There's definitely a place for desktop PCs — but that place definitely isn't your dorm room. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but the shift toward mobile computing among students is more evident now than ever. At the most basic level, desktop computers aren't practical for working in a living situation with limited space, and can't be transported easily between classes, or to the library or other areas of campus. Even sleek, all-in-one PCs are less attractive than a laptop that you can use to take notes and do work away from your dorm.
Students are also gravitating toward tablets like the iPad, for which there are many optional keyboard cases available. In addition, Microsoft is heavily promoting two-in-one Windows 8 hybrids that double as notebooks and tablets; these hybrids include the Surface Pro, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11s and ASUS Transformer Book. On a tighter budget? Check out the upcoming Android-powered HP SlateBook X2, which will cost $499 with its keyboard.