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How to Choose the Ideal College Laptop for Your Needs!

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We are sadly reaching this time of the year when the winter holidays are almost over, but a lot of you will be making it back to your second favorite holiday destination: college! All jokes aside, we know you’re planning on getting a lot of work done, and going back to school after seeing others receive a brand new laptop for Christmas might just prompt you to think: “Yeah I definitely need to buy a new college laptop, no doubt about it…I just need it…It’s for work after all!” We can’t blame you from wanting to get new gear, and there is certainly no shortage of good machines to pick from, but the question is: how much should you actually spend? Do you need a powerhouse beast of a laptop or will a simple notebook do?

Having a laptop in college is essential
No matter what course you are studying let’s make this clear: having your own laptop in college is a necessity; as much of education now relies upon online resources, electronic communications and at the very minimum word processing. Of course you can use your college’s computer labs and your faculties’ machines to get your work done but this means you are reliant upon their opening hours to get things done. Even communications from lecturer’s and faculty staff get done online so you really need to have your own machine and internet connection at home to find out what is going on with your course. Basically we are not saying that you cannot go through college without your own computer, but not having one will put you at a certain disadvantage.

Looking for a cheap laptop?
Most basic college homework related tasks will involve creating documents and going online to research materials and access the college’s online portal, and this doesn’t require much computing power at all. So before jumping on the “I need the latest Apple laptop” bandwagon; stop and think for a few minutes; as a cheap but smart little notebook such as the Dell Latitude E6430 will be plenty to do the jobs you need. This 14 inch laptop starts under $300 and the base model sports a dual core i5-3440M Intel Core processor clocked at 2.7 GHz and with an overall cache of 3 MB. Furthermore, it has 4 GB of DDR3 RAM clocked at 1600 MHz; with a 320 GB hard drive which will give you plenty of storage to save your work. At this price you also get the high quality, 64-bit version of Windows 7 with it so it’s really a no brainer.

How about a 2-in-1 Miix Tablet?
Alternatively those who are not the biggest Dell fans might be tempted by the smaller and sleeker looking Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2 Tablet. Priced at an affordable and competitive price of $379, the 2-in-1- tablet's vibrant 11.6" wide-view display uses In-Plane Switching (IPS) for vivid colors and nearly 180-degree viewing angles. This stylish and very easy to transportable runs Windows 10 Professional 64-bit. The 2-in-1 tablet's 2MP front camera and 5MP rear camera will help you enjoy web conferences or online video chats like you're really there. This 2-in-1 Tablet sports a fourth generation 4202Y Intel Core processor, clocked at 1.60 GHz. It also 4 GB of DDR3L RAM. It works on a 128GB SSD so it is limited in storage, however what it lacks in storage, it makes up for it in speed.

So you need a beefier machine?
So maybe your course involves video editing and you basically need a beast of a laptop whose performance compares with high end desktops. True you could probably buy yourself a cheap notebook and use the rest of the money to put together a good desktop, but who wants to have to use two machines when one can do it all? Off course you will need a much larger budget for this but if cost is not an issue then the Dell Latitude E7470 might just be the baby you are looking for. Coming just under $1200 on Amazon and over $1500 on Dell's website, this 14 inch machine sports a 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.6 GHz and a 8 GB of new and improved DDR4 SDRAM. For storage, you will be blessed with a 512 GB SSD for running your software fast and for storage for all those important project files. This monster of a machine also has a QHD (2560x1440) screen with E2E touch display features while protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass NBT screen so it can display the highest quality display while enduring the roughest conditions.

A lot to choose from
There are many machines to check out, and the landscape for buying a good laptop is wide indeed. The best thing you can do is to buy the best machine that is within range of your budget and one that will satisfy all your needs. Remember this laptop will be following throughout your college years (arguably the best years in your life); so you’re not just picking a machine, you’re choosing a companion which will stick to you through thick and thin. And we want to thank you for choosing us, Notebook Avenue, to help you make this decision.



 

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