Buying Guide For Best Laptops For University Students
If youre headed to university, youre going to need the right laptop one thats going to be able to keep up with you all day long, and for four years straight. These days, picking out a laptop is no small feat: Youll need to make several crucial decisions that you cant really take back, like screen size, amount of RAM, and even operating system.
Whether youre a Computer Science major who needs a rugged laptop for late-night coding marathons, or a English major who just needs something to write papers with, weve got you covered.
Tech Companies That Give Away Laptops
Wondering how you can get a free Dell or Apple laptop?
Believe it or not, there are actually ways you can get/win a free laptop or tablet directly from your favorite brands like Dell, Apple, Microsoft and others.
Through official giveaways and contests!
Im not talking about survey offers where you enter your email address and go through a few pages of Yes/No questions to enter a contest. I am talking about official context and giveaways that these major brands hold every once in a while.
Here are a few free laptop giveaways by major brands:
Note: As you might imagine, as with any other legit sweepstakes and contest, these giveaways last for a certain amount of time. So you have to enter before they end. That said if by the time you read this post the contests have ended, bookmark this post and check back regularly. Most of these companies run the same contest a few times a year. So checking back often ensures you dont miss them the next time around.
How To Choose The Best Laptops For Engineering Students
So, what exactly makes for the best laptops for engineering students? Since you’re likely to be running complex programs like AutoCAD, you’re definitely going to need a laptop with enough power to run them.
We recommend a laptop with the latest Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chips, and at the very least, 8GB of RAM though 16GB is even better.
Many of the programs engineering students rely on are also graphically intensive programs especially CAD, MATLAB and Solid Works, which are used for 3D modelling and video rendering. This means that it’s crucial to have a laptop with a dedicated graphics card – rather than an integrated one powered by the processor.
This is why the best gaming laptops are also ideal choices for engineering students, since they offer that kind of graphic power, and the fact that they can handle games for unwinding after classes is just the cherry on top.
A large screen with a high resolution is also advisable, and if you’re going to be working on site a lot, Finally, it would be a fine idea to take a look at some of the rugged or well-built laptops that are built to withstand accidents on work sites.
- Discover the best laptops you can buy in every category.
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Check Out Pcs For People
PCs for People provides computers and low cost internet to eligible recipients. Its a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher as well, so its computers come with licensed copies of Windows 10.
Youll need to be below the 200% poverty level or currently be enrolled in an income-based government assistance program to be eligible for a laptop.
Check out the eligibility page here to see if you could qualify for a free laptop.
- Where to apply:
Laptops For Business Majors: What To Consider
Let say these business majors have already landed in their internship program or even the job of their dreams. Theyre taking classes, and they have already figured out the career path they intend to follow. There is one crucial question that we usually dont ask, which is this, Does their laptop keep up with them?
As a business major, there is a lot on their plates, and being worried about organizing your notes and documents shouldnt have to be a primary concerns.
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Ready To Start Your Journey
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Tackling college courses without a laptop is unimaginable for most students. Especially when considering the needs of online learners, a functional computer is essential. Whether communicating with professors, completing online coursework, or taking notes in class, students rely on their devices to perform many basic functions of college life.
Depending on their field, degree-seekers may want superior functionality for graphic design or just basic word processing. Whatever your needs, the best laptops for college cover a broad spectrum of performance, design, and cost.
We compared dozens of top laptop rankings to compile a list of the 11 best laptops for college students. Our methodology considers factors such as price, portability, and technical features that can affect a student’s life.
Hp Spectre X360 13 Audio
Not even the Spectre x360’s dual bottom-firing speakers could prevent me from rocking my head to Dayglow’s groovy retro jam “Close To You.” But let’s be clear, these aren’t the best-sounding speakers, even with luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen doing the tuning. They sound fine, with a decent punch on the low end but the midrange lacks depth, making my alternative and indie playlists sound flat. It’s worth noting that the Spectre x360 14 has a quad-speaker setup capable of more sonic oomph than what you get with this 13-inch model.
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How Much Should I Spend On A Laptop For College
If you just need a laptop for everyday browsing, some streaming, and light work, then you can generally get away with spending as little as $400 . If you need more horsepower for serious work, programming and media editing then you can expect to be looking at pricing up to $800. If you’re looking for something that will handle games, then expect to start at around $800 and go up from there.
Always have a budget in mind though, and don’t just go for the cheapest laptop you can find. It can look like there are loads of ‘bargains’ out there, but once you get them home and start using them, you can see why the retailers were keen to clear them off their shelves. Keep what you’re buying the machine for at the front of your mind, there’s no point going for a cheap machine if it doesn’t actually do what you need, you’re just wasting money at that point.
Likewise, it’s all too easy to spend more than you actually needmore expensive laptops can absolutely do everything you need, but if you’re not using all those features, then you’re wasting your cash. There’s no point going for a laptop with a mid-tier gaming GPU if you’re never actually going to play AAA games on it.
Additional Resources For College Students
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Who Should Buy A Laptop For College
Of course, you dont have to be straight out of high school to be in the market for a new college laptop. Whether youre unpacking your bags in a dorm away from home for the first time or returning after a long hiatus to finish up your masters degree, buying a fresh laptop before classes start in the fall is always a solid investment.
What classes you plan on taking, as well as the degree youre pursuing should have an impact on the best college laptop you eventually choose to go with. If you need something sleek and powerful that can turn on instantly for rapid-fire notetaking, the Dell XPS 13 or Zenbook UX360AC should suit the job just fine. But, if youre worried about spending a ton of cash on the best college laptop that not might last more than a few months without getting beer spilled in the keyboard, the HP Stream 13 and Acer C201 are cheaper, durable options that can weather any alcohol-related storm.
Different Options For Writing And Editing
Laptops help business majors write papers more efficiently. Typing makes the writing activity faster, and applications in word-processing make it easier for them to modify their work. By note-taking on laptops instead of desktops, learners can study in the library, at home, or even during work hours in class. According to the National Writing Project, an initiative to provide students with laptops in the classroom in Maine resulted in the rise of students writing accomplishments. 80% of students in the project reported they would prefer using their laptops to complete their work and were more likely to modify their work using laptops. Moreover, 75% said that laptops help them to become more organized, while 70% said laptops assisted them in improving the quality of their work.
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Could You Get By With A Tablet And Keyboard
Perhaps, but ask yourself: What’s the real benefit? Most students need a keyboard for taking notes and writing papers, so do you really need one that’s removable? Are you ever going to use the screen all by itself — especially if it’s a large, unwieldy screen, like 12-13 inches? A detachable keyboard is one more thing to keep charged, one more thing to lose or accidentally leave behind in your dorm room.
Lots of students are drawn to the 12.3-inch Microsoft Surface Pro 6, but I don’t like it. For starters, Microsoft stubbornly continues to charge extra for the keyboard instead of just bundling it. The tablet alone starts at $899 the keyboard will run you another $130. I honestly don’t see the point for the same money you can get a 13.3-inch laptop or convertible. Meanwhile, the Surface’s rear-hinge design has always made it awkward to use on your lap, and it might also be a poor fit on those little auditorium-seat desks.
Similarly, Apple has tried to turn iPads into laptops, but once again I think it’s a foolish hybridization. If you opt for a 9.7- or 10.5-inch iPad, you’ve got a screen that may prove too cramped for comfort. A 13.3-inch iPad solves those issues, but now you’re looking at a much higher price tag — and a tablet that’s far too large to use comfortably as a tablet. Same lap/small-desk issues as the Surface, too.
How To Buy Chromebooks For Kids
One option that we haven’t really touched on so far, is the humble Chromebook. If your needs are really basic, and you essentially need to write essays, browse the web, and perform a few simple tasks, then a Chromebook can be an ideal option. They’re really cheap , ChromeOS is really efficient, battery life can be great, and they really do what they set out to do brilliantly.
The fact that they don’t run Windows 10 does limit their versatility though, and if there are specific tools that you need to use for your course, then they can draw a blank although a lot of these tools are moving online anyway, so that can be less of a problem. You are essentially tied into using Google docs, and you do need a decent internet connection to access their full power, but that shouldn’t really be a problem in 2020. Gaming isn’t really an option on a Chromebook though, which is why we tend to ignore them here, although obviously the rise of streaming services does change this a little.
As an aside. tinkereres can install Linux on chromebooks too, which can open up a few options for what you can do with them. Though this does highlight where the underlying hardware does tend to be quite limited4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage is commonplace.
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Get A Huge Discount From The Jump On It Program
The Jump On It! Program is part of the On It Foundation, which we mentioned above. So if you arent eligible to receive a complimentary laptop from the On It Foundation, then you may be able to get one from the Jump On It! program.
With this program, you can get a laptop for as low as $99 and you can get one through a layaway plan starting at just $15.
Learn more about this program here.
Student/college Laptop: 256gb 512gb
The amount of storage space a student needs normally depends on the type of study they are doing. High school students normally dont need a massive amount of space for their schoolwork as they will be working with small files and programs. 256GB to 512GB would likely be enough to hold over a high school student.
College laptops will need more or less space depending on the major of study the student chooses. Majors that deal with small file sizes mainly for essays and assignments would be fine with 256GB to 512GB but majors like art/media, computer science, engineering, etc. may need more space due to the larger file sizes and amount of programs needed to complete their work.
Personally, I made it through all four years of my undergrad in a humanities discipline on 256GB and I still had room for lots of photos and a few small games. It all depends on what you wish to use your laptop for while you are at school.
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Hp Spectre X360 13 Software And Warranty
I’m relieved to see only five HP-branded apps installed on the Spectre x360 13, not the usual dirty dozen. With Command Center, you can adjust the fan speed, performance output and network bandwidth of the Spectre.
Worth keeping around is Support Assistant, where you can run a diagnostics test, download the latest drivers, or find help from a virtual assistant. Also installed on the Spectre is an app with documentation, another with privacy settings, and myHP, which gives you how-tos on basic Windows 10 options.
You will find a few additional Windows 10 apps but nothing out of the ordinary. There is the Your Phone app, Xbox Game Bar, and a pair of Intel programs for Optane memory and the Iris Xe graphics.
Best Desktop Replacement For College
- Powerful graphics and computing performance
- Compact chassis with easy access for upgrades
- Expansive 3K display
- Aggressively priced for the set of specs
- Powerful eight-core Ryzen 7 CPU
- Handsome and ultralight metal chassis in choice of four colors
- HDMI, USB-A, and USB-C ports
- Test configuration’s keyboard not backlit
- No SD or microSD card slot
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How Much Cpu Do I Need
Recommended: i7 Chip
An i7 chip is needed for computer science classes. However, be aware you have higher financial costs, but more power. For regular software development, programmers do not need i7 to code and build software. Unless you plan to intensively use the CPU for specific programs, like Microsoft HoloLensEmulator, then the core i5 is good enough, though i7 is preferred.
How Much Storage Do I Need On My Laptop
Looking for a new laptop? You may be wondering, How much storage space do I need? When looking for a new laptop, there are so many things to consider and look at. Should you get a laptop with 1TB of space? How much is 1TB, really? Is it too much or too little?
Then theres whether or not to get the laptop with an HDD or an SSD . Whats the difference? Does it matter?
How much storage really depends on what you use this for. For most people, a drive under 256 GB will be enough, for gaming or photo/video editing purpose, a 1TB plus will be preferred.
Basic documents and a few family photos dont take up that much space whereas AAA games can take up several gigabytes of space.
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The Best College Chromebook: Google Pixelbook Go
Google’s latest is the best college Chromebook because it combines a sleek design with an incredible keyboard and a surprising level of hardware for its starting price.
- Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 ~ 3,840 x 2,160 touch screen
- Processor: Intel Core m3 ~ Intel Core i7
- Operating system: Google Chrome OS
- Memory and storage: 8GB ~ 16GB of RAM, 64GB ~ 256GB storage
Pros: Excellent display, incredible keyboard, lightweight and slim, long battery life
Cons: Fan-less CPU, pricey upgrades, no biometric login, small-capacity storage
If your budget allows and you want a Chromebook that’s a bit more powerful, check out Google’s newest Chromebook, the Pixelbook Go.
With its attainable starting price, the Pixelbook Go provides a shockingly luxurious portable computing experience that similarly-priced laptops couldn’t come close to. For example, the Pixelbook Go has a 1080p touch-capable display with a 1080p camera, in addition to 8GB of RAM.
However, the Pixelbook Go does come a bit short on storage, at least local storage. With merely 64GB of space in the entry configuration, it leans heavily on cloud storage, which starts at $1.99 per month for 100GB more space . Still, most other Chromebooks at this price point offer either the same or less local storage. Finally, the Pixelbook Go’s battery can last for up to 12 hours, by Google’s measure, putting it in line with the MacBook Air.