Laptops or desktops for schools – which one works best?

Both primary and secondary schools use the internet to further their pupils’ learning, but should they invest in a bank of refurbished desktop computers, or smaller, more portable refurbished laptops?

TecHut’s here to give you some advice.


Let’s start with desktop computers. What do they offer schools?

Typically, desktop computers sit on a desk or table-top ready and waiting to be switched on and worked hard.

Refurbished desktop computers are great for schools looking to purchase multiple examples of high-spec machines at a reasonable price. Bulk buying a suite of factory fresh desktop devices would cost a small fortune, so it makes more financial sense to invest in refurbished ones with comparative (and in some cases superior) performance credentials.


Despite being seemingly less adjustable than laptops, desktop PCs can be highly customisable.

For example, while a laptop’s singular screen gives you most of the information you need to curate and arrange documents, it can be hard to navigate around sometimes due to its size.

Desktops can be fitted with two or more monitors that enable you to navigate through the user interface with ease, compare documents, and work on two things at once.

Their internals can be upgraded, too, and they don’t rely on a battery for power so can be used indefinitely. Meanwhile, their larger keyboards and separate mouse can be more user-friendly in comparison to a laptop’s trackpad and a smaller keyboard.


Often, refurbished desktop PCs are installed with the latest security software, so you don’t need to worry about hackers or scammers. We install all our computers with Windows 10, too, so you’re guaranteed to get the smoothest PCs for your money.


If portability is what you’re looking for, then laptops might be the solution.

For schools with limited space for desktop computers, laptops offer a compact, portable alternative that still wields the same processing power found in most larger desktop PCs.


Smaller classrooms will benefit from a laptop’s smaller dimensions, and, because of this, they can be used for more collaborative tasks like group work. Some even double-up as tablets, which allow for more interactive lesson plans.

There are fewer wires associated with laptops, too. But continually plugging your laptop into plug sockets can damage the battery over time, and you may have to pay for repairs. However, desktop PCs normally utilise a lot of wires that can eat into space on top of and underneath a desk, while laptops require hardly any.


Because you can store laptops out of sight in a secure cupboard, many consider them a safer option to a bank of desktop PCs which can be seen by prying eyes. However, obviously desktops are bulkier to steal.

Similar to refurbished desktops, most laptops have been installed with anti-virus software to prevent hackers and scammers from penetrating the memory banks of your devices.


The decision to buy refurbished laptops or desktop PCs comes down to usability and space. For teachers and some pupils, desktop PCs are great for checking emails, word processing, and for running any subject-specific software. However, they quite often need a dedicated IT room to house them in, and space is often at a premium within schools.

Laptops tend to be the better option for students thanks to their portability, which means they can take them home to help with their studies.

With regards to cost, refurbished desktop machines are cheaper to buy than refurbished laptops and can be less awkward to use thanks to their independent monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

However, the benefits of either cannot be ignored and today most schools have both at their disposal.

For example, many have a suite of desktop computers ready and waiting to be used for taxing computer-aided design work or photoshopping in a design and technology department, for example, and a bank of laptops primed to tackle essay writing and interactive lesson plans for subjects like English and History.

Contact us for more advice on how to kit your school out with great, high-quality refurbished devices.



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