Back to school 2022: which laptop for a student?


pin high school the computer was used only rarely, to make slide shows, do research or certain writings, in higher education it is almost always impossible to do without it. Presentations, reports, computer courses, MCQs; the manuscript is no longer enough, in addition to being often forbidden to reproduce. Your computer will be with you for many years to come, so it is important to choose it carefully. Here are some tips for finding the best computer for your study.

What are the criteria for choosing a computer?

A computer that is easy to carry

To choose your computer, two main criteria must be considered; bulk and autonomy. You will have to take daily trips with your computer and you will have to use it in an amphitheater, in small office spaces or in cafes. It will accompany you everywhere. To adapt to these different situations, it is important that it is not too heavy and takes up little space. Ultraportables and slim computers are the lightest and smallest, but you can definitely turn to a classic computer for better performance sometimes. For dimensions, screens between 13 and 15 inches are generally a good balance between weight and size, the choice will depend on your priority between visual comfort and ease of transport. A computer that’s easy to carry also needs to be durable, so make sure it’s sturdy and invest in good protection.

A computer with a comfortable autonomy

The schedules of higher education are very variable, it is not uncommon to have long days, especially if you want to stay on site after classes. A good autonomy is therefore absolutely essential. Keep in mind that you won’t always have access to an electrical outlet, and if you do, you won’t be the only one who wants to use it. So favor a good autonomy; average 6 to 8 hours without recharging for typical note-taking and research use.

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The right connection

It is something we tend to forget, but the connection of a computer is very important. Mouse, USB key, charger, headphones, keyboard, HDMI cable, make sure you can connect all your accessories at the same time, because even though wireless technologies limit the number of ports needed, they remain fallible. You can also invest in a multiport adapter.

What characterizes a good laptop?

If possible, choose a computer with at least a fifth generation processor so that you are not limited in your use. A medium-power processor, around 2 or 2.5 GHz, is sufficient for typical day-to-day use. However, be careful, especially for certain editing software, higher power may be necessary.

Allow your computer’s RAM at least 4GB of RAM for light use, but 8GB of RAM ensures greater peace of mind and makes multitasking easier.

SSDs are fast storage devices, preferable to HDDs. A capacity of 250 GB is sufficient.

It is interesting to provide an independent graphics card for those who want to use their computer for editing or gaming, otherwise you can easily settle for a graphics card integrated into the motherboard.

Finally, choose a newer operating system if you use specific software that may not be compatible with older versions.

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Specific criteria for the different streams

Depending on the studies you follow and your personal usage, several criteria may vary. Architecture, engineering, graphics, cinema, some specialties require more powerful computers, for which it will be necessary to choose a processor accordingly and better RAM. If you have to work with images, videos and visual renderings, remember to choose a screen with good definition. The numeric keypad can be an interesting option if you often work with numbers. Finally, matte screens are also a practical choice to avoid annoying reflections.

How much does a good laptop cost?

For a simple office use, it is necessary to count on average 300 to 400 euros for the first models of good quality and about 800 euros for the more powerful computers. There are obviously much more expensive models, the price of which will depend, among other things, on the brand, the criteria you want to prioritize and the use you want to make of the computer.

For small budgets, it is recommended to prefer a used computer over a new computer of poor quality that will not last in time.

How do I get help buying a laptop?

Depending on your family quotient and the various award criteria, you may be eligible for CAF support for the purchase of computer equipment or for the CAF equipment loan to purchase your work equipment on credit. There are also other options, such as portable microcredit, regional, departmental and university support or microcredit solutions at low or zero rates.

Finally, some brands offer student discounts to reduce the purchase price of your computer.

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