Why you still need a desktop PC

The desktop PC still has plenty to offer

10 Dec 2012


From inch-wide iPods to teeny-weeny tablets, technology just keeps getting smaller. The saying goes 'good things come in small packages', and it's generally spot-on - who are we to argue with an idiom established back when latest technology was a penny farthing? However, there are some things that benefit from being big - afros, beehives, Trigger Happy TV phones and of course TVs. Another is the desktop computer.


As technology has advanced we've gone gaga for gadgets that diet harder than A-list celebrities: lean laptops, trim tablets, slender smartphones... this list goes on. But as we've developed serious crushes on objects of desire skinnier than a skinny latte, the humble desktop PC has somehow been forgotten.

Fair play, he may not look as fetching as an ultra-sleek iPad or a new convertible Win8 laptop, but that's no reason to write him off. Because in the words of that sweaty, hedonistic dancefloor banger, he's got so much love to give.

We've established the desktop is never going to win a weigh-off with a streamline laptop, but those extra pounds mean he packs a pretty tasty punch. Desktop PCs are generally faster than laptops, and make surfing the web the complete opposite of going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. In other words, browsing is efficient and responsive. Installing software and updates is also often faster on a desktop.

If you'd rather join an ABBA tribute band playing the working mens clubs of northern England than go without the latest tech, a desktop is also essential. Top-end desktops are forged in the white heat of technological revolution. So, while your iPad-obsessed teenager dismisses your 'brick' of a computer with a mocking shake of the head, you can enjoy a wistful bask in the wisdom of middle-age.

Blur were wrong when they said 'Modern Life Is Rubbish', but Jessie J was probably right when she sang 'it's all about the money, money, money.' Buying a laptop or PC is a big deal, and with bills and mortgages to pay you may want to get more than a couple of years' use from it. If this sounds about right a desktop is a great option. Not only does it come installed with latest tech, but as today's technology becomes old-hat you can evolve your machine accordingly, creating a souped-up tech monster with more flashy add-ons than the motors in the Fast and the Furious.

Like Pick 'n' Mix for the technology world, you can add extra RAM, a second hard drive or a new video card as you personalise and preen your machine 'til it fits like a pair of handmade Italian shoes. There are also multiple USB ports so you can connect your iPod and digital camera simultaneously. This is great for those of us who, like the former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri, just love to tinker.

When it comes to watching movies, desktops PCs have bigger egos than Hollywood's finest: and so they should. With top-quality widescreen monitors delivering full HD you can be sure of a premium popcorn experience. And if you opt for the HP Envy H8 you can also enjoy sound so crisp Dr Dre put his handle to it.

Of course, no matter how powerful and preened we make our PC we'll never be able to sling it a bag and cycle to work with it; if you did you'd look pretty daft and be well in need of a muscle soak bath. But portability aside, there's plenty of reasons why the desktop doesn't deserve to be dismissed. As the saying goes, big is most certainly beautiful.