While there is no shortage of laptops for college students, choosing the right one can sometimes be a task in itself. The different screen sizes, hardware options and other technologies can make the decision difficult if you are not sure of exactly what you will need. There is a very thin line between a laptop and tablet which further ads to the confusion. Here are a few tips to help you choose a good laptop if you are a student.
Pick the right screen size
15-inch laptops are the cheapest. But these laptops are a bit bulky and also have a shorter battery life. 14-inch laptops offer a perfect balance between screen size and portability. These laptops generally weigh less than 5 pounds. If you plan to use the laptop only at home, a 15-inch laptop will do. However, you plan carrying it around throughout the day, a 14-inch laptop would be a wise choice.
A closer look at the specs
What is inside the laptop matters the most and a deeper look at the specs will give you all information you need. Some of the important components are CPU, RAM, and graphics card.
You should look to buy a laptop with the latest CPU, such as processors based on Intel’s Haswell architecture. Haswell processors offer better battery life and also offer good graphics performance. If you have a lower budget, you can consider laptops with Intel’s 3rd generation processor or Ivy Bridge processors. A Laptop with an AMD processor is equally good. The AMD A series of processor offers better performance than E series processors that are generally fitted in entry level laptops.
The latest Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 have a heavy graphic environment, so it is better if the laptop has an in-built or discrete graphics chip included. Look for nothing less than 4 GB memory. If the laptop has 64 bit OS, you can look for laptops with at least 6GB – 8GB of memory.
At least 5.5 hours battery life
The laptop usage hours depend on the capacity of the battery installed. There are 3 types of laptop batteries:
- 4 –cell,
- 6 cell, and
The 9-cell offers the highest battery backup while the 4 cell offers the lowest. Go for a laptop with 6-cell battery at least. They have around 5.5 hours battery life, ensuring you wouldn’t have to search for an electric socket to charge your laptop while on the move.
Is a tablet a worthy option?
If you value battery life and portability factors the most, you can consider purchasing a tablet instead of laptop. However, using a tablet for documenting work, among several other things, may not prove so easy, especially if you are accustomed to using a laptop’s keypad for typing.
Ultimately, the decision to go for a laptop or a tablet depends on your comfort and the intended use of the device