As the summer slowly gives way to fall, a lot of us are preparing to begin our lives as college students. Amid all the chaos and excitement, one of the most important decisions involves choosing the right laptop that suits all our needs. Since a lot of the work in college is done and submitted electronically, having a personal laptop has become an inseparable part of the college experience. The right laptop can be a big aid in doing well in college. But it can be daunting to navigate through the quagmire of options and alterations. This, with the pressure of getting it right, can often lead to wrong choices altogether. Hence, in this article, we delve into several factors that go into making a laptop well-suited for college students. Money is obviously at the top of the list. Fortunately, gone are the days when a little bit of power costs a lot of money; now you can get great performance even at reasonable prices. Here is a set of guidelines to follow in choosing a laptop that will serve you will in college:
Screen Size & Weight
Generally, the most popular screen size for laptops on the market is between 15 and 16 inches; some even come in 17-inch screens. But this doesn’t mean that screens larger than 15 inches are ideal for the average college student. An average 15-inch screen laptop weighs nearly 2.5 kgs. This, when combined with the weight of a bag full of textbooks, is bound to send you on visit to the doctor soon. Add to that the fact that desks in classrooms are usually rather small and this will indicate that the 15-inch laptop will probably not fit beside your books. Hence, for a college student, laptops with screen sizes between 11 inches and 14 inches are better choices. They are easily portable, light and also big enough for comfortable screen viewing.
Often, you might have to go for extended periods without getting to plug your laptop to a power source. For instance, there’s a good possibility that you will have some lectures that last as much as three or more hours at one go, or you may need to use your laptops in back-to-back classes. In such cases, you’ll need a laptop with an extremely reliable and long battery life. It’s very important to choose a laptop with at least four hours of battery life on a single charge. Alternatively, you can also make sure your laptop has a replaceable battery and take a spare battery with you at all times.
Reliability & Support
Laptops are flawless and problems can arise even in the best. It is therefore important to have a good support structure in place so that you get your problems fixed immediately and don’t lose efficiency. So when you buy a laptop, remember that you are also buying into a brand. You should research what the support and warranty will be like from each company. A strong manufacturer warranty and a reputation of good support are important things to consider.
College can be physically demanding on a laptop. Your laptop will likely be shut inside a tightly packed backpack, jostled around as you walk, repeatedly pulled in and out of a bag and placed on desks and more likely than not, dropped a few times. These possibilities show you that you have to choose something built durably if it is to survive the four years. While it might be tempting to save money and buy something made completely out of plastic, such cheap ones are likely to backfire. So go for features such as metallic casing or internal chassis used to make a laptop sturdier.
The number one cause of laptop failure over time is heat buildup that leads to parts getting stressed and eventually breaking. Heat is bad for a laptop and can also have long-term effects if you use it continuously by putting it in your lap! So look around extensively make sure you get a laptop that uses the latest in cooling techniques and components that use less power as that translates to less heat. A mid-range dual core mobile processor and integrated or switchable graphics are often good component choices. Getting the latest and the fastest processor and graphics card you can find might be counter-productive in this regard; they generally create a lot more heat and use a lot more power.
Modern Dual Core Processor
Processors have come a long way in recent years and the latest laptop processors from Intel and AMD are great choices. Go for Intel Core i3, Core i5 or AMD VISION branded processors. These ensure that you get the latest technology—something well suited for student needs.
Ultimately, all these guidelines are governed by once single factor—price. Just remember that you probably do not need the best processor, the biggest graphics card or the highest definition screen for college work. Fortunately, you can get most of what you need at reasonable prices and many manufacturers have special schemes for students.
Happy Blogging :)
Source: The Kathmandu Post