Computer Hardware for Freelancers
(Page 2 of 5)
Desktop Versus Laptop
This isn’t a “holy war” like the PC/Apple kerfuffle, but is another classic decision that any computer purchaser must make. As usually happens, there is no right answer, no choice that is better than the other: it depends on your needs and priorities.
The primary trade-off between desktops and laptops is processing power per dollar versus mobility. For a given amount of money spent, desktops are more powerful and capable than laptops, but of course, they cannot be easily carried around. Laptops are either more expensive or slower than desktops (or both), but provide you the freedom to take your computer with you.
The other key advantage of a desktop computer is upgradeability: it’s relatively easy to add components such as extra memory, or even upgrade to a faster processor later on. Desktops are also better-equipped when it comes to input and output, with more usable keyboards and mice, and bigger monitor screens. Laptops have secondary advantages such as lower power consumption, built-in power independence (see “Power and Power Protection” later in this topic) and integrated features like webcams and wireless networking. Again, choose whichever set of attributes is more important for your computing needs.
Of course, with today’s low prices, there’s not always the absolute need to choose one or the other. You can easily get both a desktop and a laptop now for less than what either one would have cost a few years ago. And both will be faster!
Many working professionals don’t own a cell phone any more: they own a computer that looks a bit like a cell phone. So-called smart phones are capable of a surprising proportion of the functions that once required a full computer: they can access the Web, let you send and receive emails, do basic data processing tasks, and much more. A well-configured device can readily allow you to perform some of the key tasks that an online freelancer requires, such as searching for projects, bidding, and interacting with clients.
That said, I recommend using a mobile device as a complement to a real computer, not a substitute for one. Even though smart phones are in fact surprisingly smart, they are still much less efficient to use than a proper machine. In particular, the lack of a real keyboard and the tiny screen will wear you down over time. You may also run into difficulties with Web site features that don’t work, client documents you can’t view, and so forth.
Home - Table Of Contents - Contact Us
The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: February 1, 2012
© Copyright 2001-2012 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.