Which Computer Type is Best for Students and Why?

There are several factors to consider when selecting a computer type that will enable a student to complete homework, perform research, and/or take an online class. Some of these factors include performance, portability, cost, as well as ease-of-use.

Which Computer Type is Best for Students and Why?


An entry-level computer may work well in order to write the occasional research paper, but a student who works with hardware-intensive applications such as Adobe Photoshop or 3ds Max, requires computer equipment that delivers consistently superior performance. In general, some desktop models are capable of delivering this superior performance, going far beyond the ability of many laptops. For media arts students who work with graphic-intensive software, even though they may like the portability of a laptop, a higher-end desktop model is likely a better option.

Students who frequently use a computer for school but don’t require intense performance, will likely find a mid-range computer meets their needs and is much more budget-friendly. For students who only use a computer infrequently, an entry-level computer offers the best value.


Most students prefer the portability of laptops, although again, media art students may not be able to find a laptop that can power through intensive software apps as well as a desktop model. Some students may want to consider whether they want a traditional laptop or one like Microsoft’s Surface where the viewing screen can be converted into a tablet. For younger students, parents might be more comfortable buying them a desktop model, so they can have more oversight as to what their child is viewing online.

Apple vs The Others

Both Apple desktops and laptops offer sleek design and intuitive ease-of-use, however, neither are budget-friendly. Apple products also lack native versions of many Windows-based applications. For students who don’t need a computer that runs Windows apps, and who can afford the high-end prices that come with Apple products, they won’t be disappointed with any of their products.

Dell — This company offers a range of computers, from entry-level to higher-end models, and overall, they’re fairly priced. The only consistent complaint was breakage of some of their (plastic) case components, but some of their models now have more durable aluminum construction.

HP — Hewlett-Packard is known for their budget-friendly computers. They also offer a range of products from entry-level to high performance. With some of the less expensive models, there have been complaints of poor durability.

ASUS — This brand has become very popular with students in recent years due to its wide range of products, including high performance models. Along with their competitive pricing, ASUS deserves its reputation as an excellent option for students.

If you’d like to know more about how to select the right computer for back to school, please contact us.

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