Why Are Laptops More Expensive Than Desktops?

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Laptops More Expensive Than Desktops

Laptops are more expensive than desktops because they have to cater to the cost of processing power, battery life, storage capacity, and other features. They also have to contend with the higher price of manufacturing small devices with many components in a space-saving design. Meanwhile, desktop computers can be manufactured cheaply by cutting down on processing power and other features.

If you want one device that does it all – seamlessly switching from word processing to video editing or graphic design – then you’ll need a top-spec laptop computer. The main reason why laptops are more expensive than desktops is due to higher development costs.

Laptops have a smaller form factor than regular computers, so the hardware used inside has to be compact and powerful enough for users’ needs at an affordable price.

And it’s not just performance that is a big challenge for laptop manufacturers. Heat dissipation is also complex on the system, so you must maintain stability even under heavy usage conditions. For example, thinking about a gaming laptop and how long it’s used for presents a real design challenge.

On the other hand, a gaming desktop computer is large enough to effectively increase airflow and cool the hardware components.

Another factor that makes a normal laptop more expensive is that they use batteries which can be quickly discharged over time. With the desktop configuration plugged into the mains power all day, engineers can design without worrying about battery life issues.

So, with all that in mind, let’s look at the main components that affect the price difference between laptops and desktop computers.

Video: Gaming Laptop Vs Desktop PC – Which is Best?

What are the components that affect the price?

As we mentioned in our introduction, the main reason is all the features and hardware, making laptops more expensive than desktops. But what are they and why?


To shrink a laptop to its smallest possible size, the motherboard needs to be packed with more components in less space than what’s typically found on a standard-sized desktop.

The smaller footprint requires that additional design challenges are overcome by engineers working for manufacturers of laptops and other mobile devices. The computer needs to be smaller yet more powerful than ever before. This leads to design challenges like heat dissipation and other manufacturing difficulties that they must overcome for these parts.

The three main design challenges engineers face are:

Less footprint to work with: 

Making a smaller motherboard with powerful components is more challenging than creating a giant board for a desktop computer. Therefore, engineers have to select them without compromising on overall performance carefully. No mean feat!

Refined circuit pathways:

Since many interconnected components are on a smaller motherboard, circuit pathways need to be designed with minimal clearance. As technology advances, circuit pathways designed to fit on a smaller motherboard must be precise and tiny.

Component layout:

For a component to function correctly, it must carefully design the layout of elements. This ensures they don’t interfere with each other’s performance or cause unnecessary heat buildup.

One example would be shielding from interference from outside sources such as electrical noise and radio frequencies which can affect sound quality in audio equipment like speakers.

Another consideration would be how much power needs to flow between different parts of the circuit, so there isn’t too much resistance causing damage due to overheating.


A laptop is designed to be portable, and it’s not always possible to use it while plugged into the mains power. Therefore, the battery life has to be long enough to please the user without substituting power or performance. It’s a delicate dance!

A central processing unit (CPU) in a laptop computer is referred to as a mobile processor. Mobile processors use a lot less power than regular CPUs, but you pay more for it. Mobile CPUs are different from traditional ones; we need to think about performance and how little energy is used using one of these new mobile chips.

This extra cost is necessary to develop this unique feature which requires adequate performance while using minimal power.

Another additional cost to bear is the CPU’s high tolerance to heat; otherwise, the solder pads fixing it to the motherboard would fail over time.

Graphics card

The PC gaming market is enormous and is growing year on year. A laptop graphics chip has become more powerful and is an excellent rival to a gaming desktop computer. However, you will pay a higher price for this luxury.

There are two main ways the graphics processor is implemented in a laptop. The first way, integrated graphics, means that the GPU and CPU share one semiconductor package. The second way is where a dedicated graphics processor is soldered onto the motherboard, providing better performance for gamers.

The small motherboard and extra semiconductor package that a dedicated graphics processor requires additional demand development. This pushes costs up, which is why you will pay more for laptops with this feature.


A desktop PC will use RAM (random access memory) known as DIMM memory, but they are too large for laptops. Because of that, SODIMM RAM is installed inside a laptop. However, there isn’t a big difference in the price.

Cooling fan

Laptop computers are often fitted with a cooling fan. You may have heard it whirring or buzzing while your laptop is plugged in.

This component keeps the computer running without overheating due to excessive heat, damaging elements, and shortening their lives.

Heat buildup can lead to a complete hardware failure, and so the cooling fan must be powerful enough to keep the temperature down.

The tiny size of the laptop motherboard means cooling fans have to be smaller than their desktop counterparts, which adds to production costs. Efficient heat sink and fan assemblies are expensive to design, but they often contain inner wicks sealed in a partial vacuum with fluid, increasing production costs.

Hard drive

The development of SSD hard drives was seen as a game-changer for overall performance and durability. The great news is they have now made their way into many notebook computers too.

However, they offer less storage capacity and performance than a desktop computer SSD, but it’s still a vast improvement on older versions. As with all components, they are manufactured to be smaller and lighter, and so this unique feature means you will pay more.


The unique selling point of a laptop is that you can use it for hours without plugging it into an external power supply. A desktop computer is neither portable nor able to operate without being plugged into the mains power. Modern laptops offer the same powerful features as their desktop counterparts, and so high battery power is a must-have to keep it running. As you might expect, the bigger the screen size, the more power it needs.

A battery needs to provide enough amp hours to power the laptop before running out of juice. And this costs money that you don’t have to pay when opting for a desktop alternative.


So, there are several reasons why laptop prices are higher. It’s not just the manufacturing costs involved with the components – that would be too easy to say. The real reason is you’re paying for a unique package that contains several features in one small design. So if you want a powerful laptop, you will have to pay more than if you choose a desktop computer.

If you’re on a tight budget, it might be worth choosing a laptop with fewer features or opting for a second-hand model to save some money. Otherwise, the most popular choice is to go for a mid-range laptop.

If you can afford it, don’t want the hassle of building your personal computer, and like the idea of a computer that can go with you anywhere, then a higher spec laptop is the way to go. Best of luck in your search for your new computer!

Empire Laptops is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
Edison Joshua

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