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Tech for GCSEs - laptop or desktop?

(25 Posts)
ChippyMinton Sat 30-Apr-16 09:26:03

I want to upgrade DS's laptop and not just because he's broken it- he's in Y9 just starting his GCSEs. Not sure whether to get a laptop or desktop. He tends to do homework in his room but would probably like the flexibility of a laptop when gaming or whatever.
Or is it better to have a properly set up screen and keyboard if they are spending a lot of time on it?

NicknameUsed Sat 30-Apr-16 09:29:47

I think desktops have had their day. I would get a laptop with a decent sized screen.

bigTillyMint Sat 30-Apr-16 09:32:23

Both mine have laptops with a decent sized screen. DS has some cable that links it up to his TV for FIFA!

We still have the family desktop downstairs for printing/emergencies, etc.

ChippyMinton Sat 30-Apr-16 09:37:04

Thanks, I am thinking the same. Printer is wireless so accessible to everyone.

15-16" seems pretty standard, I guess anything bigger is less portable.

Ifailed Sat 30-Apr-16 09:39:56

Laptops get dropped & cost more than desktops for a similar specification and seem more frail in general than desktops (power supplies seem to regularly die). If there was the space, I'd go for a desktop.

ChippyMinton Sat 30-Apr-16 09:55:05

Good points.
Hmm, I will see what he would prefer...thanks all.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 30-Apr-16 10:16:35

Ds has a fancy desktop setup, well specced for gaming (well, it was when he built it two and a half years ago - I know he wants to update a couple of bits). Pro is that he has the best machine in the house (plus that through-the-mains internet access), con is that he can't take it to a friend's house, so if they want to play together, his friends end up bringing their laptops here.

For doing gcse work, probably the cheapest and most basic model of either type would suffice however!

lljkk Sat 30-Apr-16 11:16:19

I dislike trying to do real work on a lappy, too little screen space, so desktop with big monitor if you can.

Floppityflop Sat 30-Apr-16 11:30:16

I'm not a mum, but if I was I'd want to make sure that my DC didn't get back or neck problems. I would go for a laptop but also get, if funds permit, an external screen, keyboard and mouse.

Floppityflop Sat 30-Apr-16 11:31:35

PS, I have worked all week without an external screen and my neck is **ed!

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 30-Apr-16 12:36:18

I think one important consideration is to think about how they are going to back their work up - it doesnt affect the choice of a laptop or desktop of course, but it is a vital thing to think about - usb sticks tend to vanish at critical moments.

Bluebonnie Sat 30-Apr-16 13:08:38

Full sized keyboard is important in my experience: then touch typing is easily possible.

Is he currently using the laptop in school and if so, would he be expecting to word process exams?

CremeBrulee Sat 30-Apr-16 13:23:35

Laptop definitely, desktops are old hat. A screen & dock station would be nice additions if you can get them within budget.

Naoko Sat 30-Apr-16 13:26:30

If he's a gamer he might prefer a desktop. Good, high spec gaming laptops are far more expensive than decently specced desktops (especially if you self build, but even if you don't), so assuming you don't have an unlimited budget you'd get more for your money in a desktop. On the other hand if he's only going to use it for casual gaming and likes to take it to the library/his friends' houses, he's going to want a laptop.

Floppityflop Sat 30-Apr-16 13:50:07

I agree with whoever mentioned backing up. Look into options. I hate USB sticks!

ChippyMinton Sat 30-Apr-16 14:51:27

Lots of food for thought.
He's appropriated my external hard drive for back up.
Does some gaming but pretty casual - has access to consoles etc.
Doesn't need in it school.
Laptop handy for doing homework on the hoof, at grandparents or whatever.

Anyone bought a laptop recently and can recommend? Budget up to £400 but hopefully less.

TeenAndTween Sat 30-Apr-16 15:18:39

We have Lenovo laptops. Last one bought refurbished off ebay.

Laptops more portable so can be brought downstairs to ask you for help! Also can be pushed out of the way when desk needed for written work.

ChippyMinton Sat 30-Apr-16 15:22:23

Do you rate the Lenovo? John Lewis have a few. I'm thinking 8GB, 1TB should be adequate?

OddBoots Sat 30-Apr-16 15:23:52

I think I am on the more cautious side of things but we have gone for a desktop in a living area, the children don't use computers/tablets in bedrooms. It can be a pain to have the sound of the children talking to friends on headsets while they game but I would rather that than have them out of sight.

Couchpotato3 Sat 30-Apr-16 15:24:04

Schools are increasingly allowing students to take their own devices in to school, especially in sixth form, so a laptop would be useful when he gets to that stage - depends whether you think one that you buy now would still be going at that stage?

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 30-Apr-16 16:29:01

dd has a lenovo. I can't remember which one but it is one of the ultraportables so she can take it to college in September. She is really pleased with it.

littledrummergirl Sat 30-Apr-16 18:39:11

My dc have pc's in their rooms for mainly gaming homework. Ds2 has a tablet with keyboard as it's very lightweight for carrying to school.
Ds1 linked the hard drive to the WiFi box so we can access it from any pc in the house. dont ask me how

TeenAndTween Mon 02-May-16 11:16:01

Our Lenovo is G580 4Gb. Not used for gaming.

sashh Mon 02-May-16 11:55:43

If you are working then it is against health and safety law to only use a laptop. A desktop is meant to be used for longer periods and is easier to update.

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 02-May-16 12:48:43

surely if you attach an external monitor and keyboard then h&s has nothing to do with it?

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