Is a Laptop a Personal Computer (PC)?

Technology is advancing quickly in today’s world. Laptops are advancing day by day- at least when compared to their rivals, desktop computers. Although traditional desktops can do a few things that laptops can’t, laptops outshine their rivals in many ways.

However, some people still wonder whether a laptop still qualifies to be a PC. So, does a laptop qualify to be a personal computer? Here’s what you need to know about laptops.


What is a Personal Computer?

A personal computer is a cost-effective and general-purpose computer designed for personal use. It is supposed to be operated by an end-user without an intervening computer operator. Personal computers are quite handy for internet communications, word processing, desktop publishing, and audio/digital compositions. A PC can be a desktop computer, microcomputer, laptop, handheld pc, or tablet PC.

So, is Laptop a PC?

Yes, a laptop is still referred to as a personal computer (PC) because it has the right capabilities, size, and price to make it practical for personal use. In some situations, the term PC is used to differentiate a Windows-based computer from an Apple computer since they use different operating systems.

Essentially, a PC is basically any computer system that is ideal for individual use; they include laptops, tablets, all-in-ones, and other computing devices. Laptops and Windows-based desktops can be referred to as a PC. Therefore, a laptop is just a subsection of the broad PC group.

Can a Laptop be Termed as a Desktop?

No. Laptops and desktops are worlds apart, mainly because laptops are highly portable and can charge anywhere there’s power. On the other hand, a desktop is hard to move and is designed to be operated from the same place. Although desktops and laptops are classified as personal computers, there are some key differences despite having so many things in common.

Similarities between a Laptop and a Desktop

Although a laptop is not a desktop, they are categorized as personal computers. Since they are personal computers, they function in a similar way in terms of their function and components. In fact, they both have the same components in one form or another:

  • Graphics processor ( GPU)
  • Processor (CPU)
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Display
  • Hard drive
  • Trackpad or mouse
  • Keyboard

Desktops and laptops also use the same operating system, and of all purposes and intents, they function similarly except that you can carry a laptop whenever on the go.

Unless you’re a tech enthusiast, you’ll hardly notice much difference between an average laptop and a desktop computer. Despite the similarities, there are some differences that set them apart.

Differences Between a Laptop and a Desktop

Desktop consists of a CPU, monitor, mouse, and keyboard placed separately. This is a graphical workspace on a software OS. It’s designed to be used from one location and requires to be connected to a power source all the time.

On the other hand, a laptop is an all-in-one gadget that uses AC power or batteries that can last for hours. It’s highly portable and comes with an LCD or LED screen. It’s operated by AC supply or battery, making it portable.

It’s an all-in-one computer systemIt requires external gadgets to function (CPU, keyboard, mouse, monitor etc)
Smaller in sizeLarge in size
It comes with limited internal drivesIt has several internal drives
Highly portableIt’s not portable
It can run on battery, main power supply, and AC supplyIt only depends on the main power supply
It has a built-in keyboard and mouse, but you can add the external ones tooExternal mouse and keyboard must be included
It comes with a less powerful processor apart from gaming laptopsEquipped with a strong processor
Limited screen sizeWidescreen size
Repairing a laptop is a bit complexEasy to repair when compared to laptops
The laptop’s components aren’t easy to removeDesktop’s components are easy to remove
Has less number of data portsNumerous data ports

Do You Choose a Desktop or Laptop?

Whether to choose a laptop or desktop depends on your preferences, budget, and mobility. You might need a desktop only if:

  • Perform demanding work like video editing
  • Work entirely from home
  • You don’t use your computer outside of work
  • Like playing the latest games

You might need a laptop if:

  • You use your computer frequently outside of work
  • Hardly work from home
  • Handle light computing tasks like conference calls, word processing, and web-based applications

You need both if:

  • You regularly travel for work
  • You enjoy working from home and other places
  • You need a separate device to keep your work accounts


Laptops are indeed crucial for the modern world. Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, you will appreciate the things you’ll achieve using a computer. However, desktops are still important because they evolve each day and can perform as many tasks as a laptop.