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Li Xuan

August 7th, 2022

Should I get a laptop or a desktop?

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Li Xuan

August 7th, 2022

Should I get a laptop or a desktop?

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Probably the million dollar question of your entire university life. As we near the start of the new academic year and you find yourself headed for a fresh start or in need of an upgrade, how are you supposed to make up your mind?

Laptop 

Pros:

1. Portability – There’s no denying the convenience of being able to work on your device with a flick of your screen. The ready-to-go characteristic which gives us the privilege of our devices to write notes in class, study in a café or when presenting at a conference is truly something that cannot be taken for granted. 

2. Easy to operate – There’s not much to do in terms of setting up your laptop apart from the usual, such as setting your language, time zone and connecting to a WiFi network. Offline operation is also a blessing in disguise – yay, for no more tangled cables!

3. Built-in features – Similar to the point before, with a keyboard, mouse, webcam and Bluetooth-powered speakers included in your new laptop you need not worry about spending extra time and money to source these.

Cons:

1. Expensive – Depending on the brand and model a desktop’s starting price is around £500 while for a laptop it can easily rise to the thousands. As you upgrade that number tends to inch upwards.

2. Requires charging- Although it may come with increased flexibility, I’m sure we are all aware of that dreaded feeling of asking to borrow someone’s charger or roaming around the room to locate a charging outlet. Oh, and not to mention, trying your best to survive with a phone during the 1-2 hour waiting period.

3. Shorter lifespan – Speaking from personal experience, I’ve already owned four laptops since my first one and have made frequent trips to service centres. Luckily, most of the time they have been covered by warranty but it was still a hassle. I’m lucky enough to have never encountered any problems with my desktop and in fact, I’ve owned one since I was 11 that still works today! 

Desktop

Pros

1. Power – Desktop processors are larger and can install multiple internal storage drives making them more potent than laptop processors. Physical space is limited in a laptop, which limits the graphics capabilities. If you’re a regular editor of videos or music, I would suggest investing in a desktop instead.

2. Easier to upgrade – Apart from the hard drive and memory, a need to upgrade usually requires a new laptop. Most components in a desktop are removable making it easier to upgrade. 

3. Less vulnerable to theft or loss – Although this isn’t guaranteed, you are probably more likely to experience one of these with an exposed laptop in public spaces. That is, of course, provided that your house or flat is very well protected.

Cons:

1. Distractions – With more power comes more chances of getting sidetracked. Whether it’s video games or not having to worry about battery usage when binge-watching shows on Netflix, if you cannot practice self-control, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

2. Bulkiness – The size of this machine cannot be underestimated and you must make sure you have somewhere to fit this thing. Preferably, on a nice big study desk. If you live in student accommodation, your options are rather limited but if you’re planning to rent your own place, a desktop might be up for consideration. 

3. Extra noise of PC when it operates – this can be a huge disturbance for many!

Overall, there is no one size fits all and I can’t say that one triumphs over the other. The choice comes down to your own needs and preferences. 

About the author

Li Xuan

A Malaysian Borneo native studying MSc Environment and Development. Given my multicultural upbringing, I speak 6 languages which is partly why I chose the LSE and its very international student body! I'm also a R'n'B/soul/jazz fanatic.

Posted In: Money

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