What a Student Needs in a Laptop

Submitted by whizkid on Fri, 10/29/2010 - 10:57 in

Owning a computer is virtually a necessity for college students today. Laptop computers are becoming the norm, since most of them have all of the same features as a desktop computer, with the added convenience of portability. There is a wide range of stylish options available, depending on one’s budget. Yet even the most advanced machines are becoming more reasonable in price, so shopping around and comparing brands can help the savvy consumer choose the perfect student laptop.

Laptop ComputerMany students find that a basic netbook can meet their computing needs. The ultimate in portability, it can perform word processing, as well as provide access to email and the Internet. This can be helpful for students taking classes that require online access. 

At a minimum, most students need a computer to create documents, whether they are written essays, statistical spreadsheets, or study notes. Many students prefer using their laptops instead of a pen and paper for taking notes in class. A basic laptop will have a package installed to create and store documents. For those who are willing to spend a bit more, there are combination laptop/Tablet PC styles for writing on the screen. Some are also touch sensitive, and someone can use his fingers to open applications right on the screen.

Today’s laptops can be customized for anyone’s needs. Some people choose a larger screen size and higher resolution for playing videos and other media. Those who work at different locations might also want a machine with a long battery life and wireless capabilities. A powerful processor and sufficient memory are usually considered important, as well. Furthermore, portability and size are usually important to students who have to carry a laptop in addition to their textbooks and other school supplies.

For education and entertainment purposes, many students like features such as a DVD or Blu-Ray drive. These days, people do not need to own a television or go to the cinema if they can watch TV shows and movies on their laptops instead. A built-in webcam, now standard on many laptops, can also be a great option for students. There are a number of available keyboard features, as well, such as number pads for easy calculations.

If you are thinking of buying a used laptop, do your homework and find a reputable seller. Many used laptops are offered on sites such as eBay and Craigslist. Prospective buyers should check out the products in person, if possible, before paying for them. Since a used laptop might end up needing costly repairs, it is often worth the peace of mind to purchase a new one. Most of today’s top laptops are competitively priced and include warranties.

Finally, it can be informative to research different laptop models by reading consumer reviews and product guides. Then, one can shop around to compare prices. When estimating your budget, it might help to factor in peripherals and accessories, such as a carrying case or bag, a lap desk for working at home, or an external mouse.

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