected no matter where you are.

Additionally, if your job requires you to use specific software or hardware that’s not available on laptops, then having both is the best option.

When you need a desktop

People who work exclusively from home, perform intensive work, or rarely use their computer outside of work may need just a desktop. A desktop is more powerful than a laptop and can handle more intense programs that require more processing power. Desktops are often cheaper to buy than laptops and don’t require batteries, so they are easier to maintain. Additionally, the components used in desktops can be upgraded much easier than those used in laptops.

While laptops offer portability, desktops offer superior performance and customization options for users who don’t need to take their devices with them wherever they go. Ultimately, whether you choose a laptop or a desktop depends on your needs and preferences. But if you’re looking for maximum performance at an affordable price without sacrificing portability completely, then you may want to consider choosing just a desktop over both types of computers.

When you need a laptop

If you’re looking for something portable that can still handle basic tasks, a laptop may be the right choice. For those who work mostly away from home, it offers convenience and portability. It’s also great for light work like word processing, conference calls, and web-based applications. Plus, if you use your computer frequently outside of work – such as on the go – a laptop ensures you have access to all your files when needed.

For casual gamers or those who don’t play games at all, laptops are an ideal option too. They often lack the power of desktops but they provide just enough performance to satisfy occasional gaming needs or general usage requirements.

Benefits Drawbacks
Portable Less powerful than desktops
Lightweight Limited upgradability options
Convenient access to data and files on the go Not suitable for intensive gaming or work tasks

When you need a laptop and desktop

For those who need a combination of portability and power, having both a laptop and a desktop can be beneficial.

Working professionals who travel often for business meetings or events may find it useful to have the convenience of taking their laptops with them without sacrificing performance.

Gamers who require powerful hardware but don’t want to sacrifice portability can also benefit from having both types of machines.

Having two separate computers allows users to keep personal data and work accounts separated, ensuring privacy and security in both instances.

Additionally, using two different machines eliminates the need for switching between tasks constantly on the same machine.

Overall, having both a laptop and desktop may be ideal for many people depending on their needs.

Difference between laptops and desktops

As a laptop user, I understand that these devices are more portable than desktops and have less powerful processors and graphics processors.


Comparing laptops to desktops, you’ll find they are much more portable. On average, a laptop is around 2-8 pounds, making it easy to carry in a bag without any hassle. Desktops, on the other hand, can weigh anywhere from 20-30 pounds and require multiple components like monitors and keyboards that make it difficult to move them around. 

This mobility advantage makes laptops an ideal choice for those who need to be able to take their computer with them wherever they go. Additionally, the lighter weight also means that it can be moved around within a home or office without too much effort. As such, laptops are often seen as preferable over desktops for those seeking portability. Transitioning into the next section about ‘less powerful processor’, however, one must keep in mind that although portability is important, there may be other factors at play when choosing a device.

Low-end processors

Due to their smaller size, laptops generally have less powerful processors than desktop computers. This is because laptop components require more efficient designs that generate less heat and draw less power. To achieve this, laptop manufacturers often use versions of CPU or GPU chips that are designed for mobile devices and run at slower speeds than the desktop version.

Consequently, a laptop’s processor may not clock up or ‘turbo up’ to the same speeds as a comparable desktop processor. Furthermore, some laptop models may even come with lower-powered CPUs than those available in an equivalent desktop model.

Despite these limitations, modern laptops still offer impressive performance and many users don’t notice the difference in processing power between a laptop and a desktop computer. Nonetheless, if you need maximum processing power for intensive tasks such as video editing or gaming, then you’re better off investing in a high-end desktop PC instead of relying on a laptop’s less powerful processor.

Low-end graphics processors

Compared to desktops, laptops typically have less powerful graphics processors, which can make them unsuitable for gaming or other graphic-intensive tasks. Integrated graphics are usually not as capable as discrete GPUs found on desktop computers and cannot handle more demanding applications. This means that if you need a laptop for intensive graphic work such as 3D modeling or video editing, then it’s best to opt for a desktop computer with a dedicated GPU instead.

On the other hand, integrated graphics are often sufficient for basic tasks such as web browsing and casual gaming. In any case, it is important to consider your needs before making a purchase decision.

With this in mind, another area of difference between laptops and desktops is their upgradeability.


The lack of upgrade options is one of the biggest drawbacks when it comes to laptops. While desktop PCs are much more flexible in terms of upgradability, laptops don’t offer the same level of customizability.

This means that you can’t expand your laptop’s memory or storage capacity, and you can’t swap out components like a motherboard or CPU. Additionally, you can’t upgrade to newer and faster graphics processors.

This immutability makes it tough to keep up with the latest technology and means you’ll likely have to replace your laptop after a few years. Fortunately, some other features help make up for this limitation—like smaller screens and longer battery life.

Screen Size

While many people may find it difficult to work on such a small screen, laptops offer the advantage of portability. They can feature screens up to 17 inches, but their average size is much smaller than that of a desktop computer, usually around 20 inches or more. This makes them ideal for people who need to travel and don’t want to lug an enormous monitor with them.

However, due to their limited space and lower resolution options, laptops may be inadequate for users who need to view high-res images or require a lot of space to work comfortably. Even so, the tradeoff between portability and convenience may make the smaller screen acceptable for some users. Working on such a small screen does require discipline and dedication to maximize efficiency. However, with the right attitude and setup, this can be achieved.

Thus, even if the laptop’s small screen size presents challenges, its advantages outweigh those challenges for some users. All things considered, laptops are indeed PCs or desktops but come with different features than traditional computers do.


Moving on from the size of laptop screens, let’s consider the cost. A laptop will almost always be more expensive than a desktop PC due to its portability feature. Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. It includes components that allow it to run without an external power source for extended periods.
  2. It is designed in a way to be lightweight and compact so it can easily be transported from place to place.
  3. The parts used in laptops are made to a higher standard and usually come with shorter warranties than those found in desktop PCs.

These reasons make clear why laptops tend to have a higher price tag than desktops, making them less ideal for budget-conscious shoppers who simply need basic computing power at home or work. Thus, considering cost should always factor into your purchasing decision when looking for a PC – laptop or desktop.

We have listed all this in detail in our blog desktop vs laptops.


Being a technician, I know how hard laptop repairs can get! Apart from that, parts are hard to find locally and they get obsolete very quickly.

So if you are looking for one that more durable – my recommendation – close your eyes and get a desktop!

Similarities between a desktop and a laptop

You may be surprised to learn that a laptop and a desktop computer share many similarities, even though they are designed for different purposes. Both types of computers feature the same core components, such as a CPU (processor), GPU (graphics processor), RAM (Random Access Memory), Hard Drive, Display, Keyboard, and Mouse (or trackpad).

What’s more is that both use the same operating system, like Windows. Unless you are an advanced user who regularly puts heavy loads on your machine for tasks such as video editing, it is unlikely that you will notice any significant difference between desktops and laptops.

However, due to their smaller form factor and limited internal space, laptops must differ from desktops in certain ways when it comes to engineering.

On A Final Note

In conclusion, laptops have come an incredibly long way since their beginning and continue to be improved with advancing technology. From the first IBM 5100 in 1975 to the most powerful gaming laptop of today, laptops have evolved significantly over the last 45 years. Today’s laptops are more than capable of taking on any task that a PC or desktop can handle. Plus, they are convenient due to their portability, making them ideal for professionals who need to work on the go or students who want a versatile device.

Feature Laptop PC/Desktop
Portability Yes No
Power High High
Price High (for high power) – Low (for basic use) — Low (for basic use) – High (for high power) —

Overall, both PCs and desktops offer great performance and value for money but laptops provide additional benefits such as portability which makes them ideal for many different types of users. Therefore, it is safe to say that a laptop is considered a type of personal computer just like PCs and desktops are.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best laptop to buy?

When looking for the best laptop to buy, it’s important to consider what you need it for. Are you a gamer? A student? A professional? Different laptops are designed with different uses in mind, so make sure the one you choose is well-suited to your needs.

Look at the processor speed and RAM size of any laptop before making a purchase; this will give you an indication of how quickly it can run applications. Battery life and portability are also important factors when choosing a laptop; if you plan on taking it with you often, look for something lightweight and long-lasting.

What are the advantages of using a laptop instead of a desktop?

Using a laptop instead of a desktop offers many advantages.

The biggest advantage is portability: with a laptop, you can take your work anywhere.

Laptops also often have better battery life than desktops, so you don’t have to be constantly plugged in if you’re away from an outlet.

Additionally, laptops tend to be cheaper than desktops for the same specs—you get more value for your money.

Finally, laptops usually come with built-in wireless capabilities, so connecting to the internet is easier and faster than using an ethernet cable on a desktop.

All in all, laptops offer great convenience and value for those who are always on the go.

What type of laptop should I buy for gaming?

When it comes to buying a laptop for gaming, you’ll want to look at specs like the processor, graphics card, and RAM. A good combination of these components will give you the performance needed for smooth gameplay.

Look for Intel Core i5 or i7 processors with dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards and 8GB-16GB of RAM. Be sure to also check the battery life and weight, as you may be playing on the go.

Ultimately, make sure your laptop has enough power to meet your gaming needs without breaking the bank.

Is a laptop better than a desktop for multitasking?

Yes, laptops are better than desktops for multitasking. Laptops are designed to be easily portable and can often handle many tasks at once without any noticeable decrease in performance. They usually come with more RAM and a faster processor than desktops, which allows them to run multiple applications or programs simultaneously.

Additionally, their compact size helps conserve space, making them ideal for those who need to work on multiple projects in one location. With all these advantages, it’s no surprise that laptop computers are becoming increasingly popular for multitasking needs.

What kind of laptop do I need for work or school?

When it comes to choosing a laptop for work or school, there are many factors to consider.

First, you want to make sure your laptop has enough power and speed to handle all of the tasks you plan on completing.

You also need to think about the size of the machine; if you’re looking for portability, then a smaller model may be best.

Additionally, ensure that your laptop has enough memory and storage space for any applications or files that you’ll be using.

Finally, check that its battery life is adequate; this will help ensure that your computer doesn’t die during an important presentation or meeting.

All things considered, selecting a laptop for work or school requires careful thought and consideration to get the most out of your machine.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...