It’s their tool (Laptop) of choice when faced with a deadline for an assignment, putting the finishing touches on a group project or writing articles at dawn. But finding a laptop that is both built to last and meets their needs can be difficult, especially if you buy it as a gift. We hope to make things a little easier.
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The way students use their computers often varies depending on their speciality. One might want a simple word processor that can also stream Netflix, while another might need a powerhouse for design and engineering. It is best to understand how a student will use a laptop before giving them a gift that is wrong or is aimed too big.
With all of that in mind, what’s the best laptop in 2020? It’s hard to say. Each model has unique bells and whistles. In most cases, the most critical factor is the price/performance ratio, which helps you decide if the label matches performance durability. Everything else – battery life, size and weight, keyboard and trackpad – is secondary, though still significant. You want to consider the specifications of each laptop to make sure you are spending your money wisely.
We’ve compiled the following tips and recommendations to help you find one of the best tech gifts for a college student in 2021: a laptop.
Main Things You Need In A Laptop
A processor controls the speed at which a computer runs programs or performs tasks. While faster processing speed can increase the price of a laptop, it also makes it more efficient.
The processor is one of the many specifications and components to consider when purchasing a laptop. You should also consider the types of ports, RAM (a computer’s memory), and screen size. Some choices – like wanting a bigger screen – come down to personal preferences.
If you’re not sure what you need, contact your school’s IT department for advice.
Capacity For Third-Party Applications
Your laptop should be adaptable to outdoor applications. For example, Google Chromebooks are popular computers for college students because they are cheap, efficient, and easy to use, but they come with a downside.
Chromebooks can’t install software that isn’t available from Google’s online store, including programs like Microsoft Word, which is a problem if your university requires students to download specific apps. Make sure your university’s distance learning platform is web-based before committing to a Chromebook.
Meet Your College Requirements
There is no shortage of debate as to whether Windows laptops are better than macOS laptops, or vice versa. Whatever your personal preference, it may be best to check with your school for system requirements.
Some colleges and universities prefer to keep technical support focused on a single platform, thereby reducing software compatibility issues. It is also possible that on-campus repair centres will only service laptops purchased from a college or an affiliated computer store, so repairing malfunctions may be easier if you use your preferred laptop. your school.
Requirements may also vary between majors. For example, a film student’s computer will need more powerful graphics capabilities than a history student’s computer. Contact your major to find out which systems are recommended by the faculty or IT department.
How To Get Discounts On Your Laptop?
It is common for campus bookstores to offer educational and seasonal discounts on computers. A 10% reduction could reduce the price of a new laptop or tablet by $ 100.
Discounts At The Student Bookstore
Contact your campus bookstore and ask if laptop discounts are available. If the campus facility is closed, the same educational discounts should apply to the online version of the book store. Online stores typically ship equipment or keep it for you in the physical store.
But don’t jump at the first sale. Compare prices between bookstore laptops and those on the market before making a purchase. There could be a more competitive offer online, for example through educational services from Apple or Dell. Apple is currently selling its 2020 13-inch MacBook Air for $ 900, up from an original price of $ 1,299.
Refurbished / Used Computers
The best bet a student can make is to buy a brand-new laptop. But if this option is not available, refurbished computers are worth considering. While not new, the various components of laptops – including the battery, internal storage, power, and ports – are being restored to a favourable condition.
However, there are a few caveats to be aware of. Buying a refurbished or used laptop can mean a cheaper price, but it can be risky. Refurbished computers are generally older models, and as laptop batteries dwindle over time, a refurbished one may have a shorter lifespan than the last generation. Poor Wi-Fi connectivity, slower performance, and hardware faults are also common issues.
It is also important to remember that “used” and “refurbished” are not interchangeable. “Used” laptops may or may not work, while “refurbished” laptops have been verified. Consumers often sell used laptops on websites such as eBay and Craigslist, where there may be less responsible for their performance.
It is best to buy a refurbished laptop from a reputable online retailer that offers a warranty. Refurbished laptops on Amazon come with warranties, as well as a 30-day return policy. Newegg is another trustworthy online retailer.
Sometimes a computer is too expensive to pay for all at once. Laptop financing plans allow students to pay for their devices over long periods of time.
Most retailers offer payment plans, although this often means setting up promotional accounts. For example, Amazon offers special 12-month financing for purchases over $ 599, but it requires the Amazon.com Store Card. Remember, there are penalties if you don’t keep your payments.
Image of a student studying at home on a sofa wearing headphones with his laptop in his lap. Yes, you can buy a repairable laptop for under $ 500
While cheaper laptops won’t have the same bells and whistles as more expensive laptops – or as much processing speed – they can still deliver a fast and responsive user experience.
The Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air set the benchmark for higher education because most students buy them. However, they can also be the most expensive. The majority of top-rated laptops cost anywhere from $ 720 to $ 1,500. These prices can be too high unless you find a good deal.
– Acer and Aspire
Acer’s Chromebook and Aspire series are some of the best budget laptops available on the market. However, as mentioned earlier, Chromebooks can’t run third-party programs, and their popularity means they’re often out of stock.
Reviewers praise the battery life, touchscreen, backlit keyboard, touchpad, and the affordable $ 350 price tag of Acer’s Chromebook 514. Acer’s Chromebook 15, which can sell for $ 160, has high performance, around nine hours of battery life, and an aluminium design that weighs 4.85 pounds.
– Other Favorites
Other popular options are the sleek tablet-style Microsoft Surface Go for as low as $ 449, the versatile Lenovo IdeaPad L340 for $ 599, and the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 for $ 429. Prices may vary depending on warranties, resellers and year, make and model of computer.
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