Recently, my desktop had a virus so I purchased an external hard drive to back up all my files so that Suraj could then delete everything and reinstall Windows etc.

Suraj asked me if it was worth going ahead with this or whether I should buy a laptop. We talked it through and could not find a reason to buy a laptop. I don’t and won’t take it anywhere. Thus it’s only for home. The desktop I have is great so why change it? Also, the laptops that I’ve come across, through work and those that my friends own, have been awful! They needed to be charged constantly because the battery had diminished so much. The keyboard was fiddly. The mouse was very sensitive and you’d end up doing something without realising etc. Thus it was not an option for me!

Anyway a short while after I was discussing a similar topic with a friend. She said that a desktop is less green and more costly for me to run because the electricity tariff I have runs on economy 7. With a laptop which is on charge, you are only charging one thing. With a desktop; the tower, monitor, speakers etc. are all being charged. Thus which is really better?

So I asked Green Homes Concierge and their reply is below: –


I have been looking into your query about Desktop vs. Laptop and have come up with the following.  There is no definitive answer, as it all depends on how you use your computer and what works best for you.  I include, however, some key points to consider:

– What will you be using the computer for? Obviously if you will need to travel then it’s best to get a laptop which can then also be used in the home. If you can work on either, then in terms of energy efficiency a laptop is better.

– Charging a laptop can be done overnight on your economy 7 tariff with the timer, whereas a desktop has to be constantly connected to the mains whilst you’re using it.

– Laptops that run on Centrino or Atom processors, are especially highly efficient in terms of energy usage. The newer, smaller “netbook” style laptops are specifically designed to be extremely energy efficient as they are made for portability and use ‘on the move’.

– The problem with a laptop, though, is that you can’t really build upon it. A desktop can last for years, and you can continually build upon it, adding a new graphics card, hard drive etc. when necessary. In this way you can continue to keep it up to date, whereas a laptop is wholly more disposable and you are more likely to invest in a new one because they are not generally made for being upgraded.

– Old laptops, however, can be recycled responsibly – you can donate them to a charity shop, or even to a scheme that sends them to schools in developing countries such as Computer Aid.

Which? Also provide an online, unbiased overview on how to recycle your old computer.

I hope this answers your question.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions on this or any other aspect of energy efficiency.



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