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Tips for College Students Buying Laptops

by Casey Tolfree

If you are hoping to make it through four years of college, you are going to need a good laptop by your side. It's important to make sure you consider many factors when looking into the right laptop for you and your education. A few tips can help you pick the computer that will suit your needs.

Use

It's important to know what you will use a laptop for when making a purchase, as each laptop has its own benefits for different uses. College students will be taking notes in class, writing papers, performing internet research, and communicating with peers and professors through email. Also make sure the laptop is compatible with the types of programs professors will be using in the classroom and that it is possible to burn CDs, if that is one of the ways you will be studying or handing in assignments.

Size

The standard sizes are 13 inches, 15 inches and 17 inches for laptops. Again, what you intend to use the laptop for is important in choosing the size. Graphic design or film students, for instance, might need a 17-inch model in order to see the entire project on the screen. However, if you intend to travel with your laptop a lot, bringing it from class to class, from the cafeteria to the coffee shop down the street, a 13- or 15-inch laptop might better suit those needs.

Cost

The laptop you buy should offer everything you need for college and fun. A word processor with spreadsheets and presentation software is key in college, but you don't need to spend extra money for unnecessary software programs or extra memory you won't use. Larger screens mean higher costs, too, so make sure to get the size you need for the work you will be doing. Many stores and companies offer student discounts, so make sure to take advantage of them if they are available.

Personal Style

The last thing to consider when buying a laptop is your personal style. It's important that the laptop is comfortable. Pick it up to make sure it isn't too heavy or too thin for you. Open the laptop and set your fingers on the keyboard to make sure the length of the keyboard works for you and you can type well without errors. Check out the cursor and see how well you are able to navigate the screen. College is going to be full of work, and using your laptop should aid the process, not hinder it.

About the Author

Casey Tolfree is a communications and social media professional. She has worked as a writer for more than five years in both the newspaper industry and higher education. Tolfree received a M.F.A. in creative writing from Adelphi University and a B.S. in journalism from St. John's University.

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