Tips for Back to School Laptop Buying

As the time for going back to school is approaching, you will need a great laptop to help you in your studies. Whether it is your first notebook, or you are looking for a better replacement for your current one, this article will help you in separating the essential needs from nice additions, so that you get the best worth for your investment.

Essential items

  • Battery life

You will inevitably face days when you have to be in school from morning till night, and with limited or no access to a charger. The extent of your notebook’s battery life will be an important factor in these cases. The new 4th generation Haswell processors from Intel can given you extended battery life, though devices coming with this processor can be a bit expensive. This series of processors can be spotted by the 4000 series numbers, like Core i3-4010.

  • Small profile, low weight

Schools are notorious for making students carry books and supplies around with them all day. A smaller and lighter laptop will help you in avoiding fatigue and soreness resulting from carrying heavy weight all the time. Hybrid laptops or even tablets are good alternatives in these cases.

  • Ergonomic keyboard

Your fingers are going to be on the keyboard more than anywhere else during your school term. Whether you are writing messages, completing term paper, chatting on social networks, or procrastinating around the Web, you will be using the keyboard a lot. So, choose notebooks with bigger keyboards that are backlit, and are rugged enough to last the abuse of your school term.

  • Larger screen

Nothing is more difficult than trying to multitask on a small screen. Researching a term paper, and simultaneously chatting as well as listening to music on your notebook can crowd the screen. You should go for laptops with 14-inch plus screens that allow you ample space for multitasking.

You can try the options available to you by renting them at a local laptop rental agency

Back to School Laptop Buying

  • Warranty

In general, the “extended warranty” schemes available with many retailers are money grabbing means of stripping you of your case. But in case of a notebook for school, this type of plan can actually benefit you. Your laptop won’t be seeing the best of days during the school term, and college students aren’t known for their caring attitude. So, buying extended warranties can help you save some bucks in the long run.

  • Security software

There are two basic types of software for laptop security. Antivirus software can help in protecting your device from malware, viruses, or other hazardous programs. Luckily, you can find this software for free on various sites. Antiviruses such as Avast or Microsoft Essentials are quite effective and are free.

Another security software category is the one that comes into play in case of your device getting stolen. You can use programs like LoJack, Hidden, and GadgetTrak to track your device and recover it. Both types of software are essential for your laptop’s longevity in school.

Non-essential items

  • Quad core processors

The more the number of cores, the better your device will perform. But do you really need a mini-supercomputer in your backpack? Additional cores generally benefit heavy computational work, sich as editing video or digital photos, or trascoding video or audio files. If all you do with your laptop is write term paper, browse the Net, and other normal tasks, then a dual core will be more than enough for your needs. This will also return a better battery life.

  • GPU

Graphic Processing Units (GPU) are essential for hard core gaming, at if you are looking for a gaming device, then go for a desktop or a dedicated console. A game-centric graphics-laden laptop isn’t a smart choice for school, if you want to pass out in the normal time frame. You primary aim should be a lightweight, efficient, and compact laptop.

  • SSD

Solid State Drives (SSD) are the latest storage devices that are quiet and quick. As these drives lack moving parts, you can’t possibly data when the laptop falls, which is not a beautiful scenario in any situation. But SSDs come with a higher price tag and lower capacity. You can get 750GB of space for the same amount in a hard disk drive.

  • Touchscreen

Though new operating systems like Windows 8 are primarily meant for touch, you can easily make do without this luxury during your school term. There’s no convincing reason to spend the extra bucks on a touchscreen laptop. Rather, focus on the other critical components like storage, memory, and CPU.

  • 4G

All-round connection is a necessity for any individual – but in devices like phones. Your laptop will be quite satisfied with a simple broadband connection and service plans, without the need for a contract. Also, your school will likely be submerged in a virtual net of Wi-Fi and your phone can be used for checking emails or sending files.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013