Laptop or Desktop: Which is Best for Students?
Laptop or Desktop: At the beginning of your student life, you will need to invest in the equipment you need throughout your academic career. One such important option (no matter the cost) is the purchase of a personal computer. It will certainly be useful for your work and reading but also for relaxation and entertainment.
Before deciding on the amount to buy, hardware features, possible software, peripherals, etc you need to choose whether your PC will be a desktop or laptop.
By comparing them in favor and on a case-by-case basis you can understand what suits your needs. The little guide below will help you find the one that suits you best.
A very basic criterion is the need for portability and easy mobility. That is, you have to judge if you need to carry it. For example, you may need it at school for notes or at the home of a fellow student for work. Of course, in this case, you should also provide for transport accessories.
He also checked to see if the work you want to do can be done through the cloud on school computers or on shared machines. You probably don’t always need to carry a laptop, but just have some storage (eg USB flash drive or external hard drive). Finally, check the space available in your home. For example, a desktop computer clearly takes up more space and has more cables, and the size of your office also matters.
Ability to upgrade
Laptops do not leave much room for upgrades to be made. This is because their components are usually joined and sandwiched on a central and custom made the board with only the ability to add memory and change hard disk space. Then, in the event of a component malfunction, the entire laptop is often rendered unusable, and spare parts are generally harder to find.
On the other hand, desktops are by nature easier to upgrade. You can easily add more components like other hard drives, a second graphics card and other pieces of specialized hardware. Also, in any case, it is easier to “put your hand up”, that is to open, clean and change a piece. In addition, you can book and combine pieces from older spare parts, or keep an older screen or keyboard without spending on new purchases, reducing overall cost.
Desktops are usually “more powerful” than their counterparts of the same class of laptops. The difference is mainly focused on the processor and graphics card which are mobile versions (ie slightly below normal). Also, on a desktop computer, you can more easily deal with overheating and heavy use issues. Note that there are also high-end laptops with excellent finish and build quality (even for extreme gaming), but the price is usually very high there.
Graphics and Gaming
Following on from the previous one if you are particularly interested in gaming then a desktop is probably the better choice. Because it’s easier to upgrade, the graphics card doesn’t have a mobile version of the GPU chipset, and you can add a second card if you can. After all, on many laptops, the GPU (graphics processor) is integrated into the motherboard with all the downside that this entails.
Market cost, reliability and service life
Usually, a laptop is more expensive than a similar desktop technology. At the same time, the former is more sensitive to use and more vulnerable to possible accidents. However, they are advantageous in cases of poor mains power (eg in remote, inaccessible areas) where the battery and the mode of manufacture protect them from interruptions and voltage drops. Of course, a good UPS can be a good investment anyway for your other devices.
One could say that for many reasons desktops are more resistant to adversity and intense use (especially over time). This, of course, is not an absolute criterion as many depend on the manufacturer, hardware, setup, and overall finish and build quality.
For example, they can withstand more blows and are not at risk during transport. Whereas if e.g. spoil the keyboard you just change the peripheral. This is not always easy on a laptop). In addition, the compact Logix of most laptops often results in a greater likelihood of damage or overheating.
Generally, laptops are not ergonomic for many hours of work. The main reason is the distance between the screen and the keyboard, which can discomfort your eyes and burden your musculoskeletal system. In addition, in some cases (for example graphic design, design, and gaming) you need a much larger and better quality screen than a 15 or a 17-inch laptop. Even the notebook keypad is usually more usable, smaller and with no numeric panel on the right which makes it difficult for many. The same goes for the mouse pad, so you may need an extra mouse and keyboard!
What you really need for your school
Each school has its own specificities and different requirements. For example, it is all about drawing in a CAD program, having to program, running a simulation, or simply using basic office application skills. So it is wise to ask fellow students (especially older ones) and teaching staff what you will need and act accordingly. Even the culture of a school or the existence of workshops and access to shared PCs can influence your decision. There are, of course, special cases. If, for example, you already have an even older desktop, it might be better to get a laptop (if you really want to buy a new computer).
Aesthetic and personal criteria
There are also so-called subjective criteria that are respected and apply to each individual. You may definitely want to get a laptop. Big towers and cables might not suit you. Some other things are matters of custom, aesthetic coke.
Note that for specific tastes and needs there are intermediate solutions and products (with many different names). There are so-called All-in-One desktops (some with touch screens and space-saving). You will even find a hybrid laptop where the screen detaches and becomes a standalone tablet.
In summary, desktops are best suited for demanding applications (eg video editing, simulation, 3D design), for professionals, for gaming, for those who upgrade frequently, while being more ergonomic in many ways.
On the other hand, laptops do not take up space. They are more crowded machines and are transported almost everywhere. At the same time they are easier to wear and easier to use and are usually more “sensitive” and even slightly more expensive (compared to desktop PCs with similar hardware).