What Are the Specifications of a Good Laptop for Students?

A laptop is as important to students as textbooks and a school ID.  As many colleges and universities use a combination of in-person and remote learning as part of their responses to the coronavirus outbreak, laptops are more important than ever. A laptop that you can use wherever you are is vital if you’re learning from home a few days a week and going to school the rest of the time.

Many educational institutions now strongly advise all students to have a personal laptop computer capable of supporting the demanding video and processing requirements required for coursework, as well as sufficient storage to accommodate future software releases.

So, What Are the Specifications of a Good Laptop for Students?

Finding the finest laptop for college takes more than just looking for the cheapest model available. Before you choose one, think about a few factors to ensure that you get a portable that can keep up with your needs. B To begin, be sure it comes with the kind of performance you’ll need to handle whatever coursework you’re given. An engineering or film student, for example, will require more power to complete their homework than a liberal arts student.

Battery life, mobility, and other appropriate features should all be taken into account. After all, it must be able to last a full day without needing to be recharged, as well as be light and slim enough to be carried around in a backpack all day as it is moved from class to class. Of course, it should include the things that you or your matriculating mind would find most useful, such as enough ports, touchscreen capability, and 2-in-1 functionality. A laptop for college students must also be cost-effective while lasting for the long haul, ideally four years of undergrad and possibly a year of graduate school.

Specifications of a Good Laptop for Students

So before buying any laptop, you should read our guide as it let you know what are the specifications of a good laptop for students.

A Lightweight Laptop is best Suited for Students

Not every student will agree, but a big-screen notebook may not be the best choice depending on how far you’ll be carrying it every day.

It’s lovely to have a tiny home theatre in your dorm room or play the latest games in 1080p on a huge screen, but carrying a 5-pound laptop with a 15-inch or 17-inch screen around campus while rushing from class to class will be a mess.   If screen size is less important to you than portability, a super-thin ultraportable could be the way to go.

A maximum 13- or 14-inch widescreen panel is appropriate for most people since it will free up space in your backpack and reduce the weight load.

The majority of your computing time will be spent on essays, research papers, and online talking with classmates, so a full-size keyboard and a comfortable touchpad are essential. Also keep in mind that if you get smaller than a 13-inch laptop, you risk not getting the same typing experience. The simplest approach to verify that you have the best keyboard is to go to a physical store and spend some time typing on different options.

If you do decide to get a smaller, less expensive laptop, you should consider purchasing a standalone keyboard to keep at home or in your dorm for times you need to type a lot. A desktop monitor connected through HDMI could also be a good addition.

An Efficient CPU and GPU

Laptops come with a variety of CPUs to suit a variety of budgets and use cases—you may pick one that prioritizes performance or one that prioritizes battery life. Alternatively, you might choose one that caters to both strengths: The 11th Generation “Tiger Lake” Core CPUs from Intel provide both power and battery efficiency gains. AMD’s Ryzen mobile processors are less popular, but they’re becoming a viable option for ultraportable laptops.

If you need all-day battery life and spend practically all of your time in a web browser, a Chromebook might be the way to go. These are often powered by low-power processors (mostly Intel Celeron and Pentium chips), but these are sufficient for the types of workaday internet chores that Chromebooks excel at.   If performance is important to you, a Mac with an Apple M1 chip or a Windows laptop with at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor will deliver the best results.

If you enjoy gaming in your spare time, you may want to invest in a more expensive gaming laptop. Most general-purpose computers, especially those priced around $800, lack the discrete graphics processor (GPU) required to make the latest AAA games look beautiful and run smoothly.

However, if you look around a little, you can get gaming laptops with a competent Nvidia GeForce GTX or (less typically) AMD Radeon RX GPU for playing games at 1080p on moderate or higher settings for around $700. (For more information on budget GPUs and how to choose the right gaming machine for your needs, see our guide to the best inexpensive gaming laptops.) A powerful GPU can also help in certain high-end and scientific applications that benefit from GPU acceleration, although they, like a high-powered processor, are battery hungry.

The good news is that, for the most part (unless you’re an architecture student who relies heavily on CAD software), integrated graphics solutions should be sufficient for your day-to-day duties. This is the graphics processor found in the majority of budget and mid-range laptops. Intel HD Graphics, Intel UHD Graphics, Intel Iris/Iris Plus graphics, or Intel Xe Graphics are all examples of Intel integrated graphics today.

Are you looking for the best laptops under $150? These are the cheapest laptops available on the market currently.

SSDs are Preferable for Students

With the rise of cloud storage and web applications, having a lot of local storage space isn’t as important as it once was, but you should still make sure your laptop can handle your needs.  You’ll need 500GB of space or more if you wish to install a lot of programs or keep a lot of large media files. If you don’t foresee requiring all that local storage, or are fine with leaving a lot of your work online, you can get by with a laptop with less space.

Whatever path you choose, keep in mind that storage has an impact on speed. If you choose a hard drive over a solid-state drive because it offers more storage for less money, keep in mind that it will be substantially slower than an SSD. Some students are willing to make the trade-off between the higher cost and reduced capacity of a speedier SSD. We strongly recommend SSDs for laptops that can be frequently carried around campus, as SSDs are resistant to drop damage. They’re also significantly faster than hard discs, giving any laptop a far more responsive feel.

The good news is that you may expand your storage capacity anytime you need it by connecting an external hard drive or SSD to one of your laptop’s USB ports. Although you are unlikely to need this unless you are a video addict or aspiring filmmaking student, it is an excellent alternative to have.

“A Long Battery Life” for Students to Carry out all day tasks:

On a day full of classes and extracurricular activities, a large battery can be your best buddy. A few laptops designed for school come with multiple battery options. Most students, on the other hand, just have one—and it isn’t removable.

Determine where battery life falls in the larger scheme of things in this scenario. If detachable batteries are available (which usually aren’t), getting a second one, or a larger “extended” one if available, at the time of purchase would be a smart idea for all students. Furthermore, it is pertinent to mention here for students that the more “cells” a battery contains within a specific model line, the better the battery life would be of any laptop.

A large battery adds weight, but it’s definitely worth it if it means you can leave the system unplugged from dawn to dusk.

A Hybrid laptop would be more suitable

A new laptop category has emerged in recent years, called  Hybrids. It is also known as 2-in-1s, and can be used as standard folding laptops when necessary, but can also be transformed into tablets according to your requirements. Some have a folding design that allows the keyboard to be flipped out of the way by twisting the hinge all the way around. Others (referred to as “detachable”) allow you to dock a tablet/screen section of the PC with an accessory keyboard to provide a laptop-like experience.

An inexpensive 2-in-1 could be exactly what students are looking for to fill a variety of jobs. One thing to keep in mind: if you’re thinking about getting a detachable 2-in-1, make sure the keyboard base is included in the pricing.

A Word on Warranties

Almost every laptop sold nowadays comes with at least a one-year parts and labour warranty. Extended warranties are also available, but whether or not they are beneficial depends on the type of user you are.

For starters, be aware that accidents like spilled drinks, etc, are not covered by the normal warranty. Most manufacturers sell accident coverage separately from extended warranties that supplement ordinary warranties, so you could end up paying close to $300 for three years of coverage. Apple offers a three-year extended warranty for $250, while some Windows laptop manufacturers give up to four years.

If the warranty costs more than 15% of the overall laptop price, we recommend investing the money in backup drives or services that reduce downtime in the event that something goes wrong.

However, there is another instance when the college itself may be an X-factor. Some colleges have special relationships with specific vendors for onsite laptop service, so it’s worth checking with the college’s bookstore or computer store to see if any such special circumstances apply.

We have also listed laptop specifications for the particular field of students.

Architecture Students

Laptop Specs

  • Intel i7 or i9 processor
  • Windows 10 x 64
  • 16 – 32 GB of RAM
  • Dedicated video processor should be one of the following or greater: Nvidia Quadro, Nvidia® Geforce 1060, 1660, 2060, 3060, AMD  Radeon Pro 5500M/5600M.
  • At least a 500 GB hard drive (SSD hard drive)
  • Wireless networking adapter (for internet)
  • Three-year warranty (recommended)
  • Theft and damage insurance (recommended)

Accessories

  • USB thumb drive (32 GB)
  • USB storage hard drive/backup (500 GB–1 TB)

CRP Students

Laptop Specs

  • At least an Intel Core i5 processor (i7 preferred)
  • Windows 10 x 64
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • 500 GB hard drive
  • Wireless networking adapter (for internet)
  • Three-year warranty (recommended)
  • Total estimated cost: The price of laptops with these specs can range from $500–$1,500.

Accessories

  • USB thumb drive (32 GB)
  • USB storage hard drive (500 GB)

Final Words

True, there are ever more choices on the market today for students than ever before. However, before buying any laptop, you must check the specifications that are best suited for you, which have been mentioned in our blog. So if you like our article or have any queries regarding them, do mention them in the comment section! At the end, we hope that you now know exactly what are the specifications of a good laptop for students?

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