How to Buy the Best Laptop for College

How to Buy the Best Laptop for College


IF YOU’RE A COLLEGE STUDENT, A LAPTOP IS AS
ESSENTIAL AS YOUR TEXTBOOKS AND YOUR ID CARD. YOU’LL USE IT TO TYPE ESSAYS, MANIPULATE
DATA SETS, AND OF COURSE STREAM VIDEOS AND BROWSE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS. TO DO ALL OF THAT AND MORE, HERE ARE THE BASICS
YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A LAPTOP FOR COLLEGE. THE FIRST STEP IS TO CHECK WITH YOUR SCHOOL
FOR SPECIFIC SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS. NOT ONLY DO MANY UNIVERSITIES SPECIFY OPERATING
SYSTEMS LIKE MAC OR WINDOWS, BUT THEIR RECOMMENDED SYSTEMS MAY ALSO COME WITH NECESSARY PREINSTALLED
SOFTWARE OR EVEN SPECIAL PRICE DISCOUNTS. THE CAMPUS IT STAFF MAY ALSO BE SPECIALLY
GEARED TOWARD MAINTAINING OR FIXING CERTAIN LAPTOP BRANDS. IF YOU’RE NOT SURE WHO TO ASK OR WHERE TO
LOOK FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS, CHECK WITH YOUR SCHOOL’S BOOKSTORE FIRST. SINCE YOU’LL BE LUGGING YOUR LAPTOP AROUND
CAMPUS EVERY DAY, AN ULTRAPORTABLE WITH A THIRTEEN-INCH OR FOURTEEN-INCH SCREEN AND
A WEIGHT BELOW THREE POUNDS IS GOING TO BE YOUR BEST BET. A SMALLER SCREEN WILL MAKE YOU DO LOTS OF
TEDIOUS SCROLLING THROUGH SPREADSHEETS AND WEB PAGES. ON THE OTHER HAND, A LAPTOP THAT’S TOO BIG
WILL PUT UNNECESSARY STRAIN ON YOUR BACK AND SHOULDERS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE ALSO CARRYING
LOTS OF BOOKS. THINK ABOUT THAT ESPECIALLY HARD IF YOU’RE
A COMMUTER STUDENT. IF YOU PLAN ON TAKING NOTES IN CLASS, YOU
MAY WANT TO SPRING FOR A TWO-IN-ONE TOUCH-SCREEN LAPTOP THAT SUPPORTS A DIGITAL PEN, OR STYLUS,
AND CONVERTS INTO A TABLET. SOME OF THESE ROTATE AROUND A HINGE 360 DEGREES
TO TURN INTO TABLETS, WHILE OTHERS, LIKE MICROSOFT’S SURFACE DEVICES, FULLY DETACH FROM THEIR KEYBOARD. TO MAKE MARATHON HOMEWORK SESSIONS EASIER
ON THE EYES, YOU’LL ALSO WANT A SCREEN RESOLUTION OF AT LEAST FULL HD. THAT’S NINETEEN TWENTY BY TEN EIGHTY PIXELS
IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT SPECS, OR WHAT’S SOMETIMES CALLED TEN EIGHTY P. OTHER ESSENTIAL
THINGS TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE A COMFORTABLE, STURDY KEYBOARD AND A VIDEO OUTPUT LIKE HDMI
FOR CONNECTING TO PROJECTORS IN THE CLASSROOM. INSIDE THE LAPTOP, YOU’LL WANT COMPONENTS
THAT CAN LAST FOR AT LEAST FOUR YEARS BEFORE BECOMING OBSOLETE. THE EXACT ONES TO CHOOSE MOSTLY DEPEND ON
YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM OF CHOICE. IF YOU’RE BUYING A WINDOWS LAPTOP OR AN
APPLE MACBOOK, LOOK FOR AN INTEL CORE I5 OR CORE I7 CPU. THE ONES WHOSE PRODUCT NAMES END IN U ARE
WHAT YOU’LL SEE IN MOST THIN LAPTOPS. THEIR POWER CONSUMPTION IS LOWER AND THEY
ARE GENERALLY LESS ROBUST THAN THE H OR HK SERIES CHIPS, WHICH YOU’LL TEND TO SEE IN
MORE POWERFUL LAPTOPS OR IN GAMING MACHINES. IF YOU’RE BUYING A CHROMEBOOK, LESS-POWERFUL
AND LESS-EXPENSIVE CELERON OR PENTIUM PROCESSORS ARE FINE, SINCE THESE LAPTOPS ARE NOT MEANT
TO RUN CPU-INTENSIVE APPS LIKE ADOBE PHOTOSHOP. YOU’LL WANT AT LEAST TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY
SIX GIGABYTES OF STORAGE IF YOU’RE CHOOSING A PC OR MAC. IF YOU’RE EYEING A CHROMEBOOK, YOU CAN GET
BY WITH ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY EIGHT GIGABYTES OF STORAGE OR EVEN LESS, SINCE YOU’LL BE
STORING MOST THINGS IN THE CLOUD. IN EITHER CASE, MAKE SURE YOUR DRIVE IS A
SOLID STATE DRIVE, WHICH WILL MAKE YOUR LAPTOP FEEL MUCH SNAPPIER THAN A REGULAR SPINNING
HARD DRIVE. IF AN INEXPENSIVE LAPTOP HAS FIVE HUNDRED
GIGABYTES OR ONE TERABYTE OF STORAGE, IT’S PROBABLY USING A SPINNING HARD DRIVE. BATTERY LIFE IS ALSO SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO
THINK ABOUT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’LL BE TAKING LOTS OF NOTES IN CLASS. WHAT YOU WILL NEED DEPENDS A LOT ON YOUR CAMPUS’
BUILDINGS. IT MIGHT BE TOUGH TO FIND AC OUTLETS IN OLDER
LIBRARIES AND CLASSROOMS, AND OLDER DORM ROOMS MIGHT HAVE JUST ONE OR TWO OUTLETS TO GO AROUND. IF THAT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR CAMPUS, MAKE SURE
YOU CHOOSE A LAPTOP WITH AT LEAST 10 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE. THESE TIPS WILL HELP MOST COLLEGE-BOUND SHOPPERS,
BUT IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON VIDEO EDITING OR GAMING ON YOUR COLLEGE LAPTOP, HEAD ON
OVER TO PCMAG.COM FOR MORE SPECIALIZED BUYING GUIDES AND OUR CURRENT RECOMMENDED MODELS. WE’VE GOT LISTS OF THE BEST 2-IN-1S, THE
BEST GAMING LAPTOPS, AND THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT LAPTOPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS.

3 comments

  1. I am a student….. I need a laptop for coding/designing and i also like video editing on premier and all i have now is a potato computer with 4 gb ram and no gpu….. Please suggest me a good windows laptop……help!!!

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