Laptop and Desktop: 19 Difference & Similarities

By Dominic Chooper on June 16, 2020

Desktop and laptop are the two most common form factors of computers, available all around us. Both of them have the ability to fulfill the computing needs of anyone. Check out the difference and similarities between laptop and desktop.

Both of them come with almost the same configuration. The users can choose a laptop or desktop according to their need and required configuration. Laptops can easily be portable and desktops are the best for houses or any commercial places.


19 Difference and Similarities Between Laptop and Desktop:

Difference and Similarities Between Laptop and Desktop

Difference Between a Laptop and Desktop

1. Appearance

The very first difference which we find between a laptop and desktop is in its appearance. A laptop is a very compact product; all the peripherals of it are compressed in a single device.

On the other hand, a desktop has all the peripherals externally connected. So we can say that a laptop is an all-in-one device and a desktop is not.

2. Touchpad

A laptop comes with a touchpad, which is used to control the mouse pointer on the display. The user can also connect an extra mouse with the laptop, by using one USB port.

But, one desktop doesn’t have any touchpad. One always has to use a mouse to control the mouse pointer on a desktop. To avoid the cable of the mouse, one can use a wireless mouse.

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3. Charger or adapter

Laptop runs on battery; so it has to get charged from time to time. A good charger or AC adapter is always needed to change a laptop.

A desktop runs on direct AC supply; so no charger is needed to operate a desktop.

4. Mobility

A laptop computer is handier and easily portable from place to place; even one can use it on a go.

A desktop is not carry able from one place to another. To operate a desktop computer, one table is always needed. So the mobility of a laptop is more than that of a desktop computer.

5. Specification

In a desktop, one user can configure the specifications according to his needs. But, it is not the same for a laptop.

The laptops come with some fixed configurations and the buyer has to choose one for him, from them. By investing an equal amount of funds, one can easily get a more powerful desktop with more updated components than a laptop.

6. Fixed display size

Any laptop comes with a fixed display of a specific size which cannot be extended.

But in case of a desktop one can choose the display according to his choice and later he can also change it with another one. One can connect additional displays in a laptop but the primary display size of it cannot be changed or replaced.

7. Upgradability

Configuration of a desktop can easily be updated according to the user’s needs. The process of the upgrade is also very easy.

But, the upgrade process of a laptop is complicated.

8. Storage

One can easily configure or update the storage capacity in a desktop but for a laptop, he has to completely change the whole hard drive and the price of hard disks of a laptop are higher in comparison to that of a desktop.

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9. Power consumption

In order to run a desktop, one has to arrange multiple power supply points and a laptop runs on a battery. So, a laptop consumes less electricity in comparison to a desktop.

10. Gaming

The price which is spent in configuring a gaming desktop is too less than the price of any modern, updated laptops. For playing games, a desktop is more comfortable than a laptop.

A desktop offers more space of control to the users. This feature helps the hardcore gamers to easily tackle the controls.

11. Availability of ports

An updated laptop offers less number of ports in comparison to that of an updated desktop.

The reason behind it is the compact size of the laptops. With a little space, a laptop can’t offer as many ports, as a desktop can do.

12. Purchasing price

One can find a huge difference in the price of a laptop and a desktop.

Being a very compact device, the purchasing price of a laptop is too high in comparison to a desktop of the same configuration.

13. Ram capacity

Ram capacity of a desktop can easily be configured or can easily be updated.

But the capacity of Ram in a few laptops can be updated and the updating process is not as easy as that of a desktop.

14. Repairing

The repairing cost of a desktop is very low in comparison to that of a laptop. Having a very compact design, the repairing cost of a laptop is too high.

An expert is always needed to repair a laptop, but a beginner can fix a minor clash in a desktop, very easily.

15. Connectivity

A laptop comes with inbuilt Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity which helps the users to connect several peripherals with the PC, wirelessly.

A regular desktop doesn’t possess any wireless connectivity. The user has to connect them externally and for it, he has to spend extra money on it.

Similarities Between a Laptop and Desktop

16. Similar component

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Inner components of both laptop and desktop are almost similar. Both of them are made of Ram, Rom, hard disk, processor and other peripherals.

Although a desktop of the same configuration is able to provide more powerful and effective performance than a laptop.

17. Usages same

A laptop or desktop of a specific specification is equally able to perform any computing operation.

There will only be some differences in time. Both desktop and laptop are capable to fulfill all the needs of a user.

18. Operating System

Any desktop or laptop runs on an operating system. This may be any updated or older version of Windows or Linux or others.

But the existence of an operating system is a must in both of them.

19. Other applications are also same

Most of the software used in a laptop and desktop are the same. There is no different in their interface.

For example, the interface of Ms Office is same whether it is opened on a desktop or on a laptop.


Both laptop and desktop have separate fan bases. Although there is a huge difference in their appearance, but the functioning procedure of them are very similar.

Laptop is preferred by the one who needs a personal computer in every place, he roams and desktop is best at every commercial place and in houses.