If you’re headed to university, you might be thinking about buying a new laptop. Laptops can really advance your studies, by taking notes in lectures, having access to important software or even just to let you write your essays in your pyjamas in bed.
When looking for a new laptop, it’s important to consider what you’re going to be using it for and what you think the most important features are. Whether you’re an art student who needs design software or a literature student who’ll be writing a lot, with such a big investment, you’ll need a device that works with you.
Battery is one of the most important features in a university laptop – there’s nothing worse than being sat in the middle of a row in a lecture hall and your battery dies, leaving you stranded and nowhere near a charge point.
Many companies have been accused of overestimating their battery life, some by up to 37%! If you’ve found a model you like the look of, check around for reviews online and find out what independent experts are saying about it. Testing by CNET and Which? are an accurate marker of how long the most popular laptops actually last when used by real people.
If you’re going to be using your laptop for movie night or Netflix and chill, sound quality is a must on your checklist. There’s nothing more disappointing than taking your brand new laptop home to find that the characters of your favourite show are whispering to each other at top volume.
This laptop is going to be an investment. If you’re starting a 3-year graphic design course and your new laptop doesn’t support any of the software that you need to use, it’ll be basically useless. 2-in-1 tablet/laptops might be useful for this kind of student as the tablet mode gives you flexibility and the opportunity to design free-hand.
Similarly, though Google chromebooks are a super cheap option, they have little software capability and might not be the greatest idea for literature students who’ll be writing a lot. These devices do have access to features like Google docs but for the full Microsoft Word experience, you’d be better off spending a bit more on a more traditional laptop.
Figure out what your budget is before going shopping. Once you know what money you can spare, you can manage your expectations to avoid being disappointed. On the other hand, if you find that your budget won’t get you a device which can support your needs, it might be better to hold off for a while and save a bit more money before making the big purchase.
If you want to be one of those people taking notes on your new laptop in lectures, you’ll need to make sure your device is lightweight and preferably on the smaller side. You don’t want to have to drag your laptop across campus or carry it miles from your home every day.
Any extra features
These five tips are the absolute essentials when buying a new laptop as a student. But every student is different and before you make a huge decision that could be with you for many years, you need to think carefully about what you need.
Whether it’s high resolution, masses of memory or an extra hard casing (for those of us serial phone smashers), only you will know exactly what kind of laptop suits all your needs.
Since laptop battery is so important when choosing a new device, we’ve gathered this data about how long a laptop battery should last:
Infographic made by https://www.batteryexperts.co.za/.