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Do You Need A Laptop For College

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When Should You Not Buy A Laptop

What You Need on Your Laptop as a College Student | Top 5 Free Tools

If you want to have a laptop with the highest technology and great specs, you may want to wait until new models roll out and you can see what they have to offer. Dont jump into buying the latest models as soon as they launch so that you can make a more informed decision.

However, if you dont want to pay a fortune for the latest laptop only to see it drop in value massively, dont buy a few months before new product releases. Wait until you can take advantage of the hype that forms upon new product releases.

You may consider buying a tablet instead.

What Is The Price Range

Laptops are among those electronic devices found in a wide range of prices and qualities. You can find budget laptops with enough specs for engineering students at about $600 to more expensive ones that can cost as much as $3000.

For example, These Asus laptop for engineering students are a great choice to help you handle all your projects and any assignment thrown at you by the teachers.

What Processor Do I Need In A Laptop For College

After settling on your budget, the CPU is probably the biggest decision you’re going to have to make when figuring out what is the best laptop for college. Not too long ago this was very much a one horse race, with Intel claiming all the major design wins for its mobile chips and basically enjoying a monopoly in the laptop space. AMD’s Ryzen chips have changed that, and there’s now a real choice to be made: AMD or Intel.

If you want to pick up an AMD-powered laptop, it’s worth trying to find one packing a Ryzen 4000-series CPU, as they represent a significant leap in performance over their predecessors. Not only are these CPUs decent power houses in their own right, with plenty of cores and threads to chew through your work, but the integrated graphics they offer are actually pretty decent as welloffering at least double the performance of their Intel stablemates.

As for Intel chips, there are plenty of options out there. A confusing amount to be honest. If your needs are modest, then an Intel Pentium chip isn’t truly awful, but you do get a lot more by going up to a Core i3 chip, so that would be our lowest recommendation. From there, the more you spend, the more powerful chips become available. For normal college work you don’t really need an i5 or i7, but they can provide more raw grunt if you need it.

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Consider Your Major Before Choosing

Your major is the most important aspect when considering a laptop vs. tablet for college. If you are majoring in software engineering or design, you need a computer. Tablets arent feasible for opening untraditional files, executing a large codebase, or running heavy design software. Besides, most colleges teaching these subjects wont allow using a tablet for conducting classwork.

For language or humanitarian majors, tablets are a better option. Students in these disciplines read books, and we mean a lot of books. The majors need digital books. They will save the student money, and they are good for the environment. Tablets are also enjoyable for reading long-form text, and it is much easier to walk around campus with a tablet rather than carry a bunch of books.

For other majors, it will depend on the colleges teaching method. It is best to talk to your academic advisor or professor in charge to know any specific requirements. They may require you to use collaborative software or other apps needed for attending the classes, so you need to make sure your device supports these apps.

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How Much Memory Do I Need In A Laptop For College

What kind of laptop do you need for college work, really?

Regardless of what you’re using the machine for, you should see 8GB as pretty much the minimum for a Windows 10 laptop . If you can only grab 4GB that will just about work, although you will sacrifice performance and responsiveness as you’ll be caching out to the SSD/hard drive even for fairly mundane tasks. The good news is that memory pricing is in a really good place right now, which means that even on sub-$400 budget machines 8GB of RAM isn’t out of the question.

If you’re looking for a laptop for serious work, then 16GB will give you room to breath, and will also help performance. That should equate to a dual-channel memory configuration laptops are notorious for only using one stick of RAM, which hinders performanceso always try and get two sticks if possible.

One thing to note is that memory has traditionally been an area where laptop manufacturers have been able to upsell, charging $100 or so for an 8GB stick that would actually set you back just $30 if you bought and upgraded it yourself .

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Which Laptop Brand Is Best For Students

When buying a student laptop, you want a device that is well built, affordable and reliable. Students rely on their laptops, so you want to buy from a brand that offers great build quality and customer support should something go wrong. The best brands for this are Dell and HP.

However, Apple and Microsoft are also brilliant brands for laptops for students, as they both offer discounts for students, making their premium devices far more affordable.

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Are Chromebooks Worth Buying

Googles Chrome OS might be a better choice for any college student whose schoolwork is limited to web use and word processing. Chrome OS doesnt require performing components. Chromebooks are perfect if youre looking for a fast, affordable, and lightweight laptop. You will also get excellent battery life for the money.

The Chromebooks have a leg-up on security when compared to Windows 10 and macOS machines. Thanks to regular updates, students are less likely to run into security or software problems.

Parents will find these machines more limited and less likely to tempt a college student to waste time on non-essentials tasks and software. Theres a reason why Chrome OS is increasingly popular in educational environments and why Google continues to focus on making the OS attractive to students.

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Best Budget Gaming Laptop For College


  • High-refresh display with support for AMD FreeSync
  • Potent Ryzen 4000 series processor
  • 16GB of RAM in under-$1000 test configuration
  • Good battery life and speakers
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Single-color keyboard, versus RGB keyboard of the Alpha 15
  • CPU runs hot under load
  • Can’t quite match gaming frame rates of GeForce GTX 1660 Ti notebooks

Reasons Why You Need A Laptop For College

Do you need a laptop or a tablet (or iPad) for grad school? | Grad School Tips

ByA Kurszewski | Submitted On January 26, 2010

There are many reasons to own a laptop computer, especially so for newly college bound students. For parents looking to find a perfect graduation gift for their children, a laptop computer is one of the greatest investments you can make in a student’s education. Even with the state of the economy, when budgets are tight, laptops are inexpensive and easily attainable for many families. Their portability and abundant benefits and functions are sure to be appreciated by all students.

Below are the top five reasons why a college student should own a laptop:

  • Completing Web Based Assignments:The most important reason to own a laptop is to get your school work done. In an increasingly technological age, more and more schoolwork is becoming web-based. College schedules require students to be constantly on the go, so an advantage of owning a portable computer, or a laptop, is that you can connect to the internet virtually anywhere and complete any assignments without worry. Most colleges provide free wireless internet throughout the campus making it a very laptop friendly community. Depending on certain areas of study, some majors and classes involve using computers in class and working in various computer programs.
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    What Should You Know About Buying A Laptop For College

    While getting a laptop for your college, there are some things that you have to think about before anything. You need to know about the laptop requirement for college students. You have to understand the features of laptops for students. Thats why in this part of this article, we will tell you things to consider before buying a laptop. It will help you to understand what you need to do.

    Reasons Why You Would Need A Laptop In Community College Includes:

    • For studying anytime you want, anywhere
    • For keeping all your study files where they are easily accessible
    • For privacy and security purpose
    • For carrying out your online assignment easily anywhere
    • For learning on-the-go
    • For taking notes in class
    • For studying in the library even if there are no available computers
    • For specific classes that require the use of a laptop eg. Psychology Communications classes.

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    Chromebook Vs A Laptop For College Or School

    Computers have long been a required part of every students back-to-school toolkit, and the increasing prevalence of remote learning have made them even more important.

    So as students return to school, many are considering the purchase of a new laptop. But with literally dozens of options available, its difficult to know which one is the best choice. Although Windows machines have long been the dominant players when it comes to a computer for school, in recent years Chromebooks have emerged as an education upstart.

    The critical question in the Chromebook vs. laptop debate, then, is which one is best for my needs? Should I buy a Chromebook or a Windows machine?

    As with many things, the answer is, It all depends. Who will be using the machine? Whats your budget? Will the computer be strictly for school, or do you plan to use it for other tasks as well? Those are just a few of the questions to be considered.

    Lets break down the choices:

    Best College Laptops In 2021

    Do You Need a Back

    The best college laptops for students, from budget laptops to workstations

    Included in this guide:

    MacBook Pro
    Swift 3
    ThinkPad X1 Carbon
    Pro 14-inch

    If you’re a student, you’ll want one of the best college laptops so you can ace your exams then stream TV or play games when it’s time to relax. But with so many choices at so many different prices, it can be homework in itself to find the very best laptops for students.

    When you’re buying a laptop for school, make sure it has long battery life and fast CPU performance. You can find a lot of these units on our main best laptops page, which gives you a wide selection of the top notebooks to choose from. And if you prefer to take notes by hand, buy one of the best 2-in-1 laptops. We’ve also ranked the best gaming laptops for those who like to unwind after the coursework is wrapped up. We’re still in a process of reviewing some laptops that could find their way on this list, so be sure to check back in regularly for the latest and great laptops for students.

    Whichever laptop you get, you’ll also want to pick up a few extras, such as a comfortable mouse, a well-appointed backpack, and perhaps a . Without further ado, here are the best college laptops, including some budget picks for those dreading tuition payments.

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    Internet Access And Printing Services

    Cornell has a wireless network that covers most of the campus, including AAP’s buildings, so network access is easily obtainable. Cornell also offers network-based printing services for a small fee per page. AAP has numerous Net-Print printers throughout its buildings however, printing in a student’s dorm room may require a personal printer.

    Could You Get By With A Tablet And Keyboard

    Perhaps, but ask yourself: What’s the real benefit? Most students need a keyboard for taking notes and writing papers, so do you really need one that’s removable? Are you ever going to use the screen all by itself — especially if it’s a large, unwieldy screen, like 12-13 inches? A detachable keyboard is one more thing to keep charged, one more thing to lose or accidentally leave behind in your dorm room.

    Lots of students are drawn to the 12.3-inch Microsoft Surface Pro 6, but I don’t like it. For starters, Microsoft stubbornly continues to charge extra for the keyboard instead of just bundling it. The tablet alone starts at $899 the keyboard will run you another $130. I honestly don’t see the point for the same money you can get a 13.3-inch laptop or convertible. Meanwhile, the Surface’s rear-hinge design has always made it awkward to use on your lap, and it might also be a poor fit on those little auditorium-seat desks.

    Similarly, Apple has tried to turn iPads into laptops, but once again I think it’s a foolish hybridization. If you opt for a 9.7- or 10.5-inch iPad, you’ve got a screen that may prove too cramped for comfort. A 13.3-inch iPad solves those issues, but now you’re looking at a much higher price tag — and a tablet that’s far too large to use comfortably as a tablet. Same lap/small-desk issues as the Surface, too.

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    Best Student Laptops In 202: We Select The Top 10

    No matter what you’re studying, these are the best student laptops.

    Included in this guide:

    Surface Pro 7

    If you’re looking for the best student laptops you can buy right now, then we’re here to help. On this page we’ve listed top notebooks for studying on, writing up essays or putting together presentations.

    Now is an ideal time to buy a student laptop. With many students now returning to school , while also continuing to study remotely, a new laptop can really help. The best student laptops on this page are portable enough to carry around school or campus, while offering enough power to handle writing up documents, creating presentations and even photo and video editing for people on creative courses.They also have great webcams and microphones for those students who are learning remotely.

    All the laptops on this list have been picked for students at either school, college or university and cover a range of budgets. Not only are they powerful enough to run software required for courses, they also offer slim and light designs and long battery lives that allow them to be easily carried around schools and campuses, and will last all school day on a single charge.

    For more information, jump to the what to consider when buying a student laptop section. And if you’re specifically after one of Apple’s products, check out our guide on how to get an Apple student discount. If you want some ideas on the best iMac alternatives, we’ve got you covered.

    How We Test Laptops

    Which laptop should I buy for University? | Student Tips

    We put each laptop through extensive benchmark testing both synthetic and real-world before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate each aspect of the laptop, including its performance, battery life, display, speakers and heat management.

    In our benchmark testing, we use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut of the laptop’s display. For performance testing, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 5.4 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.

    To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark with medium settings at 1080p and 4K resolution.

    We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and measuring temperatures in different areas of the laptop. Last but not least, our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. For MacBooks and premium Windows 10 laptops, a runtime of over 9 hours is considered a good result whereas gaming laptops and workstations that can stay powered for longer than 5 hours deserve praise.

    These tests are complemented with extensive hands-on testing from our reviewers who critique everything from the laptop’s materials to the feel of its touchpad.

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    Best Laptop For High School

    High schoolers laptop needs can vary based on their interests, but most dont need powerful machines with lots of bells and whistles especially if they come with glitches or serious downsides that could interfere with schoolwork. Miles Riehle, a student at Laguna Beach High School, has a high-end Surface Pro 7 but finds it overwhelming. There is so much other stuff that I dont use very often, he said. Something simpler might be a little more straightforward.

    The best operating system may depend on what your child is used to. Aryan Nambiar, a student at Barrington High School in Illinois, has an iMac at home and enjoys using an iPad for his schoolwork. Riehle says he would prefer a Chromebook because he has an Android phone and often uses Google services.

    But almost every student I spoke to agreed that the most important feature of a high school laptop is portability. Kids attending in-person classes may be carrying their device around for much of the day with a stack of other books. Look for a 13- or 14-inch screen, or a lighter 15- to 17-inch model.

    Students also recommend something sturdy. Most high schoolers Ive seen will throw their laptop in their bag without too much care, says Moses Buckwalter, a student at Penn Manor High School. Backpacks can be jostled in the hallway as well. Kids can also run into trouble at home. Anything can happen, says Aadit Agrawal, a high school student from India. My own brother scratched my laptop with his nails.

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