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Desktop or Laptop?

In the next few weeks I'll be purchasing a computer for myself to put in my study. (Can you say - mine, mine, all mine?? lol) I'm torn as to whether I should get a desktop or a laptop. Any suggestions? I have at least 2 years of pre-reqs to finish before I can apply to the nursing program itself. I don't need at laptop right now, but can I anticipate needing one in the future? What about shelf-life? If I needed a laptop in the future (plausible if the school I get into is a moderate distance away), would it be wise to get one now or wait for new technology? My head's just going in circles around this issue. Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to provide.

Fun2, BSN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room.

I prefer my laptop, but many people prefer desktops.

Maybe you should just weigh the pros and cons that pertain to your situation to see which would be best.

Good luck to you! :)

Thanks for your suggestion :) I know what my particular circumstances are, but wondered if anyone else would share their experience.

Fun2, BSN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room.

Well, I like to take mine on road trips. I study while hubby is driving. :)

Also, I like the option to take it to Starbucks, etc that has wireless. It comes in handy when you want to have several people meet to quiz each other, etc.

.....Other than that, it takes up less space, and I can take it with me to check e-mail/AllNurses.com when out of town. lol

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

I would have to go with a laptop too, mainly for portability reasons. Ever been to the school library and all the computers are being used? If you have your laptop you can make yourself comfortable somewhere and work away.

That is just my opinion too. I have found it harder to concentrate on my work at home (don't know why) and feel I will be more disciplined while working out of my laptop elsewhere.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I have a Sony Vaio TR3a (laptop) and love it. Its one of the smaller ones, kinda pricey when I bought it last year ($2100), but I love it..its wireless, small and very, very portable and easy to travel with. My only issue hubby's desktop went down and its no longer mine, mine, mine - lol.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

First of all, any computer you get will be obsolete a few months after you get it. Both types of computers are capable of doing the same tasks. The technology is changing that fast. I prefer laptops for two reasons. (1) they are easy to carry and move around to where ever you go. And, (2) they take up a lot less space. Another feature is that you can close the laptop up and lock it in a drawer if you want to keep unwelcome users from fooling around with them. They are often a bit more expensive than desktops, but to my way of thinking you can't beat them for their convenience. I don't have a problem finding other computers to work on, so rather than carry my laptop with me to my classes all the time, I carry a flash drive which I just whip out and plug into a computer--viola, my personal files at my touch!

I have both, and like both. But, when I'm at home I use my PC. When I'm at school or other places use my laptop. My laptop is only good for about 3 hours and I spend much more time on computer than that. It's nice to have a laptop but if I had to choose, I would pic the PC.

I have a laptop and a desktop. For everyday use, I prefer the desktop. But for on-the-go, the laptop is really handy. If you can only choose one, I'd go for the desktop.

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

I have both too, but I am sure you are looking to buy only 1. My choice would again be the laptop. :-)

I have both also and I prefer the desktop. For me, when I pull out the laptop you can be sure my daughter wants to see what's going on. While the laptop is portable, I hate lugging that thing around.

Wow, thanks for the response here everyone! Normally DH is our tech guru but I don't trust a word that he says about this because he wants me to take his computer and buy HIM a new one with this $$ - not at all biased there, eh? lol

I'm leaning towards a laptop but my concern is that by the time I might really need it, i.e. classes that require library visits, etc. (I'm on online student whenever possible), it will be outdated.

Thanks again - you've given me much food for thought here.

Happy New Year!

oooo be sure you get a decent monitor!! After getting my laptop, which has an LCD screen on it, I can hardly use the big computers now, the screens look terribly fuzzy!!! (They are old, cheap monitors.) But this is imperative when you are doing alot of schoolwork online, being able to read the screen well! For some reason my LCD screen is a gazillion times sharper than my old big monitors.

I'd suggest a laptop as well btw, I bought one for $250 on eBay for my schoolwork, I don't even generally take it anywhere, but it's so much easier to use, I have it set up in my bedroom in a little area with the TV nearby to watch the telecourse videos and DVDs for distance courses. I wouldn't highly recommend the $250 deal because it hangs on things here and there. I have to switch to the big guys in the living room to open pdf files, etc.

Cats

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

oooo be sure you get a decent monitor!! After getting my laptop, which has an LCD screen on it, I can hardly use the big computers now, the screens look terribly fuzzy!!! (They are old, cheap monitors.) But this is imperative when you are doing alot of schoolwork online, being able to read the screen well! For some reason my LCD screen is a gazillion times sharper than my old big monitors.

I'd suggest a laptop as well btw, I bought one for $250 on eBay for my schoolwork, I don't even generally take it anywhere, but it's so much easier to use, I have it set up in my bedroom in a little area with the TV nearby to watch the telecourse videos and DVDs for distance courses. I wouldn't highly recommend the $250 deal because it hangs on things here and there. I have to switch to the big guys in the living room to open pdf files, etc.

Cats

Great price! My dh went to the black friday this year, stood out in the freezing cold and secured me one of those HP's dirt cheap. This is probably the only way I was gonna get one, but I got it :rotfl:

Annabelle57

Specializes in Burn/Trauma PCU.

i have to put in my vote for the laptop. i like the portability - dh and i like to go to starbucks, panera, etc, and use the free wi-fi there. mine completely bit the dust a couple of months ago - it was really old - but until then, it was invaluable to me, even taking just one prereq a semester. i could study and do assignments anywhere - very helpful when i would be away from home and suddenly find myself with some extra time on my hands (like my lunch break).

any computer is going to be "outdated" within a few months after buying it, laptop or desktop, but even my elderly laptop did everything i needed. word, powerpoint, internet, excel... no problem. and i just heard from a coworker today that dell will "update" your old laptop periodically for much less than buying a new one, though i haven't confirmed that. my brother bought one of the first apple ibooks - bright blue, too - back in '98 or '99 when he went to school for his phd, and it still runs strong and does everything he needs. he has upgraded it periodically along the way, but knowing how dirt poor he was during school, it couldn't have been that expensive :p

can you tell my vote is for the laptop? :rotfl: good luck with whatever your purchase will be!

My vote is laptop hands down. I have a laptop and it's great because you don't have to devote a lot of space for it and can move it out of the way when you need more desk space. You can get a Wifi card for it or some of the newer machines already come with one. You'll be writing papers (careplans) and searching for evidence based research on the Internet, so having a laptop will come in handy for school. You can take it anywhere to do your work.

If you are part of Costco, you can get a laptop very inexpensively (under

$1K) with more than enough memory, RAM, nice screen and DVD/CD capabilities. Or your school may offer computer discounts for students for a laptop and for software (academic discounts). Check it out. Good luck.

Smile123

Someday-C.R.N.A.

Specializes in Nursing Assistant/ Army Medic, LVN.

My vote is for the laptop.

I bought a top of the line Sony Vaio desktop two years ago, and I love it. I got a 19" flat panel monitor with it, and that thing rocks! The whole deal set me back more than 2k, but I do love it.

Then last year I decided I needed a laptop. I shopped around a bit, mostly between Sony and Dell. I ended up going with a Dell Inspiron 9300. This thing is AWESOME!! A 17" widescreen monitor is a really nice thing to have, and I liked being able to "mix and match" in order to create MY computer. While not cheap (about 2k), my laptop gets more use than my desktop. Here's why:

I can plunk the laptop down next to my chair in the living room and study/work/surf in front of the TV. (Which is what I'm doing now).

I can lay the laptop on the bed next to me, and study/read/surf until I'm ready to sleep. I'm all nice and cozy, and when I get too sleepy I just fold 'er up, toss 'er under the bed, and go to sleep. (Great for last minute studying).

I can take my laptop outside. When its nice outside, I don't have to sit in my house working on the computer. I can go outside and enjoy the fresh air while getting some work done. Forget Starbucks, I'm happy sitting at the picnic table in the yard.

Wireless internet is a beautiful thing!! Another $70, and I could send my files right to my printer from my laptop, but I'm happy sending them to my desktop (through email or flash drives) for now. My wireless router was about $100, but I think you can get 'em alot cheaper now, depending on which one you get. LOVE it!!

Outdated? I don't feel left behind with either of my computers.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

There is some awesome technology out there, but the schools are only going to use the very basic technology that will accomodate a wide range of users. I doubt that you'll be seeing bluetooth technology on all the school computers yet. Our school has Dell computers throughout the campus with internet access. The computers accomodate 3 inch floppys, CDs and flash drives. That's about as basic as you can get. The next piece of technology to fall off onto the side of the road will be the floppy's, but I don't see them going yet. Portable memory is here and is the future. It is all the geek fashion to be sporting a flash drive on a lanyard around your neck. If your computer at home and the ones at school have a port for the flash drive to plug in, you are good to go. I'm in a health information management program and we are never without our flash drives. All our reports and homework are on them! What is also going to be important is the operating system that comes with your new computer. Before you buy, check to see if there is a new operating system looming on the horizon and hold off for it. Currently, most computers come with Windows XP. I can't address what Macintosh is doing because I don't use a Mac. Most all operating systems can be updated to whatever the current favorite is changed to. The basic computer software and hardward is what will help you get through your school program. Have you taken a class in Computer Literacy yet? Might be a good idea because they address the current trends in computer technology.

I've had a laptop as my primary computer for several years now. I love it. I don't take it places very often, but I like that I can if I need to.

Right now I'm sitting in bed with it - can't do that with a desktop. :chuckle

suzy253, RN

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

Love my laptop--sitting on my lap right now. So portable. Goes with me to the library when I study, to class, etc.

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