Skip to Content

PC vs Laptop For College: Which Is Better

PC vs Laptop For College: Which Is Better

The world is getting techier by the minute, and college is no exception. Many colleges nowadays require students to have either a laptop or a PC at home to work on.

Even if it’s not a hard requirement, a lot of professors are going to want you to type up essays and print them off somehow, and the library isn’t always convenient. So, which should you get for college, a laptop or a desktop PC?

PC vs Laptop For College: Which Is Better?

A laptop is much better than a PC for college because laptops are portable and generally cheaper than PCs. Many colleges allow students to bring their laptops to class for note taking and writing. Students may want to take their laptops to the library for research and studying, so laptops are better.

My college was a laptop college where laptops were actually required. Many professors made good use of the technology, too. For example, my English professor had us write essays during class. Even if they weren’t required though, I would 100% choose a laptop over a PC.

Sometimes, after class, if I didn’t want to head back to my dorm room I’d just take my laptop to the library or the dining hall and get some work done in a space that wasn’t my cramped bedroom.

This is especially true for people that live off campus and plan to commute to their classes. If you have one class from 8 – 9 and another one at 11, you probably don’t want to drive home just to come back in an hour.

In this case, having a laptop will give you the opportunity to study, get work done, or just watch videos to kill your boredom until your next class.

Pros Of A Laptop For College

Laptops Are Portable

In college, sometimes you have a lot of free time between classes. During this time, you’re going to want to get as much studying / work in as possible and you won’t always be able to head back home or to your dorm room to do it. This is where having a laptop makes all the difference.

You can just head to the library, common area, or even find a nice place outside to sit and do your work.

When I was in college, I loved taking my laptop to different areas of the school to do my work or study. Just having a place away from my dorm room (and bed) was great motivation to get my work done and vibe to some music.

Having a laptop will also allow you to take notes in class. Some professors do not like laptops in class and some encourage them, so it will depend on the class, but taking notes on a laptop is very convenient. Although, I do find I absorb more information when I write things down, so it comes down to personal preference.

Laptops Are Cheaper

In general, laptops are going to be cheaper than PCs. They’re also a lot less work and maintenance. With a laptop, you get everything you need; a monitor, a keyboard, and even a mouse. Most of the time, you’ll need to buy all of this separately for a PC if you want them to be quality.

Cons Of A Laptop For College

Not Very Powerful

This may not be an issue, depending on what you’re in college for and what you need to use your laptop for. If you’re in college for graphic design, video editing, or a number of other majors and need to use your laptop to run Photoshop, Illustrator, or any other heavy program, then having a slow laptop could be frustrating.

Of course, they do make laptops powerful enough to run programs like this, but they’re not exactly cheap. However, they’re well worth the price due to the convenience of having something portable to bring with you to class and the library.

You may even consider grabbing a refurbished laptop online or from a local store. I’ve actually had good experiences with eBay’s refurbished tech, and if there’s an issue they have a generous return policy.

Pros Of A PC For College

Powerful Enough To Do Anything You Need

If you have a new PC for college, you’re probably going to be able to run whatever program you need on it. This is great for anyone that’s going to school for design, animation, modeling, and even computer science.

Trying to do something very technical on a laggy machine is frustrating to say the least, so having a PC that you can upgrade in order to run anything is great.

Great Work Station

PCs are just more comfortable to work on than laptops most of the time. I used a laptop as my main computer for four years during college, before finally getting a PC my final year. The PC just felt like such a better work station.

Being able to move my keyboard and mouse wherever I wanted was much more convenient than being stuck with however the laptop was built.

On top of this, I was able to get two monitors for my PC, which improved my efficiency on many projects since it allowed me to research and write at the exact same time.

Cons Of A PC For College

PCs Are Bulky And Not Portable

You’re not gonna be able to drag your PC around with you in college. This means, if you have an hour to kill in between classes, you can’t get on your PC and do work unless you live nearby. It also means that anytime you work, you’ll need to do it wherever your PC is located.

Some people are completely fine with this, but for me, sometimes I just wanted to get out of my dorm room.

Is A Laptop/PC Necessary For College?

Having a computer of some kind (laptop or PC) is necessary for college. Many colleges even make it a requirement to have a laptop or PC. If it is not a requirement for your college, it will still be the best college investment you will make. Library computers are an option until you can get your own.

There’s really no two ways about it, having a computer of some kind will make college much easier. Every professor that I had in college wanted us to write our essays on a computer and print them out or submit them online.

You can probably do this at the library, of course, but this means you’ll need to do your work when the library is open and stay there until you’re done which is very inconvenient.

Always research the school you’re applying to or attending, because some of them require laptops. The good news is that the ones that do may also have some kind of reward program or scholarship. My college required laptops, but gave every freshman with a 2.5+ GPA a free laptop to keep, as long as we passed our first semester.

Should You Get A Laptop For College If You Already Have A PC?

You should get a laptop for college even if you already have a PC because the portability the laptop will offer is too convenient to pass up. Having a laptop will allow you to take quick notes in class, follow along / download presentations, and work on assignments in between classes without going home.

Having a PC is great, and it can do a lot of things that a laptop can’t. However, the portability of a laptop makes it so much better for college than a PC will ever be.

Depending on your college, a lot of professors may even have classes that allow you to take advantage of having your laptop. They’ll let you start a project during class, or have an activity online for the whole class to follow along with.

Best Laptop For College Students

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

This laptop is great because it’s strong enough to do pretty much anything you’ll need for college, and can be transformed into a tablet.

Most tablets aren’t going to be strong enough to handle school work, since they weren’t built for it. But this laptop was practically made for students, and comes with an attatchable keyboard.

I like this laptop because it’s so sleek and lightweight, meaning you can carry it with you in your backpack or your arms along with all of your books without much extra weight.

Note that if you’re going to school for animation, design, or something that will require running heavy software like Adobe, you’ll want to grab something a little stronger than this but that will be more expensive and bulkier.

Something like the MSI Modern 14 Professional Laptop will be perfect.

Best PC For College Students

Acer Aspire TC-1660-UA19 Desktop

When choosing a college PC, you’re probably going to want something with Wi-Fi, especially if you live on campus because sometimes college ethernet ports can be finicky. You’re also going to want something fast enough to handle any project you need to do, with enough storage space to save everything for the long run.

This PC has all of that, and is actually really great for the price. It also comes with a mouse and keyboard, which means you just need to grab a monitor and you’re all set.

This PC has a great processor along with an SSD, so it is strong enough to handle any major, whether it be psychology, computer science, animation, or design.

👋 Hey There, I'm Eric!

Since 2018, I've been making streams come true.

I like gaming, streaming and watching other people stream. I created this website to help streamers and viewers of streams answer some of the questions they may have regarding live streaming. I am a Twitch affiliate and currently stream on Twitch 3 days a week. I hope you find my content helpful. Feel free to stop by one of my streams to say hi.