While face-to-face classes are slowly creeping in as a major possibility for most schools in the country, some note that laptops may be the least of what we have to think about. However, there is still the possibility of using these units even if the students are already meeting up for their lessons. After all, they still need to encode some of their requirements in school.
Online research is also important as part of a lot of subjects. This is still not to mention that they have to make sure they will connect and e-meet with their peers for collaborative projects. With these in mind, having the right laptop for your needs remains an important factor to consider when attending your classes. Below are some of the considerations you can make so it will be easier to choose if you’re still looking to buy your laptop for school. Consider this as your quick guide to buying a laptop.
As far as factors to consider are concerned, this is the most important one to think about. After all, this may be the one that will mostly limit you. Unless you have unlimited means and only have to consider the rest of the factors, ignore this part by all means as it’s not relevant to you anymore.
If you have yet to choose a laptop based on this consideration, set the price range or the exact budget available for buying a laptop. Do an online search based on this price and list down the units that you think will be useful for your learning experience. Check out the rest of the discussion below to further help you narrow down your choices.
Next to the budget, this is usually the next most important thing to consider, especially if you’re planning to buy your unit online or any circumstance that doesn’t give you the chance to see or test the laptop for yourself. Even if you have the chance to do so, there’s no telling if and when the laptop malfunctions because of a defect that will only be evident after a week or two of using the unit. Compare and contrast warranties and other after-sales services of the laptops you consider buying in the future. It’s also a prudent thing to check the reviews and see which of the laptop services providers stand out from the rest.
Operating System (OS)
You can say that the operating system is the core of each laptop. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re choosing one that will be most efficient even if you need to do a lot of school work for a certain day or week. For starters, you may choose from these three:
Each OS will have their upsides and downsides. Depending on the system you’re used to, the learning curve is also an important factor to consider, not to mention the unique features that come with each of them. Also weigh in the available operating system in relation to the specific unit you wish to purchase in case you have already chosen one or two units that’s best for you.
Are you after the functionality or the convenience of using your laptop–or maybe even both of these things? If you’re mostly required to do schoolwork that only needs light internet browsing with some typing-related tasks, you may consider the low-end to mid-end types for now and just upgrade if your budget permits. On the other hand, if you.re always on the go but you still need to use your laptop for most of your outside time (or you just want to do your schoolwork outside), a 2-in-1 unit may be the perfect match for you as they are generally small and this can easily fit inside your bag.
If you’ll be working on your laptop for long hours at a time (hello, thesis and finals), you need to have the best screen display specs as much as possible. Aside from the ease of using the laptop, it’s helpful to minimize eye strain, thus significantly reducing the risk of damaging your eyes.
When considering the storage, you have to check these two things: hard drive and random access memory (RAM). The former helps you store your school-related files while the latter aids in making space for temporary files that you need to store. Both are important so you have to carefully weigh these things and base your choice on the types of files you usually save when you do your projects. For most cases, a RAM that’s within two to four GB should be enough to tide you over. As for the hard drive, an RPM that’s more than 5000 is already enough for most types of school-related work.
This is usually directly related to the operating system of the laptop that you’re going to use for school. Somehow, it can serve as an indicator of how easily you can complete a task when it comes to loading and rendering certain functions. In this regard, Intel and AMD are two of the most common processors you can see in the market today.
The former is the more common one between the two. If you’re planning to use your laptop strictly for schoolwork (without any crazy heavy video editing or whatnot), you may go for an i3 processor. In case you’re planning to upgrade a bit or considering using it for work as well in the future, go for i5 if you have the means to get one.
The latter has a similar tiered set of modifiers when it comes to the processor. Needless to say, you should go for Ryzen 3 (quite similar to i3) if you’re after basic school work, but go for Ryzen 5 or better if you’re considering using the laptop for something apart from your usual student-related tasks.
Generally speaking, longer battery life translates to higher laptop prices. With this in mind, you need to strike a balance between getting a laptop with a decent battery life and getting a unit that you think is reasonably-priced. If you can get your hands on a unit with about three to four hours of battery life, that is already a good buy for starters. Just remember to fully charge the unit before you start using it. Keep the charger nearby as well just in case.
The Next Steps
If you’re still having a hard time choosing what type of laptop you will need for school, keep in mind that you don’t have to choose only one unit–at least for now. Rank all the aspects that you need to see in a laptop and rank them according to your needs and wants.
After that, list down all the choices you have at the time, use the guidelines above, and note their pros and cons. Next, compare your notes side by side to make it easier for you to compare what makes one better than the other–at least for your case. At this point, you should have at least reduced the choices to about two to three units.
One you’re done with that, do another round of research. Don’t just limit your research to online searches. Also make sure to ask people you know who are knowledgeable when it comes to laptops. It also never hurts to read some forum discussions to get additional insights regarding this matter.