How to choose a laptop for a student?
Choosing the right laptop for the student is an important step in which it is necessary to clarify how the computer will be used. It primarily depends on which school and class the student attends, in addition, it is necessary to consider the necessary performance, battery life or portability. Of course, the price is also an important criterion, but the “lifespan” of the laptop should also be reflected in it. It is definitely not worth saving so that you are forced to repeat the investment within a year or two.
When buying a laptop (not only) for a student, if possible, avoid visiting the stone shop of the local electrician. In practically all cases, the staff will not recommend a laptop that is best for you, but a computer from the brand it works with, and you will get “little music for a lot of money”. In this article, we will discuss all aspects and go through the tips on the best laptops for students.
Size and portability
Start by choosing a laptop size. In most cases, the student will carry a laptop with him at all times and this must be taken into account. The laptop should be as light as possible. In addition, the size of the display must be considered. The lighter the laptop, the usually smaller, but the student may not work well on a small display.
Laptops with large screens are in most cases unnecessary, take up a lot of space and are heavy. As for the ideal diagonal, we recommend a display ranging from 13 to a maximum of 15.6 inches . This selection will ensure a good ratio between the weight of the device and a sufficiently large screen. On the other hand, you should not completely prefer weight over performance or processing.
The last thing the student wants to solve is constantly charging the laptop. Currently, most laptops last at least a few hours on a single charge. But there are also laptops that prefer performance – and that’s where it can often squeeze the battery. In general, it is ideal for a student that his laptop lasts at least 8 hours on a single charge . You should not fall below this value when selecting.
Another parameter you should consider when choosing a laptop for a student is storage. Nowadays, SSD storage is practically the standard, which is significantly faster than conventional HDD. On the other hand, it is more expensive, which is offset by its smaller capacity for cheaper devices. So try to avoid the classic HDD nowadays .
In terms of storage capacity, the SSD should be at least 256 GB . The capacity depends on how much data the student needs to store – if he is modest in data, even 128 GB will suffice, but demanding individuals will appreciate at least 512 GB. High capacity requirements are now partially reduced due to online cloud services. A possible solution to the lack of space is also to purchase an external disk .
What is addressed with virtually every computer is its performance. Of course, the higher the performance of a computer, the more expensive it is. However, if you are careful, you are able to come across computers that offer the perfect price-performance ratio. But it is necessary to think about how a capable machine a student really needs. If it only uses it to solve simple tasks, it is not the primary criterion and pay attention to a fast disk.
The heart of every laptop is the processor. There are computers on the market that have processors from Intel, AMD and Apple Silicon. For a processor, you are mainly interested in the number of cores and the clock frequency. It is these two values that indicate how many tasks the processor is able to perform in one second. Ordinary students will easily need machines with two or four cores. If a student needs a more powerful machine, think of at least four cores , ideally at least six.
In addition to the processor, RAM is also important. The data currently being processed is stored in this memory. The larger the operating memory, the more things the user can do at once. Thanks to operational memory, for example, a computer can work with many open panels in the browser and with several applications or various projects. RAM requirements have increased significantly recently, and when buying a laptop you should reach for one that has at least 4 GB of RAM. If your finances allow, definitely reach for 8 GB of RAM. For a student computer, RAM is as essential as an SSD.
The graphics card is also performance related. Most cheaper laptops have an integrated graphics accelerator (GPU). This means that the graphics computing power is part of the main processor. Some more powerful machines then offer a discrete GPU, ie an accelerator that is not part of the processor, but is separate. However, an ordinary student will rather not use it, ie if he does not go to such a school, where he works with graphics or videos. Of course, a discreet GPU will also help you play games, anyway, it now offers great performance and internal accelerators.
Many people came to the presence (and usability) of the front camera on a laptop only “thanks” to COVID-19. You can “meet” with colleagues or students online. And so that other participants can see you well, the camera resolution should not fall below 720p, then 1080p is ideal.
The last point you should be interested in when buying a laptop for a student is the operating system used. Currently, the most common laptops are Windows and macOS. You can’t step aside with either of them, in any case both systems have their pros and cons. In this case, Windows is a classic that will satisfy absolutely everyone. It is the most widespread computer system in the world. The macOS operating system is then recommended for those users who already own or plan to purchase other products from Apple, such as the iPhone or iPad. The vast majority of programs today are available on both Windows and macOS, so you won’t be deprived in either case.
What to watch out for?
What should you pay the most attention to when buying? I have already mentioned – it is essential for student computers to have an SSD, and not an ordinary and now obsolete HDD. The storage should then be seconded by a sufficiently large operating memory , thanks to which the student will be able to work on several tasks at once. If possible, try to choose the perfect laptop for the student from a comfortable home over the Internet. This reduces the likelihood that someone will try to sell you an inefficient “scumbag.”