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Things to know before buying computer for school

  • Author:Bucky
  • Source:Punch Newspaper
  • Release on:2019-08-08

Computers play a large role in the education of students today. Word processing helped bring computers into education but they do so much more today just than writing up papers.

According to www.lifewire.com, students use computers to do research, communicate with teachers and colleagues, and create multimedia presentations to name just a few things.

This makes purchasing a computer for the home or college student much more important, but how do you know what type of computer to buy? Weve got your answers right here.

Before buying a students computer

Before shopping for a computer, check with the school regarding any recommendations, requirements or restrictions there may be on student computers. Often, colleges will have recommended minimum computer specifications that can be helpful in narrowing down your search. Similarly, they may have a list of necessary applications that require specific hardware. All of this information will be very helpful during the shopping process.

Desktops versus laptopsDesktops versus laptopsDesktops versus laptops

The first decision that must be made regarding a student computer is whether to buy a desktop or buy a laptop system. Each have distinct advantages over the other. For most individuals in colleges, laptops will likely be more preferable while high school students can get by with desktop computer systems. The benefit of a laptop lies in its flexibility to go wherever the student goes.

Desktops have several key advantages over their portable counterparts. The biggest advantage of a desktop system is the price. A complete desktop system can cost as much as half as a comparable laptop or tablet but the gap is much smaller than it was in the past.

The other key advantages to desktop computer systems are their features and lifespan. Most desktop computer systems have more powerful components giving them a longer functional lifespan than a laptop computer. A mid- to high-end system will likely survive a full four to five years of college, but a budget system might need replacement halfway through. That is an important thing to consider when looking at the costs of the systems.

Desktop advantages:

1.Typically less expensive

2.More powerful systems

3.Often can be upgraded to extend life and function

4.Less likely to be stolen or lost

Laptop computers, however, have distinct advantages over desktop computers. The biggest factor, of course, is portability. Students will have the option of bringing their computers with them to class for note-taking, to the library when they study or research, and even during holiday breaks when they may need to do class work. With the increasing number of wireless networks on campuses and coffee shops, this helps extend the usable range of the computer. Of course, their small size can also be a benefit to those students living in cramped dorm rooms.

Laptop advantages:

1.Computer can be taken practically anywhere

2.Increased communication with wireless networks

3.Require less space

What about tablets or chromebooks?

Tablets are extremely compact systems that give most of your basic computer tasks in a form that is no larger than a standard spiral bound notebook. They generally have very long battery life and can be used for written notes as well as a virtual keyboard or compact Bluetooth keyboard. The downside is that many of them do not use standard PC software programs and applications which means multiple applications that may be hard to transfer between devices.

Those interested in this should really compare what tablets offer versus laptops to see which would be better suited towards them. One nice aspect of tablets though is the ability to use them for textbooks thanks to applications like Amazons Kindle and textbook rentals which may make them a bit more beneficial. Of course, tablets can still be quite expensive. They are best suited as a supplement to a standard desktop or laptop.

Chromebooks are a specialised laptop that is designed for online use. They are built around the Chrome OS operating system from Google and generally are very inexpensive (starting around $200) and offer the ability to have cloud-based storage making data backup quick and easy along with potential to access it from just about anywhere.

The drawback here is that the systems have fewer features than many traditional laptops and do not use the same applications that you would find in a Windows or Mac OS X based computer system. As a result, I do not really recommend them as an educational computer for college students. They may work sufficiently for high school students especially if there is a secondary desktop or laptop they can access when needed.

Convertibles and 2-In-1 PCs

Like the idea of having a tablet but still want the functionality of a laptop? Consumers have two options that are very similar for this type of functionality. The first is a hybrid laptop. It looks and functions very similar to a traditional laptop. The difference is that the display can be flipped around such that it can be used like a tablet. These generally offer the same performance as a traditional laptop and are great if you intend to do a lot of typing. The downside is that they are generally as large as a laptop so dont offer the increased portability of a tablet.

The other option is the 2-in-1 PC. These differ from convertibles because they are really a tablet system first that has a dock or keyboard that can be added to them to function like a laptop. They often are more portable because the system is essentially a tablet. While they offer the portability, they generally sacrifice performance to be smaller and the manufacturers also tend to target the lower end of the price range as well.