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Tips on Choosing Laptops for Students

by Staff Writer

Student with laptop computer

When considering laptops for students, it's good to keep in mind three main factors: size, operating system and computing power. The right laptops for students should be able to support any programs they need for school work while still being portable. A bulky and overpowered laptop does not serve an English student very well, while a student studying computer engineering will probably find it essential. Here are a few tips to help you know what to look for in laptops for students.

Choosing Laptops for Students:

  1. Maximize portability for function. Laptop computers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, all of which lend to the form factor and usability. An on-the-go student using the laptop to take notes in class has limited desk space. In this case, a smaller laptop computer is best. Laptops with screens ranging from 12 to 15 inches in size will be ideal student laptops. These computers are lightweight, easily fit on desks, have longer battery life than larger student laptop models and are easy to hold or pack away during the shuffle between classes.

  2. Choose an easy-to-use operating system that fits software requirements. The software required by different classes will not always be compatible with every operating system on every laptop. Most courses of study only require the student to use standard office software, but creative professionals, such as writers, drama majors and graphic designers, often use highly specific computer software. You can learn system requirements for needed software by checking the course syllabus or the system requirements on the software itself. The student will need to use the operating system and system requirements compatible with those programs. If possible, ask your student in advance to learn which they prefer for their laptop.

  3. Turn computing power into studying power. Very few students realistically need an extremely powerful laptop computer. While a powerful laptop with lots of RAM and a fast processor might sound appealing, they probably won't end up using all that power. Unless your student is doing 3D video rendering or computer programming, an average amount of memory and a regular processor are fine. High-end computers also have higher power consumption and need to be charged more often. If you're looking at laptops for 3D animation and computer programming students, you may want to make sure you have a fast processor and lots of RAM. As with the operating system, make sure you check the software description for system requirements as a guide to what your student's computer needs to have.

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