Going Off to College? – How to Select a Student Laptop That Rocks In Price and Quality
Virtually every manufacturer claims to produce the best student laptops. And whilst it is true that there are wide selection of quality laptops out there, there is no such thing as “one laptop fits all.”
Before a student buys a laptop, he needs to think about what he’ll be using his laptop for and even how often he will be using it. For example, an engineering major would most likely have a need for a more powerful laptop than a business administration major.
So user profile is key. If you are a helpless academic that relies on his notebook heavily to do calculations, check theories and do class assignments, then portability and battery life would mean a lot. For you, a thin-and-light laptop may be best. If you a voracious bookworm that uses a laptop (in one spot) for long stretches when working on projects, researching or just plain reading, then you could do with a mid range laptop.
This machine would come with a larger display and keyboard for comfort but yet offer decent portability. But you know what they say, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Sure you want use a laptop to help with your school work and get good grades but college can be boring with without that fun factor.
If you are serious but at times a fun loving student, the best student laptop for you would be an entertainment laptop; one with Blu-ray, great display and sound. If you are a bit extreme on the “play” side of the equation, then a party animal like yourself could do with a gaming laptop. Perhaps you are an extra-light traveler.
You just need to carry around a small mobile computing assistant while your main laptop or desktop PC stays put. For you, a tablet computer would be more suitable. In this day and age of downsizing, recession and increasing trade deficits, many students may seriously struggle to find the extra cash to buy a laptop. If you are on a tight budget, comparison shopping is extremely important.
This is why for each category of student, we recommend 3 different laptops/tablets that may suit your needs and budget. We feel it is also important to educate yourself on what to look for in a college laptop. No, we don’t expect you to be tech savvy, but it helps to know the basics.
For example, what are the differences between a college notebook that has a solid state hard drive (SSD) and one that has a traditional hard drive? Why is this distinction important? How much processing power do I need? Do I really need an extended warranty?
The student laptop guide can help you get up to speed with the basics. One last thing to note; some schools require that students use laptops that are configured in a certain way. This is to ensure that the less-tech savvy students own laptops that can cope with the needs of their courses.
We therefore suggest that you check with your school first. You may find that students are offered discounts on college-recommended laptops. Furthermore, you would at least be certain that a college-recommended laptop would have the software and specs you need.