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What’s the Best Student Laptop?
When looking for the best student laptops for school or college, consider features that fit your budget as well as the student’s educational and lifestyle needs, both now and in the future when they finish their course curriculum.
As distance education becomes more common, it’s more important than ever for that laptop to have features that help with remote learning. The right laptop can be the key to online education success, whether you’re finishing that term paper while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, emailing your professor on the bus ride home, or catching up on homework during lunch at your favorite coffee shop. Built-in webcams and speakers, the ability to handle peripherals such as headset mics, and the processing power to handle web conferencing so you can participate in online lectures and discussion forums from wherever you are, depending on your needs.
This FAQ explains how to choose the best student laptop by weighing the cost of each feature against the benefit it will provide now and in the future.
Examine the various options and peruse our extensive selection of Lenovo student laptops, which includes
Lenovo Yoga laptops To find the right computer for your student’s tech needs and budget, look for computers with built-in tablet touchscreens.
Is a Laptop the Best Choice for Students?
Yes, the vast majority of students use the internet, according to the market. laptops The rare student who will never work outside of their dorm room may prefer to use a laptop computer. (Not including smartphones) as their primary computing device. desktop PC or even a high-performance workstationfor students majoring in engineering or architecture Some students, such as artists who are already skilled at using touchscreens for creative purposes, may opt for a different option. 2 in 1 that’s both a laptop and a tablet.
Netbooks and Chromebooks, which are less expensive laptop-like devices designed primarily for web browsing and cloud applications, are even more portable than laptops, but the small screen size and lack of storage limit day-to-day usability for students who are studying for long periods of time. A laptop’s portability makes it ideal for everything from taking notes in class to library research to science field work. Not to mention watching movies online, posting on Facebook, editing photos for Instagram, and all the other responsibilities that come with being a student!
Budget Laptops for Students
It’s easy to go overboard with these features, but you don’t have to. Each key laptop specification includes a wide range of performance options, such as faster or slower processors, different display technologies, and so on, as you’ll see in the sections below.
How to Find the Best, Affordable Student Laptop
Here are some suggestions for saving money on a student laptop:
- However, the vast majority of students will be perfectly happy with anything faster than 2.0 GHz, especially if it’s multi-core. The new top-of-the-line processors have multiple cores and clock speeds of over 4.0 GHz.
- Don’t be concerned if the system has limited internal storage if you find the right price and specs. Cloud storage and music/video streaming have made hard drive size less important in recent years.
- Unless the laptop will be used for advanced gaming or computer-assisted design, most students will be satisfied with a Full HD (1080p) display.
- Ask about school discounts or cloud-based versions of these tools (which are sometimes provided by the school) before purchasing add-on word processing or spreadsheet software.
Additional money-saving tips can be found in the section “Other factors to consider in a student laptop” later in this FAQ. Lenovo offers Back to School deals as well as student discounts on laptops and computers.
Additional money-saving tips can be found in the section “Other factors to consider in a student laptop” later in this FAQ. Lenovo has great prices on laptops and computers all year, as well as Back to School specials.
Finding the Best Student Laptop
In order to find the best student laptop for your needs and budget, you’ll need to narrow down your options in a few key categories.
Screen Size, Weight, and Battery Life
Others, who may be planning a lot of travel or studying in remote locations, may find that the need for a lighter weight or longer battery life outweighs the value of a larger display. The first decision you’ll have to make involves selecting the laptop’s screen size, as well as its weight and unplugged battery life. The size and weight of the screen will be the deciding factors for most students, especially in areas where electrical outlets are plentiful.
To begin, keep in mind that improved display technology (Full HD, Quad HD, etc.) has enabled all laptops to have excellent viewability. As a result, the decision will be based on functionality rather than clarity. Students who primarily read documents and write text can benefit from smaller (but not too small) screens, whereas those whose learning involves more visual or creative activities can benefit from larger ones.
A majority of technology writers and analysts agree that a 13-inch laptopFor most students, —give or take an inch—could be a good, middle-of-the-road option. It would be light and portable, large enough for most detailed work but small enough to fit in a backpack or on a crowded desk. Nearly every Lenovo model includes a port to connect a larger, external monitor for buyers who anticipate long hours of on-screen learning. external monitor.
The number of batteries (dual-battery models are becoming more popular), the type of storage (traditional hard drives are heavier than solid state drives), whether it has integrated peripherals such as DVD drives, and the presence (or absence) of any durability or hardening features can all affect a laptop’s weight. The weight of a screen is largely determined by its size—each additional inch adds ounces of plastic and metal to support it.
Most buying guides state that it weighs around 4 pounds, give or take. If that’s too heavy for a particular student, consider splitting the cost and adding one of the low-cost laptop options mentioned above — bring the ultra-portable to class, save your notes to a cloud storage account, then finish the assignment on your laptop back at the dorm. What is the ideal weight for a laptop?
But where does the typical student fit into this spectrum of unplugged time? Some new models with dual-battery configurations offer up to 20 hours of unplugged work time and the ability to change batteries without shutting down (a feature Lenovo calls “Power Bridge”). If a laptop manufacturer doesn’t offer battery life of 8-12 hours these days, you should probably look elsewhere.
When comparing school laptop options, keep the following factors in mind:
- How Big Is It?The size of the screen has a significant impact on battery life. You’ll spend less time unplugged if you need a larger display.
- How Will You Use It? When compared to streaming games or complex artistic or rendering programs, word processing uses very little power.
- Where Will You Use It? Battery life is important in the field, but not so much in the dorm or the library.
There’s also a new term to learn about batteries: watt-hours, or Wh. The majority of PC manufacturers Many experts believe that Wh is a more useful term because it is unaffected by how the battery is used (word processing vs. gaming, with or without peripherals like smartphones, etc.). Wh has been added to their published specifications to describe the amount of energy stored in the battery rather than the amount of time it will provide.
Processor, RAM, Storage and Operating System
Students should look at the specifications and descriptions for processing power, RAM, and permanent storage when purchasing a laptop. Furthermore, the operating system chosen has a significant impact on usability.
As a result, selecting a CPU is frequently reduced to a question of “How much do you want to spend?” Any CPU released in the last 1-2 years will typically have a clock speed of 2.0 gigahertz (GHz) or higher. However, GHz alone is not a reliable indicator of a processor’s speed, as other factors such as advanced memory caching can give a processor with a lower GHz a higher real-world computing capability. The number of instruction cycles a CPU can complete is referred to as its “power.” A machine with a clock speed of 2.0 GHz, for example, can perform 2 billion cycles per second. Despite the importance of the CPU, most student laptop buyers will find chasing the latest and greatest CPU to be a fool’s errand–and a costly one at that.
The best processors today have multiple cores. Today’s CPUs boost computational power even more by introducing new ways to use multiple threads at the same time, as well as new cooling techniques to offset the heat generated by all the extra electrical activity. Multiple threads run within these cores, each executing its own command and response strings for whatever programs are running.
Buyers who are concerned about the relative newness of their processor technology should look up the latest CPUs from top brands such as Intel and AMD on the internet.
Processing (CPU) power is what really matters in terms of academic productivity, as it determines how much (and how quickly) your laptop can do for you. As we’ll see later, storage isn’t as important as it once was. Shopping for RAM is simple: 4 GB is the bare minimum, 8 GB is standard, and the ability to add additional RAM chips is a useful option.
Nonetheless, the Since the advent of the cloud, which provides new options for storing files and hosting applications, the amount of disk space in a new laptop has become less important. Students, for example, can stream music rather than downloading and saving it using the cloud. First and foremost, a word about storage. type of storage you choose can make a difference.
Traditional spinning hard drives are cheap and popular, but they’re slower than solid-state drives, which don’t have any moving parts and can speed up boot-up times, program launch times, and other tasks.
Students today have a variety of operating systems to choose from, and it’s critical that they pick one that works with a variety of online learning platforms and has enough speed and power to handle all of their academic tasks. Windows 10, the most popular operating system on the market today, comes preinstalled on many Lenovo laptops. Lenovo Yoga laptops Count on Windows 10 to help you get the most out of your touch screen.
Windows 10 includes an Xbox app and other Xbox-related features to allow students to take a break from studying and play some quick games. Night Light, a feature in Windows 10 that displays warmer colors to reduce eye strain, is available for those pulling all-nighters. And, thanks to Microsoft’s “Windows-as-a-Service” strategy, you’ll never have to pay for upgrades once you’ve installed Windows 10. Easy document conversion, new apps for taking screenshots, and tools to increase available storage are among the features of Windows 10 designed specifically for students.
Other Considerations When Purchasing A Student Laptop
Of course, there’s a lot more to think about than just the top-line specs. Here’s a rundown of some of the other features you’ll have to choose from when shopping for a student laptop:
You’ll have to choose between a system with integrated graphics, which generates images from within or very close to the main CPU chip, and a system with dedicated graphics cards, also known as Graphics Processing Units or GPUs, which are installed separately on the motherboard. GPUs are typically more powerful and may include additional cooling features, allowing them to render highly complex graphics and images more quickly.
Most student users will be satisfied with integrated graphics, but dedicated GPUs may be preferable for those who plan to play advanced computer games or study fields that require the creation or rendering of complex images or artwork, such as engineering or videography.
Wireless Connectivity (WiFi)
Not only for research, but also for everyday activities like watching movies on Netflix or browsing social media. 802.11ac is the most recent WiFi standard to look for in a laptop, with a theoretical maximum of 1300 megabits per second (Mbps) – roughly three times faster than the previous consumer standard, 802.11n. Screaming fast wireless, once an option, is now a requirement in any student laptop.
Ports and Accessories
The more USB ports available, the better. External connection options (HDMI, DVI-D, USB Type-C) are the same; the more you have, the more flexible you are. These ports are required by students in order to connect their wireless mouse, smartphone, and other peripheral devices.
Is it necessary for a student to have an integrated DVD drive, for example? Perhaps, but many schools now accept work submitted electronically, so double-check before purchasing, or wait until a few weeks into the first semester to purchase a printer. Is it necessary for a student to have a printer? Perhaps, but DVD drives are becoming more difficult to come by, particularly in smaller models where manufacturers must make room for other features such as cooling fans or extra batteries. The importance of other features and accessories is debatable.
Durability and Protection
Spill-proof keyboards, which direct any small amounts of liquid away from the interior electrical components, are ideal for students and are available in all price ranges. To protect against short drops or falls, more expensive laptop models may use magnesium alloy or carbon fiber construction, and some computers are even put through military-level durability tests (MIL-SPEC 810G, for example). Laptops with extra features for tough use in harsh environments are already popular in industrial settings, and they’re quickly gaining traction in the student market as well.
Keyboard Comfort and Clickety-clack
If you’re the type of buyer who scrutinizes every technical specification down to the tenth or twelfth line, you should think about the keyboard’s sound and feel. Taking notes in class or working in the library is great, but if every key press makes a distracting “clickety-clack” noise, you might get some dirty looks from your classmates.
Pre-loaded Consumer Software
Microsoft, for example, has long offered special discounts to students. Even without a university discount, pre-loaded software straight from the source can be a good deal. Check with the student’s school to see if they already have cloud-based versions of these programs, which may be less expensive (or even free). Furthermore, having the software installed on the machine (rather than relying on cloud-based apps) may be necessary when working in areas where wireless networks are not available. Most computer buyers are familiar with the types of add-on deals available for pre-installing word processing, presentation, and other software on their new laptops.
Technical Support and Warranty Options
Also, make sure to check the laptop warranty’s length and terms. Checking the official online forums where these issues are discussed, on the other hand, can often provide the answers you need to keep your system up and running. The quality and availability of tech support from the laptop manufacturer can be an important factor depending on the student’s technical know-how. It’s worth weighing the cost-benefit of any extended warranty offered on a new student laptop that’s expected to last 4-5 years.
Find a Laptop for 2021 Back to School
Whatever you plan to study, we have a student laptop that will fit your budget while still providing the performance you require. Take a look at our student deals on laptops for school, and let us assist you in locating the computer you’ll need to succeed this semester.
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