One of the most important time of the year is the ‘back to school’ time. With all sorts of needs flooding your brain, an essential part of school work is your personal computer. Running your fingers along the spines of laptops sitting neatly on display counters in shops, you can’t help but think which one is the best to buy? Should I buy the bigger one? The faster one? The good-looking one? Or the latest one?
These questions may shatter the calm of your brain but have no fear, for we have some amazing news here. Everything you need to know about your laptop is only a few clicks away, wait – not even clicks, just scroll down and we assure you it’ll be all you need and your next station wouldn’t be another webpage but your nearest electronics shop.
The following are a few key aspects to consider before you buy yourself the perfect laptop that will fulfill all your school needs;
Brainstorm your Needs and Interests
Once you’ve decided which specs are crucial for your field of studies, you can expand your choices and make it flexible around your needs and interests. After all, work is not the only thing you need a laptop for.
There are a plethora of things you’d want your laptop to do for you but it all comes down to your priority list. Are you a gamer or a binge movie person? Do you fancy a particular laptop brand? Is MacBook the apple of your eye or would Windows cater to your needs better? Well here’s a tip; pay heed to both college recommendations and personal preference. In the end, you are the user and you get to have the final word on the matter.
Apple laptops will give you an edge when it comes to quality and with using certain software. Nevertheless, Windows has the throne when it comes to flexibility and diversity of options. However, incompatibility is a thing of the past now and with the availability of an array of applications, I must say it mostly comes down to what you prefer more.
Collaborate With Your Campus IT Department for Help
After you’ve listed down your needs as well as preferences, a little help from your campus IT department will clear any doubts regarding what you should expect to do with your laptop during the course of your studies. While the prettier laptop may seem more appealing, it may not be the useful one for you at all. The IT Department can list down the specifications necessary for your course and then you can decide which laptop fulfills the criteria. You mustn’t forget the department criterion and recommendations are basic and not necessarily your full requirements, they should be used as a base and then you can update and add on your interests as well. It is always better to countercheck your shortlisted options with an experienced computer tech. Senior students who have been through the same course can also help as they know exactly what you require. This will create swaths of certainty to your interests and help you decide faster and better.
Keep Practicality in Mind
A key aspect to consider while purchasing a laptop is portability. What is the use of a laptop while excellent in performance yet so heavy that carrying it around in your bag will save you a gym fee? You don’t want a laptop that is too big to carry or too small to manage your work in.
The perfect size differs for different individuals. A bigger laptop is a viable option if your work doesn’t require carrying your laptop around a lot. Such a laptop can be great for a weekend binge of movies. On the other hand, a small 11’ laptop would be perfect to slip into your bag-pack for everyday use. So it all comes down to how you are going to use your device. Just keep practicality in mind.
Battery Life is an Essential Component
You don’t want to run out of battery in the middle of a presentation but you should keep in mind that batteries add to the weight of the laptop so choose wisely. Furthermore, estimated battery life is written in the manual but internet websites and reviews like PCMag and Cnet running real-life tests on the laptops give you a better clue as to which laptop to buy. Fancy laptops laced with high tech applications and brighter displays are battery monsters – beware of the beauty trap.
Make sure you take into account other factors like the storage space. Are you a photographer? Or the clean sweep type? How much laptop storage you need revolves around your hobbies and habits. You may also want to look at the graphics if gaming is on the list. Purchasing a gaming laptop will burden your wallet as it is both expensive and heavy but you can always go for laptops with better graphics and SSD’s and check how the models you like perform on the games that you play.
All that said, you should only go for what suits your convenience, comfort, and requirements. Therefore, a quality check is not only essential but crucial to saving you the hassle of buying another laptop in a short span of time. Have a good look at all the specifications, the hardware and software, the hinges and how it feels to use the device. Would you rather wrestle your fingers with the keyboard or glide them past smoothly without trouble?
You should spend on something that will truly put you at ease as well as give you pleasure and meet all your requirements. You also don’t want to miss out on important deals and discounts. Take optimum advantage of student discounts and seasonal savings, save money for later use. These may seem like a lot of details but when you are investing in a device you will be working with the most during your school year, details are all that is to the deal.
Looking at the above list, it seems like it’s better to have two devices and split the tasks between them than having all your demands met on one laptop. Truth be told, having a laptop that absolutely meets all your requirements is pretty difficult to find. Even if you do find such a device, it is going to be a big dent in your wallet.
If you can afford it though and cannot find one device that does it all, maybe consider buying two separate devices, one for home use and one for carrying around. The home-use one can have better graphics and bigger and brighter display while the one you need to carry around can be lightweight, portable and have a great battery life.
So take your time once and you’ll thank yourself later for all the initial effort you put into the decision of buying your laptop. In today’s modus vivendi, a good laptop will solve most of your problems and come to your rescue whenever you’re in need, whether it is work or a gaming session with a friend for some time-out. A good laptop will be your best friend. Choose wisely.