Are you in the market for a new computer? With all the geeky jargon and specs thrown your way, it can become confusing. You don’t want to end up unhappy with a piece of equipment that is going to be your partner for the next few years – at the least. When in doubt, begin by focusing on your needs.

STEP 1: Ask yourself the following questions

  1. Type: What do you originally have in mind. Do you wish to have a laptop or Desktop PC or Tablet ? – Consider options based on mobility, will you be carrying it to work, or moving around a lot when your work. Do you need your computer to be portable and easy to carry?
  2. Purpose: What will you be using your brand new computer for ? – Dig deeper into your work on the computer, do you use it for gaming, designing, writing or the kind of applications that you need. A lot can depend on what a computer can support in terms of space and performance
  3. Budget: How much are you willing to spend? – You don’t want to spend on high end specs that are not required for your needs
  4. Assemble! Order a Pre-Built PC or build it yourself? – Are you confident you will be able to do it right?

Choosing the perfect computer which ticks all the boxes has become a challenge as the marketplace is filled with different models, configurations, specifications, sizes, and prices to choose from. At CSG Technologies we want to ensure your next computer shopping experience is a breeze. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure you make the best purchasing decision:

STEP 2: Now, let us go over generic features, pros, cons , and finally compare and contrast what we should invest our time and money in.

1) If you are looking for productivity, awesome features and performance, Laptops maybe your one stop solution.

“Mobility” and “Lightweight” are the prime factors that make laptops stand out. Having said that, in the busy world we live in today commuting to and from work and not to mention hours stuck in traffic means we want to carry around just one thing for convenience.

Thus, a lightweight laptop could be your ideal choice. You will also want to consider battery life, as it will need to last a full workday and allow you to tackle tasks such as Text-Editing, Browsing, Coding, simple Motion Design, simple Animation, and basic Video & Photo Editing. However, if you require extreme performance, laptops may not be your cup of tea. Unfortunately, due to its portability it has cooling and power limits. Additionally, upgrading a laptop to stronger components is nearly impossible as the CPU, GPU, or the motherboard are built in. Thus, leaving little room for swapping and toggling only the RAM and storage drive.

2)  Tablets on the other hand rank higher in terms of portability and battery life. So, what are the tradeoffs of choosing between a laptop and tablet?

Generally, tablets are used for browsing the web, reading ebooks, playing games, and listening to music. In comparison, laptops also allow users to perform their favorite passive activities while offering productivity. i.e., efficiency and productivity are key factors to consider especially if you wish to create documents, send emails, and use powerful software. If you ever find yourself choosing between laptops and tablets. Here are some tips:

  • The input method: obviously, tablets have a touchscreen interface for input, presenting challenges when you input text. On the other hand, laptops are better for people who type a lot.

  • Portability matters: A tablet’s portability is unmatched, even the smallest laptops in the market, like the Apple MacBook Air 11, weighs more and has a profile larger than most tablets.

  • Battery Life: Laptops using powerful hardware do not last longer in comparison to tablets which can support up to ten hours of web usage without requiring a charge.

  • Storage Capacity: While, tablets allow between 16 and 128 gigabytes of storage. The average budget laptop comes with a 500 GB hard drive.

  • Performance: Performing more demanding tasks that involve multitasking or HD graphics requires a laptop.

  • Software: A tablet may support windows; however, it will likely be slower.

  • Cost: Primary-tier tablets cost between $500 to more than $1000. But, at these prices, they tend to provide worse performance than a laptop.

3) Weighing between laptop vs desktop PCs?

We recommend before you begin your search to change your perspective: neither device is better than the other, and both have their own sets of pros and cons. Overall, your choice boils down to your own needs and preferences..

Naturally, a desktop PC is designed to be a static, stationary computer staying on a desk in an office or bedroom. It consists of numerous parts: a tower, a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. Due to this,PCs are generally more customizable than laptops. You are able to put together top-of-the-line parts for every aspect of the PC when you choose a desktop computer.

On the other hand, a laptop (also called a notebook) is an all-in-one portable device which has USB inputs on the sides for optional peripherals. Since, laptops have a built-in screen, a built-in keyboard, and a trackpad which acts as a mouse. They are limited by their size to support longer battery life.

The argument for a desktop PC is “versatility”. If you are looking for versatility, in terms of storage, performance, and specifications, then a desktop PC is for you. Desktops are capable of storing large files and run games with high quality graphics easily. Not only that, they can be customized to your liking. For instance, you can add more storage, RAM, and a better graphics card to improve your computing experience. Desktop PC do not run on a battery, so you can use them for longer without stopping which ranks it higher in terms longevity. Desktop PCs are great for a home-based environment due to its lack of portability. Top-of-the-line laptops generally have higher price points than desktop PCs and they also have all of the limitations listed above.

Overall, if mobility is not your biggest concern a desktop would be an ergonomic option. In comparison to a laptop, a desktop puts less strain on your neck and you receive more power per dollar. Most models have built-in display while some don’t. However, computer monitors are cost effective.

4) The grey area of not knowing what the operating system includes.

Microsoft Windows, Chrome OS and Linux are some operating systems to choose from, each with their own set of pros and cons. Nevertheless, they may differ from their aesthetics at first glance and their functionality as well. Moreover, these software are handled differently. Practically, your old operating systemsoftware will work without a hassle on your new OS. In the worst-case scenario, your new OS might not even be available. For instance, Microsoft Office works perfectly when plugged in to a Windows OS computer, but will not be functioning within its full capacity when used on a Linux or MAC powered computer. Here’s a quick overview of the best operating systems to consider:

  • Windows – Most suitable for Apps, Browsing, Personal Use, Gaming, etc.

It is amongst the world’s most recognized and popular operating system fueling computing systems of millions of users.

Overview and Verdict:- user-friendly, starts up & resumes operations fast, and latest versions have more built-in security for data protection.

  • Mac OS- Most suitable for Apple-exclusive Apps, Dynamic Desktop, etc.

The Mac OS comes free with any apple device and during recent years, it is completely free with the occasional free upgrade by its developers.

Overview and Verdict:- One of the best-looking OS today, its design and interface is Apple’s biggest accomplishment. Overall, Apple has lifted the burden off their hefty priced devices by giving free access to their OS upgrades.


  • Chrome OS- Most suitable for web application

A Linux-kernel based operating software that is designed by Google. The google chrome web browser is used as the principal user interface as it is derived from the free Chromium OS.  

Overview and Verdict:– For the time being it works perfectly alright for multi-media, Linux and Android applications.

  • Linux

An open-source operating system that can be used without paying money. If support is needed, then you pay up to the distributers of Linux who offerprovide facilities to change the content of Linux and redistribute.

Overview and Verdict: The security features of Linux attract companies to use it as the server.

If you are unable to decide between a laptop and desktop and feel that you need the performance of a desktop while still having the portability of a laptop. Consider a docking station. Docking stations for laptops are designed to bridge the gap between potability and performance. With a docking station, you can get the best of both worlds with a system that allows your laptop to work for both purposes.

  • Mimicking the benefits of a desktop via a monitor with a docking station

The ideal solution to a modern workspace is a docking monitor. Within the monitor an integrated docking station provides professionals with a display that is both easy to set up and configure. They are also based on the new USB type-C standard. Thus, users can rely on a single solution, that can transfer data, connect video and power devices. Additionally, professionals can maintain a tidy desk. Here are the top reasons to mimic a desktop:

(i) Able to extend your laptop’s autonomy without additional external power supply

(ii) All of your devices can be directly plugged

(iii) Able to transfer data and charge your phone at a glance

(iv) Affordable Prices as you save space and money with a feature-rich one solution

(v)  Drive easily a DP daisy-chaining to your laptop

At the end of the day, it all boils down to how much you are willing to spend. If all you need a computer for is browsing the web, send emails, and watch an occasional video, then you can do with a cheaper set up. Remember, that now even the cheapest models are powerful enough to perform these basic tasks.

If you will depend on your system for work, then aim for at least a midrange one. They might cost more, but you will appreciate the speed and the time you will save. As a rule, the better the performance, the more expensive a computer will be. Assess your budget and how you’ll be using your machine, hopefully with these tips, you’ll find the right balance between price and performance.

Matt Parks

Matt Parks

About the Author: President & CEO, Matt has over 20 years building and leading high functioning teams
delivering exceptional results