Looking for a Computer for University?

Looking for a computer for university? Laptops, desktop, IPad/tablets, netbooks, eReaders, Windows, Android, Mac? Too many choices but which ones should you consider buying for university? This article will explain the main features of the different technologies to help you decide which one you should buy.

Desktop Computers

  • Generally more powerful than others being considered for the same amount of money
  • Especially better graphics cards for 3d work.
  • Not portable
  • Better for prolonged use than the other technologies as it uses separate monitor, keyboard and mouse.
  • Easy to customise (multiple monitors, external sound systems)
  • Easier to upgrade in the future
  • Normally better for playing games, watching movies, photo editing, CAD work –things that require plenty of processing power and a large screen.
  • Can have versions that have inbuilt TV tuners so no need to buy a TV for your room.

Why choose a desktop computer for university?

  • Games, TV, movies, word processing, internet, photo editing,  music  editing, CAD, programming , browsing the internet

Why shouldn’t you  buy a desktop?

  • If you need something that’s portable

Recommend desktops for university:

New Apple iMac 21.5 inch All-In-One
Lenovo IdeaCentre B320 with a Built in TV tuner
HP Pavilion G5418uk Desktop

Laptop Computers

  • Good all rounder and very practical for day to day student life
  • Portable so easy to take home to your parents.
  • Good for writing essays
  • Good for watching movies
  • Battery life generally reasonable but not as good as a netbooks (2h+) or eReader
  • Not as portable as netbooks
  • Not as trendy as IPad or new generation table pcs
  • Functional can vary in the range (desktop replacements- ultra light and mobile)
  • Generally not as powerful as a desktop for the same amount of money

Why choose a laptop computer for university?

Good all rounder, portable, can act as a desktop replacement.

Why shouldn’t you  buy a laptop computer?

You need to run more intensive applications.

Recommended Laptops:

MacBook Pro 13inch 2.4GHz
HP G62-B27SA Laptop
Lenovo Ideapad S205 11.6 inch Notebook


  • Very portable and good to use if you intend to do a lot of travelling or backpacking around the world. Better than laptops in confined spaces
  • Battery life generally good (7 hours+)
  • Not very good for games and graphics work due to small screen and reduced size keyboard
  • Not as powerful as desktops or laptops
  • Reasonably priced and good for word-processing and browsing the internet

Why choose a netbook computer for university?

Portable, works well in confined spaces, cheap, good for word processing and browsing the internet on the move. Also easy to pack in your bag to write notes during lectures and the battery will last you a working day.

Why shouldn’t you  buy a netbook computer for university?

You need to run more intensive applications, you need to use your computer for long periods of time, you require a larger screen.

Recommended Netbooks:

Asus EeePC 1015PX 10.1 inch netbook
Samsung N145 Plus 10.1 inch Netbook
Acer Aspire One D255E 10.1 inch Netbook

Tablet computers and IPads

  • Recently come into the main stream consumer market after Apple released the IPad
  • Uses touch screen input
  • Portable and good for travelling
  • Great for browsing the internet and watching movies on the move
  • You would need to use an external keypad and mouse if doing a lot of typing work such as essays
  • Processing power can vary

Why choose a tablet computer for university?

Portable, works well in confined spaces, good for browsing the internet. watching films and reading on the move. Also easy to pack in your bag.

Why shouldn’t you  buy a tablet computer?

You need to run more intensive applications, you need to use your computer for long periods of time, you require a larger screen, you want do a lot of writing.

Recommended tablets:

Apple iPad 2 – 16gb WiFi
NATPC M009S Google Android Tablet PC – Cheapest 2.2 Android Tablet


  • Good for reading ebooks on the move.
  • These devices can hold thousands of books making it easy to carry all your recommended reading in one place.
  • Very good battery life
  • Some can browse the internet
  • Screen works well in natural sunlight compared to laptop & notebooks
  • Generally only monochrome screens
  • Limited input so not good for word processing
  • Limited processing power
  • Some models have mobile internet
  • Cheap

Why choose an e-reader for university?

You want to read books on the move, portable, works well in confined spaces, cheap. Also more convenient to carry than 10 large text books. Very good battery life.

Why shouldn’t you  buy a e-reader computer?

You want to do more than just read e-books.

Recommended E-Readers:

Kindle Wireless Reading Device & Wi-Fi enabled


Hopefully after reading this guide, choosing a computer for university is not so daunting. All these different technologies have their benefits and limitations. They have been designed for different purposes and are therefore suitable for different tasks. The most versatile technology in our opinion is the laptop but in most cases these days people rely on multiple devices to achieve different task. So someone might own a desktop for writing essays in the house and also own a iPad or netbook to watch movies and browse the internet whilst on the move.

Don’t forget to see our review centre for the latest reviews on new computers and technology which includes the Best Student Laptops of 2012.

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