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What to Consider When Buying the Best Laptop for Online College Classes

20 Apr 2020

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Are you an online college student looking to get an excellent computer for your online classes? This article is just for you. Before now, manufacturers built computer systems for general purposes. However, specialization is considered as an essential factor when creating computer systems. Manufacturers now design computers for specific reasons.

woman studying college on her computer

For instance, there are now highly sophisticated and advanced computer systems designed to handle very complex computations. Such computers are more suited for a programmer and less ideal for a college student. In this article, we are going to discuss, at length, how you can shop around for the PERFECT laptop as an online college student.

Let's get to it!

Before you start searching for a laptop for online college classes:

You probably cannot wait to get your hands on a laptop and start attending lectures. The eagerness is understandable. But before you launch a search, there are some things to consider first.

What is your budget?

A budget is quite important unless you are wealthy. If budget is the case, then you must identify your spending power and work with the same. On average, anyone serious about getting a laptop for online college classes must be ready to part ways with $500 - $1000. Again, you may ignore this part if money is not a problem.

Which OS do you prefer?

Most people, if not all, have a favorite Operating System (OS). For some, it is the Windows, and others, Mac OS. While Mac OS is clean and feature-rich, the compatibility is one area it falls short, which means that some software may not work with Mac laptops. Windows, on the other hand, boasts excellent compatibility and versatility in terms of software.

You should take the time to understand what activities you are going to be throwing at your potential laptop. If you are not needing any Mac OS-based software, you might as well go for Windows or vice versa. In the end, it boils down to knowing what you want to do and what OS can handle it better.

Do you crave any special features?

There are essential features, and there are unique features in laptops. For instance, some users want a DVD burner on their laptops - a feature you rarely find in new computers. Also, not all PCs have backlit keyboards, but it is an essential feature for some users. You must identify all these features and shop for a laptop that checks most, if not all, of these boxes.

What type of warranty service do you get?

Most laptop shoppers tend to overlook the warranty part of their purchase until it is too late. An ideal laptop for online college classes must come with a warranty of at least a year. In addition to that, the service for the warranty must be readily available. Considering how vital a laptop for this purpose is, you cannot afford to be without it for a long time. Repair time is why you should hold out for a warranty with in-person service, preferably next-day service.

There you have it - the prerequisites to making an excellent choice of a laptop for online college classes. Let us move on to the features that make up the ideal laptop for online college use.

What are the criteria an Ideal Laptop for Online College Classes must meet?

Away from price, OS, special features, and warranty service type, there are some fundamental requirements a laptop must meet before it can be considered significant for online college use. Read on as we discuss them below:

Processor

The processor's strength defines a laptop's capability. Computer systems, both desktops, and laptops must run on an excellent processor to deliver exceptional results. So, this explains why the best processors cost slightly more. It is essential to find a balance between budget and computing power.

For starters, the Intel Core i7 CPU works well. But if you have a bigger budget, you can consider more powerful options. If you are on a very tight budget, the Intel Core i5 older generation laptops do a decent job also.

Battery Life

Battery life is not rocket science - good battery life is pivotal to more hours of usage. Online classes do not necessarily last for several hours at a stretch, so you may not want to sacrifice other more important features for battery life if you are making a compromise at all. A laptop with at least 3 hours of battery life should serve you well. If you can afford it, there are laptops with much better battery life.

Storage

Storage is another deal maker or breaker while choosing a laptop for online college classes. The ideal storage type is the SSD (Solid State Drive) storage. Unlike the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) storage options, the SSD's are faster and more reliable - after all; they are the latest storage technology out there.

The power consumption of SSD storage systems is minimal. They do not get heated unnecessarily. There are chances that, as a college student, your laptop can remain on for longer hours. Therefore, an SSD storage option can keep your laptop cooler for as long as possible.

RAM

An SSD storage is not enough; it must have plenty of RAM and a fast processor as well. A laptop with less than 8GB of RAM will, most likely, be less efficient and slow. However, if you can afford to spend more, feel free to go for higher RAM - 16GB and 32GB. If your courses involve photography, architecture, or programming, the 16GB should be your starting point.

If you are going for the 8GB RAM laptops, ensure that there are RAM slots that can be supplied with additional RAM sticks to upgrade the overall RAM. The absence of these slots may limit your chances of an upgrade.

Finally, there is no universal guide or rule for choosing a laptop for online college classes or any other use. It all boils down to looking for the essential features that suit your intended use. We hope that the tips provided in this article help you to make an informed decision.

If you need some help finding the right laptop for your online college classes, feel free to reach out to us at A Better Tech for some professional guidance.


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