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Desktop PCs: Why Keep One in the Age of Mobile

February 11, 2015       Tech Buzz
Desktop PCs!
Why Keep One in the Age of Mobile...

Remember when laptops used to be 3-year-lifespan, slow, portable computers that heat up like a toaster after some use so you could only sit on one for around 3 hours at the most?  Toss out all that overpriced junk, the new laptop computers of today are not only lighter, have better computing power than some desktop PCs even, and last twice as along as the older clunky and expensive stuff. 

Most modern professionals now have at least one laptop when working away from the office because the device has become more reliable and powerful as a portable computer.

Aside from laptops, mobile computing has gone the way of compact netbooks, and sexy iPads, as well as powerful smartphones that have EVERYTHING a working journalist needs to cover any beat: From high-rez, to video camera and audio recorder, and tight, notepad-wordpro apps for transcriptions and writing out in the field.  Mobile devices are now the tools of trade for most working professionals who travel a lot. 

Desktop computers are so advanced today that even a 5-year-old
desktop model is still a very powerful and useful worktool for your
home office or for your field office.

Why should your next computer still be a desktop?

Why spend the same amount of money when you could get a very good smartphone or tablet computer instead and bring your worktool wherever you need to go?

Desktops Give More Bang for Buck

For every peso you shell out, a desktop computer is worth its weight in computing power.  Mobile devices like laptops and netbooks with more RAM tend to cost more than the same RAM for desktops.  If your work requires multitasking, or switching between several applications at the same time, whether it be a desktop publishing program or graphics editing apps, or updating the Content Management System on your website, you will need a good computer with enough RAM to handle the job. 

Your desktop computer can run Open Source apps or Free Software
like Ubuntu for OS and powerful graphics editing apps like
the Graphic Image Manipulation Program or GIMP.

A desktop computer almost always has the better video card specs to handle heavy digital graphics design work, from simple flat design to 3D CGI rendering, you will need a dedicated desktop to handle any hunker down task--mobile devices are only as useful as their battery life and can only handle so much given small screens and limited computing power. 

Open Source software has kept the cost of running more than one desktop computer for your home office or field office that much more affordable because all Open Source is FREE and even websites offering FREE PDF magazines for user download and work reference for Open Source apps are everywhere now.

Working Just Anywhere Has Its Own Difficulties

The idea of telecommuting or working anywhere BUT the office seems like an attractive and more flexible way of getting work done for some work situations. But not all. 

Not all people have the ability to sit down and zone out at a Starbucks getting their work done while slurping on designer coffee.  There are many distractions at places away from a normal, quiet and enclosed office work area.  Most of the time, the ambient noise and vigilance for lurking thieves or eavesdropping rivals keep one less than fully focused on the job at hand, when you are working on a mobile device.

And working offsite (away from the office) using a laptop or netbook offers less computing power compared with a dedicated desktop rigged with the right gear (pen tablet, video card, storage and memory capacity) for the same price as the mobile device.  Some people work better and are more productive in a dedicated space for the job..

People at a coffee shop putting in some time to get some work
done on their laptops.  A common scene nowadays among university
students and work professionals.

Working with WiFi is also a high risk situation for anyone working with sensitive data.  Snoops can intercept communications and even set up malware on mobile devices that are not securely configured for WiFi access.  At a dedicated work office with an internet line that is securely configured, you have less worries about your precious work files and data getting lost or stolen, than if you were working openly on WiFi in public spaces.  Technical jobs are especially sensitive to data theft so if you are working with confidential data for your company, chances are you are better off working on a desktop PC at home or at any secure work area than in the public.

So if you are considering investing in a worktool for your home office or for the company workplace, recheck the specs on the best value desktop computer you can get compared with the same or better mobile device.  

One of the many You Tube uploads showing how to build a
budget computer.  You can choose from affordable gear from
4 years ago to today's latest.

This video from Explaining Computers You Tube account.

All Rights reserved to Christopher Barnatt of
Explaining Computers and You Tube

Chances are, as good as the mobile device looks, the desktop computer still offers better value, and a better work environment than most any mobile computing options.  If your work entails a lot of travel, the mobile device might be the more practical option. 

But, even if you are looking for the best replacement for a desktop computer, no mobile device has the same computing power and value for money.  Nor the convenience of staying plugged in for long hours of intense work.  Running out of battery power is the bane of mobile gadgets.

Keeping a desktop computer optimized for your work requirements and running Open Source software is still best for keeping your work within easy reach, secure within the confines of your office or home, and you can sync it with your issued mobile device, if you really need to use one while doing work offsite.

Image Credit:
  Banner Image on Newsfeed slideshow is from Paul Mayne, Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.  Image is cropped to size for slideshow and text added for article.


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