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Laptop vs Smartphone for College

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 29, 2010 10:43:08 PM

I am a low income college student, and currently am planning on full-time enrollment in August. I have a quadcore gaming desktop that I custom built myself that can do anything that I might need a computer to do, so my question based on this is simple:

For keeping school records and orginization, my dad asked me if I would need/desire a laptop. I told him that any work that needs to be done on a computer can be done on my desktop and maybe I would benefit from the use of a smartphone instead. However I figure if I go the smartphone route I would also need to purchase a jump drive as well for assignments. The primary con of a laptop are that you need a wifi hotspot to access internet(the only real reason I would actually get any mobile device) and a smartphone has constant access through 4g (I wouldnt buy 3g). However, seeing as how, until this upcoming symester I have been doing college online, I might miss/want the functionality of a laptop in the classroom which is almost certain to have wifi anway.

What do the people of tomshardware think of this?
a b D Laptop
July 29, 2010 10:55:11 PM

Albyint said:
I am a low income college student, and currently am planning on full-time enrollment in August. I have a quadcore gaming desktop that I custom built myself that can do anything that I might need a computer to do, so my question based on this is simple:

For keeping school records and orginization, my dad asked me if I would need/desire a laptop. I told him that any work that needs to be done on a computer can be done on my desktop and maybe I would benefit from the use of a smartphone instead. However I figure if I go the smartphone route I would also need to purchase a jump drive as well for assignments. The primary con of a laptop are that you need a wifi hotspot to access internet(the only real reason I would actually get any mobile device) and a smartphone has constant access through 4g (I wouldnt buy 3g). However, seeing as how, until this upcoming symester I have been doing college online, I might miss/want the functionality of a laptop in the classroom which is almost certain to have wifi anway.

What do the people of tomshardware think of this?


Hi there,

Getting a laptop would be a wise decision. It is useful for taking to class, studying at the library, and working on group projects. Most classrooms, coffee shops, and libraries have wifi access, so I don't think that will be a problem. You might want to consider getting a smaller netbook, such as the Asus Eee PC 1008HAB (it is only $299).

What do you think?

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
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July 30, 2010 3:04:11 AM

I would say a netbook. A smartphone will be easier to lose and 3g/4g is costly
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July 30, 2010 6:18:12 AM

Yes but I think a smartphone would serve other purposes, and isnt a netbook limited by wifi hotspots?

Cost isnt really too big a deal for monthly plans, Sprint still has an unlimited plan that hasnt been scrapped yet lol.
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a b D Laptop
July 30, 2010 4:50:23 PM

Albyint said:
Yes but I think a smartphone would serve other purposes, and isnt a netbook limited by wifi hotspots?

Cost isnt really too big a deal for monthly plans, Sprint still has an unlimited plan that hasnt been scrapped yet lol.


Hi there,

As I mentioned, most places you go will have wifi access (in regards to using the internet for schoolwork). The netbook will perform most of the functions (and many additional functions) of a smartphone. I recommend you speak to someone at your university to see if they have a specific recommendation.

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
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!