When setting off to college, you need to ensure that you are well-equipped with everything you need to get through this new chapter of your life with ease. Among all the different supplies and tools that will come in handy for a modern student, a laptop is one of the most crucial. So choosing one for yourself may seem quite a daunting task.
When selecting your first laptop, there are many questions and details to consider. Getting on the right track in this matter can be tough, especially when you have never shopped for tech before. But we are here to back you up. This article is the student’s ultimate buying guide that will help you pick the best gadget to match your needs!
Define Performance Requirements First
How you are going to use your laptop will directly affect what performance requirements you should set. For a student, this device can have many applications. Traditionally, you will need it to do research, complete homework assignments, or buy essay when you lack time, access learning materials, and do other standard schooling tasks. For all these purposes, you can choose a basic model with an average CPU.
On the other hand, if you are planning to use heavy-duty video games or apps, you will want to get a computer with a top-of-the-line CPU and high performance. Be sure to consider this before you even research your options. Define how you will use your gadget and set a list of basic requirements to have a clear buying roadmap.
Decide on a Preferred Platform
Once you know the general performance requirements, you need to decide on a suitable platform as it will affect your future shopping a lot. Currently, there are quite a few platforms to choose from. Namely, the most trending ones are Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS.
In order to make a wise pick, carefully research the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. Also, consider the model line and price ranges for all types of OS. And finally, keep in mind the apps, games, and tools you plan to use. Not all apps might be compatible with all platforms. So if you have some specific tools that you will need to have on your computer, you should check their compatibility with different platforms before choosing one.
Pick the Perfect Design and Size
The next crucial thing to decide on is the form factor and the size of your device. That’s where the choice gets down solely to your own preferences. These days, manufacturers launch their laptop models in many different sizes, screen dimensions, and formats. There are gadgets that are super lightweight and thin for users who seek portability. Also, there are larger screens and heavier laptops that offer greater power for gamers and users who use heavy-duty software. The choice is yours.
All in all, if there is nothing specific you require from your device, we recommend students choose lighter and more compact models. This way, you will be able to carry your laptop with you for classes easily. This will also come in handy if you live in a dorm and need to go to a library, café, or other spaces for your study sessions.
Apart from the size, pay attention to different designs. Today, you can choose a surface, touchscreen, or flexible laptop. The options are pretty broad, so be sure to do lots of research to decide what suits you best.
Pay a Lot of Attention to the Battery Life
If you are shopping for a large, high-performing computer, chances are that you will be only using it on a desk. In this case, you don’t have to worry about battery life a lot. However, if you seek portability, this indicator should be one of the most important ones for you.
As a student, you should be looking for a gadget that can easily last throughout the day. Ideally, you should opt for at least 7 hours of endurance. Such a device will let you use your laptop for studies, and rest assured that it won’t die while you’re in a classroom.
Pro tip! Every manufacturer provides information on the expected battery life for their devices. You can check out this info. But never take it for granted. In order to learn the real battery performance of a particular model, you should read objective third-party reviews. Ideally, look for student reviews.
Plan Your Budget
By this point, you should have a clear understanding of what kind of computer you are searching for. That’s when it’s time to consider the cost.
With so many laptop manufacturers and models existing today, we can confidently say that there are options to suit every budget, even a student’s. So take some time to identify your budget first and then monitor the market to figure out what you can afford with your budget. At this point, you should really mind the brand. Some manufacturers might be too hard to afford on a tight budget. At the same time, nearly every brand has many cheaper alternatives that might also match your needs just fine.
Also, don’t neglect sales and discounts. If you don’t need to make a purchase right now, you might want to wait for the right deal to come along your way. This way, you will be able to get a better option at the best cost. And don’t discharge the opportunity to buy used gadgets. If you are shopping for a very expensive model that you can’t afford at the full price, buying used might be the answer.
The Bottom Line
Buying your first laptop for college is, of course, exciting. But, at the same time, it’s very responsible as this is the gadget you will rely on the most in your studies and everyday life.
Luckily, now you have a step-by-step guide that you can use to make a choice simpler. Follow the steps and tips from this article to get yourself the best laptop that will fully satisfy your needs and requirements.