Benefits & Limitations of Laptops

When users ask us whether they should select a laptop or desktop, we tell them it really varies and depends on the users computing practices and daily responsibilities. Laptops are often more expensive, so we want to make sure that the people requesting laptops will put it to good use.

For example, if you’re someone who needs to be mobile – whether you’re on campus or traveling outside of it – then a laptop is probably a good option for you. This might include faculty, VP’s, directors, or anyone who attends a lot of meetings and needs access to their applications and files, or takes notes via .

A laptop can be a great asset for coaches, Admission Counselors, and Development Officers.

They can use it to stay organized and have access to resources while they are on the go. On the other hand, users who spend most of their time at their desks and rarely travel would benefit most from a desktop computer. Desktop computers usually have more resources and larger screen sizes.


Laptops offer a unique advantage in regards to portability, making them ideal for traveling professionals or students who have regular meetings on campus.

In addition, our new VPN (virtual private network) system now allows Cornell laptop users to connect to our network from anywhere with a reliable internet connection, as if they were sitting in their office. This remote access eliminates the need to leave your office desktop computer on and logged in while you’re away.


Laptops typically have smaller screens and keyboards than desktops. Docking stations are not provided due to cost.

Laptops also generally have smaller capacities than desktops of the same relative cost, though this can fluctuate based on available funding during the annual upgrade process. Additionally, laptops have slower processors and less memory (RAM) than their desktop counterparts.

Laptops generally have smaller screens and keyboards than desktops, which can make them more difficult to use for certain tasks.

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Additionally, laptops usually have smaller capacities than desktops of the same relative cost, which can limit their usefulness for certain applications. This fluctuates based on available funding for the annual upgrade process.

Finally, laptops typically have slower processors and less memory (RAM) than desktops, which can further limit their usefulness.

Repairs for laptops can be more difficult and time-consuming than for desktop computers, as they often have to be sent to a repair center.

This can cause a delay of at least 48 hours. Additionally, temporary replacement laptops usually come with standard productivity software installed, rather than the specific software that each employee requires. Employees who request a laptop should be aware of this potential downside.

Laptops are also generally harder to upgrade than desktop computers (for example, when it comes to increasing memory), and they are more vulnerable to damage and theft.

Laptops may require more technical skill to operate than desktops. Some potential areas where users might need more skills include: power management, connectivity, connecting to other devices, drivers, cables, and connecting to outside networks.

Laptops often require more technical skill to operate than desktops due to various factors such as power management issues, connectivity issues, and the need for drivers and cables. Additionally, laptops may also need to be configured to connect to outside networks, which can require additional skills.