For those who are just starting college, a good functional laptop is a must these days. This college essentials article will help you learn how to choose a computer that meets your needs and budget to make sure that your freshman year goes smoothly.
The first thing you need to decide is what size and weight of laptop would be best for your college needs.
Most college students prefer a small, lightweight computer because it can go with them anywhere they want on campus without feeling like an inconvenience.
However, if your college requires a lot of graphic design courses or more intensive classes that require big projects then a larger screen may better meet those requirements.
Think about how much space you have in your dorm room too as that will determine whether or not you’ll even have enough space to set up something more substantial than a 15-inch laptop.
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One of the most frustrating college experiences is when you’re in class and your battery dies.
Depending on how much time you spend away from an outlet, consider a laptop with at least five hours of battery life so that it will last all day long without needing to be plugged in for recharging.
The more intensive the college classes are, the more important long battery life becomes.
If you’re not sure whether your college is going to have outlets in every classroom where you need them, consider getting an external laptop charger or power bank that can provide a backup charge on the go without carrying around another device with you all day long.
Of course, shopping for college essentials means that you need to consider your college budget as well.
There are plenty of laptops out there today for under $300 if you know where to look and many have a lot more features than previous versions even though they’re so inexpensive.
However, if money is tight then don’t expect a high-end laptop because no matter how much college essentials advice you follow it won’t matter one bit if the computer just isn’t up to par with what college requires from its students.
The golden rule here is not only affordable but also efficient when considering college needs such as battery life or processing power that will reduce hours spent looking for outlets on campus between classes each day.
Another college essential consideration is the laptop’s resolution and display.
A high-resolution screen that supports at least 1920×1080 pixels should be able to provide a sharp, clear picture whether you plan on watching movies or working with your course materials during college hours.
Consider how much space you need for spreadsheets and other projects because sometimes higher resolutions can mean smaller text which could make it difficult to work in class if your professor uploads slide without enough room between lines of text.
In college you’re going to be doing a lot of multitasking between studying, typing up papers, checking email, watching movies or TV shows for entertainment purposes and it can quickly turn into too much for your college laptop if the RAM is not sufficient.
We recommend prioritizing at least eight gigabytes worth of RAM so that programs will run smoothly without crashing constantly because there are simply too many things running in the background at once.
The processor should also have four cores even though most laptops come with dual-core processors these days as well just for good measure to make sure everything runs efficiently during those long study sessions
In college, it is very likely that you will have to take on some bulky projects such as video editing or graphic design.
Therefore, having enough disk space for those files can be important if you do not want them taking up all of your bandwidth during the semester.
Ideally, consider about 256 gigabytes worth of hard drive storage before going out shopping because more than this might simply be excess especially for college students who don’t need access to their documents at any given moment throughout campus life.
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There are many laptop deals out there today to choose from including both Windows and Mac OS.
However, it’s important to think about whether one of these is more likely to suit your needs in college before purchasing a laptop with an expensive license key included if you don’t need it at all.
For example, some students may prefer working on homework projects or studying during class time easier through Microsoft products such as Word or PowerPoint.
Others might find themselves trying to get work done while watching Netflix without needing any distractions from other applications running simultaneously alongside their main program which might be difficult with certain versions of Windows.
Your laptop’s price should fall within an affordable range for college students to purchase without breaking their budget and can be flexible as well.
Thi should depend on what bells and whistles you will need in colleges such as touchscreen support or a backlit keyboard because these features do not necessarily make it more expensive.
For laptops under $500 though, don’t expect any extra frills other than your standard hardware which is perfectly fine if all you want out of college life is simply writing papers and doing research online through Google Docs.
The best way to find the right computer that caters to college essentials like this would probably be shopping around at local stores or retailers.
Ensure that you don’t forget about your college laptop’s graphics card.
It may not be the most important thing on your list but it can still make a difference between watching movies and playing games during college hours.
Typically, this is an area where manufacturers tend to cut corners with cheaper laptops so consider how much RAM or processor speed matters more than anything else when shopping for college essentials such as these instead of finding the best graphic cards out there.
That said though, some models might offer better performance over others.
This will depend on whether you’re looking at integrated graphics (which are typically found in smaller 15-inch displays) or stronger dedicated GPUs which work well even if they end up taking away from other specs like touch screen support and a backlit keyboard.
The college laptop you select should have a good balance of these features to keep up with your schoolwork and social life without breaking the bank for all four years as well which is why finding the right price range in college essentials like this will be important before buying anything that might not live up to expectations or needs.
Although college computers might come with preinstalled programs, it’s still important to consider third-party options for college students.
Some laptops like Chromebooks can be limited in their capabilities depending on what you intend to use your new computer for during college life.
This is such as whether or not you need Microsoft Office or other software that is only compatible with PC devices which these types of laptops cannot run properly even if online versions are available through the Chrome Web Store instead.
Therefore, finding a laptop with better compatibility like many Windows models would work best here.
This is by allowing more flexibility when shopping around at local retailers first before trying anything else out.
Many college students might also require a laptop that meets certain specifications for classes such as being able to upgrade the RAM or use an external hard drive.
For instance, this is something you should keep in mind if your school requires professors to run special software on computers they’ll be using during college lectures instead of just handing out USB drives with presentations and other media files included.
It would be difficult to get by without having enough space which means finding a college essential like an extra-large SSD or HDD depending on what kinds of programs will need access to storage memory can help significantly here.
It could even mean needing more ports since some teachers may want their own computer running alongside yours at all times throughout class time too while still wanting to use their own devices as well.
Another new computer tip to keep in mind when shopping around for a new laptop is prioritizing ease of use.
Some college students might be looking at getting their first computer ever while others are simply switching from an older machine which can mean there could be some troubleshooting issues that need to have solutions provided if the transition doesn’t go as smoothly as expected instead.
This being said, it would help to choose something with more user-friendly features which make it easier for anyone regardless of age or experience level since these types of laptops tend not to come cheap either.
Since college students are still young, it’s possible that they might have no credit history or other information you can use to your advantage for college shopping.
For this reason, student bookstore discounts would work perfectly here since these types of retailers typically know how much college essentials like new laptops and tablets will cost out-of-pocket.
This is instead of marking up prices unnecessarily which is why finding a good deal on the laptop you want should be easier at local stores first before going online to find reviews about any specific model in today’s market.
One college essential that many college students might not think about is buying a used or refurbished laptop instead of going with new models.
Although it can be more difficult to find laptops for sale this way, some websites like Amazon have established their own certified pre-owned programs which will allow customers to see how much they’ll save by getting a device in good condition at the lower price point as well.
This being said, you should consider your options carefully before purchasing since these types of devices are often sold without warranties and there could be other problems associated with them as well such as outdated software or hardware instead.
Another college essential that might be worth considering when shopping for new laptops is taking full advantage of college payment plans.
Although some college students are more comfortable with paying out-of-pocket instead without worrying about any interest charges, others will find this to be the best way to make sure they get what they want right away.
This being said, if your budget is tight already then adding another bill every month could mean you end up overspending in other areas while also not getting many college essentials like extra RAM and an SSD drive.
Although college students might not be looking for new laptops right away, many brand-new models are now including the option of converting into tablets which makes them highly portable.
If your college essentials list includes needing to carry around textbooks or other heavy supplies every day then you should consider buying a laptop with this feature if possible since it can make carrying around items like digital readers easier than ever before instead.
On the other hand, some college students simply won’t need something that versatile and will want to save money by avoiding these types of features altogether while still getting all their college essentials without too much hassle online.
As you can see, there are many different factors to choosing the right laptop for college. When shopping for college essentials, make sure to follow these tips to make the best purchase.
To learn more about this subject, continue reading this blog for more helpful articles.