The Ultimate Showdown
So you’re about to head off to college, and you’re thinking to yourself, do I need a laptop or a desktop?
I too faced the same question 3 years ago, and thus, I’ll share my thoughts on what’s hot and what’s not.
So I’ll make the disclaimer now that I’m a spoiled first grandchild and thus, I did go off to college with both a laptop and a desktop, but my first laptop was a tad old and without battery life, so it was essentially never used.
– You can build them yourself
– Easily replaceable parts
– Sometimes more powerful
– Not mobile
– A lot of equipment to keep track of
– Can do most tasks of a desktop
– A little more expensive than desktops
– Battery life attenuates with use
– Can be stolen sometimes (people aren’t all nice)
– Parts can be a nuisance to replace
Now to my own personal thoughts…
Being at MIT, sometimes unless you’re an AIM addict like me, you really don’t need a computer. Athena has got most of the tools you’ll need for classes, but the hike in the snow can be a significant inspiration to getting your own computer.
Using a desktop as my primary mode of computing my freshman year kept me in my room to do work which can be interpreted as both good and bad.
The good: I was limited in my number of distractions.
The bad: I wasn’t distracted. (Sometimes this is a necessary evil.)
After freshman year, I got a new laptop and it thus became my third arm. It goes with me everywhere, and I use it frequently. Even though battery life definitely drops with use, I have a 4 year warranty that covers my battery which is pretty helpful. Unfortunately, I can’t really scrap the desktop. I use a lot of solid modeling/finite element software that is just computationally intensive, and it’s not the best idea to try to run that and ITunes and AIM all at the same time while watching seasons of 24 on DVD.
So what is my suggestion?
Get what you want. If your Google skills are wise and adept, you can find some pretty sweet deals on computers, desktops and laptops alike. If you can’t find them, just email me and I’ll give you the sites (I don’t want my blog to become free advertisements for these companies).
If you’re an MIT student, look no further.