People often don’t know how much machine they really need when they shop for a student laptop. The first reflex is to go for the latest model everyone talks about, but these models can easily cost a fortune, and you may not ever be able to use them to their full potential. On the other hand, a budget laptop can make for a very disappointing experience if you don’t pick the right one. Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to think about when choosing between a cheap or a high-end laptop for students.
What Type of Work Will be Done on the Laptop?
The first thing you have to know is how the laptop is going to be used. If all you need is a machine to do some word processing and online learning, then you don’t need to break the bank. You could get away with a computer with a small dual-core processor and an integrated graphics chip. These black laptops by Lenovo are good examples.
Things become trickier if you need to do some advanced things like video editing, however. In this case, features like a powerful CPU will be very important. If you or the student you want to buy the laptop for is involved in visual arts, for instance, then you can’t get them a cheap laptop. You will most likely have to pay more for a CPU with a high clock speed and multiple cores with a powerful GPU.
What Else will be Done on the Laptop?
You also have to look at what you want to do with the laptop outside of studying. If you or the person you’re buying the laptop for is into gaming, for instance, then you might not be able to get what you need from a budget laptop. Most of these units have integrated graphics cards, and you can’t do much gaming with those. So, if you don’t want to have to buy a separate machine for gaming, consider paying a bit more for a machine with a decent graphics card.
A Word on Chromebooks
If you are strapped for cash but still want a powerful machine that is perfect for studying, then we suggest you look at Chromebooks. These laptops are usually significantly cheaper than Windows or Apple laptops with the same specs.
This is because they run in Google’s proprietary OS and are made to be used over the internet principally. You also won’t be able to install programs directly on the machine, only through Chrome.
Don’t think that these machines are limited, however. Today, you’ll find chrome extensions for virtually every program under the sun. The only area where Chromebooks have some catching up to do is with gaming. But, if you’re not a gamer, then you should see no virtually no differences between a Chromebook and a regular laptop. Not to mention that they have significant advantages like longer battery time, faster boot speed, and integrated cybersecurity, so give them a look if you haven’t already.
The choice between buying a high-end laptop or a budget one will largely depend on your needs or the needs of the student you’ll be buying the laptop for. Don’t assume, however, that budget means poor quality, and learn how to read specs instead of relying on brand name and hype.