How to Choose a Laptop for College Students

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As a college student, having a laptop of your own should be one of your top priorities before even heading to college. Getting the best laptop of your own for college can be quite a tedious task because of the variety of options available.

Students in college use laptops for various reasons such as web browsing, completing college essay assignments, or case studies. Although some students prefer to use a college paper writing service for such academic assignments, they also use them to play games, among many other things.

There are many factors to consider before choosing a laptop as a college student. We have patiently highlighted in this article, in a simplified way, a guide for you on what to consider before choosing a laptop.

Consider your budget

The first thing to watch out for is how much you have to spend on acquiring your laptop. There are many laptops with excellent features. However, you have to narrow down your options to your budget.

You can get an excellent laptop despite being considerate about your budget, so not having so much money should not be the reason for not getting your laptop. Go for the ones you can afford.

Determine what you need the laptop for

You need to figure out your needs; the kind of laptop you would get depends on the course you are studying or the plans you have on what to do with the Laptop.

Some courses like those learning skills in gaming and media require a strong graphics card and more RAM in their laptop than a student learning video editing and photography would need. At the same time, they prioritize having a display with high color accuracy and level of brightness.

To make it less tedious, determine what laptop will be used for. What programs are required for your classes? Do you plan to be involved in gaming?

However, regardless of what you are studying, we highly recommend you choose laptops that can handle and run new applications and programs because of the rapid growth we see in technology in these years. 

Determine the operating system

The most popular and flexible operating system in the world today is Windows 10 – you should find it installed on every laptop you handle nowadays.

Windows 10 is the latest edition of Microsoft’s operating system; it is an upgrade of the previous windows 7 & 8 and has some exciting features such as the ability to switch between desktop and tablet modes.

Windows 10 isn’t the only operating system; we also have Chrome OS and macOS. As we noted earlier, depending on what you are studying, some courses may have specific system requirements and will need Chrome OS or macOS.

Although they perform similar functions, they are not the same. MacBooks use macOS, which is Apple’s latest desktop operating system. Important to note that MacBooks don’t have touch screens.

Choose the RAM and processor

Laptops come with different RAM ranging from 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB, depending on what it will be used for. RAM determines how many tasks your Laptop can handle at the same time.

But ideally, you should get a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. Having enough RAM makes multitasking between heavy software less tedious. More RAM increases the price, so stay with the one within your budget if you are on one.

The laptop processor determines how fast the system operates. Laptops use AMD and Intel processors; deciding which one can be a bit difficult, but the best way to determine this is to consider what you want to use it for.

For instance, an average student who uses his laptop mainly for assignments or essential game software might just choose an Intel Core i5. However, students who run intense graphic software or programming would require laptops running Intel Core i7 or AMD A10 processors.  

Choose the storage size required

Another essential factor you would also want to consider when choosing the laptop you want to buy is the storage size. Most laptops have hard drives with 500GB.

For a college student that would have quite a lot of things to store, ranging from documents to pictures, videos, and other necessary data, hard drives with storage ranging from 500GB and higher are ideal.

Moreover, students studying courses like engineering or programming that would need to store large data might require more than 500GB.

If you can’t get a Laptop with hard drives with higher capacities because of your budget, you can also go for an external hard drive with higher storage capacities.

Battery life

An average college student spends a minimum of 7 hours daily with his system browsing through the internet, streaming video online, or playing games, and you might not be charged your Laptop at college.

A good capacity battery should last for a minimum of 8 hours. As important as the RAM and processor of a Laptop are, so does its battery life.

Choose graphic cards

Most Laptops have two types of graphic solutions which are INTEGRATED and DISCRETE. The integrated graphics card will suffice if you are not doing intense video editing or creating 3D objects.

However, a discrete graphics card is essential; it comes with dedicated graphics memory that enables them to perform graphics-intensive games and software; AMD or NVIDIA typically powers them.

Choose a portable size

Going for an affordable 2-in-1 laptop would be a better solution for a college student because it’s portable, and you can easily move around college with it. The 2-in-1 Laptop comes in different styles.

These laptops have better advantages over traditional laptops; they can be used as a tablet to read a digital textbook and can also be used as a conventional laptop for taking notes in class.

They are lightweight, and it is also suitable for general internet browsing. Often, Laptops are categorized by their display sizes; you choose to depend on the one your work requires. We have 11 to 12 inches, 13 to 14 inches, and 15 to 16 inches.

Connectivity and other laptop accessories

The laptop should come with specific accessories to increase its productivity, while some are meant to protect your computer.

For instance, your laptop bag is designed to safeguard your laptop and securely carry it.

You will also need at least two to three USB ports on your laptop, and additional connections like HDMI are essential if you want to transfer images or display videos.


So, to choose the right laptop for college, don’t panic. Follow through the guidelines we have highlighted above to make the best choice for yourself or for any college student you know of.

Alex Berg
Alex Berg

Founder, writer, editor-in-chief at LaptopTalks. Starting LaptopTalks is like a dream come true, combining two of his passions – writing and technology. Even in his free time, you can often find him by his gaming laptop playing the latest video games.

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