7 Reasons Why a Desktop PC Is Still Better than Anything Else (Especially Mobiles)

Article by George Norman (Cybersecurity Editor)

on 07 Jun 2017

Yes, I know that the global PC market is in a downwards spiral for its nth quarter, having just recently reported its first growth in 5 years. And yes, I know that mobile usage is on the rise, with more people opting to get a smartphone, tablet, or some other type of mobile device instead of a classic desktop. Still, I argue that a desktop PC is better than all the other alternatives.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get an Android, an iPhone, an iPad, a laptop, a 2-in-1, or even a Mac. These devices can peacefully coexist in your home and you can easily switch from one to another. I’m just saying that a desktop PC is better, and here’s why.

1. No scratches, no cracks, no worries

Mobile manufactures put a lot of time and effort into making their devices as durable as possible. They have to make sure the device won’t bend when you put it in your pocket, they have to make sure that the screen won’t easily scratch, and they have to make sure that the screen won’t crack when you drop it. And make no mistake about it, you ARE going to drop it – eventually.

I speak from experience when I say that I’ve dropped my smartphone many, many times. Sometimes I was lucky and nothing happened, other times the screen shattered and I was heartbroken. How many times did I drop my desktop computer’s monitor? None! All the dust that’s gathered on it and around it are testament to the fact that it is perfectly safe sitting there on my desk.

2. A full size keyboard (and mouse)

A smartphone’s onscreen keyboard is fine, if I’m only interested in sending a few texts and quickly Googling something to prove my friends wrong. A tablet’s Bluetooth keyboard is okay, as long as I don’t have to use it for too long. And a laptop’s keyboard is nice, if can somehow learn to stop hitting the damn Fn button.

But I write for a living and I spend 8 hours a day or more in front of a keyboard and, for prolonged use like that, there’s no substitute to a desktop’s full size keyboard.

And let’ talk price for a second, shall we? A Signature Type Cover for Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 2-in-1 is priced at $160. I could get a Logitech G413 mechanical gaming keyboard for $90 and have enough left to treat my colleague Frederick Barton to a couple of beers. Not to mention that it will look great alongside my other Logitech gear, mainly my G403 Prodigy wireless mouse and G533 wireless headset.

3. A proper monitor for… you know

PornHub recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and used the occasion to share some interesting insights and statistics (see here – slightly NSFW). One of these insights said that mobile usage has increased from 1% back in 2008 to 75% in 2017. I told you that your phone is filthy.

Now, if you want to take a quick "break," I can certainly understand why you’d want to use a smartphone. But if you really want to enjoy your break in all its glory, you’re better off using your desktop computer’s large monitor. Or better yet, you could stream it to your TV. Try hiding that when someone walks in on you.

4. Battery? What battery!

Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and 2-in-1 devices, they all rely on a battery to work. Disable some features, reduce the brightness, use it sparingly, and you’ll be lucky if you get a full day’s worth out of the battery. It’s enough to make you miss the landlines of old.

Since a desktop is always plugged in, you don’t have to worry about battery life and other nonsense like that. And if you get a UPS, you don’t even have to worry about power outages. Your desktop will have juice even if your entire household has been plunged into darkness.

5. You get more for your buck

Desktop computers make sense financially, and I can bring up multiple reasons why:
  • You can upgrade specific parts, which is cheaper than buying a new device.
  • You can build it yourself, or have a boutique PC shop build it for you.
  • A desktop that’s similarly priced as a laptop has more power to offer.
  • You’ll get more life out of a powerful desktop than a smartphone or tablet.

NVIDIA recently presented the new Battlebox and the most expensive one is about $3,000. That’s not cheap when you compare it with your smartphone or tablet. But if you compare it with something like Microsoft’s new Surface Pro or Apple’s new iMac Pro, you’ll see that it’s actually a great deal. The top-of-the line new Surface Pro is over $3,000 and pricing for the iMac Pro starts at $5,000.

Your main financial issue is that your shiny, powerful desktop PC will become obsolete in a couple of years. But then again, the same can be said about your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

6. Some seriously stunning all-in-one designs

The aforementioned iMac Pro got me thinking about all-in-one desktops and that made me remember the video listed above.

As The Verge correctly points out, the "desktop PC has transformed from a boring beige or black box into a centerpiece of a modern desk space."

7. Games, games, games

There certainly is no shortage of games on the market. There are casual games for mobiles, there are more demanding games for consoles, and there are plenty of games that offer support for Mac.

But if you want a proper gaming experience, if you want to play the best games and the biggest AAA titles at max settings and a constant 60FPS, you’re going to need two things: Windows and a powerful gaming PC. The more powerful the better!

And since we’re talking about games, I simply have to bring up Steam. It’s home to a huge collection of games and it regularly offers considerable discounts, which is more than welcome seeing that you spent all your money on a powerful gaming rig.

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