bak to skool shoppin.....argh (Laptop or a desktop)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by sen_almighty, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. sen_almighty macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2003
    hey, goin to uni this sept, and i needed ppl's opinions that have been to uni or are in uni on whether i should get a laptop or a desktop, i'm in the sciences field (bio and chem) but i'm also takin philosophy (wat i like to call an essay course), computers (java) and a economics course......i was wondering if a laptop is really as useful for uni as ppl say or if it's overated and just get a desktop......and also, the comp would be my primary comp as well.

    and a bit off topic here, but GO LEAFS GO! :)

  2. wowoah macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    I faced this dilemma two years ago also when I was going to college, so here's what I can tell you based on what I've experienced:

    You should get a desktop if:
    - You're comfortable writing your papers/doing your labs/programming in your room. (i.e., you're good at focusing, you don't get easily distracted, etc.)
    - You liked to play games or do stuff that require intense processing power.
    - You like big screens.
    - You plan to take your notes in class by hand.

    And of course, if those don't apply to you, you should get a laptop :) I ended up choosing a laptop because I: (1) take all my notes on my laptop in class, (2) get incredibly easily distracted (which means, when I need to work, I drag my laptop to a windowless study room in the library and disable my wireless card so that there are NO distractions), (3) I don't play many games on my computer (that's what the gamecube's for :p). My roomie's a neurobiology major who also uses a laptop and she's totally fine with it.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions and I'll be happy to help you if I can :)
  3. hugemullens macrumors 6502a


    Dec 15, 2002
    well i'll ignore your over-use of abreviations :) i would go laptop all the way. I am an engeneering major, and i dont do a whole lot of note taking in class with it or anything, but its very nice to be able to take my computer to team meetings. As a science major you will find more and more weight on team work and its great to be able to do group projects with more than 1 computer in the dorm room and not have to walk to the lab. Laptops are a lot easier to take home too. I would say laptop all the way, they just make life a lot easier. And you can always pick up chicks by showing off your new Mac laptop :D
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I have never had to make this decision myself, but, if I was in your situation I know what I'd go with...the Laptop. I just imagine that having the flexibility that a laptop offers would be invaluable @ uni for all the reasons that have been mentioned; taking notes, being able to move to an area where you'd find it easier to study, group studies, etc, etc.

  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    I built myself a linux box for my 1st year of school. I found that I needed something more portable for odds and ends, so I got a pda for my 2nd year. That wasn't good enough, so I got a used ibook as I go into my 3rd year. I am a computer engineering major with a minor in CompSci. Like others, I tend to have many group meetings. The laptop will make things easier.

    I think you should go straight for the laptop. you might want to get some of the perks that go with a desktop (like external speakers). I'd get a new and fairly top of the line machine if it is going to be your main box.
  6. beefcake macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2003
    I will be an engineering major come September, and I bought a laptop. My reason had nothing to do with note taking or distraction, it was purley based on the fact that a desktop is a pain to move back and forth between home and school. However, I do recommend getting desktop accessories (speakers/mouse/keyboard) to make your life easier.
  7. WannabeSQ macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2002
    What's your budget? you could probably get an iBook and build yourself a cheap desktop PC (gasp!) or even a used desktop Mac. That's what I have. I have a PC laptop (I know, I know, but when I got it i was still on OS 9 and was leaning towards XP) a Mac desktop and recently purchased a PC desktop, of the Mini Shuttle PC variety for games.

    If I had unlimited funds, and only one computer, I would get the 17" powerbook. It isn't too big to carry around a little bit. I think almost any laptop is too clunky to use anywhere but on a desk or table. The term "laptop" doesn't mean as much as "notebook" to me.
  8. sen_almighty thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2003
    alrite, after reading the responses, i think a laptop is the best way to go, thanks guys! (most likely the 12 inch powerbook, all i can afford)

    take care ppl

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