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Old 12-03-2008, 07:11 AM   #1
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Laptop or Desktop for College?

So I'm a senior in high school right now, and, for whatever stupid reasons, my desktop is completely dead. Hard drive died apparently. Since I don't like that computer very much anyway, I've decided to just get a completely new one rather than replacing the drive.

My plan is to move away to college next year(UC Irvine probably). I've heard laptops are more useful in the college environment because they're portable. You can use it for notes in class, to get away from distractions in your room, to bring to the library, etc. It's also easy to carry back and forth between home and school. rather than lugging around a huge desktop, monitor, speakers, keyboards, mouse, and everything else that goes with it.

But then again, I've heard that many reasons I've listed above for a laptop are only ideal. For example, it may be easier to use a laptop for notes in class, but no one actually does it. It may be easier to carry it around campus, but it actually ends up staying in your dorm the entire time. Battery life sucks as well. And how often will I be moving between school and home anyway?

I've always had a desktop and have always been happy with one. The desktop trounces laptops in every aspect, other than portability: power, price, maintenaince, longevity, etc.

But on the other hand, I don't want to feel like an idiot and feel like I should have gotten a laptop when I get into school. If laptops offer advantages in class or whatnot, I don't want to be missing out on it. I can see how a laptop may be excessive, but I can also see how a desktop would just be simply restrictive. I don't want to be handwriting notes when I can be typing them, nor do I want to be holed up in a dorm all day if I'm better off somewhere else.

Anyway, now that I've gotten pros and cons over with, here are the factors I'm considering:
1. Obviously, it's usefulness in college.
2. Price. The desktop will obviously be better overall here. But, and I'm not made of money, if laptops really are the way to go then I won't mind too much spending a little more.
3. Gaming. Ok, I'm not an enormous gamer, nor am I a very demanding gamer when it comes to specs (most demanding game I'd probably play is Civ 4). If I were to have to live without gaming, I'd be fine. But it is definitely a plus.
4. College isn't for another half a year! While I'm at home, I would definitely prefer a desktop, no question about it.

Lastly, I should probably mention what I use my computer for. For the most part, I just use it for internet, IM'ing, music, and homework, all of which don't require too much power or space. Ocassionally, though, I've went on huge weekend-long gaming sprees.

So, enough of my ramble, what does Interference think?
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:37 AM   #2
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What's your budget?
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:39 AM   #3
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I wouldn't even think about it for 5 seconds - laptop is the way to go.

If you have a decent budget, get yourself an OK laptop and then buy a (cheap) desktop, you can get decent ones for just a few hundred bucks for your gaming purposes.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Yeah get a laptop and just replace the drive in your desktop if it runs your games.

I just sold two basically new laptops last week for only $500 each.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:17 AM   #5
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I don't have a strict budget as of now; it really depends on what I'm getting. For a desktop, maybe $700-800 tops. I don't have the same experience buying a laptop, but I'd expect to go somewhere around $700-$1000 and hopefully no more than that.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:49 AM   #6
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If you get something with Vista, get at least 2GB of RAM, and if you have 4GB of RAM, then make sure to get the 64 bit OS. Your price range for a laptop is normal to generous, for the types of laptops I see the college freshmen coming in with (almost exclusively Dell 1525s and HP dv2000 or dv6000 series).
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:08 PM   #7
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I'd get a laptop. They're easy in use and y'know, even if you do not take it with you always. But at least you COULD. It's the possibility option that matters. If you have a desktop, you'll never be able to take it with you.
I have a macbook, and I am in the lab often, so it's good to take with me to work when I'm waiting for a reaction to progress.
And the battery isn't that bad, we have power outlets everywhere in the uni.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input guys. I ended up going with a laptop, an Asus F8SP-X1, and so far I'm very happy with it.
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