A lot of factors play out when it comes to buying a laptop for your college use. Notably, you want to get your hands on the best machine without spending all your pocket money. Even if your parents are footing the cost, one can always do with a budget cut as a student. How to balance between the best specs and the best price is the hassle. What features to look for, what model to go for, what amount to part with – these questions can be troubling.

This article helps make it less so. Here are the five considerations that should help you get a laptop that’s both fabulous and functional for your college needs.

First things first, start with your needs

Let’s face it, students have exacting needs, and preferences are such a big deal when you’re in a campus. Anything that doesn’t look so appealing can be an esteem killer. Nonetheless, it’s important to look more at your practical needs than merely what you prefer to have. Think about how you’ll use the laptop. These should beckon you to the ideal choice of laptop for you.

Normally the kind of programs you’ll need to run on the computer will determine your choice of operating system. Art or engineering students may have specific operating system requirements and chances are that your department will have a recommendation if you’re taking any of these courses. OS, in turn, determines the type of computer it can be run on – hence the kind of computer you can buy.

Portability

Most students move around with their laptops a lot. Normally you have to carry your laptop to class most days of the week, most times of the day sometimes. As such, weight matters. Go lightweight with a modest size – it will be more portable and carrying your backpack won’t feel like child labor. Buy a PC that weighs about 4 pounds. The display size should be anywhere from 12 to 14 inches. The 11-inch display is a good choice for younger schoolers, but less so for older students. The typing space may be a bit restricting.

Specifications

Other than the hardware components, it’s even more important to pay attention to the internal features of your laptop. How much storage will you need? What is the processing speed of the machine? How much RAM (random access memory) will you require?

A laptop with a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 CPU will be speedy enough for most college needs. In terms of storage, don’t simply look at the size, opt instead for a solid-state drive (SSD) – it will make even a low-end laptop run much faster. An SSD also helps extend battery life because it consumes less power. A 256GB SSD, 4 to 8GB RAM, plus a sharp 1080p display should be great.

Durability

This is a no-brainer. Ideally, you want a laptop that’s not going to be obsolete in 2 years. College usually lasts about four years. It’s best to buy a laptop that’s going to serve you for the entire duration of your stay in campus. It can be much costly for a student to have to replace a laptop midway through campus, or more times than one.

Battery life

A typical school day has lots of class work; you often get very little time to recharge your laptop. It’s best therefore to have a laptop that can store power ideally for between 6 to 10 hours before it needs a recharge. There’s a huge variety of laptops with longer battery life best for use in college in the market.

Examples

ASUS ZenBook 3 UX390UA

Laptops with chassis made of aluminum metals such as ASUS ZenBook 3 UX390UA are by far the best preference since they are both lightweight and robust. Alternatively, you could go for carbon fiber or magnesium alloy, but definitely not pure plastic for chassis if you’re looking for a durable computer. Of course, you’ll fork out more cash off the bat, but you’ll be thankful in the long run. Such laptops can withstand most of the spontaneous moments that are characteristic or school life.

Asus ZenBook UX330UA

At 2.7 pounds, this Asus ZenBook UX330UA is lightweight enough to carry around campus, durable with ample typing space; but most importantly, lasts more than 10 hours with a charge so you can be sure to do all your stuff of the day before you need a recharge.

Ultimately, don’t forget to check the warranty of your machine – at least one-year warranty period should do for your college laptop.

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