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

Filed in Articles by on 23rd May 2021

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.

Desktop vs Laptop

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; meeting up with deadlines, enjoying leisure, setting up extra-curricular activities, and prioritizing academic work. But, they need gadgets that can help them achieve the highest productivity.

We agree, 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,

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 in 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.

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You can take crash courses to a whole different level, 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.


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

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:


The most obvious 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 terms of processing power, and are more durable, and 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.
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Desktop computers have cons we also want to talk about, and if you’re considering owning one as a student, you should learn a few:

  • They’re 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.

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.


  • 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.


  • Susceptible to damage over careless use.

Read more on available student discount products in 2021:

  1. Top Ten Best Buy Student Discount In 2021
  2. How to Get an HP Student Discount Code in 2021 Fast
  3. How to Get a Lenovo Student Discount Fast in 2021
  4. Netflix Student Discount in 2021

Desktop vs Laptop: Head-to-head

Desktop PC Laptop 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).
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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.

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.

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