Back To School With The Best Student Laptop
Back to school, it's that dreaded time of year again, when kids are moaning and parents are rejoicing. It is also the time of year when all concerned are looking for those items to outfit their loved ones with the best equipment to get them a head start. In recent times, a good student laptop is one of those "must-have" items, regardless of whether your kid is heading to grade school or college.
Finding the best student laptop is not easy, especially with the bombardment of laptops, netbooks and iPads - all hitting you in the face, not to mention your pocketbook. Choosing the right device can be a dangerous minefield, where your choice can come back to haunt you or your beloved off-spring. You must follow a few simple rules or tips to lessen your chances of a bad pick or choice.
So here are a few laptop buying tips for finding that perfect student laptop.
1. Ask the student what he or she wants? Might sound strange, but they are the ones who will be using it and they should have a say in what to purchase. Besides, they probably know more about computers than you ever will! However, you as a parent, have to work around their choice or choices to find the laptop which satisfies both your needs. A large ten pound gaming multi-media powerhouse is out of the question, unless it comes with a free netbook or iPad which the student can take to class. Of course, a gaming laptop can be used for more than playing games and can be a great multi-purpose laptop for school work; but you know your kids best, will the temptation for gaming be too much to overcome? If they have the self-discipline to handle it, a gaming laptop should not be totally ruled out.
2. Powerful and Lightweight? The ideal student laptop should be both powerful and lightweight, but be tough enough to take a few knocks and falls. Let's face it, students want something they can easily carry around under their arms or in their backpacks, without producing a hernia. Slim, lightweight, powerful and strong are the key characteristics of the best student computer notebook.
3. Sandy Bridge what? Regardless of the laptop brand or make, just make sure you get a laptop which has Intel's second generation "i core" processors which have been nicknamed Sandy Bridge. These Intel i3, i5 and i7 are very powerful and very graphics intensive so they are well suited for student work. Most new laptops now on the market will come with these new powerful GPUs, but check anyway.
4. Which graphics card should you buy? If your kid is into gaming, they will tell you exactly what kind of graphics you need, and it will probably be in the latest Nvidia GeForce series or in the ATI Radeon series of graphics cards. But for general processing, note taking, email and web browsing... the kind of graphics card is not that important. However, if your student has to do heavy video editing, handling/processing large graphic files... then you need a fast powerful graphics card with at least a gig or more of dedicated memory built directly into the card, so that it does not have to rely upon shared RAM from your system. If this should be the case, then go with a high-end Nvidia or ATI card.
5. Security will be an issue? For most students, keeping their laptop secure and safe, can be a problem. You should look at some LoJack software to help protect your laptop. And laptop insurance might be another option, especially in the college setting or if your student will be doing a lot of traveling.
6. Price is always a consideration. For most parents and students, finding a good quality cheap laptop will be your main task. Most will be on a tight budget, so finding those special deals or discounts will be a major factor in which laptop is purchased. Remember, never sacrifice quality for price, as you will be disappointed down the road. Thankfully, laptop prices have steadily fallen, and getting a good priced quality laptop is well within everyone's budget.
7. Do you need a student laptop? These days, you should also realize, that going with a laptop is not your only option. We also have netbooks and iPads, which are somewhat limited but can still do much of the stuff that a laptop can do. These are usually cheaper, smaller, lighter and quieter than laptops - which makes them ideal for the classroom environment. So don't rule out getting an iPad, netbook or another slate device.
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Hopefully, these six or seven laptop buying tips will help you get the best student laptop for your needs. Just remember, you want an affordable powerful lightweight sturdy laptop with some extra security features. Lastly, keep all your options open, that perfect student laptop may not be a laptop at all, but an iPad or netbook. Regardless, your student will be well prepared to face another school year and you can look forward to another year of day-time bliss and peace. Life does have its rewards.