Parent's Choice

Desktop vs Laptop: Which should we get our kids?

In the age of online learning and where tech is a necessity, which should we get our kids — a desktop or a laptop?

Whether its for online learning or daily use, laptops and desktops do have their pros and cons. However, the speed of technology and their components’ evolution have made it harder to choose. Technology evolves so fast that five years old is considered ancient for a laptop! What ages them also are the programs or apps requirements — if app runs slow on the laptop or desktop, that means our hardware is obsolete!

But with the many things to consider in buying a desktop or laptop, here are the most important things to consider when buying one:

1. Activities

Are our kids in college — constantly moving around campus? Or, are they still in elementary and high school where they’re just sitting in a single spot? Laptops benefit college kids; they’re always on the go, trying to cram whatever Philosophy or Theology paper their professor gave them a week ago but only remembered it was due midnight on the day they’ve started.

Desktops, on the other hand, benefit younger kids since they can’t drag it around and can be strictly regarded as part of a study space.

However, we need to consider their interests also. In most cases, their homework usually is in the form of the thing they like doing the most. Kids who love drawing on the computer or coding may prefer desktops because of the bigger screens — it allows them to see the little details better.

However, if the kids like writing or reading, a laptop might be better because desktops tend to be more distracting with all the possible programs to install and big screens tend to have a nasty glare from the light.

2. The kind of games they play

They’re kids — of course, we’re going to assume that they’re going to play video games on their desktop or laptop. They can alt + tab as much as they want to hide that they’re gaming. But, so long as they have good grades, don’t misbehave, or spend thousands with our credit card to win in the game, we won’t call them out for it.

Video games are how our kids spend time with friends now. Ever since the pandemic, video games have become more social and realistic in features. They have multi-player modes with amusing mechanics that will have them laughing all night long.

But not all video games are created equal and the simplest way to check if it needs the latest hardware is via the video game’s graphics. If it looks highly realistic (to the point even the raindrops look real) then, that game relies on a lot of processing power for the graphics which is what jacks up the price of the desktop or laptop.

3. Meticulousness or carelessness

Many often prefer laptops because these are just bought off-the-shelf, ready-to-use. A lot of times, they already come with the peripherals (e.g. mouse, earphones, mouse pads, etc.) and accessories which all come in a bag. Unfortunately, that also has quite a con — if the laptop breaks hardware-wise, only that specific part can fix it. There’s little room to upgrade which can make them expensive to maintain. The laptop’s internal components are the perfect jigsaw puzzle; all the parts are measured to compress all that power into a tiny frame.

Worse, if our kids are the type to leave things around, better to just give them a desktop. At least, it’s too heavy to just move around therefore, nobody can just make off with it.

However, caring for a desktop takes a more meticulous disposition. Especially if it’s custom-made, gamers and programmers lovingly put them together as if they’re building another human being. They’ll even take note of the exhaust, the RAM, the power supply — everything because they source those components separately and compare the reviews of each piece for hours on end.

But once they finish building it, these desktops can be even more powerful than the latest laptop and can also outlast them before buying another one.

4. Do we have any computer know-how?

Desktops are easier to manage if we’re the tinker-types. If our kids are like that too then, all the more they’ll embrace the desktop life. A desktop, to these kids, are just an upgraded LEGO set with wires and electricity. It’s every sci-fan fan’s guilty pleasure; if they can’t build the Star Trek Enterprise or their own Pod Racer to race across Tatooine then, building a desktop is the next best thing.

5. Permanent or temporary home?

If we’re just renting temporarily for six months and we’re sure to move out by then, a laptop would definitely make the move a lot easier. It’s a hand-carry and something we can just stuff in the car. A desktop doesn’t have that kind of compactability and can be quite cumbersome to transfer, requiring us to either book a moving company or setting aside one day just to move that one whole station.

But if we have a permanent home then, desktops may feel like a better investment.

Desktop vs Laptop: The choice should fit the lifestyle

Thankfully, our kids don’t outgrow their laptops and desktops like their clothes. Because if they did, we’d be spending a lot! A laptop or desktop are quite an investment and the way the kids use them will also dictate what feature we’ll focus on. Whether its the graphics, processing speed, the memory storage, or the compactness, these are highly dependent on what they intend to do with it.

So even if the kids start begging for the latest one, ask ourselves why before saying yes or no. Some may want it for gaming while others will really need it for school.

More about gadgets and technology?

Screen Time or Scream Time? How to Manage Gadget Use in the Family, Minus the Squabbles

Gamer Dad-To-Be Dinocornel Asks The Real Question: How Do You Buy Baby Stuff?

5 Fun Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Take a Digital Detox

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