What are the main differences between desktops and laptops?

A desktop computer sits on your desk, and a laptop computer sits on your lap. (and no, I'm not trying to be cute. How do you think they got their names?) mobility , lap tops you can fold up and run off a batttery , desk tops run of mains electricity and cant fold up for mobility 

3 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Power consumption, power availability, weight, size and heat dissipation.

    Laptops have to be able to run a reasonable time from a relatively small battery, so all the components need to be able to run at a fairly low power level to allow that, and also not need to dissipate too much heat in the small casing, so it does not get too hot.

    Desktops do not have any of those restriction; one may take 150W, 500W or over 1000W. They can use high powered, high performance parts that are bigger and relatively cheaper to make than things that could work in a laptop.

    Desktop computers were the next stage after mainframe (room size) and minicomputers (floor standing filing cabinet size) machines.

    A computer being small enough to fit on a desk and the desk still be used normally was the start of the "Personal computer" era.

    All current "laptops" are what was called "Notebook" format when it was introduced - the laptops before then were much bigger, possibly 15" front to back, 3 - 4 inches thick and the screen hinge was in the middle of the body, so it just covered the keyboard area and a good part of the machine was behind the screen hinge.

    (Search for photos of the "Grid-1" or "Amstrad ALT-386sx" for an idea of those)

    When the size was reduced to the point the hinge could be at the very back of the machine so it opened like a book, the new smaller style was nicknamed Notebook computer.

    There was also another computer format back in the early PC days, the "Luggable" pc. Those were between a desktop and a laptop, a portable machine in a suitcase-size box that ran from wall power, with a built-in CRT monitor and typically the keyboard attached over the monitor and floppy disc drives as a lid for transport.

    Look up "Osbourne 1" or "Compaq Portable" for examples of those.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    There is not much to say, although desktops usually have better thermals than laptops.

  • Matt
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    One sits on your desk, the other sits on your lap?

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