Backlit Keyboard | Photo by Hitarth Jadhav | Pexels.com
With the fall semester right around the corner, it is time to start buying all the college essentials. One of the most important items, the computer, can be tricky to navigate, but this comprehensive list will make shopping stress-free.
Picking the right laptop depends on one’s major, usage and budget.
When looking for an Apple product as a student, the first place one should look is the Apple Education Store to find good deals tailored to college students.
MacBook Air (13-inch, M1)
Starting at $999, the 13-inch MacBook Air is the perfect laptop for someone who loves Apple products but is on a budget. This is the lowest priced Macbook and includes 256GB of storage. The laptop lasts for years, and it can withstand a few bumps and bruises.
The 13-inch MacBook Air only has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, which is enough for typical usage, but you may want more. The MacBook Air does come in other sizes, but the 13-inch is the perfect size for on-the-go usage.
This laptop is recommended for majors that have limited computer usage.
MacBook Pro (16-inch, M2)
The 2023 MacBook Pro is no different on the outside than the 2021 version, except the 2023 laptop can be equipped with new pro chips: M2 Pro or M2 Max. Both chips have a wide range of specs and options to choose from.
M2 Max has a range of 32GB to 96GB of RAM, while the M2 Pro has a range of 16GB to 32GB. Adding more RAM means faster rendering times, which makes it easier to use multiple resource-intensive programs at the same time.
While both the chips come in both the 14-inch and the 16-inch MacBooks, the 16-inch is the better choice.
“The 16‑inch model has the longest battery life ever in a Mac,” the Apple website reads.
With up to 22 hours of video playback and 15 hours of wireless web browsing, the 16-inch is the perfect choice for a college student.
The real difference between the chips, in terms of the needs of a college student, is price. The price for the minimum specs for the M2 Pro is $2,299.00. The M2 Max is priced at $3,199.00.
This laptop is recommended for individuals who use their laptop for professional video and photo editing.
Chromebooks are usually a skip when it comes to buying a college laptop; however, straying away from older models and sticking to the newer ones is the best way to go. Chromebooks are lower-end models and perfect for any budget. These small but mighty laptops do have some useful features.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 comes with an Intel Celeron Processor, up to 128GB of storage and up to 8GB of RAM. The laptop is thin and sleek, so it is very portable. The Chromebook comes with two USB-C ports for charging, a headphone jack, volume button on the side and a memory card slot.
The Chromebook has a 13-hour battery and a backlit keyboard, perfect for late night work. Like most other computers on the market, the Chromebook folds in half, turning into a touch screen tablet.
The Laptop comes in two colors: Mercury Grey and Fiesta Red. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is priced at $529.99 with the maximum features and $349.99 with the minimum features. Students can find Chromebooks on Amazon.
Surface Laptop 5
The Surface Laptop 5 has a 13.5-inch touch screen with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. The laptop has one Thunderbolt 4 charging port, two USB ports, a headphone jack and a microphone input. The Surface also has bluetooth connectivity, perfect for wireless headphone users.
The best features on the Surface Laptop 5 is the long-lasting battery of up to 18 hours and facial recognition. The laptop has four color options for those looking to stand out.
The Surface Laptop 5 is a small and sleek laptop perfect for students. The price starts at $938.00 and is available at Best Buy.
Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop Studio is a 14.4-inch laptop with a 120Hz PixelSense Flow touchscreen. The laptop can be paired with the Surface Slim Pen 2 to turn the Surface into a tablet, making it perfect for graphic designing, drawing and taking notes in class.
The Surface Laptop Studio can have up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. The laptop also comes with the option for the Intel Iris Xᵉ GPU or the NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU.
The Surface is priced at $1,199.99 with special pricing offered for students.
Lenovo has a lot of great options for college students. Lenovo’s Thinkpads are great low-end laptops; however, the Lenovo Yoga line is the better option.
The 14-inch Yoga is a two-in-one laptop that runs into a tablet. The laptop features USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4, one HDMI port, MicroSD card reader, a headphone jack and bluetooth connectivity.
The Yoga 7i is compatible with the Lenovo Active Pen. The battery lasts up to 22 hours and 16 hours with video playback. The laptop has up to 16GB RAM and up to 1TB of storage.
This laptop is a good mid-range price, starting at $849.99 with options for student pricing. The Yoga 7i is perfect for any college student.
Lenovo Slim 7i
The Lenovo Slim 7i is a 14-inch touchscreen laptop. It has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, making it perfect for any user. The Slim has one USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 for charging, one HDMI port and two USB-C Thunderbolt 4.
The laptop also features a fingerprint reader for sign in and extra security. The Slim is very durable, but it has a lightweight design, so it is not bulky.
The Lenovo Slim 7i is priced at $1,232.00. The laptop is available on Lenovo’s website.