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					                                                                                    Dezhi Yu

                           Desktop Computer vs. Laptop Computers

    The invention of computers has made a huge change in human civilization and
society, by changing the way people think. Computers replaced jobs and tedious
repetitive thoughts that were done by human originally. People became more and more
reliant on computers, and thus, computers became essential to our lives. Computers can
manufacture products quickly, and eliminate possible human errors. As technology
progresses, new ideas have been brought into computer to make them perform more
efficiently. Also, scientists and engineers tend to make things “smaller”, so we can enjoy
the benefits from electronic devices anywhere and anytime. Therefore, size and efficiency
are two main points for consumers. Desktop computer and laptop computer are
representatives for each of these concepts. Although desktops and laptops come from the
same origin, they are different in many ways.
   The history of computers is an amazing story filled with interesting statistics. “The
first computer was invented by a man named Konrad Zuse. He was a German
construction engineer, and he used the machine mainly for mathematic calculations and
repetition” (Bellis, Inventors of Modern Computer). The invention shocked the world; it
inspired people to start the development of computers. Soon after,
        “In 1946, John Mauchly and J Presper Eckert developed the fastest computer at that

    time, the ENIAC I. It was built under the assistance of the US army, and it was used on

    military researches. The ENIAC I contained 17468 vacuum tubes, along with 70000

    resistors, 10000 capacitors, 1500 relays, 6000 manual switches and 5 million soldered

    joints. It covered 1800 square feet of floor space, weighed 3 tons, consumed 160

    kilowatts of electrical power.”(Bellis, Inventors of Modern Computer)

These statistics are amazing, but even more amazing is the development of computers.
Now in 2005, in this short 68-year period, computer technology has changed its entire
look; now, we use computer chips instead of vacuum tubes and circuit board instead of
wires. The changes in size and speed are probably the biggest. When we look at
computers today, it is very hard to imagine computers 60 years ago were such big, heavy
monsters.
    Desktop computers were commonly used since the late 90’s. The increasing number
of applications on desktop computers allowed us to do all kinds of different activities like
games, music, video, document editing and so on. In comparison with laptop computers,
desktop computers have more stable performance, greater capacities, and throughout
history, they have proven themselves more reliable to handle every job they have been
assigned. As the development of computers advance, people have greater needs and
desire having a computer that can provide better quality and faster feedback. Desktop
computers provide great flexibility to reconfigure or customize any components to boost
up the machine to the ideal performance. Therefore, people are trying to fill their machine
up with more and more gigabytes (unit for capacity) and gigahertz (unit for the frequency
of the central processing unit CPU). On the market today, the speed of CPUs for desktops
can go up to 3.8 gigahertz, but laptops can only go up to 3.46 gigahertz. A desktop can
boost up its capacity to several terabytes. In comparison, the maximum capacity a laptop
can get today is 120 gigabytes that is at least ten times less than the capacities of some
top end desktops.
    Desktops are bigger and consume more space compared to a laptop. As a college
student, we all know that our dorms or apartments are so small that our belongings can
barely fit.   Thus, the big pieces of desktops may become a headache, and people
scramble for a place to set them down.      In addition, with the tangled, dusty wires and
cords, they may become the biggest frustration in the world.
    On the contrary, laptops have become more and more popular in recent years. It takes
all the components of a standard desktop and combines it into a compact machine.
Therefore, instead of mouse, keyboard and monitor all over the place, we can now take a
laptop with all the components that are built-in to the machine. It is just a bit larger that
the surface of a regular piece paper, with a thickness thinner than a dictionary, and it is
much smaller compared to a desktop computer. With this machine, you can do almost
everything you can do on a desktop. The mobility of the laptop is one of the most
important selling points. Compare to a big and heavy desktop computer, a laptop is
lightweight, and everyone can easily pick it up and travel with it. For college students, a
laptop can be used as a notebook for note taking, and an entertainment center. While
riding on an airplane, a bus or a train, we can watch movies, play games or work with a
laptop. The Internet is one of the important elements of the 20th century. The invention of
Wi-Fi, wireless networking, breaks the limits of a laptop. With hot spots and Wi-Fi,
people can access the internet anytime and anywhere. Laptop computers are now greater
than ever.
    Laptops have become one of the spotlights in the news, and people have started
paying more attentions to some facts about laptops in recent days. We can always hear
news reporters saying that working with laptops for an excessive amount of time will
cause strain or damage to our necks. There are similar cases with damaging the back and
fingers; “One of the recent researches in Britain showed that putting a laptop on a man’s
lap may cause infertility. They claimed that the heat and infrared waves that were
produced while the laptop was running could kill cells and organisms inside our body,
and damage our reproductive system” (BBC News). This news brings up many people’s
concern, but there is no research in the US that has proven this result. Although the
research is doubtful at some point, it is reasonable that the long use of a laptop can cause
different kinds of physical problems, and we should not overlook these problems. In
contrast, there is less research showing that the use of desktop would result in serious
health damage.
    In today’s market, the competition between computer companies leads to more
affordable computers in the market, and the competition pushes the development of
computers to go faster. In recent years, the advancement of computers has gone so fast
that people cannot keep up with it. New applications keep coming out, and they will be
outdated in less then one year. As fast as the improvement of computers goes, there is no
absolute limit to what computers can do.
    The digital revolution has had very a large impact on human society.         Computers
have made our lives easier and more convenient. They connect the world to bring
people closer together. With computers, the impossible mission will become possible and
dreams will come true.     There are thousands of possibilities within the computerized and
digitalized world.
    Within 10 years, computers are going to be involved in all fields of study and
researches. Computers will be more intelligent, and it will be possible that one-day
computers will be able to communicate with people, share their ideas and unleash their
true power. With the power of computers, people can explore the world from the core of
the earth to Mars in outer space.     Humans and computers will work together to modify
the earth into an ideal place for all living creatures.
    Comparing desktop computers to laptop computers, desktops are more stable, more
powerful and more reliable; on the other hand, laptops are smaller, lightweight and
portable. The decision of selection is based on economic measurement and the true
need for the performance. Computers have incredible impacts on our society and
civilization; computers change our world in every major way. The future will lead us to a
better and brighter world.




Mary Bellis. Inventors of Modern Computer: The First Freely Programmable Computer invented by
Konrad Zuse. Website: http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa050298.htm
Mary Bellis. Inventors of Modern Computer: The ENIAC I Computer - J Presper Eckert and John
Mauchly. Website: http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa060298.htm
BBC News. 2004, December 9. Laptops may damage male fertility.
Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4078895.stm

				
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