Friday, January 27, 2023

What Laptop Do I Need For College

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Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 15

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For creative work like video editing, 3D design, architecture, music production or similar disciplines, you need something a little more powerful than the average laptop for students. You need a capable processor, a powerful GPU to handle all the 3D calculations, and a gorgeous, high-resolution display to show it all on. Or how about two of them?

The Asus Pro Duo 15 features not just one gorgeous OLED display, but two, giving you some of the best color clarity and contrast of any laptop out there, whilst also opening up the potential for heaps of touchscreen controls, right at your fingertips. To power this bevy of pixels, it comes equipped with a top-tier 10th-generation Intel CPU, and pairs it with an Nvidia RTX 3070.

The GPU there is monstrously powerful, and though the CPU isn’t quite cutting edge, it has eight cores with 16 threads and more than enough thermal headroom to maintain a high clock speed whatever task you throw at it. This is a stunning laptop no matter what you want to do with it, but the second screen gives it some amazing touchscreen options for artists, designers and editors alike.

What Screen Resolution Do I Need In A Laptop For College

There’s a school of thought that says you should go for the highest resolution you can afford, although the benefits of that aren’t always obvious. We will say the screen is the one thing you’ll be staring at day in and day out, so it definitely pays to spend the time finding the best option. We recommend 1080p in the vast majority of cases, but manufacturers can hang a very high cost on upgrading the screen, so you’re going to have to adapt to what’s on offer and weigh up where your money should go.

Once again it depends on what you’re planning on doing with the laptop. At the budget end of the spectrum the most common screen resolution is 1366 x 768, which, depending on the size of the system, isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. Such a resolution is fine for most word processing, browsing and the vast majority of normal work, although spreadsheets can feel a bit cramped. Media editing isn’t going to be optimal eitheryou want to see as much as possible in such instances.

If you’re looking to game or stream the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, then you’ll benefit from a 1080p, or Full HD, screen too. Basically a 1080p screen offers up the best versatility, for work and play, and probably is worth upgrading to if your budget can cope.

There are cases where the 4K argument can be made, especially for media editing for example, but for the vast majority of systems 1080p should be enough.

Hp Spectre X360 13 Audio

Not even the Spectre x360’s dual bottom-firing speakers could prevent me from rocking my head to Dayglow’s groovy retro jam “Close To You.” But let’s be clear, these aren’t the best-sounding speakers, even with luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen doing the tuning. They sound fine, with a decent punch on the low end but the midrange lacks depth, making my alternative and indie playlists sound flat. It’s worth noting that the Spectre x360 14 has a quad-speaker setup capable of more sonic oomph than what you get with this 13-inch model.

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Choose The One That Is Portable

After choosing the hardware specifications for your laptop, there are other elements that you cant ignore, such as design, size, weight and the display size. If you are going to carry your laptop daily to college and back, look for a lightweight laptop. If you stay in a hostel, and its a full-time machine youre using, a larger screen size might be recommended. Its also useful for watching movies, playing games with your friends, reading notes and creating presentations. A larger screen size also means a wider keyboard, which is more ergonomic.

What Essential Supplies Do You Need For Online College Courses List Of The 10 Most Important Tools For E

The 5 Best Laptops for College Students

It was not long ago when physical attendance was a prerequisite for all college classes. Almost overnight the advancement in computer technology and the internet changed all that. It is now possible to enroll in online undergraduate and graduate courses, and all the classes will be conducted strictly online. This article will not tackle the merits of online schooling, but we list the basic tools for e-learning students.

The must-haves for online college includes much familiar equipment and some you might not have considered. The list of equipment required for online classes is not set in stone, but few of the items you cannot do without.

Basic Tools for E-Learning Students

1 Desktop Computer or Laptop

Just like you cannot build a house without a foundation, you need a computing device to be able to register and take classes online. Luckily, the price of the latest desktops are dropping and most will come with robust internal operating systems to make attending online college as seamless as possible.

If you hate getting stuck at home while taking college classes online you might consider investing in a well-made laptop computer. A portable laptop gives the student the ability to partake in online college classes just about anywhere as long as reliable Wi-Fi connection is present.

2 Computer Accessories

A Keyboard

B Mouse

C Headphones and Microphone

D Web-Camera

E Flash Drive

F Printer

3 Reliable Internet Connection

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Hp Spectre X360 13 Price And Configurations

With a starting price of $899, the HP Spectre x360 13 comes in at $100 less than most competitors in this category, including the MacBook Air. The base 1080p model comes with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Our $1,199 review unit comes with a 13.3-inch, 1080p touchscreen display with a Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. From there, you can pay an extra $60 for the 1080p Sure View privacy screen or another $180 for the OLED panel.

Storage upgrades cost $70 extra to go from 256GB to 512GB or double the amount to get to 1TB. You will pay a reasonable $1,269 for a model with a 13.3-inch, 1080p display, a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Things get expensive when you spend an extra $200 for a 2TB SSD.

Hp Spectre X360 13 Design

Striking and sturdy, the Spectre x360 13 stands at the peak of laptop design.

I’d usually roll my eyes at the fancy words HP uses to describe the Spectre, like “chamfered” and “beveled.” In this case, however, it’s as if the company handed an aluminum slab to a master gem cutter and told them to use their finest techniques.

Where laptops like the MacBook Air or Surface Laptop 4 are slab-shaped with rounded corners, the Spectre x360 has diamond-cut edges and aggressive angles. These bold design elements give the Spectre a luxurious, attention-grabbing form. If the silver Spectre isn’t showy enough, HP offers a stealthy Nightfall Black version or, my personal favorite, the cerulean Poseidon Blue color variant.

More compact than before, at 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches and 2.8 pounds, the Spectre x360 13 now has a genuine edge-to-edge display with barely-there bezels. The XPS 13 remains the king of compact while the MacBook Air is in need of a redesign. For comparison, the Spectre x360 14 comes in at 11.8 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches and 3 pounds.

Flexible dual hinges allow the Spectre x360 13, a 2-in-1 laptop, to convert from a laptop into a tablet. They are stiff enough to prevent the screen from wobbling when you tap on the glass, yet flipping the panel around to transition into tent or tablet mode doesn’t require much force. It strikes the right balance between sturdy and practical.

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Top Things You Need In A Laptop

A processor controls how fast a computer runs programs or completes tasks. While a faster processing speed may raise the price of a laptop, it also makes them more efficient.

The processor is one of several specifications and components to consider when buying a laptop. You should also consider types of ports, RAM , and screen size. Some choices such as wanting a bigger screen come down to personal preference.

If you’re not sure what you need, contact the IT department at your school for advice.

Your laptop needs to be adaptable for outside applications. For instance, are popular computers for students because they’re cheap, efficient, and easy to use, but they come with a downside.

Chromebooks can’t install software that isn’t available on Google’s online store, including programs like Microsoft Word, which is a problem if your college requires students to download specific applications. Make sure your university’s remote learning platform is web-based before committing to a Chromebook.

There’s no shortage of debate about whether Windows laptops are better than macOS laptops, or vice versa. Regardless of your personal preference, it may be best to check with your school for specific system requirements.

Requirements may also vary between majors. For example, a film student’s computer will need more powerful graphics capabilities than a history student’s computer. Contact your intended major to find out what systems the faculty or IT service recommend.

A Water Bottle Or Tumbler

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All that walking around campus youll be doing is bound to make you thirsty.

Get a water bottle and keep it with you, and filled, at all times. You never know how good a drink of water sounds on a hot summer day in class.

A reusable water is not only eco-friendly, but also cost effective.

One of my tips:

Keep two: one chilling in a fridge and one at school. Cause if theres something better than having water on a hot day, its having ice cold water.

Ive used Nalgene and Hydro Flask water bottles for years and I love them because they last for well, years.

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Why You Might Not Want A Macbook Air

Outdated CPU: A college freshman buying a new laptop should expect it to last at least through graduation. The MacBook Air is from early 2015 and uses an Intel 5th Generation Core Series processor, whereas, in 2017, the latest PC laptops are on a 7th-Generation Core.To be fair, if your main computer activities are surfing the web, editing documents, sending emails and updating social media, you’ll probably be able to get by with the old processor in the Air four or five years from now. But don’t expect great performance from 2022-era software.

Some PCs Offer Better Value: If you don’t have your heart set on a MacBook, you can find a more powerful PC ultraportable for around the same price as the Air. For example, the 2.68-pound Asus UX330UA costs just $699, $100 less than the best sale price for a MacBook Air, but it comes with a 1080p screen, a 256GB SSD and the latest 7th Gen Core i5 processor. The HP Spectre x360 13-inch, our favorite 2-in-1, starts at just over $1,000, and can be found on sale for under $1,000 with the new Core i5 CPU, a 256GB SSD and a touch screen.

Best For Gaming On The Side


  • 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

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How We Test Student Laptops

Laptops are very versatile and powerful tools, which means that there is a lot to consider when buying one. As such, we approach testing student laptops with this in mind, parsing down the process according to what a buyer would consider in-store.

Firstly, we evaluate the build quality and design of the system. Here we’re looking for signs of robustness and quality, as well as overall fit and finish. It is at this stage that we also evaluate the student laptop’s screen, judging its color balance, fidelity and features, such as anti-glare coatings or tiny bezels.

Next up we evaluate the student laptop purely from a hardware point of view, both on paper and in practice. So we check out its core specifications, such as processor, RAM, storage capacity and graphics chip, before benchmarking the overall package with a brace of benchmarking tools.

We then move onto the more experiential side of the reviewing process, which encompasses what the laptop’s operating system and software are like to use, as well as how it performs in the real world such as, how is the student laptop to carry around, or how well does it perform in a coffee shop.

Lastly, we take a look at any of the system’s noteworthy features, such as RGB lighting systems, mechanical keyboards, built-in webcams, touchscreens, rotating screens, stylus support, biometric sign-in options and more. We also provide a rough, real-world take on the system’s battery life at this point, too.

What Software Do I Need

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Grand Canyon University provides its students with a lot of powerful free software that otherwise would be very expensive. For instance, you do not need to worry about buying Microsoft Office Suite or MS Access SQL Server, all development tools from JetBrains, including CLion for C/C++ language development and ReSharper for code editing. You will need to download the free Adobe Acrobat DC app for your Mac because you need that software to be able to view documents like your electronic textbook.

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Hp Envy 14 Battery Life

Battery life numbers have been steadily increasing, and we’ve seen some surprising numbers, even in gaming laptops. The HP Envy 14’s performance isn’t outstanding, but it’s still commendable given its discrete GPU.

It lasted 9 hours and 51 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test, which is just short of the 10:08 premium laptop average. While the Envy beat the Dell XPS 15 and wasn’t far off the average, it was left behind by the Acer Book RS and Lenovo Yoga 9i .

Best Laptop For College

College kids are justified in spending a bit more money than other age groups. Some can expect to do some fairly demanding work. Assad Abid, an electrical engineering undergrad from Pakistan, needs to run simulation software for his assignments. Aakash Chandra, a student at New Horizon College of Engineering in India, does a lot of coding, in addition to creative work in Premiere Pro and Photoshop, and gaming. Students also noted that its worthwhile to pay for a laptop that will last for a few years after graduation. That means you wont have to worry about finding and financing your next device until youre settled into a job.

But among high-end, capable devices theres still a wide range of options. Students stressed that a college laptop should be light. Expect to bring it between classes, meals, meetings, the library, and other locations on campus. Its a boon that I can carry my laptop as well as some notebooks without feeling like Im carrying too much for six hours a day, says Haseeb Waseem, a senior at Villanova University.

The Dell XPS 13 has a variety of configurations. Students with light workloads may prefer the base model, while gamers and creatives can add a GPU.

Another universally-lauded feature: battery life. Waseem, who uses an HP Spectre, says the all-day juice gives him the flexibility to study in a bunch of different locations, and even outside.

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Best Laptop For College 2021

Find an affordable laptop for every type of student.

A laptop is a key financial investment and academic tool for college students. Ideally, the best laptop for college is the one that lasts for an entire career and has all the software needed to complete work well and on time, without hardware issues.

An entry-level laptop computer that will do the job can be had for $300, but you can get a college laptop with longer battery life, a faster solid-state drive and overall better performance for a few hundred more. With the current chip shortages, you might think it’s difficult to get your hands on a decent budget-friendly laptop for school. Luckily, it’s still possible to find laptops and two-in-ones with the latest processors from Intel and AMD. The only PCs you might have to wait for are those featuring the new powerful 11th-gen Intel Core processors that promise to increase performance in laptops for gamers. You’ll find a few models on this list with those processors, but more are expected to be available soon.

First Off: Research Your College

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The first, and most important, thing to do is check with your school for specific system requirements. They may have hard-and-fast hardware recommendations.

Some colleges and universities want their students equipped with Windows-based laptops, to cut down on software incompatibility issues or to keep technical support concentrated on one platform. Others don’t care which operating system you use, whether it’s Windows, macOS, or even Linux if you’re a hard-core type. Some institutions have onsite computer repair centers that service only laptops purchased from the university or an affiliated computer store on campus using one of these facilities, the turn-around time will be much quicker than if you were to send it overnight to the original manufacturer.

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