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What Makes A Good College Laptop
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What Makes A Good College Laptop

Finding a good laptop for college might be harder than you think. Before entering college, students have full plates, sometimes with extra helpings. Buying a new laptop might seem like an easy task that can be completed after a single trip to a store. Some people may just go online and search for the cheapest laptop they can find. I know I did. Two years in to college however, I am still kicking myself.

Every morning when I pack my laptop in my book bag, I look at it and wonder what if. What if I had done more research or got an opinion form someone who was actually in college? Then I let the question slip from my mind as I run out the door. The thought doesn't enter my head again until I take my laptop out and set it in front of me. Then I scan the room, looking for others who carry the same burden as me. Unfortunately, I have seen hundreds of students who do.

Going in to my junior year of college, I feel as though I have enough experience to share my thoughts on this subject. Throughout my first two years, I have found what works for me and what does not. I have also witnessed what works for my fellow classmates and what does not. When it comes to laptops, big generally doesn't work. As mentioned before, my laptop is huge. In order for it to fit in my book bag, I must put it in without a case. I do what I can to add cushion and luckily I have had no problems. I cannot say the same for two friends of mine however. But that's a story for another time.

Needless to say, size matters. Whether trying to fit it in your bag or making sure it doesn't fall off the desk in the lecture hall, you will definitely feel the effects of your laptop's size. What size should my laptop be then? Unfortunately for me, but fortunate for you, I have that answer. Laptops under fifteen inches will be just fine. Anything over fifteen inches will definitely be a nuisance. So then that's it? Anything under fifteen inches is perfect? Not in the slightest.

Imagine carrying a bag full of five pound textbooks. Now imagine carrying a bag of five pound textbooks, and a large brick. That is the feeling you get when your laptop weighs more than five pounds. Weight is just as important as dimensions when it comes to laptops. The slightest difference in weight can feel enormous. For reference, my laptop weighs nearly six pounds, and on more than one occasion, I have considered taking it out of my bag and leaving it in the middle of the street. Of course, I have never done this (well maybe once but I picked it back up before it was run over), but I cannot lie and say the thought has never entered my mind, especially at the end of the week on my third walk between classes. What I'm getting at is this, your laptop needs to be light! There are some laptops out there that are just a notch above two pounds. I can only dream of the feeling the owners of these laptops get, knowing that they have excellent decision making skills. Not all two pound laptops are perfect though.

A laptop that can be put in to a bag and carried around as if it weighs nothing is a valuable commodity. But can all these light laptops do everything a heavy one can? No. In a lot of cases, going light also means going light in capabilities. But what capabilities are essential in a laptop? That is one question I cannot answer. Not because it doesn't have an answer, but because it has so many answers. Everyone in college will use their laptops for different purposes. Some may need it for downloading pictures and videos and some may find using their laptop as a mini game console a must. If you fall in to either of these categories, the laptop for you is not in the two to three pound range.

So then what makes a good college laptop? The answer is ultimately up to you. But as a veteran in the world of college computing, I can tell you that your laptop must be smaller than fifteen inches and less than five pounds. Those are not hard criteria to meet, but they can often be overlooked and undervalued. So choose wisely. Don't let the price tag cast a shadow on the specs, because if you make the wrong choice, the price you will pay over the next four years is greater than you can imagine.


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