If there’s one tool that’s integral to the well-being of a freelancer’s career, it’s a Personal Computer (hereafter referred to as a PC) or a laptop. Some freelancers (myself included) have both, and switch between them depending on the work. However, if a freelancer has to make a decision between purchasing a PC or purchasing a laptop, which one would be the better choice? It comes down to space, convenience, and efficiency.
The PC wins for space.
Back in the early days of online freelancing (by that, I mean the late ‘90s and early ‘00s), just as there were not a lot of job opportunities, so too were freelancers restricted to using PCs. In fact, freelance writers and editors might have even tried to keep their old word processors going just a bit longer before they made the switch.
Today, just as then, PCs generally have the advantage over laptops when it comes to space. For example, freelancers who primarily work in the media industry need to regularly work with large files. Those, plus corresponding software, require more power than laptops can deliver. That’s not to say, though, that laptops aren’t gaining ground in the space department. However, PCs, of course, have larger screens that can benefit those who do a lot of detailed work.
The laptop wins for convenience.
It’s true, there’s nothing quite like being able to work on a laptop wherever one wants – the ultimate portable office. That being said, laptop screens still haven’t completely adjusted to the whole “outside in the sunlight” thing. Also, for those who do a lot of transcription work, audio levels are generally not as well-defined as those of a PC. Laptop batteries are lasting longer than ever, yet there’s still that necessary recharging time. However, to work strictly on a PC is becoming less and less feasible – especially for those who need to travel – so here, the laptop (mostly) wins.
Efficiency? They’re equally matched.
PCs are incredibly efficient for people (regardless of their freelancing niche) who prefer to mostly work from a home office. Laptops are more efficient for on-the-go freelancers involved in the writing and proofreading/editing fields (though PCs can be equally efficient for them). Financially speaking, PCs are traditionally more expensive – yet, as laptops advance technologically, they become more expensive.
Making the choice…
In my professional opinion, if I definitely had to choose between a PC and a laptop, I would choose a PC. This way, I’d feel comfortable knowing that I’d be getting the most space, the clearest audio, and the sharpest screen resolution for detailed work, no matter the freelancing niche.
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