Before heading off to college, you might be looking to upgrade your laptop. While your parents might determine the budget, only you can know the exact specifications you need.
However, the issue is that there are virtually dozens of laptop models out there – which can make it utterly confusing to find the right one.
So, we have compiled a few tips that can help students pick the right laptop that best befits their needs.
Ask Yourself These Questions
First and foremost, it is important to consider what your requirements are. This will help narrow your choices. Here are some questions that you might want to answer to:
Which field or major are you going to pursue?
Which programs or applications are required for your classes? For instance, if you are taking a design program, then you might need access to software such as AutoCAD or Maya.
What are your personal interests? Will you be playing video games on your laptop, editing videos, or simply browsing for a paper writing service?
Do you use your computer to video chat with friends or family?
Once you have identified clear answers to these questions, you will know what specifications to look for.
1. The Performance
As we noted above, how you use your laptop will determine what kind of performance you seek from your device. Heavy-duty apps such as AutoCAD, Revit, Lumiere, or Maya require a lot of horsepower from the processor as well as the RAM. In such cases, you might want to look for the latest processors and expandable RAM – which can help future-proof your devices.
On the other hand, if you are planning to use your laptop only to complete term papers, access a paper writing service, watch videos, or post to social media, then a top-of-the-line processor won’t be necessary.
2. Type of a Laptop
Gone are the days when you had to lug around thick, bulky machines for your lectures. Today, we have different types and models that can adapt to the needs of students.
These are the traditional kind of laptops that open and close. They continue to be a popular choice, especially with the integration of new features, such as touchscreens and high-resolution displays.
These are two-in-one laptops that offer the flexibility of being a PC as well as a tablet. Typically, in such devices, the keyboards are detachable, so you only need to attach them when you are going to do a lot of typing.
These kinds of laptops come with even more options. While keyboards can stay detached or attached, they can also swivel, twist and flip. In other words, you can use it as a stand while you watch videos or use it to get an essay from a paper writing service.
Clearly, there are plenty of options. That being said, when choosing the model, it would also be wise to consult the thickness of the laptop, as it can play a key role in how comfortable it is to use the device.
In addition to the form, some students might also have a preferred operating system. While some might favor the features Windows offers, others might want to use macOS.
3. Battery Life
Battery life is yet another critical concern for students. Unfortunately, you cannot always rely on what the manufacturer advertises as the maximum battery life. This is because it will ultimately depend on how you use your laptop. So, it’s best to use the manufacturer’s specification as only a guideline.
Typically, the heavier the model, the more battery it uses. Smaller laptops with low-voltage processors tend to provide better battery life. It is best to check out third-party reviews to find out more about a particular model.
Unfortunately, some of the latest laptop models do not come with different types of ports – which means that students might have to purchase external devices for connectivity. If this is your concern, you might get a clear idea of what kind of ports you need.
These are the most used and recognizable of all connectivity ports. It is easy to find laptops offering USB ports. However, some thinner models, such as the MacBook, do not provide support for USB A – which means that you will have to invest in an adapter or a separate cable.
These provide fast connection as well as transfer rates.
These ports are what allow you to directly connect your laptop to a wired network. With most of us using wifi these days, the Ethernet port is not so high in demand.
This port comes into play when you want to connect a laptop to a TV or other displays.
SD card reader
This slot is most used when transferring data from a digital camera.
Needless to say, what kind of ports you need will depend on your needs. After all, if you prefer a thinner laptop – you will have to make a compromise and settle for external adapters.
Finally, if you want to store all your files, videos, pictures, and homework from a paper writing service on your computer, then you might want to look for a drive with considerable space.
With laptops, data can be stored on a hard disk drive (HDD), a solid-state drive (SSD), or even a hybrid of the two. Laptop models these days offer storage varying from 128 GB to even 2 or 3 TBs. However, bear in mind that the higher the storage, the more the price.
Alternatively, it is also possible to choose a low-storage laptop and opt for cloud storage as long-term memory. This is, once again, a personal preference that can determine how much you end up spending on a laptop.
The Final Decision
College freshers these days are much more technically advanced than previous generations. They are used to gadgets of all varieties from a young age and even know about newer models before they hit the market.
To sum up, when choosing a laptop, it is important to consider how long you plan to use the computer, so you can invest in a model that can serve your evolving needs. You will also need to think of what you need in terms of size, weight, storage, as well as computing power.
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