Buying a student laptop is a tough task, make it easier by following these tips and tricks
With summer holidays coming to a close, the realisation of walking back into the classroom hits hard and an early anticipation of truckloads of homework creeps in. With it surfaces the need of the latest back to school tech. From ultrabooks to chromebooks and tablets to 2-in-1 laptops, the choices are limitless. If you are a college student, buying a laptop could feel like a drill. There are numerous factors to consider and multiple aspects to keep in mind. How much horsepower do you need? Do you want a device to get you through assignments? Do you want to download or stream movies? Do you also want to edit media or play games? Do you want to push adobe applications to the limit? Deciding on a machine really depends on the nature of your work and the purpose you want to use it for.
There are a bunch of things you should consider when buying a student laptop such as the use, features, portability and more. Scroll down to know the tips and tricks to help you find the best student laptops:
Portables are the best study buddies
Gone are the days when thin laptops and notebooks at affordable prices were a rarity. Because now every renowned computer manufacturer is producing sleek and smart portable devices to suit every budget. When you’re running around the campus all day, hauling a laptop weighing over 5 pounds is bound to be a nightmare. Similarly, devices with larger screen size, say, 15” or more will have trouble fitting into your backpack. Your best bet is a slender design with about 13” screen that weighs less than 3 pounds. Also, make sure it is powered by Intel’s 8th generation CPU and supports at least 8GB RAM to easily cater to all your tech needs either academic or otherwise.
Asus Zenbook S running on 8th generation Intel Core i5 and boasting an 8GB RAM is designed for comfort and portability. With a featherweight design and powerful performance, it is the ultimate study buddy you deserve. The cherry on top is the NVIDIA’s MX150 graphics card that will also let you have an immersive gaming experience if you’re into that. Apple’s MacBook Pro is another noteworthy option with its razor-thin design and incredible power.
Consider the curriculum
Student laptops do not follow the mantra of one size fits all. Depending on degree programs, different students have different computing needs. If you are a finance major or enrolled in any other such subject, you might just be fine with an inexpensive notebook that is efficient at word processing, emailing, streaming media, browsing web and getting through a basic task list. Ideally, a Chromebook that runs everything in cloud and boots up instantly avoiding the hassles of a Windows-bases laptop, would be perfect for seeing you through tasks as basic as making class reports.
However, if you are pursuing a graphic intensive study that includes 3D modelling, video editing, and digital drawings and requires you to run heavy programs, a mediocre machine will not suffice. Running a whole adobe creative suite demands a solid laptop equipped with a powerful processor, ideally an 8th generation Intel Core, 16GB RAM and a discrete graphics card to get you through the trials and tribulations of a creative process.
HP ZBook x2 G4 runs on Intel Core i7 processor and offers incredible speed, responsiveness, accuracy and mobility. This powerful detachable PC will be the best companion to translate your vision into your reality if you’re a student of the creative studies. However, if you want basic operations with cloud-based storage, in a budget, then the Lenovo 500e Chromebook, with only 11” screen size and convertible design will be your best bet.
Speed over storage
The belief of buying the largest hard drive has been long forgotten. Smart users these days prefer speed over size. Keeping this in mind, a hard drive of 1TB should be dropped in favour of a smaller-capacity solid-state drive (SSD). A solid-state drive even when at smaller capacity will make an inexpensive laptop run faster while also helping to extend battery life.
In today’s cloud-powered world, everything from assignments and reports to photos and other media are stored either on Google Drive or Office Online. Downloading media is a thing of the past. Most students stream their favourite shows or movies on Netflix while music is being streamed on Spotify. This, in turn, reduces the need to have tons of local storage space in devices. If the cloud is something you’re a fan of, consider HP Chromebook 11 G5 for your next student laptop. Durable, powerful and integrated with educational tools, this lightweight design will get you through your homework smoothly.
Battery is your beau
While you’re moving in and out of lectures, you want your device to stay alive. Between taking notes, writing reports and researching complex terms the last thing you want to worry about is having to plug it in. An old solution to this problem was carrying charged batteries and swapping them up without having your device power down. However, laptops with removable batteries are becoming uncommon and already seem like an ancient concept. Your best bet at a smooth computing experience is investing in a laptop with a battery that lasts at least up to 9 hours or more.
Lenovo ThinkPad X380 Yoga is a powerful device that offers 13 hours of battery life. However, if you don’t want to spend a massive amount of money, ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA is your best bet at a device with an excellent battery life that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Stick to your budget
While buying a student laptop, you might feel tempted to spend extra on a shiny new device to show off to your buddies. However, keeping in mind a realistic budget and sticking to it will save you from the regretful stress after spending a lofty amount on a device you didn’t need. If you’re looking for a laptop that offers standard productivity and smoothly performs all the basic operations such as running the Microsoft Suite, streaming media and surfing the web, you should be considering a price range of £500 – £600 and religiously sticking to it. For your basic computing needs, investing in a premium device with premium accouterments simply because you fancy it, won’t be the smartest decision.
A satisfied purchase calls for certain things to be followed religiously, especially if you’re investing in a student laptop. Stay tuned for more tech insights and updates to assist you to make empowered purchase decisions.