Choosing a College Laptop
Unless you're tech-savvy, you probably have a lot of questions about how to choose a laptop for college. It can be a long and difficult process: there is confusing terminology, a multitude of brand names (HP, Mac, Dell, etc.), and thousands of choices. How can you be sure you're choosing the right laptop for you? There are a few things to think about before you begin researching college laptops:Budget
This is one of the most important things to think about since it will determine your price range. If you have a low and strict budget, for example, you'll want to steer clear away from Mac laptops. If you have a high budget, this category won't concern you much. In general, most laptops run a student anywhere from $500 to $2000, depending on the brand, components, and size.Major
Since you'll be using your laptop in college, you should be familiar with what you'll need it for. There are certain majors where the type of laptop doesn't necessarily matter, such as English or Math. Other majors, like Engineering and Computer Science may require certain hardware or software to run applications that are used in classes. Art Departments, in particular, may require their students to use Mac-friendly or Mac-only software, like Final Cut Pro or the Adobe suite.Usage
The most important factor to choosing a laptop is making sure that it will fulfill all of your needs in and out of the classroom. Make a list of the things you currently use your computer for, and what you think you would like to use your new laptop for. Things like the ability to watch HD movies, listen to high quality audio, play games, etc, are very important. For example, chances are a gamer shouldn't go with a Macbook unless the software runs on multiple operating systems.Environment
It's important to know what your environment will be in college. What is meant by environment is basically what limitations you may have while at school. These could include limited wireless internet access, long walks to classes, or small work areas. Any of these things could change the type of laptop you'll need. If your campus has limited wireless internet access, for example, you'll probably want to get a laptop capable of connecting via an ethernet connection. Many older dorm rooms don't have routers installed and may require a wired connection while in the building. The same goes for large campuses; if you have a long walk to the library or your classes, you'll probably want to purchase a laptop that is light and portable.