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College Students: Laptops or Desktops?

laptop desktop student college money

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#1 Archduke


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:22 AM

Hello, I'm facing kind of a dilemma, me and my best friends have come to know that Desktops are simply better. In terms of performace, quality and gaming experience. However, as a college student, it is next to impossible to head off to college with a desktop.
  • You just can't haul a desktop around, like to classes and other events.
  • It's more expensive.
  • Takes up space and makes packing unbearable.
  • Pretty tacky.
With a laptop you can easily...
  • Take it classes.
  • Get more attached to it as you haul it everwhere with you. (Personalization)
  • And pretty much the opposite/pros of all the reasons a dektop doesn't work.
However, can a laptop really provide just as quality gaming and leisure as a desktop? I know that, for example, Alienware provides freakishly amazing laptops that matches top desktops, and they are even built for gaming.

If you read anything, read this: I guess my question is, can I buy a laptop that does normal college stuff, like word processor, and others as well as play multiple games like GW2, Mass Effect 2,3 and other games on max while providing top noch experience?

Would you recommend Alienware? I have been saving up for Alienware if it ends up being the best decision, your guys input included.


Edited by Archduke, 21 August 2012 - 02:24 AM.

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#2 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:31 AM

By second year, every gamer I knew had a desktop. Most started with laptops because it makes sense right? we all had similar ideas to you. Turns out desktops are just simply better for games, and the overall performance increase makes work less about waiting for the pc to stop messing around.

Also, you're not getting a top notch experience on a laptop for less than kidney selling prices. So buy a good gaming desktop and a good netbook (e-450 based preferably). You'll get far more use out of both than a laptop.

No-one really tends to haul laptops around with them all day in the end, there's very little point to it apart from attracting muggers, whilst a netbook can fit in your normal bag.

Edited by The Comfy Chair, 21 August 2012 - 07:38 AM.

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If you want to check if your computer will run GW2, check here.

If you find out you can't and need to think about upgrading or building another, check here.

#3 NeoN707


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:35 AM

You're gonna have to spend at least 1000 to make a laptop worth it if you want something nearly on par with a decent desktop. I'm a college student and got a laptop for my first year. No regrets.
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#4 Freetobe


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:36 AM

Honestly ... Buy a desktop.

If you really want something portable , get the money you just saved in buying a desktop instead of a gaming laptop with the same specs and buy a cheap laptop , you can do word and web browsing and even some little games.
If you need horsepower you have your desktop.

I think with todays prices , if you go over a certain price so the laptop is a true gaming laptop and viable to play the latest games on high , you can buy a desktop with = or better performance + cheap laptop with less money.

The only problem the desktop has is on lan parties :P
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#5 Niila


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:37 AM

Kind of both. Personally I use desktop and a netbook, thus getting best out of both worlds.

Desktop: Gaming, entertainment, web browsing and bigger assessments that require a lot of writing.

Netbook: For portability, taking notes in lectures and library. The thing in netbooks are that they are actually comfortable to carry around since they easily fit in your bag and are actually lightweight (I think mine has a weight of 1kg/2lbs). Still they are big enough for comfortable typing experience and somewhat comfortable for internet browsing. It has a battery life of 12 hours if only doing typing/text editing.

Some argue gaming + laptop = does not compute. I would say that most gaming laptops are at least quite big and heavy and thus not comfortable to carry around at all.

Do you need portability to gaming too? Is it enough to have that one hell of a desktop at your place for best possible gaming experience? If so, I would invest to a quality desktop and buy a cheaper netbook for portability: something you can use to listen to music, browse internet and do your school work with, wherever you may go.
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#6 Major_Disaster


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

Most gaming laptops only get about 1-2 hours battery, and weigh a ton, so you should just ditch the idea of a gaming laptop right now.

Get a gaming desktop, a paper pad and a nice pen. Problem solved.

Laptops are a huge waste of time in college. All those guys you see with laptop screens open in lectures? Browsing Facebook.

Netbook is a reasonable compromise, but I find the pleasure of making notes on paper far more enjoyable than typing away in Word or Notepad or whatever. Plus you can draw doodles.
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#7 tallanx


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:35 AM

Laptops are a huge waste of time in college. All those guys you see with laptop screens open in lectures? Browsing Facebook.

I know I used mine to play CS in the middle of lectures :P
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