What Kind of Computer Should You Purchase for College?

I am currently in college and have used both a desktop and laptop for completing my assignments. Both have been very useful, but you have to consider one very big question before you consider anything else. Where will you be staying while in college? If you will be staying in a dorm then you’ll want to purchase a laptop. If you’re going to be staying in your own place or with your parents then a desktop would probably be your best bet. Now why would this be? Well let’s take a look at each situation.

Living in a dorm:

So you’ve just moved into that great new dorm, wow was it really this small when you looked at it over the summer? Where are you going to put everything? The TV is way too big to fit in there, there’s really no room for your stereo, and is your roommate really all that trustworthy? This is when a laptop becomes a true necessity. You’ll be able to watch DVDs, listen to music, and play games (oh and study of course) all without bothering your roommate, who’re you’re pretty sure might eat you if you woke them up. Not to mention you’ll be able to easily take your laptop with you all over campus and if your campus offers wireless access you’ll be able to work on assignments anywhere.

So let’s review:

  • Everything you need is in one package.
  • You can take it with you where ever you go.
  • You won’t disturb your roommate.
  • You can work on assignments anywhere on the campus (if your campus offers wireless access).

Living off campus:

If you’re going to have your own place or be living with your parents you’re going to have room for all your stuff and be able to have a huge TV, surround sound stereo system, etc. So you really don’t need to invest in a laptop if you don’t have the money to do so. A desktop is going to be at least a couple hundred dollars cheaper than a laptop. You’ll also get more ram, hard drive space, etc. for the same price you’d spend for a laptop with less of those things. You also don’t have to worry about losing a desktop.

So let’s review:

  • A desktop is cheaper.
  • You get more bang for your buck.
  • You won’t lose a desktop.
  • A desktop won’t be easily stolen.

A few quick reminders:

  • You’ll need a word processing program, so try to buy a computer that comes with that software included.
  • You’ll be using the internet a lot for research, so at least get a computer that has a modem. If buying a laptop pick something that has integrated wireless already installed.
  • Always keep an eye on your laptop when on campus. Things have a way of “walking off” if you don’t watch them closely.
  • Try not to leave your laptop in your dorm room if you have a roommate that isn’t trustworthy.
  • Make sure the laptop comes with a Blu-Ray player so you’ll have something to do in your free time.
  • Last but not least, check with your school to see if they have any specific requirements. Not all schools do, but some want you to have so much ram, use an Apple instead of a Mac, etc.

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