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Pros and Cons of Desktops vs Laptops for College Students

If you are heading to college this year, then you might have a new computer on the top of your shopping list for things you need to buy and take with you. Today, it’s almost impossible to get through college courses without some kind of computer. While most students will have access to computers provided at their college library, nothing beats having your own when it comes to getting your work done, being more organised, and achieving better efficiency. But with so many computer options available, picking the right one for college is not always an easy task. Before you even get into all the tech specs, processing speeds, and amounts of RAM, one of the first questions you might have is whether a desktop or laptop computer is going to be the best choice for you. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Desktop Computers

A desktop computer is the traditional PC setup that you are going to need a desk for. They are usually made up of a tower PC with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. They’re typically quite bulky, although you can get smaller, more modern all-in-one desktop solutions that might be a better fit for a smaller space.

Pros of a Desktop for College

If you want to buy a computer for doing college work, then there are a few advantages to getting a desktop PC from Lenovo. Some of the main reasons to consider getting a desktop PC for college include:


Compared to laptops, desktop PCs are more customisable. You can upgrade different parts and make your PC exactly how you want it. If you play video games in your spare time, for example, then you can easily turn your PC into a gaming PC as well by adding a dedicated graphics card or upgrading to a more powerful CPU.


While laptops are getting better, desktop PCs still win when it comes to power. This makes them an ideal choice for students who are taking college courses that require a lot of power-intensive tasks like video editing or programming. If you need a high-powered machine to complete your college work, then a desktop could be the ideal choice for you.


With a desktop, you can work more efficiently. They are usually easy to add more than one monitor to, meaning that you can work from two or three screens which can be very helpful when you have a big task to get through. You can have your word processing software open on one screen, all your tabs on another, and a music player on the next one to help you get through it all.

Fewer Distractions

With a desktop PC, you’re forced to sit at your desk and get work done. This can be helpful for some students who might be easily distracted if trying to work elsewhere.

Cons of a Desktop for College

On the other hand, a desktop for college does have some disadvantages. These are:

Big and Bulky

Transporting a desktop PC to your dorm room and getting it set up can be a pain compared to just putting a laptop in a bag. They often take up a lot of space, which may be inconvenient if you’re in a small student room. Along with this, students often move each year, and packing up your desktop to take it with you can be hard work.

Not Portable

While your desktop might force you to sit down at your desk and get work done, they aren’t portable. So, you can’t take it to the library with you if you need to get some books or take it to class for taking notes.

Pros of a Laptop for College

More and more college students are opting for a laptop as they have many advantages. Some of the main pros of picking a laptop as your main college computer include:


Packing up your laptop to take to college with you, bringing it when you move into a new student house, and even carrying it around campus to take to classes is easier than ever. With many modern, lightweight laptops on the market, finding one that is easy to carry around all day is a breeze.


With a huge number of laptops on the market, finding one at a price to suit you should be easy. Along with this, compared to a desktop, there aren’t any additional costs. You don’t need to buy a separate monitor, keyboard, or mouse as this will all be included – all you need to do is get it out of the box and set it up.


Even if you’re taking a course in something like programming or video editing that will require a lot of power, the good news is that you can easily find very powerful laptops today that rival desktops in terms of what you can do with them.

Cons of a Laptop for College

Like anything, there may be some disadvantages to choosing a laptop rather than a desktop for college. Some disadvantages to consider include:

Less Durable

You do have to be careful with laptops as they are often easier to break compared to desktops. This is especially true if you plan to carry yours around a lot. Get a case or a protective covering to keep your laptop safe.

Shorter Lifespan

Since laptops are not as customisable as desktop PCs and you can’t just swap out components for new ones, you may find that a laptop will not last as long. If a major component breaks down, then you might have to replace the entire laptop, rather than just swapping the faulty part.

Less Focus

For some students, having a laptop for college is not as helpful as having a desktop, as you’re not forced to sit at your desk. If you’re the type who is easily distracted when studying, perhaps avoid trying to work on your laptop on the sofa in front of the TV!

Picking the right computer for college is important. Knowing the various pros and cons of desktops vs laptops for college can help you decide which option is the best for you.

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