Over the years many people have asked me this question in many different ways. Of course, I have my preference, but each individual needs to get what is best for themselves. So, I have created this page to help people figure out what is the best kind of computer and the best model that is right for them.
I will start off with giving you a short list of what kinds of computers there are and then I will give you more details in simplified terms as to what they are best used for. I will start with size from small to large, cell phone, tablets (includes iPads), notebooks, laptops, all-in-one, desktop, workstations and tower PC's.
The smaller they are, the more likely they are touch screen. The newer larger computers had the option for touch screen with old keyboard and mouse options. Also the less options the software has, and the options increase, as the computer gets larger. I give more detail below.
Now we get into the software that drives the computers. In short, they all came from Unix.
Irrelevant to you, but the point is, the underlying codes are very similar. And like a tree with all its branches, all the computers have gone in different directions. To keep this simple, you have three basic or common branches, MS Windows, Apple/Mac, Linux (Ubuntu, Centos, etc.) Most people are aware of these, but people have been mis-informed over the years. For example an iPad is a tablet.
Operation System Differences
As I mentioned before, there are three basic types. In each there are different versions for each level or power of computer.
As technology has been increasing and getting more powerful, many services are trying to convince people to use cloud services to store your files, this is not necessary and adds risk to your privacy and quality of your content. Please keep an eye out for a future post on this topic.
Of course this is the most popular and at this point in time is getting better. As I said in a previous post, Windows 10 combines both windows 7 & 8.1 to make a system that is better for all users.
Microsoft was losing business to the tablets, so they came out with version 8, which was meant for touch screen devices. They now have a smaller version for tablets and smaller yet for smart phones.
I express this as Apple/Mac, because so many people refer to this operating system as one or the other. Apple is the company and Mac is the operating system. Their smart phones and iPads (tablets) are touch screen and the larger devices are not. I am sure that will change in the future. These devices all communicate or share very nicely with each other compared to any other devices or operating systems.
Android is found on smart phones and tablets. They will be showing up on laptops and other computers in the near future. Ubuntu & Firefox are starting to show up on smart phones as well. In the use of Ubuntu and other Linux Operating Systems, Ubuntu has been leading in the use of personal computers, in lower powered and older computers such as an Open Source option. Ubuntu is also used in many web servers and is increasing in this market. There are many different kinds of operating systems similar to Ubuntu, such as Centos, Fedora, Redhat, Debian, LinuxMint, OpenSuse, Puppy and the list goes on and on.
How the operating system looks
In all of these different operating systems, the underlying codes that you cannot see are basically the same. What you see is different. Think of it like this, all car manufactures need to make their cars different from their competitors so that they do not have legal issues with each other on the topics of Trademark, Copyright, Patents, etc.
Well, a large part of this is in how an individual uses their computer. Another part to consider is how many programs third party companies that poorly affect your computers. As an example, in one of my earlier posts, I talked about Super Optimizer Pro in that I expressed you need to do a true format to get rid of it and its associated software.
Therefore, I am pointing out that Windows is more vulnerable to corruption than any other operating system. Apple is the most expensive, but it is also the most reliable of them all. Ubuntu and most other free Linux are the smallest and most complete to install. Ubuntu in particular, in 2012 was the most secure of the all. Once a Linux operating system fails, it is not a big deal to replace and sometimes it is the better option.
Lifespan of a device
Once again, this depends on how the owner of the computer uses it. Should the user manage their best to take care of the computer, the overall lifespan of the equipment is any where from 3 to 10 years. The operating system lasts 3 to 6 years, at some point within that time it will need a recovery or format to extend the life. To further extend the life of the operating system, it will need a true format from a disc installation. Please refer to my post about Windows Un/Supported for more details.
Cost of a device
Traditionally the cost to purchase, Windows has been middle of the group with Apple being the most expensive and Linux is the cheapest. In the long term, Windows, with all the communications with tech support is clearly the most expensive and Linux is the cheapest in the long term.
As flip phones fade away and smart phones get more popular, it is truly amazing how much you can do with one of these little devices. Browse the Internet, send and receive emails, text messaging, write a letter, play games, but they all will lack something that the larger computers can do. These are great for people on the move and need a lot of communication. You can even share your cell phone content with your home or office computers.
The next step up are devices that are smart phones, but they just have larger screens and would be carried in a purse or briefcase, instead of your pocket.
Now we get into the tablet style of computers. They can do everything and more than a smart phone, except they cannot make or receive traditional phone calls, as they cannot connect to a cell phone provider. However, they can make VOIP calls as long as you have a strong enough Wi-Fi connection. With technology getting more advanced, you can add other devices like keyboards.
However, even though the memory is better than a smart phone, you still have a lot of limitations on memory.
Notebooks & Laptops
The next step is notebooks & laptops. Years ago notebooks were a lesser version of a laptop. Today laptops are disappearing because the memory and power in a notebook is getting so much better. The only real differences for you these days are the weight and screen size. These newer models are coming out with touch screens as well.
None of the above devices were meant to be operated and plugged into the wall on a 24/7 basis.
These computers are beginning to be the replacement of the laptop. The only real difference between them is this style does not have a battery and often you need a keyboard and mouse. The newer models are coming out with touch screen as well.
These tend to be very light in power and memory, and small in size compared to a tower PC. You will often see these on a desk, mostly in the work environment. Regardless of the design, they are meant to connect to a central computer in the office or sometimes a remote office. They appear to be able to do everything your larger devices can do, but very often they are using that central computer to the bigger tasks.
This is the old traditional style (if that helps), where the computer tower commonly sits on the floor and with cable; you attach the monitor, keyboard, mouse anGenerally, these are the most powerful and capable devices. Being able to do all the tasks that you want to do, and if it cannot, a quick modification, then allows you do that new task now. All operating systems have this style of computer. This style of computer is the most versatile, adaptable, reliable and durable of them all.
In closing before my own recommendations, you should not be influenced by my preferences. I hope the above information has been helpful to you in being able to help you decide on which computer you are going to buy. If you think I may have left anything out from the above short points, please let me know so that I can post updates or corrections.
As you have noticed, I have not given my recommendations in the above topics. In the end it is your choice.
For performance and durability:
I prefer Android for cell phones & tablets.
I prefer Windows 10 for tablets through to desktops, as long as they are set up of with security.
I prefer Ubuntu for tablets through to desktops and servers.
I prefer Apple for laptops through to desktops.
As for long term costs:
Ubuntu / Linux is the cheapest way to go.
Apple computers can be a great second choice. Just make sure you do not get an under powered device.
Windows 10 is cheaper in short term than Apple, but with all the IT support that you are going to need, this will probably cost the most.
This page is to help you and I to create better business integrity and be better informed people!