Laptop or Desktop: Which is Better for a Student?

Students are continually faced with the dilemma of whether to use a laptop or desktop. For some, it is not an issue at all because they can do both equally well. But for others, this decision becomes more complicated.

The following will explore the advantages and disadvantages of laptops and desktops in education with a focus on their use by students.

desktop and laptop

What is the difference between a laptop and a desktop computer?

A desktop PC is a static, stationary computer that will stay on the desk in your office or bedroom.

It consists of various parts: a tower, monitor (or two), keyboard, and mouse all plugged together at your convenience to create what many would call the traditional workstation setup where you can get real work done without having to go anywhere else.

A laptop (also called a notebook) is a portable all-in-one device that has USB inputs for peripherals built into its sides like screens so you can use it as both a workstation at home or carry with you when traveling to be productive anywhere.

Pros of using a Laptop

The pros of using a laptop are clear. A student can take it to class or anywhere else and use it just as easily as they would at home in their dorm room.

Laptops are portable, making them perfect for use everywhere from the classroom to the library to friends’ houses on the weekend.

Students don’t have to lug around a tower and monitor with them wherever they are.

Cons of using a Laptop

The cons of using a laptop are also apparent. The small screen size makes it harder to work on big assignments and the limited storage capacity makes storing and transferring these large files difficult at best.

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Laptops are definitely less powerful than their desktop counterparts, so a student will not be able to maximize their laptop for photo or video editing or graphic design like they might want to do on a desktop computer.

The size of a laptop is both its biggest strength and weakness. It can be difficult to add or replace parts, but regardless of how much you spend, it will never compare with the upgrade-friendliness that comes from desktops.

Pros of using a Desktop

There are many reasons why people choose to purchase a desktop computer, but large screens and sleek designs aren’t the only features that make them stand out.

Desktops are powerful machines that can be used to do anything from gaming to video editing and graphics work. They also offer more options for upgrading in case you need an upgrade down the line.

A student would not struggle with the storage space limitations they have on their laptop easily, because towers contain much more hard drive space than a laptop is ever likely to hold.

They’re also less expensive on average across all models than laptops which is one of their big advantages!

Cons of using a Desktop

Desktops need to stay plugged in all the time so you don’t run out of power or lose your work (unless you save it). Desktops are also larger and heavier than laptops, making them harder to carry around.

A desktop consumes more power than a laptop. A desktop comes with separate peripherals, and each one needs its own power supply to work properly.

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Other cons of a desktop are that you’ll need a place to store it and a monitor to hook it up to. More USB ports are also not something most people think about but can be very handy for many types of work tasks.


Students can use a desktop or laptop to create all the same things, and in some cases may actually find themselves preferring one method over the other.

The best choice will come down to what you want for your academic needs and which platform will help you achieve them more effectively.

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