January 15, 2020

A Smartphone or a PC: what is more useful for a student?

A heated debate about the pros and cons of PCs and Smartphones has been running for a long time. Some argue that such devices hinder classroom learning, while others believe that the use of technological devices in class can help students enjoy a more engaging learning experience. When you step into the lecture room of any college today, you will find students with laptops, tablets, and Smartphones open as they type and listen to what the lecturer is saying.

With their almost magical abilities to transcribe and do research on the fly, students today seem to be learning and achieving more in school than those who were in school in the days of pen and paper. However, is this observation true? If it is when it comes to a Smartphone or a PC, what is more, useful for a student? Students and educators need to consider these questions carefully.

Contrasting Views about the use of PCs and Mobile Devices in the Classroom

According to a growing body of assignment experts, students who use PCs and Smartphones in class end up learning less than those who choose to concentrate on what the professor is saying as they take notes using a pen and notebook. The basis of their argument stems from the results of a series of randomized tests in controlled lab settings and college classrooms.

Other learning researchers hold a contrary view. According to them, since current students have the ability to type faster than they can write, even without looking at their computers, they are in a better position to take in more of what the lecturer is saying. Over multiple lectures, using such devices might actually help them encore and review their notes better.

Smartphone Vs PC in the Classroom

Modern Smartphones can handle many of the tasks done by PCs. Actually, in terms of computing power, some of the most advanced Smartphones can rival many PCs from a few years ago. When it comes to choosing between a laptop and smartphone to use in the classroom, several important factors come into play.


A high-performance computer CPU will consume a lot of power; therefore, students using a high-performance PC in school will need to have a reliable source of electricity, as well as a wall plug, to keep it running throughout the day. A Smartphone, on the other hand, runs on a battery, which means that its power consumption is very efficient. Using a Smartphone with a long-lasting battery and a power bank for any necessary charging requirements, a student will enjoy more convenience and flexibility.


Prices for a PC can vary widely, depending on its features, storage, and capabilities. A mid-priced PC ideal for the classroom, for example, can cost anywhere between $400 and $800, which is a bit too extravagant for most college students. Students can purchase a refurbished Smartphone with almost similar features, in addition to having a service plan, on Amazon or eBay for as low as $100, making it an ideal option for the student budget.

Screen Size

PCs trump Smartphones when it comes to the screen size. Obviously, it is easier to concentrate in class if one is using a device with a large screen size, as opposed to a small screen that will require more concentration. Additionally, it is easier to make accurate notes and type faster on a PC than on a Smartphone.


While modern laptop PCs are portable and light by design, they do not hold a candle to Smartphones and tablets in this regard. For a college student rushing from one lecture room to another and hanging out with peers in between, having a Smartphone is definitely the better option in terms of portability.

Other factors to consider when making a choice between a PC and smartphone for schoolwork include internet connectivity, software performance, storage requirements, user input, data entry, and more. Each student needs to make a choice based on his/her preferences, abilities, and learning requirements. Since most people today own both a PC and a Smartphone, students can use their PCs for more complicated schoolwork or projects while using their smartphones for smaller jobs, such as taking notes and doing quick research in the classroom or library.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}