There is a lot of talk out there about the end of the desktop, but I don’t believe it will happen. At least not in the foreseeable future. You see, despite the great technology strides in tablets and laptops, desktops are still very much relevant today. There are still many uses for a desktop. Admittedly, these uses are fewer than they were twenty years ago, but there are still many areas where the desktop still shines.
Laptops and tablets are great, and offer spectacular computing portability, but they just don’t hold up in some areas when you start using them. That is where the desktop still wins the day and will continue to do so for quite some time. Will the day come when desktops will no longer be useful at all? Maybe. But today is not that day.
Great Uses for a Desktop
Let’s take a few minutes to look at some of the ways that desktops still hold up today in a world of smartphones, laptops and tablets and, in many ways, offer an even better user experience over these small and portable devices.
1. Affordable Home Computer
If there is one thing that desktops are, its affordable. Just do a little shopping around and you will quickly find that you can get way more machine for your money if you choose to use a desktop. The fact is companies know that you will pay more for portability, and the demand for these devices is much higher. Because of these facts companies can charge you more for your computer, even if it isn’t quite as powerful.
If you are looking to save a little money on your next computer purchase, then you should definitely consider a desktop. Sure you won’t be able to drag it with you wherever you go, but you will put less of a strain on your wallet when the time comes for you to make your purchase. Remember, you can get a much faster machine for your money as well, meaning you will be able to use it longer before you are forced to upgrade it simply because it has gotten too slow to really be useful.
They are also great for kids, as well. If you want your kids to learn how to use a machine and maybe even enjoy a few games, then it makes sense to get an affordable desktop that can withstand the onslaught of young ones as well.
2. Office Machines
Ah the good ‘ole office. I know we spend a majority of our time focusing on the consumer markets here, and with good reason. Still, you can’t forget about the world of work and the office. Businesses often have limited IT budgets and they are almost always looking for ways to cut costs. Choosing to use desktops is one way you can do that in your office.
Because they are more affordable, they make sense for offices to purchase. The larger keyboard and mouse that come with them are also easier to use, meaning that employees will be able to use them much more quickly than the alternatives. They also offer greater comfort, which is important if your employees have to stare at computer screens for long periods of time.
That is not to say that laptops don’t have a place in business, because they most definitely do. However, if your employees don’t travel and spend their days in the office getting work done, then it just makes sense to provide them with a desktop computer instead of a laptop. In some ways they make lack a bit of cool factor, but from a productivity and cost stand point, they just make way more sense for businesses.
3. Gaming Rigs
If there is one area where the desktop shines above all else, it is with gaming. I know I have said it before and I’m going to say it again. If you love PC gaming, then you definitely need a good gaming desktop. These machines simply can give you the most power and speed to drive some of the most complicated games with some of the fanciest and best graphics on the market.
When you are playing games you don’t want to have to sit and wait for the game to load and you don’t want things to be choppy with low frame rates while you play. If you want the most powerful gaming system to drive the most advanced games, you are going to have to go with a desktop. Yes, laptop gaming has come a long way in recent years. There is no denying that. But it still is nothing compared to the power behind a true gaming powerhouse desktop.
Nothing can beat the loads of RAM and multiple high class video cards you can place into a high-end gaming PC, and there isn’t a laptop out there that can really even begin to compete. If you are a serious gamer, then you simply must consider a desktop as your main gaming machine. They simply cannot be beat.
4. Home Server
Have you ever considered setting up a proper network in your home, but you weren’t sure what type of systems you would need to do it. In addition to a good router, you will of course need a machine to function as a server. While you could invest heavily in a proper server, why do that when a desktop will do exactly what you need at a fraction of the cost.
Sure, you may need to upgrade it a bit here and there with better hard drives and maybe even more memory, but that still comes at a small price compared to full blown server. With one desktop, you can easily create your own file servers to share files with your family or even get really crazy and create your own domain just like the business world that your family connects to every time they sign into your home network.
Whatever your reason and whatever you want to do, a laptop simply won’t be enough for the job. You want to be able to easily expand your server when the time comes and you don’t need a laptop with a screen in order to do it. In some cases, you may even have an old desktop just sitting around collecting dust that would make the perfect file server. If you want to create your very own network with a central place to store your important files, grab a desktop and an Ethernet port and you will be setup in no time at all.
5. Back Up Machine
Computers are more important than they have ever been today. We rely on them more than we ever have. In many cases, to go without a machine is simply not an option today. If your main computer goes down, what do you do? Do you just live without your computer for a few days while it is repaired or replaced? That’s what many people do. While it is down, they often get behind on their work or lose track of what they need to be doing. Of course, I bet if you had a back up machine ready to go when this happens you wouldn’t have this problem, would you?
Even if you use a laptop as your main machine in your home or office, why not consider taking an old desktop or even purchasing a desktop to put on the shelf in case of emergencies? Remember, you won’t use this machine unless you have a problem with your old one, so why invest the extra money to get another laptop when you could save a bit and still gain that peace of mind with a desktop? So, grab a desktop, load it with your software, and then store in someplace safe. If you do go down, you will be able to quickly hook up this machine and get back to work while you get your main computer repaired.
Choose the Right Desktop
Remember, for all of these uses we have talked about above, you will need to make sure you choose the best desktop for the job. While in some cases any old desktop will do, at other times you will need something more specific. I’m thinking mainly about gaming here but you can really apply this to almost every situation.
Shop carefully when you are buying a desktop for this job. That way the desktop you pick up will actually handle everything you want it to with relative ease. If you don’t, you will find that desktop to be more of a pain to deal with than a pleasure to use.
As you can see, there are still many uses out there for desktop machines. Whether you are just looking to save a little money or you looking for the best computer for a specific job, a desktop will simply out shine your other options when it comes to the uses we discussed above.
So maybe time isn’t up for desktops after all? If the above uses are any indication, then we will be seeing desktops used for many years to come. Let’s face it, in many ways the user interface and usability experience is just way better on a desktop. Even if they are a bit bulkier and definitely not portable, they still offer an experience that is simply top notch.
So don’t discount desktops just yet. I’m guessing we will still be using them for many years to come.