A laptop has gone from something that is just nice for students to have to a necessity. Laptops have become an essential tool for taking notes in class, and completing assignments while they're in the library, working with friends or sitting in bed in their dorm room.
When it comes to shopping for a student laptop, there are a ton of different choices. The right laptop for a student will depend on how he or she plans to use the device, and what the budget is for purchase.
"The Writer" refers to users who plan on using their laptop for basic word processing and web surfing. This group of users has the biggest range of options out there. While shoppers can certainly spend a ton of money on something like Apple's MacBook Pro, it's a lot more computer than they'll actually need.
On a Budget
For shoppers on a budget, one of the best solutions out there is a Chromebook. These run a version of Google Chrome rather than Windows or Apple's OS X. Everything done on the computer is saved to the cloud rather than its hard drive, which means users can pull up all files on a computer in the computer lab or on a buddies PC while studying. The computer always upgrades to the latest version of Chrome, so users don't have to worry about it becoming outdated. A good Chromebook costs around $200, so students won't amass a ton of debt buying one. There are great options out there, but HP's Chromebook 14 or Acer's Chromebook 13 are good places to start.
With Some Cash
Students with a little extra money to spend can consider the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air is light and easy to tote around, but can perform most of the same functions as Apple's more expensive MacBook Pro. The Air can run programs like Photoshop and iMovie, so multimedia work can be done easily and efficiently on this device.
The Film Major
For students planning to work with video, Apple's MacBook Pro is the ideal choice because of the speed of the processor, the graphics and video cards, and the amount of hard drive space available.
The majority of film classrooms teach with Final Cut Pro as a video editing solution, a program that is only available for the Mac, which makes it essential for students to purchase a Mac computer.
With the Pro, there are a number of different options when it comes to size. Budget buyers will want to pick up the traditional MacBook Pro, while those with a little more to spend may want to pay a little more for the Retina model of the laptop, which has a much higher resolution screen.
The Computer Programmer
Students interested in computer-related field need a computer that can grow along with them. Important factors to consider include a best-in-class keyboard as well as a fast processor, and a computer chassis that will allow for hardware upgrades in the future. Check with your program to find out what the computer requirements are before making a purchase.
On a Budget
The Lenovo ThinkPad is a good option for students on a budget. This computer is currently used in a number of businesses. The laptop has an excellent keyboard, and batteries can be swapped out on the go, so you can keep programming without searching for an outlet.
With Some Cash
Apple's MacBook Pro is also a good solution for this user group. The Pro is the standard at a majority of Internet startups and can be used not only for programming, but also for other pursuits as well.