There are many important things you should consider before buying a new school computer. Consider how much you are willing to spend now versus over time and the different aspects you really need, would prefer, and can afford at the time of purchase. Here are some of the most important considerations before you make that next important tech purchase for your school and career goal achievements.
Obviously, the most impactful aspect of searching for a new school computer is how much you’re going to pay for it. It’s no secret that computers can be quite expensive, and for every aspect you’ll be looking for, it won’t be difficult to find the top of the line specs. However, top of the line specs won’t be cheap, so sometimes it may be necessary to consider compromising at the time of purchase for a less capable laptop with more value-friendly specs that better suits your budget. Consider the specs you need. Also consider the value now or over-time of a reliable computer.
For the most budget friendly laptops, Chromebook laptops shine with their budget-friendly models, where you can usually find a capable computer for around two to three hundred dollars. After this, you can usually find lower-end laptops that run on Windows, where the cheapest models can be found for around two hundred, and can reach upwards of almost two thousand dollars. If you are on a budget, it would be advised to avoid brands like Apple, where their products are more pricey.
Now we go into the computers themselves. You are buying a new school computer, so you’re probably going to need something that can adequately get the job done. For many majors, they may require specific computer programs that will need sufficient power from your computer in order to run it properly. If this is the case for you, it is important that you get a kind of computer that will be able to run these programs, and what you may have to do is avoid certain computer models that are usually less capable.
Though they are the best for a budget, Chromebooks aren’t advised unless you are doing things that can be done on a Chrome browser, such as typing notes or writing papers. They cannot run many programs aside from a browser, so if you need something more powerful, a Windows PC or a MacBook would better suit your needs. Both Windows PCs and Apple computers are great candidates, as both operating systems are capable of running most programs you will need, and are only limited by the power the models come with.
Preferred OS/ Longevity
Now, we go on to what operating system (OS) you would be most comfortable with. For example, people who already have and use an iPhone would have many advantages to getting a MacBook or other Apple computer, such as having synchronized messages, and the familiarity of the software, as both are very similar. The same goes for Android users (Samsung Galaxy, for example) and Windows PCs, as the Windows OS is similar to the OS used on Android phones.
This isn’t always the case, however, as you can still get an Apple computer if you have an Android, and you can still get a Windows PC if you have an iPhone. It all really boils down to whatever you may be comfortable or familiar with. In addition, another important thing to consider for a new school computer is its longevity. MacBooks are notorious for their longevity, as they are usually always compatible with any updates put out, while Windows PCs usually become outdated after a few years.
Of course, a computer doesn’t necessarily have to be used exclusively for school. Perhaps you are thinking it would be fun to do other things on it from time to time while you aren’t caught up in the work of school, and these options are very available! If you stream a lot of videos online through things like Netflix or YouTube, getting a computer that has a higher resolution may be of interest. Apple computers are known for their beautiful retina displays, and many PCs have great screens too.
Another popular pastime for students is gaming. However, in order to play a lot of modern games, they usually require your computer to be pretty well-equipped with beefy hardware. If you want a laptop that can be used also for gaming, brands like Razer and Alienware are good to go with, although they can be pricey, upwards of a thousand dollars. PCs and Macs can also run games, but it is important to get ones with more capable RAM, graphics cards, and processors. These aren’t cheap hardwares, however, so look closely and watch for sales.
Another important aspect is how much storage you will need on your computer. The amount of storage doesn’t necessarily vary all that much between brands, but rather with different models. Much like any other aspect, the more storage you want, the more you will have to pay for the computer. However, nowadays with modern computers, the usual default hard drives come with a terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) of storage, which is usually plenty for the average casual usage, but if you intend on storing many large files, bigger hard drive models are available.
Another important thing to consider is what kind of computer you are wanting to get. Laptops are difficult to upgrade, so what it comes with is pretty much what you’re stuck with. However, with desktop computers, upgrade capabilities are much easier and more available. Although hardware storage in recent years has become less of a concern for many, as modern storage is now commonly kept in the cloud online, it is always nice to have that extra bit of storage on you at all times, just in case.
Portability vs. Remote
And last but not least, will you need to be able to take your computer with you to class or study halls? If so, you will need a laptop computer. However, if you are able to work more remotely, which is entirely possible considering online classes are very popular nowadays, then you could benefit greatly from getting a desktop computer. The difference here is perhaps bigger than it may seem, so it is important to consider which would benefit you the most.
Of course, both of these types have their advantages and disadvantages. Laptops are portable, however, there aren’t many that have a battery that can last longer than just a few hours. They also have less capability for upgrades, in comparison to a desktop. Desktop computers, on the other hand, are useless if you need a computer in locations other than your room or office. However, they have the benefit of customization, easy upgrades, and often have more raw power than what a compact laptop can offer.