Are Desktops Good for College?

Are Desktops Good for College?

With education relying heavily on technology today, having a personal computer (PC) is no longer a luxury for a college student but a necessity. Having a PC has become as vital as having required texts or having a student ID. A college student can take online classes, which is now a growing trend in universities, jot notes, and carry out after-school activities easily with a PC. 

However, apart from understanding how crucial a PC is to a university student, a vital question is, what type of PC is best for this student? A desktop or a laptop?

Although the type of PC a college student buys is dependent on the field of study and the student’s needs, desktops are great for university students. Although they are large and built to be immobile, desktops can be easily upgraded, have plenty of internal storage, and can be inexpensive.

Are Desktops The Best PC Choice For College Students?

The importance of a PC to a college student today is indisputable. Some colleges require all students to have a PC that meets the institution’s stated minimum specifications to aid the completion of coursework and projects.  

However, knowing whether to get a laptop or a desktop for college is another matter. The good news is that this problem can be solved by listing out all the purposes or workloads you intend the PC to handle.

Generally speaking, desktops and laptops have their pros and cons, and the specifications of PCs differ from one brand to the other. Knowing what student needs your new PC is to meet will help you fine-tune your long list and identify the ideal PC that will meet your college needs.

Students in fields like Architecture, Art-design, Engineering, etc., including students who are tech literates and gamers, may opt for a desktop due to its many features, which make their tasks easy. On the other hand, students in fields like foreign languages or music who are not tech-savvy may opt for a standard laptop.

Comparing Laptops and Desktops

Although they can both function as PCs, laptops and desktops have distinct features and designs that meet the different tech needs of their users. Hence, it is vital for college students who want to purchase a new PC but have not yet decided whether to get a laptop or desktop to consider the following pros and cons of both.

  1. Portability. One key difference between a laptop and a desktop is mobility. Laptops have all their components inbuilt, so they are lightweight and movable. This portability is one of the reasons why many college students opt for a laptop, as they are always on the move and usually need to carry their work with them. On the other hand, a desktop has many external parts. Hence, it is set up in a position and not carried around. This factor has proved to be one of the major cons of desktops, especially for college students. 
  2. Size. Asides from the size of the monitor, desktops come with external parts such as a keyboard, mouse, CPU, etc., which require extra room. However, laptops are small in size, more compact, and take up less space. They also do not come with external parts. College students, especially those staying in small college dorms, may consider the size feature and opt for a laptop due to the generally limited space available in the rooms in a college hall.
  3. Storage space. When it comes to internal storage space, desktops have the upper hand. Because unlike laptops that have limited space and can only contain one drive, desktops have more room where users can install many drivers.

This benefit of desktops is likely to be considered by college students in tech-savvy departments or those in tech-savvy part-time jobs, or gamers because having a PC with plenty of internal storage space is vital to these sets of students.

  1. Screen size. Another benefit that university students in techie fields or majors will appreciate in a desktop is its screen size. Because they are stationary, desktops generally have large screens ranging from 19 inches to above 30 inches. This is unlike laptops built to have small screens ranging between 10 – 17 inches to keep up with their portability and compact factor.  
  2. External Storage. In addition to plenty of internal storage space, desktops, compared to laptops, have multiple data ports for connecting external drivers to create extra storage space.
  3. Repairs. Repairing faulty laptops can be quite a hassle. As laptops have all their parts inbuilt, the computer technician needs to open the computer to detect the problem. In some cases, faulty components need to be replaced, and locating the correct replacement part can be difficult and may require contacting the laptop manufacturer. On the other hand, repairing a desktop or replacing a faulty external component is easy as most local computer stores would have the required replacement part.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Desktop for College

Apart from the above-listed pros and cons of having a laptop or desktop, there are other external personal factors every college student needs to consider before deciding whether a desktop is the best choice for them. These factors include:

  • Cost
  • Available room
  • Purpose of the desktop
  • Brand choice


With classes, research and project work, part-time jobs, and several other activities filling up college life, a university student needs all the tools and equipment necessary to make school easy and enhance a smooth sail through the university. One of these required tools is a personal computer. A PC gives a student the flexibility and ease needed to attend online classes, mark attendance, type class notes, and carry out research and project work among other school work and extracurricular activities.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Which PC brands are the best?

 Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Microsoft Surface, and Apple, are some of the top PC brands.

  1. Are desktops more expensive than laptops?

No, desktops are generally cheaper than laptops.