How to Choose the Right Laptop for College

3 min read

In this tech age of ours, you’ll definitely need a computer for college. For students, laptops are the way to go. Desktops have more fire power, generally, but they also make it impossible for you to do any work outside of your dorm room. Why deny yourself the pleasure of doing your homework outside when it’s nice?

Plus, on the off chance you wind up fighting with your roommate from time to time, you’ll want the ability to leave the premises. However, buying a laptop is a big purchase, and it’s something you’re going to use quite a bit. You’ll need to do your homework to make sure you’re finding the right one. Here are few things to consider when you’re shopping around.

What Will You Be Studying?

You’re going to need certain things from a computer depending on what you study. If you’re majoring in something that’s tech-heavy like information technology or photography, you’ll need a piece of equipment that can handle the programs you’ll be using. If you’re a history major or studying something else that doesn’t require you to use the laptop for much more than word processing and surfing the web, there’s no reason to spend money on something that comes with a bunch of stuff you don’t need.


There are lots of good deals out there for students buying their first computers, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t be able to get what you need. Some companies even offer payment plans if you’re already strapped for cash (understandable as a student). You can get glorified tablets for very cheap, or you could even risk a Craigslist buy.

That’s a little risky, though, because used computers don’t necessarily come bundled with the same tech support or warranties new computers do. That’s an important consideration because this computer will be something you probably depend on. Unless you’re already a tech whiz, you’ll be happy for the help when something goes wrong.

What Kind of Battery Do You Need?

If you’re planning on using the laptop because it’s mobile, get something with a long battery life. It is so annoying having to scrounge for outlets when all you want to do is get to work on your English degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Most computers list their battery life in their features list, so it’s pretty easy to find out how much juice you’re getting. Look at online reviews, as well. These will probably tell you what the realistic battery life is under different usage amounts.

Screen Size

If you get the wrong screen size, you could be setting yourself up for years of frustration squinting as you search for jobs for library science graduates. That will get old FAST. On the other side of the coin, if you’re one of those students who like to use laptops in the classroom, you could wind up bugged if you have a screen that’s too big. The bigger the screen, the bigger the machine, and you don’t want something that’s going to take up too much space if you don’t need it.

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