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Laptop vs. Desktop vs. Netbook

Computer technology is a necessity in the daily academic life of students. Coastal Carolina University is committed to providing state-of-the-art computing technology to its students. The University has established several computer labs throughout the various departments and colleges. Some of these labs have extended hours of operation. However, some students still prefer to purchase their own computers. Making a decision whether to purchase a laptop, a desktop or a netbook can be a difficult process. We hope the following information will simplify this process for students.


  • All students enrolling in Computer Science 130, 140 and 150 are required to have their own notebook computers.
  • Graphic Design majors are recommended to acquire a MacBook or a MacBook Pro. Click here for minimum requirements.

The following table provides advantages/disadvantages between laptops, netbooks, and desktops:

  Desktop Laptop Netbook
- Intensive
Web Browsing
- Google, Yahoo, etc...
E-Mail, Chat
- social networking
- using several programs simultaneously
Wireless Network Access
- Built-in
Word Processing
- Microsoft Word, Notepad
Watch Movies
- DVD and/or Blu-Ray
- under 4 lbs.
- On the go
Screen Size
- over 12 inches
Large Storage Capacity
- A Terabyte or higher
Multimedia Editing
- photos, video, etc.

NOTE: Individuals may still choose one type of computer over the other based on personal experience, preference, and satisfaction. Also, some individuals may decide to have the best of both worlds by buying a laptop, a large screen and, a docking station.

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