Difference between Desktop and Laptop

Key Difference: A desktop or a desktop computer is a personal computer that is stationed at a fixed location. On the other hand, a laptop is a compact version of a desktop computer. Generally, a desktop is bulkier than a laptop. Laptops are preferred for their portability, whereas desktops are preferred for more nifty parts and features.

Computers have changed the whole scenario. Everything seems to revolve around the networks of computers. There are various terms that are associated with the types of computers and sometimes can create confusion. A desktop and a laptop are usually compared by the buyers.

A desktop computer is generally an assembly of a computer case (that contains a motherboard and a central processing unit), monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power cord. However, it can be an all-in-one type of machine like an iMac. A desktop is known for the value and power provided by it. The most important thing that is attached with a desktop is that it is highly customizable.

These computers have to be plugged into an AC outlet to get the power to function. They usually do not come with monitors and thus, one can select a monitor of any size, color quality or weight. They come with a full size key board and thus, it is very easy to work on these computers. These days, super compact desktop systems are being preferred as they take up very little space on the desk.

On the other hand, a laptop is a smaller version of a desktop that contains the hard drive, disk drive, monitor, wireless modem, keyboard and mouse in a single unit. The best advantage of using a laptop is that it is portable. It is named as laptop, as one can easily place it on the lap and work on it. They are also different from the desktop as they do not need a desk to use them. However, the functionality of a laptop is quite similar to that of a desktop. One of the disadvantages of a laptop over a desktop is that – due to the laptop's small size and portability, it is vulnerable to theft.

Laptops are known for their portability and compact size. Laptops are usually preferred by the people who want to take it along while traveling. It provides the same functionalities as the desktop computers; therefore laptops are preferred by regular travelers. People often carry their laptops to the office, as this provides them with the flexibility to work at home, as well as office, on the same files without transferring the data or installing the set up.

A heated debate over the preference may often occur. However, if someone is looking for a portable machine to work with, then definitely laptops are to be considered. On the other hand, if one needs to spend a lot of time working on the computer system, then a stationary device like a desktop needs to be preferred. If someone is thinking to buy one out of these, then he/she should first determine the need and budget, and then accordingly buy a computer.

Some key differences between the two are listed below:-





A desktop is a personal computer that is stationed at a fixed location.

A laptop is a compact version of a desktop.


Comparatively large

Comparatively small

Powered by Internal Battery



Repairing cost



Use at


Lap, desk, anywhere (mobile)

Powers and features

Generally more

Generally less


Generally less expensive

Generally more expensive





A classic desktop including monitor and keyboard weights around 25 lbs.

4.5 to 8 lbs

Ultralight models weigh under 3 lbs

Hardware (for the same money)

More powerful

Less powerful

Produce heat

Comparatively less

Comparatively more

Graphic adapter

More powerful

Less powerful

Number of ports


Less (Limited)

Image Courtesy: newtechnology.co.in, z-tricks.blogspot.com

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