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Desktop vs. Laptop for med school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Lolo08, Dec 20, 2005.

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Desktop or Laptop for med school?

  1. Desktop

    8 vote(s)
    9.4%
  2. Laptop

    77 vote(s)
    90.6%
  1. Lolo08

    Lolo08 Member
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    I need a new computer for med school and I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions. How important is it to get a laptop? I am leaning toward a desktop because I am a gamer (although that may end in med school...) and I have short arms, and I like to be farther from the screen. Also, you get more for the price in terms of desktop. :D But I have heard of people bringing their laptops to class to take notes during lecture...is that really true? I may be going home a lot on weekends but I'm one of those people who study only in their rooms at night, when I have a big chunk of time to study.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated! :love:

    PS-I don't want to hear anything about Macs either. My $2000 Mac broke after 2 years and now I have a deep hatred of them. :mad:
     
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  3. EctopicFetus

    EctopicFetus Keeping it funky enough
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    Cant help you with the gamer comment but why not get a decent laptop and a docking station? It isnt important to get a laptop but could be very helpful if you want to look at path or histo slides and have them on the computer. Additionally, a lot of places have Wireless on campus which is nice. I dont know of anyone bringing laptops to class as this would be incredibly annoying to hear the tapping on keyboards and how can you map out some of those biochem pathways? There is my $0.02.. Desktops are so 10 years ago ;)

    Seriously I would rec Laptop + docking station this gives you the best of both worlds.
     
  4. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    this is true...

    desktops are cheaper and give you more bang for your buck. However, laptops would be a lot more manageable for class and going on trips back home or otherwise. A nice laptop with a docking station would suffice both of your needs for gaming/desktop and a laptop.

    However, check with the school first before you purchase either one. Some require you to purchase a certain type of desktop or laptop.
     
  5. emack

    emack Senior Member
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    I say laptop. I only bring mine to school a couple of times each week, but each time I do I think "Damn, I'm glad I have a laptop." And I bring it with me when I travel, which is great. My whole life is in here.
    It's also good when I'm in hardcore study mode, and I need to spread everything out on my kitchen table, which is a lot bigger than my computer desk. A $40 wireless router has also proven to have been a good investment.
     
  6. raidermedic

    raidermedic MS IV
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    2 years ago I sold my old desktop and bought myself a laptop. In retrospect it was a bad move. Don't get me wrong my laptop hasn't given me any problems but as far as games go it's pretty pathetic (although was pretty decent 2 years ago). That and it cost me a good chunk of cash I could of used on a desktop that could have been upgraded at least once by now. Keep in mind that my school doesn't have wireless in the classroom or any real need for a laptop at school. So of course that influences my opinion.

    If I were you or I had it to do all over again I would buy a shuttle case and a LCD monitor. Not as portable as a laptop when going home but still pretty portable.
     
  7. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    laptop. no question.

    i'm a first year and i don't know how i'd be getting through school without mine. most of our lectures (like virtually 100%) are downloadable so it's great to be able to take the computer to library or friends to study. or to class to study something other than what the lecturer is talking about.

    definately laptop.

    and as to what kind... well, i'm partial to macs. i have a 15inch powerbook and i love it. i switched from a windows laptop about a year ago and i've been 100% happy.

    if you don't want a mac, then i like the dell 700m.

    if you want to know why you should get a mac, just say so. and i'll try to convince you. but bottom line, have you ever known anyone who switched and didn't absolutely LOVE their mac? if do you decide to get a mac, wait until the intel chip notebooks come out (should be in january)
     
  8. Matt_McClure

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    If you have the budget for a "gaming laptop" I would suggest that you get a desktop for ~700 or 800 dollars that with good stats to play games on, as well as a less powerful laptop which is small, light, and has good battery life. You can do all this for ~2000 or less if you can get a dell coupon and get a 700m for like 900 dollars.
     
  9. synapse lapse

    synapse lapse tokyo robotic
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    I have both, you aren't gonna be doing any serious gaming on a laptop of course, but I take my laptop to class and I can't live without wifi.
     
  10. wtwei02

    wtwei02 Member
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    Laptop will come in handy when you're doing Qbank for step1 or usmleworld for step 2...unless you want to be confined to your bedroom for all those hours.
     
  11. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    yup, macs are trash. they have laptops nowadays that will do everything a desktop can do. the main difference is that laptops are portable. the only real reason to get a desktop is because of the price. if you have the cash, get a laptop.

    as for myself, i have one desktop that i built that is used for mostly gaming. I have another desktop that I got cheap from dell that serves as a media center computer (serves as my tivo) and hosts my media files (central server). Before med school I bought a small portable laptop that is what I use the most (dell 700m).
     
  12. Antigunner

    Antigunner This is a chill pill.
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    I went with the Dell 6000 - it's a bit bigger than the 700m, but not too big to carry to class. We have wireless internet in the student union and library, and hi-speed hookups just about everywhere else. I don't bring it with me everyday, but it's definitely nice to be able to when I want to.
     
  13. Lolo08

    Lolo08 Member
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    wow thanks for all the responses, you guys have been great! i'm going to look into the docking station and also see if i can afford getting a nice laptop.

    thanks, all! :thumbup:
     
  14. DieselPetrolGrl

    DieselPetrolGrl twisterChamp&so much more
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    id ratherhave a nice desktop - i dont move around because i bought my housing so it can sit there until kingdom come - so i guess i dont haveto worry about transporting it ever. and i have a desktop at home that my family is afraid to touch on pains of my tantrums - so i subsist off desktops - they are more powerfull - very few laptops under 2k can run halo and UT at once - they also are so powerfull they meltdown in a year or so.
     
  15. DieselPetrolGrl

    DieselPetrolGrl twisterChamp&so much more
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    i LOVE being confined to bedrooms - cant wait for the usmle!
     
  16. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    not a med student, but i don't think i'd ever buy a desktop again. of course, i'm not a gamer, so getting a super powerful system is a waste of money. even if you don't take your laptop out of your house, you can move it around to different rooms and sit on your couch and write messages on sdn. :) you can take it with you to all those neat coffee shops with free wifi, and you can watch movies on airplanes. :thumbup: laptops are so cheap these days, too, so you can get a decent model for $1500 or less.

    in my laptop life, i've had a dell, toshiba and mac. i dig my current ibook because it was cheap, has a long-lasting battery (about 4 hours) and is pretty light weight. my toshiba was a piece of sh%t, and the screen conked on me one month after the warranty ended. my dell was good and lasted through three years of pretty heavy usage. if i didn't get a mac, i'd get a centrino because having a short battery life defeats the whole purpose of having a laptop. also, get a lighter one because you really don't want to haul around an 8 lb computer.
     
  17. TX515

    TX515 Senior Member
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    Sounds like you already have a desktop if you are a gamer, so why buy another? I know some med schools require you to have a laptop, and I think if you are shopping for something new a laptop is the way to go. I'm considering buying the 700m and just hooking it up to a monitor when I'm at the house studying.
     
  18. relema

    relema Senior Member
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    I have both. I got a really small laptop (700M)that is not the fastest or most advance computer but has a great battery life and is easy to bring to school. My desk top at home is the one i keep updating to the latest and greatest technology and has a huge flat screen so that when i need to watch lecture videos my life is easier. I think it is a personal choice, i only got a laptop because my school required it. I could really live without it.
     
  19. OSUdoc08

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    You'll need to be mobile as a medical student, and you will rarely study at home. A desktop is a poor investment. They have good laptops for gamers anyway.

    Get a Dell.
     
  20. Orpheus333

    Orpheus333 Junior Member
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    I got my gfs laptop here. They are great...Just like this lap top:
    http://www.ibuypower.com/ibp/store/configurator.aspx?mid=158

    Screw dell, HP and every other mass producer of lap tops. If it says "Intel Extreme graphics II" your gaming days are OVER.

    That laptop is similar to what i have. Its very balance (though, I wish mine were smaller with better battery life) the only thing i can suggest otherwise is that you get a super small, super cheap laptop for your lecture notes and school and just get a desktop that you can keep upgrading for gaming.

    Thats what I ended up doing.
     
  21. Lolo08

    Lolo08 Member
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    Orpheus, how heavy did that laptop weigh?

    Weight would be a big issue for me because a good gaming laptop is 7-9 pounds with 15-17" screen, and low battery life. Not exactly suitable for mobility...in that case, I'd rarely lug it around, which defeats the purpose of a laptop.

    I'm not sure how expensive it would be to maintain a small, mobile 12" laptop as well as a nice desktop for gaming, although that would be preferred.

    The school that I'm considering says that laptops are not required but computers are a must. Then it lists the recommended laptop capabilities:
    2.0Ghz processor
    512 MB ram
    6+ hours of battery life

    6 hours of battery life!! Wow, where are we going? Such an odd requirement...if laptops aren't even required why do we need such long battery life?

    When you guys say you rarely study at home, where do you usually study at? the library or cafe? Did your study habits change from college? :)

    Happy holidays! :love:
     
  22. Lolo08

    Lolo08 Member
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    TX515,

    it just so happens that the laptop I was gaming on, the Mac, died on me so I'm desperately looking for a new computer (I didn't orginally buy the Mac to game on..I got sucked into it when World of Warcraft came out last year). And again, the med school I'm looking to go to doesn't require laptops and the class schedule runs from like 9-3 of continuous class (yeah it sucks) so I figure I won't have much downtime to fiddle around on the laptop if I brought it to class.

    Do a lot of people still take notes on notebook + paper in class? I was thinking I could just print out the slides before class and take notes on it. If I didn't get a laptop, I could just put all the slides on the desktop and review it at home..is this still considered normal practice? I really didn't utilize my laptop's mobility much at college and I used it mainly as a desktop. For people who were like me in college, did you find yourself changing a lot in med school?

    I guess I'm pretty much leaning towards a desktop unless anyone can convince me otherwise...that it's essential to have a laptop in med school. But I'm open to your ideas. :laugh:
     
  23. Bevo

    Bevo Radiology, R1
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    wait for the new apple ibooks! should be intel based and rumor has it that they might come out this january.

    Can dual boot osx and windows now. Apple said they wont block people from installing windows on their machines. Too bad you can't legeally install their OS on any other machine but theres.
     
  24. Orpheus333

    Orpheus333 Junior Member
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    Yeah, batter life is nice, as I found out. But that lap top is really well balanced in my opinion, 2 hr battery will get you though most lectures, and most lecture halls should have outlets for laptops anyway. It will fit a a Northface recon backpack...its really snug for a while, but after a few swear words it will start to work fine and doesn't look as corney as traditional lap top back packs. Mine is about 7lbs ...compound that with your average bio book and it gets really heavy. Thus, if you can, go for a more mobile/battery minded lappy and sacrifice performance. You'll be able to get better performance cheaper in a desktop anyway.

    Here is what I wish I would have gotten once I realized I still <3 my desktop:
    http://www.alienware.com/product_detail_pages/Sentia_m3200/sentia_features.aspx?SysCode=PC-LT-SENTIA-3200&SubCode=SKU-DEFAULT

    I study A LOT at the library, its a better atmosphere.

    My desktop isn't anything special (amd athlon XP 2500+, 1gb GEIL DDR400, 120gb HDD and a Nvidia GeForce 6800, then I essentially overclocked my 6800 to a 6800GT (unlocking pipelines and overclocking...) Abit NF7-S 2.0) and it plays doom and source game engines easy, FEAR is tough, but it still looks nice. so you dont have to have $$$$ invested to play your games nicely, I'll admit I spend more then I should, but, oh well...

    All you really need is a reasonable graphics card, mine was about $150, the 6800GT is about $215.

    I'll probably replace my motherboard and CPU next summer, and will probably buy a hard drive soon...if I have the money :rolleyes:

    macs are overly expensive for the horrible performance you derive from them... + compatibility issuses with the something like 95% Microsoft market...no thanks. I hate macs.
     
  25. NunoBR

    NunoBR Senior Member
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    So to give this thread a bit of a twist.

    What about a laptop vs. a tablet PC?
     
  26. enigma1800

    enigma1800 Member
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    So, it seems most of you all prefer dell laptops..Of all of their choices, which dell would you go for? Is a 15.4" to big for mobility like the 6000 which is 6.65lbs? Or do most go for the 600m or 700m? Isn't the 12" a little small for some?
    Or how about the new Dell XPS M140, It's only 14.1" and 5.47lbs w/ intel centrino?
     
  27. OSUdoc08

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    I use a Latitude D600, but an Inspiron 600m is equivalent. Anything bigger would be too big.
     
  28. FaytlND

    FaytlND Senior Member
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    If you really wanted to do it right, I say you get both. Spend about 1k and build a nice desktop that will be solid for gaming, but nothing crazy. Then spend about 700-800 on a laptop that will just be meant for net, note-taking, etc. By doing that, you can get a value laptop that is very mobile. I would go for the Dell 600m or even 700m.

    By doing that, your laptop can do what its meant to: be portable. By getting a gaming capable laptop, not only do you make it unwieldy to actually carry with you, but the gaming ability for the money is not nearly as good as a desktop.

    Plus, by keeping a desktop, you can upgrade as you need to with smaller investments to keep making it better. With a laptop, your upgradability is nearly nil.
     
  29. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    That sounds like the best bet so far.
    Basically I am doing something like that. Have a pretty decentish Desktop @ home, 2.4ghz Pentium 4, 512mb RAM , but I wanted a notebook.
    Got one, and planning to do a good desktop change late next year.
    Notebook for school/msn/the ladies, Desktop for all the gaming and porn encoding..whoops
     

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