Quick Back-to-School Laptop Buying Guide

The days of using three-ringlaptop binders or spiral notebooks to keep up with coursework are fast disappearing, and it seems that students of all ages consider a laptop a necessity for school. With the different kinds of portable computers on the market, it can be a bit confusing when trying to choose the right one for student needs. Here are some quick tips to make choosing one a little easier:

Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

Students need a laptop they can use anywhere, so you want a unit that is lightweight and is also large enough to use instead of just squint at. PCs or notebooks that are between 11 and 14 inches are usually sufficient for students because they are small enough to tote under the arm or in a backpack, but still have a screen and keyboard that is easy on the eyes and fingers.


Meets These Minimum Specifications

To ensure the laptop you buy now will still be usable next year or later, it should meet some minimum requirements. WiFi capability is essential to conduct research online or exchange emails, but it should also possess an Intel Core i3 or higher, at least 6GB of RAM, and a hard drive with a minimum of 500GB of storage to keep notes, essays, and projects.


Choose the Right Operating System

Different operating systems fit different types of users. Windows is by far the most popular choice due to its ease of use, which positively impacts productivity. For Apple  users, a laptop with OS X may be better in order to switch between the devices. Also, Chromebook’s variety of apps appeal to younger students.


Acceptable Battery Life

While a laptop doesn’t need to be able to run for days at a time without an outlet, it should have a battery with sufficient life to last a day of classes without recharging. After all, there’s not always time to rush back to the dorm when a plug-in isn’t near, and it’s cumbersome to lug a power cord around. Six hours of battery life is usually sufficient to meet that need.