Desktop vs Laptop: What Do You Really Need as a College Student?

You’d think that having to face the dilemma of choosing which PC type you need—a desktop vs laptop PC—is enough trouble. But in fact, you’d also have to figure out if you need a PC in the first place when a smartphone is just as productive. Well, almost.

Anyways, all of college life is just a bundle of these sorts of decisions and dilemmas:

From figuring out the difference between scholarships and fellowships and how to get one, to decide if you need to work through school or get a loan.

Luckily, college students everywhere have learned to be efficient multi-taskers; meet up with deadlines, enjoy leisure, set up extra-curricular activities, and prioritize academic work. But, they need gadgets that can help them achieve the highest productivity.

We agree that a college student really needs the advantage of having a computer for study, work, or fun. So, choosing which device suits you best is the focus of this post.

But first, let’s talk about why you may need a computer in college.

Desktop vs Laptop

Why You May Need a Computer in College

It would be best if you had a computer in college for several reasons, including facilitating the learning process, gaming for fun, or whatever you define that space with.

The world is rapidly gaining momentum with waves of digital disruptions. Industries, let alone students, can barely keep up. What could be worse than being caught out of the loop at a time like this?

Access to information and the endlessly growing cache of free resources on the internet is the great equalizer.

With a computer device, you stand a chance; you can compete on the same level with, say, a Japanese tech devotee.

You can take crash courses to a whole different level, and enjoy flexibility, and a better experience.

In fact, most global students believe it would help them learn faster if instructors used a computer device in class.

Like this one time, I had to learn a compulsory programming course for my undergrad degree completion. I had difficulty learning and practicing doodley-squat, so I had to ask to get a computer.

And getting one aided my learning process. I now had a tool to practice with and improve my coding skills.

Many students use their PCs for important purposes, including access to tools you could only use on a computer for work. Smartphones can do a lot in this decade but, it doesn’t quite give you the same effective workspace as a computer would.

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Now that we’ve gotten past that let’s discuss what you really need as a college student: a desktop vs Laptop.

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Desktop vs Laptop Similarities

While there are some distinct differences between a desktop and a laptop, there are some similarities too. Below is a list of some similarities between the two:

  • Desktops and Laptops are sold with pre-installed software and operating systems like Windows 7, or if it is an Apple computer, then the Mac OS.
  • Both computer units come with port connections (varying between each make and model), and a built-in CD/DVD component, however, this is being phased out in some of the newer laptop models.
  • Peripheral devices can be connected such as external hard drives, printers, cameras, phones, etc.
  • For both the Desktop and Laptop, key specifications to consider before purchasing is
    • CPU
    • Memory (RAM)
    • Hard drive capacity
    • Graphics card.
    • These specs determine the computer’s limits, so if video production is the primary task and the computer has a low-end graphics card, the computer (laptop or desktop) will not be well suited for the job.

Source: Difference Between

Why Choose a Desktop PC?

Show of hands if you don’t know what a Desktop computer is.

That’s okay. We forgive you.

Desktop PCs are fifth-generation computers that are still important today for several reasons. Desktop PCs generally come as a multi-component package, with the monitor (the screen) separate from the processing unit and inputs (the mouse and keyboard).

Now, desktop PCs provide single-component models, with micro-sized processing hardware built to fit behind the screen.

But why should you choose a desktop PC?

Oddly, a lot of people prefer a PC to a laptop. Some would like to own both for greater productivity and flexibility. Some tasks perform better on a multi-screen powerful desktop known as a workstation.

Let’s go over some advantages:

Pros

The most apparent advantage of desktops over laptops is their greater possibility and ease of customizability. And with that comes other performance advantages.

  • Speed: Desktop PCs are arguably faster in processing power, are more durable, and are hardly susceptible to damage over a long period of use.
  • Storage size: you don’t really care if a desktop’s processing unit is bulky or not. In fact, most users, gamers especially, modify their desktops to become more rugged and allow more extensive storage. So you’d have enough capacity to install the software packs that are important to you.
  • Wider screen experience: if you absolutely love to have a wider screen space, it wouldn’t matter what desktop you buy. You can always switch out your monitor for a wider one.
  • Keep pace with hardware updates and overall comfort using a Desktop.
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Cons

Desktop computers have cons we also want to talk about, and if you are considering owning one as a student, you should learn a few:

  • They are expensive.
  • Hectic to set up.
  • Requires a large chunk of room space.
  • Basically a television with lots of cool hardware power.
  • Bulkier machines break faster.

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Why Choose a Laptop PC?

Laptops are technology’s perfect attempt to build a portable mini-version of Desktop PCs. They’ve gained widespread use over the years, even among college students.

Pros

  • Speed and Storage: as long as you buy a good and higher quality model and keep up with software updates. Manufacturers build even faster ones daily.
  • Portability: that’s one thing a laptop has got going for it. The Apple MacBook line of products is getting incredibly thinner, with manufacturing being able to fit nano-scale components into a tiny casing.
  • Pacing with updates.
  • A real Personal Computer (PC) experience.
  • Easy to set up: you don’t need computer technician training to use a laptop.
  • Affordability: well, of course, it depends on what you need, what you can afford, and what time of the year you actually buy a laptop. Besides, many laptop manufacturers give a student discount as a way of supporting education in society.

Cons

  • Susceptible to damage over careless use.

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  3. How to Get a Lenovo Student Discount Fast
  4. Netflix Student Discount

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Desktop vs Laptop: Head-to-head

Desktop PCLaptop PC
Bulky unit.Portable.
Expensive.Affordable to suit a student’s budget.
Technical and somewhat complex.Easier to navigate.
Hectic to set up.Easier to set up.
Requires to be plugged into an uninterrupted power source at all times.Batteries serve as standby power sources after power interruption.
Easier to update hardware components.Complex but possible updates to its OS (Operating System).

Desktop vs Laptop: Which Do You Really Need?

Irrespective of what choice you’ve made, the importance is in your decision to opt for the best alternative suitable for you.

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In many colleges today, it is common-place to find students using laptops, as this suits the busy, roaming lifestyle of students.

This article lays out all the pros and cons of each choice to you, but, ultimately, the choice is yours.

FAQs Desktop vs Laptop

Is it better to have a laptop or PC for college?

Desktop vs Laptop for college

It is better to have a laptop for college as it is more portable and can allow you to write papers, study, and carry out your research anywhere on your campus, unlike a desktop.

Do desktops last longer than laptops?

Generally, desktops last longer than laptops. however, some laptops can efficiently run for five years but their range of tasks limits as the years go by.

Laptops have a shorter life span than desktops.

What is one disadvantage of a laptop?

As a college student, one advantage of having a laptop over a desktop is that it is more portable and can allow you to write papers, study, and carry out your research anywhere on your campus.

Why are desktops better than laptops?


Speed: Desktop PCs are arguably faster in terms of processing power, are more durable, and are hardly susceptible to damage over a long period of use.
Storage size: you don’t really care if a desktop’s processing unit is bulky or not. In fact, most users, gamers especially, modify their desktops to become more rugged and allow larger storage. So you’d have enough capacity to install the software packs that are important to you.
Wider screen experience: if you absolutely love to have a wider screen space, it wouldn’t matter what desktop you buy. You can always switch out your monitor for a wider one.
Keep pace with hardware updates and overall comfort using a Desktop.

What can a PC do that a laptop can t?

Desktop vs laptop

Power usage
Desktops tend to use more power than laptops.
Desktops have wider screen screen
The components of a desktop can be dismantled and replaced to allow easy upgrading of specifications such as memory, storage capacity, graphics controllers, and some others.

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