According to surveys, over 70% of educators assign schoolwork that requires the use of a computer and the Internet to complete. This can include quizzes, tests, academic papers, and many other assignments. Without any doubt, a laptop is the most convenient device for achieving them. So it’s one of the most versatile and crucial gadgets for a modern student.
Apart from completing their assignments, young people use this gadget for many other purposes. For example, they can use it to pay for papers when they need to reduce the load and boost their grades. They can also use it to run sessions with online tutors or access online courses. And there are many other applications. So there is no question on whether a student needs a laptop. But there is a question on how to choose one for yourself, and we will answer it in this guide!
The best way to shop for a laptop as a student is to start by defining your individual needs. As you already know, there are plenty of different models to choose from. They vary by operating systems, screen sizes, processors, RAM capacities, and many other characteristics. And, to pick something that would match your needs and daily tasks, you have to know what exactly these needs are.
Here are a few quick hints on things that you should keep in mind when defining your needs:
1. Operating system
First, you can identify the best OS for yourself based on the other gadgets you own. Devices from the same manufacturer or that use the same operating system can easily sync with each other, which is very convenient for people in college. So be sure to keep this in mind. Also, you should pay attention to specific tools and apps you’ll need to use for your studies, work, or hobby (if any). Feel free to list such tools and check their compatibility and availability on different operating systems.
As a student, you might need to bring your laptop to lectures and classes from time to time. Therefore, portability is one of the things that matter a lot. From this perspective, you should look for lightweight models with the right screen sizes. But it would help if you didn’t forget about the usability too. If you plan to, let’s say, write academic papers using your computer, you will not want it to have a tiny screen. In fact, according to surveys, 12.5 to 14-inch screens are the best balance between portability and usability.
3. Battery life
As was already mentioned, students often have to carry around their laptops and use them away from home. If you do this, you want to rest assured that your gadget won’t die at the wrong moment, which is why battery life is also crucial. We recommend striving for 9+ battery life.
This might not apply to everyone, but some of you might want to use your gadget as a laptop and a tablet. This is especially important for artistic students. If that’s your case, you should look for this versatility in your options. For example, you can shop for detachable or bend-back devices.
5. Technical specs
That’s the part where it can get somewhat confusing. Most often, students don’t need to buy super-powerful computers. However, there might be some exceptions if you deal with software development, gaming, and other tasks requiring top-class tech specs.
Often buying a new laptop is a decision that’s rather hard to make for a college student. Although this gadget is essential in a student’s arsenal, it’s also one of the most expensive. And, as we all know, college people often live on a tight budget.
The good news is that there are options to fit everyone’s budget. Walking into a store, you will see laptops that cost under $300 and those that cost $1,000 and beyond.
The cost of this device depends on several factors. First, it depends on the technical characteristics, such as the processor, RAM, screen size, etc. So when deciding on a budget, you must keep your needs in mind. Secondly, the price also depends a lot on the brand. A Macbook will be much more expensive than, let’s say, Lenovo. And the price difference can be huge. So, whatever you are looking for, decide on your budget before you start shopping for your new gadget for your studies. Match the budget to your needs, wants, and financial abilities.
As we said earlier, it can be challenging for a student to decide on a new laptop due to the high price tag of this gadget. So the final part of our guide is all about helping you save your money.
There are many ways to buy a suitable device without going over your budget:
- First, knowing your needs and budget, you can compare different models with the same specs and pick something cheaper.
- Alternatively, you can hunt for student, seasonal, and other discounts that would let you reduce the price or shop for used gadgets instead.
- Finally, if you still have your old computer, it’s never a bad idea to sell it and add the money you get from it to your budget for a new gadget.
As a student in the 21st century, there is absolutely no way you can survive through college without some technology. A laptop is a powerful tool that will help you simplify many daily tasks and study effectively. So each of you needs one.
However, when it comes to shopping for it, it gets tricky. There are so many options out there that deciding on the best one for you can be challenging. But hopefully, this guide will help you get on the right track!
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