A laptop for college is an investment that needs some careful thinking. Your laptop is going to be the one device that you use very often during your college days. All your notes and important files reside safely in this device and it is going to be one of your best modes of entertainment too on the days when you feel like it. This is why we have created this college laptop buying guide so that you can select a laptop that will work best for you.
See Also: The best laptops for graphic design 2017
What Are Your Requirements?
Depending on the studies that you are pursuing, you will have different requirements. Your laptop must meet your needs. Engineering students will need a laptop that is capable of handling software programs that they will use. Most engineering students require something with good performance and lots of space for big software programs that they may need to install on their computer.
Media students usually incline towards laptops that provide good graphics and great audio. Performance is one factor that remains constant for all college students. But when we talk about heavy built programs for audio and video editing then we need some good specs.
Accounting students have some leverage when it comes to specs. Accounting software programs are comparatively lighter and many of them come with cloud storage.
While these are just an example of the kind of requirements you may have, you must take the time to ‘understand other factors that will help you decide.
With cloud storage becoming more and more common, you may want to carefully consider the kind of storage you are comfortable with. Are you always connected to the internet so you will not have to worry about accessing the files stored in the cloud? Or do you prefer storing the files locally so that you can use them whenever you want, without worrying about the internet connection?
Another factor in storage is the newer and swifter SSD storage. If you need a laptop with high performance that can open files quickly then you may want to buy a laptop that has SSD storage. HDD storage is the more common type of storage that we have been using all along.
Your laptop’s performance should never be compromised. No matter what studies you pursue, you would always need a laptop that performs well. From taking down notes during a lecture to creating projects with the help of your laptop, college students always need something that works smoothly so that they can do their work with the least hassle. The processor and the RAM will play an important role in deciding the performance of your laptop so choose wisely.
What kind of screen size will be comfortable for you? Are you looking for a laptop that can be detached and converted into a tablet, or do you prefer something that is more traditional and stays intact? Buying laptop for college means that you need a device that you can carry to your college and take it around when studying together with friends. Portability is no longer a challenge for laptop manufacturers who offer ultra-thin and very light laptops. It is important that you pick the right screen size for your laptop so that you can work comfortably on it. Those who prefer detachable laptops will find two-in-one laptops to be great too.
Price is an important factor. Since your investment in a laptop will take you through your college years, look for something that is moderately priced if you cannot afford something very expensive. A laptop for college doubles up as a device for entertainment after college too. Since it will be used a lot, you need a device that can last long enough. If you pick something very cheap, there is a chance that it may not last too long. The specs may be too weak and the body of the laptop won’t be very resilient either. The market is brimming with laptops of all sizes and prices, so you will find a lot of options, but remember not to go too low with the specs and performance for the sake of saving some money.
When it comes to the platform, you do not have to worry about an overwhelmingly huge number of options, but the consideration is extremely important because you will be working on that platform for all your college years.
Windows is the most common platform and most of the software programs available online are built to work on Windows. Windows 10 has some remarkable features and it has an easy interface too.
Mac OS is great but you must carefully check whether the software programs you are going to use are available on it or not. If you have always been a Mac user, and are more comfortable with a Mac then this is a great choice provided you won’t be limited when it comes to using software programs.
Chrome OS is light and it goes easy on your wallet too, but a Chromebook may not be able to warrant the performance of a Windows or a Mac laptop.
You will be spending a lot of time on your laptop. You must gain a level of comfort when it comes to using its keyboard and trackpad. The ergonomics of your laptop will decide whether you will be able to work on it for long periods of time or not. Check the type of keyboard the laptop has. Look for the spacing of the keys, and if you can try to use it and see if you are comfortable with it or not.
The same rule applies to the trackpad. Use it and check how sensitive it is. Is it able to respond appropriately? Is it adequately sized for your laptop? Are you comfortable working on the laptop with the keyboard and the trackpad it has? All good specs will begin to look too pale if the keyboard and trackpad do not measure up.
Go through reviews of the laptop that you are planning to buy to find out how long the battery lasts. The battery life of your laptop will depend on many factors, but it should last you at least 6 hours. It is even better if it lasts for 8 hours. This will ensure that you can use your laptop for college without worrying about plugging in the charger.
While we don’t generally mean to single out specific brands here, it is always good to invest in a laptop brand that will provide you with good support and one which promises durability. Make sure you check for manufacturer’s warranty and look online for the level of support a brand offers. When your laptop is not working properly, you will want it to be fixed as quickly as possible since you rely on it for college notes. Lighter laptops are great for portability but they may not be as durable. Remember to invest in a laptop that is durable and one where the brand will support you in case of technical failures.
With the help of this college laptop buying guide, you will be able to understand the things you must keep in mind before you invest in a laptop. Take the time to figure out your requirements and remember to pick a laptop that will be reliable enough to last you through your college.
See also: Top best laptops for programming of 2017