10 things to consider before buying a student laptop
Jeff Duntemann once said a good tool improves the way you work, but a great tool improves the way
you think. And it’s no different with studying. Whether you are just starting college, majoring or even
pursuing a PhD, getting the right computer for your studies is not only beneficial but also crucial in
succeeding. Not only will it make your schoolwork easier but also enjoyable.
With the hundreds if not thousands of laptops in the market today, choosing the right type of laptop for
your studies can be quit a hustle, but not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Whether you are
mac person or a PC person, we are here for you. We’ve spent countless of hours reviewing and
researching the some of latest and best computers that will fit with your studies, lifestyle, budget and
Before settling on your choice of laptop, here are but a few factors that you should take to
Size does matter when it comes to student laptops. Laptops have come a long way when it comes to
weight and size. The first portable computer was developed in 1981 and weighed an outstanding 24.5
pounds with a 5 inch display.
Battery life is key when comes to choosing a good student laptop. This is due to the many lectures
and project hours students spend during the day. The recommended battery life for a student
computer should be at least 8hrs to 15hrs of run-time.
There are three types of batteries used in laptops: Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride and
Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries were the first standard laptop batteries for years, but are no
longer used by new laptops today. The reason why they were faced-out is that they are
heavy, very prone to memory effect ( when a battery that has not been fully discharged is
charged, it remembers the old charge and continues there the next time you use it) and are very
environmentally hazardous because they contain cadmium.
Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries are a replacement for NiCad. They are cadmium-free
and less affected by the memory effect as the NiCad. They also have a higher run-time and are
less bio-hazardous compared to Ni-Cad.
Lithium Ion (Li-ion) are the new thing for portable laptops. They are the best choice because
they weigh much lesser than the other types of batteries while still producing the same or higher
amount of energy. They also don’t suffer from memory effects and are environmentally non-
hazardous. Always go for a Lithium-ion battery.
A GPU, also known as the graphics processing unit is a chip or set of chips responsible for displaying
games, movies, pictures and all other content on a TV or computer screen. GPUs are also very important
when it comes to gaming because the smoothness of game-play mainly depends on graphics speed.
Creative courses such as graphics design, photo-shop and etc. require laptops with good graphics.
We all want a long-lasting laptop that can withstand all the hustles and bustles of learning, but we also
know that when it comes to schools environments, accidents are inevitable whether it’s drops, spillage,
heat or etc. always go for a high quality built with certifications such as MIL-STD 810G.A (military-grade
certification) that has been tested and tried to withstand harsh conditions.
A computer RAM (random-access memory) is a very important component that gives applications a
place to store data that is actively being used for quick accessibility on a short-term basis. This whole
process makes computers very fast since it won’t have to start all over again hence the greater the RAM,
the faster the response power. An excellent laptop should be anything above 8GB, but if you are running on
a shoe-string budget then a 4GB to 6GB will do just fine.
Computer storage is where all your data is kept. It can either be in HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or in SSD (Solid
State Drive). HDDs use spinning disks to read, write and store data while SDDs is a newer technology
that uses integrated circuits without the need for spinning disks. SSDs are way faster and efficient than
HDDs, however, their prices are a bit higher.
Also known as the central processing unit (CPU), the processor is the heart or the brain of any laptop or
digital device and it has the greatest impact on the devices’ performance. That means the greater the
processor, the quicker the load time, plus you can run multiple apps at once and your laptop won’t lag
when under heavy load.
Keyboard and touchpad
Most courses require a considerate amount of typing and a good keyboard and touchpad will surely
come in handy. Always go for laptops with good key-travel, stand-alone keys (Chiclet), and anti-spill. A
keyboard with backlighting and a numeric keypad is also a plus. Also remember that super small-sized
laptops have limited space so buttons are often merged.
An operation system (OS) is a set of programs that links soft-wares with hard-wares be it in smartphones, computers or laptops. There are about five different operating systems in the market however
Microsoft-Windows and Apple-macOS are the most commonly used OS. ChromeOS is another operating
system that is gaining popularity since the introduction of Chromebooks.
Ports and connectivity
Any good laptop should be loaded with enough ports for effective connection whether it’s for Ethernet
connectivity or connectivity to other devices such as TVs and monitors. A good laptop should have at-
At least five ports include a USB 3.1, a USB Type-C, an HDMI port, a thunderbolt port, and a headset
(microphone and audio). It should also contain internet connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and