It seems like a strange question nearly 20 years into the new millennium and in the middle of a mobile revolution. Most people – serious students included – manage almost their entire lives on mobile devices these days.
In certain areas of academics, though, the small screen won’t get the job done right. That leaves just one question: which is better: a desktop machine or a laptop? The answer depends on the application. For what purpose will the computer in question be used? What kind of work does it need to perform? Will it need to be used in more than one place? These are important questions we hope you will consider as you keep reading.
[su_note note_color=”#f2f2f2″]Worth Reading: BYOD To Class: 6 Gadgets Every Student Needs [/su_note]
1. Academic Writing And Editing
Word processing is a simple task even for an ancient computer to complete quickly and efficiently. It is also a task that is best achieved on a larger screen. Imagine a professional writer – someone who writes web copy or works for a paper writing service like EssayPro.com – typing out an entire article or paper with his (or her) thumbs. It seems more than a little tiring and very silly.
What type of machine to use in this instance doesn’t matter much. Just be sure to choose one that has a comfortable keyboard and a display that is easy on the eyes. Much of writing involves reading so don’t strain your eyes or your thumbs trying to write papers on a smartphone. Use your laptop or head to the nearest campus computer lab and log on to one of their desktop PCs.
2. Audio and Video Production
The best option here depends greatly on the assignment and the power behind the device you are using to complete it. Simple audio editing software is more conducive to use with laptops or even large-screen tablets. It doesn’t require that much memory or processor resources. Plus, the mobility aspect of using a laptop is also conducive to group collaboration should that be part of the assignment.
For video production and editing, a more commercial desktop PC or Mac is likely the better choice. Video editing and rendering require more memory, and faster processors than one typically find in a consumer laptop or mobile device, so it might be best to seek out and utilize adequate on-campus resources for those kinds of projects.
3. Graphic Design
Desktop computers are the way to go for most graphic design and CAD applications. Laptops are useful for storing finished work for collaboration, delivery, or testing, but the bulk of the work will require more powerful processors and, oftentimes, proprietary software not available (or installable) on consumer laptops. Keep in mind we’re talking about tasks beyond just Photoshop. Most CAD software works in tandem with industry-standard hardware that includes the computers used to develop designs.
If you have a side business that brings in a little extra or are trying to grow that business into a more profitable enterprise, there are specific tasks that are also better suited to laptops over desktops or vice-versa. Some of the above-mentioned applications are favorites among freelancers, and we recommend applying the same advice to classwork as you would work done for paying clients.
If you are someone who can take just a preface sentence outline and quickly turn it into an A+ paper, you want a machine that can help get that work done and delivered quickly. As with any other writing-based application, this comes down to preference. For maximum mobility, use a laptop. For a more focused and static work environment, head to the computer lab.
In the end, it is essential to know what you need a computer to do before diving into any involved task. We hope the advice above gives you an idea of how to best get your assignments, coursework, and business-related tasks completed in the most efficient way possible.