Laptops have become an essential integration in a student’s life. They are required almost every day, from taking online lectures to assignments preparations, browsing, and on the weekend's binge-watching.
I agree students in different disciplines of studies will have different requirements. A laptop good for an art student can never make the right fit for an IT student or engineering student.
But there are a few traits common in laptops for the student. In this guide, we will pen down some most essential and must-look into features in a laptop, regardless of the disciplines or degree.
9 Things To Consider in A Student’s Laptop?
No.1 Operating system
An operating system is the most important thing to consider for the student when buying a laptop. It comes pre-installed, but you can buy one without OS too. Even the one with Pre-installed OS, you can install a new OS as per your liking and requirements.
But the most important thing is do you want a Windows OS, which gives you the freedom to install third-party apps or Linux or Mac OS, where you will have to install OS from their official stores?
Windows OS is a globally dominated OS, if you want more freedom go with Windows, and if you do not like malware or viruses to Encrypted Malwares taking you down, go with Mac or Linux OS.
No.2 The Right Processor
If you shop a laptop for your college assignment and attend online classes, laptops supported with basic Intel or AMD processor are enough to go with your daily computing. Even for grad school students’ laptops, core i3 or core i5 processor is enough if they do basic computing, such as browsing, streaming, assignments preparations, and like that.
If you buy a laptop to handle heavy software, games, and video editing, go with an excellent supporting processor like Intel Core i5 (quad-core), Intel Core i7, or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 processor. These are the best processors to give a decent performance without slowing down.
No.3 Bright Full HD Display with Anti-Glare Panels
Well, FHD display is no more a premium feature in laptops. Even cheap ranged laptops come with an FHD display. For students, FHD display is the minimum criterion, one step ahead, that display should have good anti-glaring panels.
Because students sometimes indulge in group discussions outdoors present their ideas in PowerPoint, a laptop with glares will make it hard to view the screen.
It should have good brightness, enough good to view everything at the right sharpness and color-richness.
No.4 Choose best RAM and storage
Laptops for basic computing with 8GB RAM are powerful enough to help you go through tasks such as streaming, browsing, basic photo or video editing, notes taking, and others.
if you want to go with high-end tasks like playing heavy games while you open multiple tabs then you should go with 16GB RAM to enjoy error-free computing.
If you are a college student, then you need good storage to save documents, music, movies, and much more. If you like storing movies and games on your laptop, go with a big storage size of at least 1TB. But for casual computing, with no so-high storage requirements, 256-500GB is enough.
But the most important thing here is, the type o storage you are picking. Do not settle with HDD or SATA storage, go with SSD storage because they are at least 4-times faster than HDD storage which surely adds fire to your computing life.
No.5 Accessibility and compatibility and Transportability
Transportability is the biggest factor at least for me. I love thin, ultra-lightweight laptops which are easier to take around. I never recommend robust designed or bulky laptops with extra nuts and bolts on students. So, go with thinner laptops; they consume less battery and last longer.
Convertibility is another great aspect. I usually recommend convertible, 2 in 1 laptop, because they are easier to use and handle tasks on a regular basis. Such as in a convertible laptop, you can transform it into a tablet to read e-books or stream.
I do not recommend convertible laptops for students with professional degrees because they are not as powerful as those students require.
No.6 Graphics Card selection
Laptops are available with two types of graphics card one is integrated and the other is a discrete graphics card.
If you are concerned with low-end tasks like watching movies, browsing, playing basic games, and reading or writing files then integrated graphics card are good to go with your daily computing.
If you are interested to play heavy games, software, graphics designing, video editing, and much more then you need a discrete graphics card that AMD or NVIDIA powers.
These powerful graphics cards permit a good laptop to run intensive software and games. These are available in different series and choose the one according to your budget.
No.7 Ports or connectivity
Don’t forget the importance of connectivity and some laptops have fewer ports that make the system too restrictive.
Types of ports available on laptops:
USB ports- are more usable ports that provide the option to connect various devices like cameras, mice, external hard drives. These are used to quickly transfer data with a speed of 10GB per second. The USB Type-C port uses to transfer data and it also provides an option to juice up your laptop.
Thunderbolt 3 ports are faster than USB 3.1 and transfer data with a speed of 40Gbps and it is four times USB 3.1.
HDMI ports allow you to connect displays and HDTV or an external monitor.
The keyboard is the most important part of a laptop especially for students because they have to handle lots of typing regularly. Your laptop must have a fine keyboard with which you can easily type with a good speed and comfort.
And if your budget allows you, go with a Backlit Keyboard laptop. They are easy to use, provide an illuminated typing experience.
No.9 Good battery life
Battery life for a good laptop is a more critical feature than the other performing arts of the laptop as RAM and processor.
For a college student, it may be necessary to carry a laptop to college or back home, and you may not always have a chance to charge it in college. That’s why a good capacity battery that lasts for a whole day is required.
In the market, laptops are available with 3-cell, 6-cell, or 9-cell batteries and you can choose the best one according to your budget.
On average, slim-looking, portable laptops with good battery hours and bright displays are ideal.
Even the powerful laptops with dedicated graphics and high-specs can be as powerful as desktop replacement or work laptops, take an example of the Lenovo Carbon series. They are highly portable and powerful at the same time.