In case you’re searching for a laptop to do your schoolwork on, you are not alone. The beginning of the year marks the beginning of the semester for many students around the world, as they come back from the Christmas holidays and get back to their studies. But sometimes the requirements of your studies might be beyond the capabilities of your current laptop.
The good thing about looking for an appropriate laptop as a student is that there are so many options. You can choose from dozens of brands and hundreds of models. But that’s also the problem. It can feel overwhelming to have all that choice and not know how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
That’s what this article is about, we’ll help you pick the right laptop for you, depending on your needs, and by the end, you’ll have a narrower list to consider. We’ll also throw in a few tips and hacks to help you get the most out of your laptop at the end so you’re much more confident about it when you finally buy it.
Do I get a Mac or a PC?
Choosing a brand of laptop is normally the first choice you have to make. Macs and PCs offer many of the same benefits and are practically interchangeable for many uses. However, if you’re pursuing a court in art, design, or publishing, or running a professional writer service like me, you will be better off with a Mac. Sure, it may take a while to learn the macOS, but it’s worth it in the end.
PCs may not look as sleek as Macs, but Levi’s don’t look as cool as Mossimo either, and people still love them. The beauty of PCs is that there are many manufacturers designing different models with a variety of styles, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that suits your style better than any Apple. They’re also overly way cheaper than Apple unless you go for the very high-end models.
Another major advantage of PCs is that they use Windows, which is more popular than Mac OS, and so should be familiar to most people.
You should note that Macs have longer battery life, with some like the new MacBook Air going for up to 12 hours. If you want a laptop you don’t have to plug in every now and then, a Mac is a perfect choice for you.
Here are a few suggestions for laptops you might want to consider, based on your particular needs:
Apple MacBook Air
The latest Apple MacBook Air was launched late in 2020 and features the new M1 processor. It has significantly better performance than any of the MacBook Airs that came before it. It’s also got good value at just $999.
Asus VivoBook S15
The VivoBook S15 (S533) is an excellent laptop for those on a budget, but that’s not to mean it doesn’t perform well. It’s actually quite powerful and has a long battery life, as well as a fingerprint reader. The design is also quite stylish.
Lenovo has gained quite a reputation for making fast machines to boost productivity. This one is a little more expensive than the MacBook Air, but it does have a larger 14-inch screen and lots of room to customize and upgrade your laptop as you wish.
Alienware laptops are known to be absolute beasts in the world of gaming. If you game a lot, any of the Alienware 14-18 models should be a good pick. The Alienware 14 line is the entry-level product line, while the higher ones are more expensive. They can cost anywhere from $1000 on the lower end to over $2000.
If all you want is a simple laptop on which you can do simple computing stuff, like word processing and sending emails, then a Chromebook Pixel should do the job. One goes for just $300, has excellent resolution, a touch screen, and pretty decent performance!
Tips and Hacks
Whatever laptop you get, a few tips and hacks will help you work better. Here are some of the ones that work with me.
You may want a laptop with plenty of storage, but find most of the ones on the market are rather highly-priced. In that case, buy a simple laptop with lower storage and then expand it with an external SSD, USB, or an SD card. This will be significantly cheaper in most cases.
While we all love our pets, it’s important to be careful with them around your laptop. Pet hair and dirt might find their way into your laptop. Every once in a while, take a blow dryer and blow some compressed air into the vents in your laptop to clean out the buildup of dirt, lint, and hair.
When in the kitchen, consider using binder clips to hold your cords and keep them pinned to your desk. This is useful when you’re working in a kitchen and don’t want the cords to slide back down to the ground when you unplug your laptop. They could get pretty wet (and dangerous) down there.
Sometimes laptops can have really short battery lives, even when new, and this can understandably get annoying. It’s a good idea to check the battery life of a new laptop you’re thinking of buying. However, if you can’t afford the best battery life, or you’re still operating on an old one, consider turning on battery-saving mode at all times to save your battery. You can also dim the display so the battery consumes less power on account of how bright the screen is.
Food and drink
While it may be tempting, you should never eat or drink near your laptop. This goes especially for coffee. On a desktop, you can easily replace a keyboard when you spill coffee on it. The keyboard on a laptop, on the other hand, is integrated into the laptop and sits near vital components. You may end up buying a whole new laptop, rather than just a keyboard.
Buying a new laptop may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tips and hacks, as well as knowing the right models for your needs, you’re good to go. Hopefully, this article helps you do that. Until next time, happy studying!
Susanna Balashova is a creative magician in a world of (mostly) boring Marketing. She transforms dreary work things and makes them interesting and effective. She also likes creating her own world within some fanfic sketches. Reach out to her on Twitter or LinkedIn.