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Edan
2011-04-07, 01:37 AM
So I pose a question to the playground.

I am going to college this summer and will require some form of computer. Frankly running to the library every single time I want to check email is not an effective plan. However, I am unsure on exactly what I am going to need.

This puts me in a bit of a problem. I have to choose between the two options. A desktop provides power for price but at the cost of portability. But I would have to buy all the peripherals and software. On the other hand the portability of a laptop makes it unquestionably a good choice for college.

I ask which is better. Does anyone have experience and an weight in on the pros and cons of both. I won't be commuting far; I'm going to live less than two miles off campus.

Let me say a little about my situation. I am not a CS major or anything, planning on either pre-med or biology with teaching emphasis if the first route fails. I doubt I will need heavy processor power, but I do enjoy PC gaming. Money is of course a factor, being a poor college student.

I am leaning towards desktop right now because I don't think I'll need portability. I have a contingency is that fails, buy a cheap netbook if portability becomes an issue. Even within the idea of getting a desktop is prebuilt vs do it yourself (but that is worth another thread).

I just can't seem to break this situation and hope the playground has some wisdom to spare. Thanks all!

Lord Seth
2011-04-07, 01:40 AM
I'd go with the laptop, but I should mention that if you get a laptop, extended warranties are usually a good idea. Yeah, I know extended warranties are usually a rip-off, but with laptops they generally pay for themselves.

Phishfood
2011-04-07, 02:58 AM
Well, as you say the desktop will perform better for the same money. Desktop will generally last longer too.

On the other hand lots of people find it useful to cart a laptop to lectures and take notes directly on the laptop rather than type up later.

Icewalker
2011-04-07, 03:41 AM
Personally, I would suggest your last plan: get a desktop, and then a cheap netbook for gaming. That's the situation I'm in (except instead of desktop, I have a relatively monstrous gaming laptop, so that I can transport it if I choose, but I'm starting to think desktop may've been a better idea. Not that I have room in a triple for a desktop computer. :smallsigh: )

Croverus
2011-04-07, 03:56 AM
Get a laptop. I would have never survived my first year of college with only a desktop. I could take my laptop to classes to type my notes there, as well as play quick games during hour long lectures where I'm on of something hundred people and I already studied the subject the night before.

Gaelbert
2011-04-07, 04:08 AM
Definitely go with a laptop. That's what nearly everyone I know does, and it works well for all of us.

raitalin
2011-04-07, 04:27 AM
Full disclosure: I hate laptops.

They always seem slower than a desktop with equivalent RAM and processor.

They're generally way too expensive for the hardware you get. Video cards especially so.

Anything with a decent screen size stretches the definition of "portability"

They're a PITA to repair. Obsolete video card? Short in the mother board? Bad networking adapter? There's a good chance getting a new laptop will be cheaper than the fix.

Want a bigger hard drive? On top of paying more for the same amount of space you won't be able to install 2 at once, so upgrading requires another external drive and a great deal of patience.

Then there's the likelihood that it will get dropped, stepped on or spilled on. Spill a drink on your desktop keyboard? That's a $10-$80 fix. Spilled drink on a laptop? Hundreds of dollars.

I found that a dead tree notebook and pen served me fine for taking notes, and most of the students with laptops spent most of the class playing solitaire.

The only reason to get a laptop IMO is if you actually *need* to take it with you frequently or have extremely limited space to set up your computer.

If you *must* get a laptop I recommend Asus. They offer 1 year impact and spill coverage, saving you the expense of the less-likely-to-pay-out store warranty.

Erloas
2011-04-07, 09:18 AM
I'm also not a big laptop fan. I hardly ever use mine.
I still don't like laptop keyboards that much, at least the 17" ones have the numeric keypad, but then the laptop is leaving the portability area. Track pads are manageable, but not nearly as nice as a mouse, but there are only so many things you can carry with you and use.
Batteries on anything that isn't tiny tend to not last long enough to do much of anything without it being plugged in anyway.
Depending on the class and teacher there is a decent chance you won't be able to use it in class for taking notes anyway. Usually the sort of stuff talked about in science and math classes are really hard to get written down in any easy or practical way on a computer.

And more importantly... do you have the personal willpower to actually pay attention in class when you have a laptop at hand? Having to spend an extra couple hours studying because you didn't pay attention to what was talked about in class doesn't seem like a good trade to me. And as an aside, college is way too expensive to treat it like HS, you're probably looking at an extra couple grand for every semester you goof off.
Laptops are common enough now that its not as likely for one to disappear, but it is 1000x times easier for a laptop to disappear then it is a desktop.

If you want to have a decent gaming experience its going to require a fairly expensive laptop, usually heavy and not that small and portable.
I say build your own desktop, worry about playing games when you are at home and worry about school when you are at school. You can probably build your own good desktop, with all peripherals, and if you need it, a cheap netbook for taking to class, for the cost of a medium range gaming laptop.

valadil
2011-04-07, 09:34 AM
Laptops are pretty nice in college. I went with a desktop, but had a laptop as well within a year. I did CS though, so I needed more computer than your average student.

Will you be living in the dorms? If so, count on moving two or more times a year. Even if you never remove your laptop from your desk, it'll be easier to deal with come September and May.

If you are in the dorms, do you know your roommates? I lived with a total jerkwad freshman year (and the nicest dude ever, but that's irrelevant for my point). If I had a laptop I would have spent a lot more time in the library. Instead I was tied to my bulky desktop and spent more time around someone I hated.

Do you care about upgrading your machine? Some people like adding a new hard drive every time they run out of space. Others get a new video card once a year. If so, desktops are much, much more upgradeable. If you don't care about these things, you'll probably be fine with a laptop.

Don Julio Anejo
2011-04-07, 10:18 AM
Seconded desktop and a cheap netbook. You pay more, but this way you don't have to compromise with a laptop, which at the price range will ALWAYS be both slower AND less portable than the desktop and netbook you can get for the money.

Also, get a netbook with good battery life, like 6+ hours.

crimson77
2011-04-07, 05:25 PM
I might propose a third option. Buy a cheap netbook for $200-300 and save your money. You can get free (and legal) office software (openoffice.org). Give it a few months and see what you need.

Personally, having been a college and now a graduate student, I only use laptops. I carry my laptop everywhere with me. If it is too loud or distracting at my house then I will got the library, the department, or a coffee shop to get some work done. I also have a powerful but small computer (Macbook Air) that is lightweight enough to carry everywhere.

Tarinaky
2011-04-07, 05:38 PM
You can do cheaper still than a netbook by getting a second hand laptop.

Even if you get a killer laptop, the more you expect it to do the more bulky and more of a pain it'll be to actually carry around.

SurlySeraph
2011-04-07, 06:08 PM
Definitely a laptop (or netbook). Being able to bring all the information on your computer anywhere, use it to takes notes anywhere, etc. is extremely useful. Plus (at least at my college) a lot of assignments are only listed online and a lot of course readings are only provided online, so not being able to check them at any time is a major pain.

RS14
2011-04-07, 09:17 PM
They always seem slower than a desktop with equivalent RAM and processor.

They're generally way too expensive for the hardware you get. Video cards especially so.

Anything with a decent screen size stretches the definition of "portability"

Well yes.



They're a PITA to repair. Obsolete video card? Short in the mother board? Bad networking adapter? There's a good chance getting a new laptop will be cheaper than the fix.

Want a bigger hard drive? On top of paying more for the same amount of space you won't be able to install 2 at once, so upgrading requires another external drive and a great deal of patience.
True



Then there's the likelihood that it will get dropped, stepped on or spilled on. Spill a drink on your desktop keyboard? That's a $10-$80 fix. Spilled drink on a laptop? Hundreds of dollars.
I've had a laptop for eight years. In that time they have been dropped once (6 inches in a padded case, no damage) and stepped on once (no damage).

*Don't perch it precariously on the edge of surfaces like everyone else seems to do.
*Don't carry it resting on your palm, by holding the screen, or in any other insecure manner.
*If you leave it on the floor, put it under something like a bed, desk, or chair.
*Don't drink while using it.


I found that a dead tree notebook and pen served me fine for taking notes, and most of the students with laptops spent most of the class playing solitaire.

Very true. It's seriously disrespectful unless you're actually using it for work, and professors can tell the difference. I only take mine to class when reading material is provided as PDFs, and I don't want to print out a 20 page document just to use once.

--

I do recommend a laptop. You can take it to the library to work and have all your documents handy while you consult dead-tree sources. You can take it with you when your roommate exiles you to the dorm lounge. You can take it with you to your friends rooms if you have pair programming assignments. You can use it if you take part in the MCM or ACM-ICPC contests. You can go to conferences and actually get work done there. You can take it with you over the summer and not need to ship it separately.

A desktop does not provide any substantial benefits to undergraduates. You don't need the processing power unless perhaps you're e.g. founding a tech startup on the side and need something that runs your code fast. Your college should provide servers on which to run any serious code for programming/science/engineering. (Note: this may be different for students doing art on computers, I don't know).

A desktop also provides benefit if you want to run your own server. I assume you do not.

Dr.Epic
2011-04-07, 09:38 PM
Laptop. The portability is much better for you if you're going to be in college.

Moff Chumley
2011-04-07, 10:21 PM
I saved up and got a good laptop with room for some RAM upgrades, and I've never found myself wishing I had gotten a desktop.

Lady Moreta
2011-04-07, 11:49 PM
I had a desktop for my first three years of university - it was a real pain in the neck to be honest, if I needed to go to the library for any reason, anything extra I wanted I had to print myself and take it with me. I wasted so much paper that way.

Starting my fourth year, I got a laptop and I've never looked back. It made life so much easier. I never took it to classes, preferring to take notes with pen/paper... but it was a life saver when I had to go to the library. It may depend on how often you have to go look up reference books. I know for me, most of the reference books I needed were held in the short loan section - you could only get them out for three hours at a time and you couldn't take them out of the library. Having my laptop with me was a lifesaver, because I could refer to the book (that I couldn't take home with me) and still work. It also helped me actually get work done as well, because I tended to be easily distractable at home. And yes, my last year of uni, I lived a decent walk away from uni, so I would have been screwed if I'd only had a desktop and hadn't been able to take my laptop with me - it was too far to walk there and back multiple times a day. Remember - you may be close now but consider that you may shift and discover that you're further away than you thought you'd be.

Jallorn
2011-04-07, 11:54 PM
Have you considered a Notebook/Desktop combo? By Notebook, I something like this (http://www.apple.com/macbookair/?cid=wwa-naus-seg-mac10-028&cp=wwa-seg-mac10-notebook&sr=sem) (although almost definitely an older and cheaper one, after all, the notebook doesn't need a lot of power, it's just so you can do a little work on the move, and then the desktop can be your main computer.) That's what I'm looking at when I start college next year, or rather will be, I haven't done a ton of research since I'm not even to the summer yet.

Also, everyone should get a flash drive of some kind in todays world, they are great.

Knaight
2011-04-08, 12:00 AM
The cheap netbook option that keeps getting bandied about is a good one. Netbooks tend to be low power, but office software should be just fine, and being able to take notes digitally is just wonderful, what with the ability to insert text in the middle of that already there easily. Open Office on a netbook covers quite a bit, and while it isn't ideal for essay writing -being able to look at a large chunk of one's essay at any given time is extremely useful- it functions well for everything else, and passably for essays provided that it isn't an extremely tiny netbook. Concerning gaming, if you must do it and find you have the time, just get old games or games which require minimal computer power.

THAC0
2011-04-08, 12:10 AM
Preface: I prefer desktops to laptops, all else being equal.

That said, my next computer will be a laptop.

I also recommend laptops for college.

Think, you're going to be packing this thing up twice a year at least - and that's assuming you have another computer at home for winter/spring breaks, etc. That's huge.

I never used mine for note-taking, but some people prefer it. That's another plus in the laptop column.

Space is also a potential issue in dorm rooms. I know my desks were not well equipped for desktops.

The social aspect can also be important. Let's face it, most of us love being attached to our computers. If you're attached, via desktop, to your room, you're not going to do a lot of socializing. If you can bring a laptop to the commons or wherever, there's more potential there. Might not apply to you, but it might.

Vonriel
2011-04-08, 12:31 AM
The social aspect can also be important. Let's face it, most of us love being attached to our computers. If you're attached, via desktop, to your room, you're not going to do a lot of socializing. If you can bring a laptop to the commons or wherever, there's more potential there. Might not apply to you, but it might.

Way, way, way too true. I've been a student at my current school for about two and a half years now, and in all that time, I prefer my laptop for most of what I do to a desktop. While I loved my desktop, and while I would absolutely love to have another one, I will never give up my laptop. At most, a desktop would be what I use to game on when I'm not at school, which is currently 75%-ish of my waking hours.

Ultimately, it boils down to what you want to do. If you're okay with hanging out at your house all day long, a desktop will end up being a far better investment than a laptop. I think, though, that you'll end up preferring to stay on campus at whatever passes for your Student Center to hang out with the local geek crowd. If there exists one, anyway. :smalltongue: I'm a little spoiled there in that I go to an engineering college.

thubby
2011-04-08, 12:40 AM
what is your housing situation?
if you're renting/home/have a single, i would suggest a desktop. they're powerful, cheap, and easy to maintain yourself.

if you're sharing a room or taking computer courses, i would recommend the laptop. being able to get out of your dorm room and still work is invaluable.

Jimor
2011-04-08, 03:46 AM
The following piece of advice is true in either case, but particularly important with a laptop which may get stolen or broken while carrying it around school.

Include an external hard drive in your budget, and USE IT to back up your work frequently.

That is all. :smallcool:

GrlumpTheElder
2011-04-08, 05:50 AM
I'm actually going to say get a desktop.

I have a 6 year old laptop at university, but the battery is almost dead (20 mins max battery life), so it can only be used as a desktop. However, this means that in lectures, I hand write notes and find that more goes in in the lectures than if I was typing, as I did at school.

Desktops are also, as you said, better value for money.

Ravens_cry
2011-04-08, 06:06 AM
Laptop. Space is at a premium in dorms and a desktop takes up quite a bit of space. The note taking is definitely a plus, I find it easier to type for long periods of time then handwriting. If you have a roommate who *ahem* needs privacy, you can take it with you. Yes, they are more expensive for performance and sound, gah, sound is still terribly tinny, but displays have greatly improved from when looking at the screen from just the wrong angle made a weird rainbow effect. Headphones can help with the former.

valadil
2011-04-08, 08:33 AM
Include an external hard drive in your budget, and USE IT to back up your work frequently.

I would actually vote for a Dropbox account instead or in addition. That gives you a 2gb (or more if you're not cheap) folder that syncs between all the computers you use Dropbox on. That includes Dropbox's own servers, so even if you only have the one computer, anything in that folder gets backed up automatically. You won't be storing your music collection, but your papers will be safe.

Obrysii
2011-04-08, 08:42 AM
Honestly, I'd recommend a decent desktop in your dorm, and a netbook for when you go.

The Asus EEE netbooks are very durable, very long battery life, and aren't too slow.

But you'll want a desktop for gaming, for data storage - something as a reliable backup.

Mathis
2011-04-08, 08:45 AM
The portability of a laptop is only going to do you good if you actually like taking notes on it during classes. I tried it as I thought that a laptop would be pretty cool to have when I got to my university, but it wasn't. Simply because I hated to take notes on it. So you have to ask yourself if you prefer to take notes by hand or by computer, and if having constant internet access at school is that important to you. Other than that, I've enjoyed having a laptop as I sometimes get together with some friends to play Starcraft or Civilization or whatever and it has been so much easier than having a desktop. But if I could, I would have chosen to have both.

valadil
2011-04-08, 09:00 AM
The portability of a laptop is only going to do you good if you actually like taking notes on it during classes.

And if moving is a big hassle. I went to school within an hour of where I grew up, so I didn't mind making 2-3 trips moving in and out each year. Even if your laptop never leaves your desk, it will be more transportable in September and May.

Obrysii
2011-04-08, 09:13 AM
And if moving is a big hassle. I went to school within an hour of where I grew up, so I didn't mind making 2-3 trips moving in and out each year. Even if your laptop never leaves your desk, it will be more transportable in September and May.

Not necessarily. Honestly, desktop cases aren't very heavy (even heavy-duty ones) and not that large.

The only worry is the screen - but there's a benefit, too: laptop screens generally aren't as nice as separate screens. They're smaller, too.

Also - a lot of people learn better when they hand-write their notes. Muscle memory and a tactile sense of what you're writing, as opposed to just typing them. That's something to consider.

Erloas
2011-04-08, 09:55 AM
One thing about moving a desktop is that its not really that much to move. Its a kind of small box (compared to most boxes you move with) and a keyboard. There is a monitor, but its probably something you are going to have anyway. Because it isn't that hard to get a monitor with a TV tuner that you can also use for your Wii/Xbox360/PS3. (which is different then a TV used as a monitor, mostly due to size vs resolution, as well as aspect ratio. Its hard to find a TV that does 1920x1080 at less then about 35", but any monitor bigger then about 21" will be that resolution. Of course its mostly a matter of semantics at this point) They also have a lot better screens for more then 1 person to watch if you wanted to watch a movie compared to a laptop display.

Black_Pants_Guy
2011-04-08, 10:02 AM
I recommend getting a Desktop, Notebook, & 16GB USB combo. Sure, I know nothing about College/University (I use my computer for DnD stuff mostly), but if your netbook gets stolen or breaks you aren't really gonna miss it too much (at least compared to a full-blown laptop).

That being said, I don't actually own a netbook (yet). I have my important documents on my USB, which I use in conjunction with my father's work laptop when I'm DMing, and I have no knowledge as to the full functionality of netbooks.

Vonriel
2011-04-08, 10:59 AM
Again, a lot of the comments seem to be too focused on being able to take notes in class. The laptop isn't for class, the laptop is so you can hang out with a group of friends on campus and still have a computer to do stuff with. I have a rather nice laptop - I'm actually posting from campus on it right now - and love it simply because it means that when I'm at school I can still play games and such, while being able to carry on conversations with friends here on campus who I wouldn't see otherwise.

GeekGirl
2011-04-08, 11:13 AM
I work IT for a university, First there are very few desktops being brought anymore. Like everyone said above, its not just about portability but physical space. Desktops are nice, if you don't mind having to sit in your dorm and working. Headphones are important there :P. Netbooks also not a bad option, but staring at a 10' screen while trying to do a research paper doesn't sound fun to me. Personally, I would look for a decent laptop, You can usually find something between $600-800, with decent power and good battery life. They can't always game great, but depending on the game you can probably get some to run ok.

Also very important, (as metioned earlier) Keep your stuff backed up!!!! I can't explain how often we get people who lost something. Invest in a good set of noise canceling headphone too.


Personally, I would suggest your last plan: get a desktop, and then a cheap netbook for gaming. That's the situation I'm in (except instead of desktop, I have a relatively monstrous gaming laptop, so that I can transport it if I choose, but I'm starting to think desktop may've been a better idea. Not that I have room in a triple for a desktop computer. :smallsigh: )
Lastly, if you want to game, don't use a netbook. The system will most likely not handle anything and they only have a 10' screen :(

Elder Tsofu
2011-04-08, 11:13 AM
The following piece of advice is true in either case, but particularly important with a laptop which may get stolen or broken while carrying it around school.

Include an external hard drive in your budget, and USE IT to back up your work frequently.

That is all. :smallcool:

Just wanted to second this. This is important. Very important. And quite cheap.

Oh, and if you aren't into the latest games and think (like I do) that there are quite a lot of good old games out there which are better than many new ones then get a netbook.

Netbooks are a life-saver during group works, seriously I don't know how much time we wasted trying to find a computer before I invested in my netbook - then we could just sit anywhere!
They are wonderful when you sit in the library and study. (I can't be at home and study with full efficiency as I get distracted)

I got used to the screen (10.1) in half an hour and the keyboard worked wonderfully - I even like it more than full-size ones!
Before buying any sort of laptop - try the keyboard. They are different and if you find yourself with a laptop using a keyboard you don't like then it will be a PAIN.

Winter_Wolf
2011-04-08, 12:32 PM
I had a laptop in college, but I generally never took it with me to class. That said, it was worth it to me to have that easy portability when I went home from college or went somewhere on a trip. I also used it to read documents from the comfort of my bed vs. the really cruddy dorm chairs that the uni provided.

Definitely go Asus if you go with a laptop.

Sacrieur
2011-04-08, 06:42 PM
I had a laptop in college, but I generally never took it with me to class. That said, it was worth it to me to have that easy portability when I went home from college or went somewhere on a trip. I also used it to read documents from the comfort of my bed vs. the really cruddy dorm chairs that the uni provided.

Definitely go Asus if you go with a laptop.

This pretty much. I appreciate my laptop's portability. When I do want to go somewhere with it I can, but I mean, it is sorely lacking in power. Granted, it is possible for me to amp up its power if I'm willing to dish out extra cash for an Intel T9900 proc with 3.06 GHz of speed (a near 95% improvement over my previous speed).

I just don't see me dishing out that sort of money for a new processor. If I can find a Core 2 Duo proc that's >2.0 GHz for <$50 I'd grab it, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

---

A lot of the time I do wish I had the raw power a desktop can provide, since I really don't take my labby much of anywhere, but nice for when I'm visiting family.

toasty
2011-04-09, 02:37 PM
When I went to college I bought a gaming laptop because A) I need to play video games! B) I need the portability. Even if its not for school, my family lives far away and I need to have a computer all the time. (No, I wont get access to one at home, my family lives on their computers. We have something like 7 now for 5 people).

The thing is, 2-3 back to back classes will ruin a computer's battery, plus my laptop is heavy and lugging it around all day would be a pain. The result is that I got a netbook.

Now, I will say this: having a laptop means I can set up in the lounge and avoid my roommate (whom I basically hate) really easily. I kinda just live in the lounge now, I just go to my room to shower and sleep.

However, a desktop is cheaper for your money. A netbook is 400 dollars and you can spend 1400 on a high preformance laptop, or 1000 on a desktop and 400 on a netbook and you might end up with a better deal if you follow the later. Desktop's are also easier to service if they break down.

My suggestion is to buy a desktop and a netbook. Or, don't buy a netbook. I'm honestly shocked by how few people have laptops in class and how many professors outright don't allow them. As of yet the only professors unopposed to computers in class have been my Computer Science professor (obviously!) the others don't really like it so much. But I guess it really depends on your university, etc.

Syka
2011-04-09, 06:30 PM
I had a laptop for the first year at university and a desk top the second. I've used a laptop for both years of my graduate degree.


Really, it depends on your major- in my opinion. My undergrad was Classics and psychology. I...really didn't need the portability. I didn't take my laptop to chill with my friends, and it was rare I'd use it to go study with. Usually the library computers sufficed just fine, and I hated lugging that laptop around. The desk top was a much better choice. I never found it impacted my socialization, despite being on my computer frequently. I still found time for my friends.

With my business degree, I NEED a laptop. Lots of papers, lots of PDFs, lots of specific programs not loaded on the school computers. It was also better for my classes, and there was FAR more group work. I always have my computer with me on campus. Always.



My first laptop was a Dell, which I will warn EVERYONE away from. My current laptop is an Asus and I adore it to death. I've had it about a year, and this is when I started hating the Dell. My battery life is STILL 5 hours (and at 67% at the moment). It's the UL50-VT, in that vain, and is fairly light (just over 5 pounds), great battery (as mentioned above, after a year of use), and decently powerful. My cousin got the newer version a few months back, and loves it too.

GrlumpTheElder
2011-04-10, 10:31 AM
My first laptop was a Dell, which I will warn EVERYONE away from. My current laptop is an Asus and I adore it to death. I've had it about a year, and this is when I started hating the Dell. My battery life is STILL 5 hours (and at 67% at the moment). It's the UL50-VT, in that vain, and is fairly light (just over 5 pounds), great battery (as mentioned above, after a year of use), and decently powerful. My cousin got the newer version a few months back, and loves it too.

I've had this Dell for 6 years now, it cost me 399 then. Mine has is on it's second battery (first died outright and this one is on it's way out) and third charger. As a work laptop for the short time, I would say that they are acceptable, however in the long run, the parts can be expensive to replace (a new battery would have cost me in the region of 60-70 when it first broke - I was lucky that a friend of mine had the same laptop and didn't need his battery)

As has already been said, it depends on your course you'll be studyinh and what you want to do on a computer. I personally suggest desktop, as with a laptop, there will allways be the chance of distraction if you take it to lectures, and remmeber, the reason you are at university is to learn and come out with a degree at the end (I don't know whether you have to pay tuition fees in America, but one of the things that annoys me on my course here in the UK is the amount of people who are spending thousands of pounds on tuition fees to basically muck around and waste time - some don't even bother turning up to lectures).

[/rant]

LCR
2011-04-10, 02:14 PM
I'm in medical school and to be honest, I'd probably be fine with a desktop. I don't use it to take notes in lectures, don't need it in classes or in the hospital, so the only time it is actually useful is when I need to give a presentation and I'm too lazy to load it on a thumb drive or when I don't want to get work done in the library because I spend too much time on the internet.
So, yeah.

Still, my next computer will be another laptop, mostly because desktops take too much space and are a hassle to move.
And because I'm too lazy to convert my Keynote presentations to PDFs and load them on a USB drive.





As has already been said, it depends on your course you'll be studyinh and what you want to do on a computer. I personally suggest desktop, as with a laptop, there will allways be the chance of distraction if you take it to lectures, and remmeber, the reason you are at university is to learn and come out with a degree at the end (I don't know whether you have to pay tuition fees in America, but one of the things that annoys me on my course here in the UK is the amount of people who are spending thousands of pounds on tuition fees to basically muck around and waste time - some don't even bother turning up to lectures).

[/rant]

Yes. Yes, they do have tuition fees. In fact, tuition fee is probably an understatement as most American universities not only want your money but also your soul and everlasting commitment, which they devilishly disguise as Alumni associations.

Don Julio Anejo
2011-04-11, 02:44 AM
(I don't know whether you have to pay tuition fees in America, but one of the things that annoys me on my course here in the UK is the amount of people who are spending thousands of pounds on tuition fees to basically muck around and waste time - some don't even bother turning up to lectures).
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I don't come to about 70% of my lectures and about 95% of the ones early in the morning (before 12ish). Doesn't stop me from getting a 3.6 GPA. I simply don't see the point of going there to see the professor recite the same thing the textbook and/or his powerpoint already has written down. Doesn't help that it's about a 1 hour bus ride.

Although at my school they're trying pretty damn hard to be green so 95% of professors put their lecture notes up on WebCT and most require you to bring them to class, either as a printout or on your laptop.

Also, as for the people in your case, most people are not there in college to learn. They're there to get a degree. One is different from another - you need a degree to get a job, but for a lot of jobs you don't need to actually know anything as it either depends on the talent (say, any management job), or you'll learn it while on the job itself (most office or lab or other menial white collar jobs).