Blog: Laptop Buying Guide for College
By Jeffrey Fernandez
Jeffrey Fernandez is currently a senior at Florida International University. He is seeking two majors. The first is a Bachelor’s in English, with an emphasis in creative non-fiction writing, the other degree is Digital Media Studies.
Whether it’s your first year of college or the last, being prepared is always pertinent to having a smooth year. One of the most important items a college student should look into is purchasing a laptop. This buying guide will cover the basic and essential qualities for college students who are in the market for a new laptop.
Considering that college students are always on the go, portability is a huge factor when looking to buy a laptop. If the main purpose of your new PC will be to sit on the desk in your dorm, then a laptop with a 17 inch screen or larger would be best. However, if you plan on carrying your laptop around to and from class, then 13 inches or below may be more convenient and less of a hassle to carry around.
When thinking about how portable you want your laptop to be, you should also focus on what the primary functions of the computer will be. Understanding how you plan on using the laptop will help narrow down what kind of specifications you should look for.
For example, if you’re a huge multi-tasker - i.e. there are five tabs opened on your browser when you should be writing that term paper - consider looking at very fast processors. Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are best for multitasking and high speed web surfing. The Intel Core i3 processor, on the other hand, is best for users who plan on doing some light web surfer.
How fast you want your computer will be dependent on the kind of work you expect to be performing on the computer. If say you’re a student who’s into production or graphic design, you’ll probably want to look into a computer with a large memory and storage space to save those large video and photoshop files. 2GB of RAM is good for the average computer users who’ll be doing some light downloading and who may mainly be using their computer for writing papers. 4GB-8GB of RAM will be for those students who will be doing heavy downloading and saving large files.
When it comes to hard drives and storage space, it is always best to purchase a computer with plenty of space. Solid state hard drives help keep computers cool, but they tend to only come with 128GB worth of storage space.
A traditional HDD hard drive adds more heat and weight to a laptop, but they also have more storage space usually beginning at about 320GB and above.
Regardless of the brand or what the primary use of the laptop will be, it is highly recommended to put in a little extra money when buying a new laptop. It is very important to invest in a laptop that will last at least 3-4 years.
Most importantly, do your best not to abuse your laptop. Purchase good anti-virus software to keep malicious software from doing damage. Be conscious if your computer begins to overheat, which can bring down the lifespan of a laptop very quickly.
Here are some great links to other buying guides:
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