Back to school is fast approaching and many people are starting classes again in a few days. Whether you see yourself in graduate school or about to enter high school, chances are you’re looking to equip yourself to have the right tools and work in the right environment. Many of you will probably choose a laptop or notebook for writing in class or just studying at night.
Choosing a new laptop for your study is not an easy decision. The selection is wide, and above all you must be aware of your budget. It is therefore necessary to focus on the criteria that are really important, according to our needs and our limitations. That’s why we offer you a guide to find out how to choose the right equipment for studying and what criteria to take into account when buying a laptop as a student.
Define your budget
The first point on which you must dwell, and which is imperative to correct immediately, it’s your budget. It’s very easy to be tempted to look at laptops in all price ranges and get a little too hopeful about performance or aesthetics. The risk is eventually having to fall back on cheaper ones, without really taking the time, because we’ve already spent too much looking at overpriced computers.
Set yourself a maximum price that must not be exceeded to avoid blowing your budget. Also decide on an entry price, because it is important to be mentally prepared to withdraw a large sum. It is still a significant investment and it is important not to take something that does not meet your expectations. It is also up to you to see if you want to invest in a computer that could also be used for gaming.
Performance and operating system
Every use is different, and for every need there will be a product that suits you. You don’t need the same performance if you study literature and just try to write as if you study graphics or motion design. It is therefore necessary to take the time to research your software needs and what resources are required.
Software such as the Adobe suite or technical tools may require high performance and therefore increase the cost of components. Nevertheless, word processing software such as Word or programs such as Excel are much less greedy. If you need performance, look for a good processor such as a Core i7 or an AMD Ryzen 7 with enough RAM.
Finally, there is also the choice of operating system. The most popular are of course Windows 10 (or 11) and macOS. Some may want to address Linux, but one imagines that these people are already familiar with the subject of OS. Not all software is fully compatible, depending on whether you choose a Windows computer or Apple’s own operating system.
Choose the right sizes
The size of your laptop, and therefore your screen size, is an important criterion. If you’re just doing word processing, you might not need big hardware. This will facilitate transport and allow you to easily put it in a backpack. This also affects its price, and therefore your budget as seen in the first point.
But it is also important to pay attention to the display. A cheaper laptop generally has lower image quality. Also, and this is not always true, smaller screens generally have lower resolution. If you are studying motion design, for example, it can be important to have a good image quality. Finally, apart from a few rare cases where it is necessary, we do not recommend touchscreens, which are generally more expensive.
Pay attention to the weight
Study days can be long and exhausting. Between the long hours of sitting in class, changing rooms, stairs to climb, and not to mention public transportation, you shouldn’t skimp on the weight of your laptop. Granted, you’re probably young, but a heavy PC will only tire you out more. It is sometimes complicated to take a computer that is lighter than another, especially if you have to compromise on performance or screen size, but do not hesitate to compare the weight between two PCs with similar performance to take the least heavy .
If it is always possible to recharge between noon and two, or to plug directly into action, we must not forget that a laptop works on battery. If you are already dry by 10 o’clock, the rest of the day will be long. To start, ask yourself if it is necessary to have good battery life (are the rooms equipped with a socket for each position in my course? Do I need to use my computer all day…?) and then in operation, plan a device with an appropriate autonomy.
Keyboard and touch
The choice of a keyboard is much less extensive than on a fixed tower. The difference between the switches and the type of keyboard is much less important on a laptop. And yet, not all keyboards and touchpads are created equal. Therefore, we advise you to take a trip to the store to test the reference that catches your eye. This will allow you to see if the coating and depth of the fingerboard is right for you based on your usage.
Finally, don’t forget to check if there is a numeric keypad or not. On some courses this is not necessary. But for accounting students, for example, a numeric keypad quickly becomes a luxury you can’t say no to. Note, the presence of a numeric keypad logically increases the dimensions of the laptop. Conversely, its absence makes it possible to have something more compact and therefore better for transport.
Gates and accessories
Finally, do not forget to look at the presence of the ports. Whether it is for UBS, Ethernet and so on, check that it meets your needs. For example, if you study photography, the presence of an SD or micro-SD port is an added convenience to easily transfer your files from your camera to your computer.