More important than Mac v. Windows is the debate for a company to decide between desktops and laptops for their business environment. What most companies have discovered in the comparison is that their decision must be strategic and as unique as their business. What works for a similar company doesn’t ensure success for another. The question boils down to, what is best for your business' infrastructure? Each machine comes with its own pros and cons.
Pros: Desktops are cost-effective, powerful, and most importantly- desktops are flexible. A laptop may be able to accommodate a second hard drive (SSD and spinning disk) if you needed the space, but ask it to accommodate two or three hard drives for Raid configurations, sport two video cards, support four sticks of RAM or more, a DVD writer, and a larger power supply and you'll run into problems. A laptop won't be able to supply this flexibility like a desktop.
Most desktops can be configured to custom-fit your needs. Even a stripped down model will cost less than its laptop equal. Match a desktop up with a tablet that can control all the power on the go, and you now have a very powerful combination. It's important to be aware, however, that with added benefits come added costs and logistics. The development of the thin client, zero client, and the newer thinnies (super small full computers) have also improved desktops by erasing their bulky footprint and giving back desk space.
Cons: Portability. As it turns out, the desktop lives up to its name and is not portable. In today's on-the-go, must have it now, out-of-office work environment, the desktop is cumbersome and restrictive. You might have the configuration you want, but the limited accessibility at home, on a business trip, or in a company meeting can be painful.
If your company requires high power video editing, CAD work, powerful complicated programs, or a machine for the most basic worker / static workers to interface, the desktop is perfect. As mentioned above you can cheat a little if you are looking to have the best of both worlds and invest in a tablet to access the desktop on the go. That solution, however, tends to be reserved for only those in the organization with a strong business need for this type of configuration, as it requires additional funding and infrastructure.
Pros: Laptops are very portable and can do just about anything, depending on the model and configuration. With today’s chipsets, processors, and SSD’s the laptop is instantaneous gratification, as they become an on-site, on-demand interface to the universe. Laptops can now come in a work book variety that gives power users the ability to do CAD or Graphic Design on the go. The recent deployment of the Chomebook has given the laptop a surprising cost advantage depending on the required use. Today’s laptops openly challenge people to work and play everywhere.
Cons: More accurately, the laptop can go almost everywhere and access the internet just about anywhere depending on the Wi-Fi or cellular signal available. The cost lines are starting to blur but in an apples to apples comparison, the desktop will always be less expensive. With everything being more compact and condensed, new problems arise with laptops. Things like heat, hard drive failure, and motherboard failure are all more prevalent than in the more reliable, easier-to-service, but increasingly less-popular desktop option. Also on the rise are security threats, as laptops can be stolen or simply join the wrong Wi-Fi network.
The modern laptop is perfect for field employees, employees who work from the office and at home, and dynamic employees who are always on the move. You can get close to the power of a custom configured desktop with a laptop if needed, but keep in mind this will also increase costs. Laptops are trendy and more offices are starting to look at deploying those over desktops, one thing helping to promote this trend is the newest developments in Wi-Fi technology. As more companies are looking to avoid hardwiring their buildings with CAT cables for interconnectivity, laptops are the way to go.
At the end of the day, companies are less polarized than any brand-loyal consumer, and will most likely use a combination of both laptops and desktops. The detail to remember is that each company and their end user requirements are unique and careful thought, or often times experimentation, will be required to find the best configuration. It is becoming increasingly more important to get the most information you can about the solutions available to you, and find a trusted IT solution provider to help you figure out the best deployment for your company. VLCM is available to be that trusted resource you need.
Contact our product specialists for help determining what's best for your environment.