What technology does a student need
Student laptops: how to find the best one for your studies
While not so long ago a laptop was a rare sight at university, today no student can do without it, because they are simply practical. Here we show you what to look out for if you want to buy a new laptop for your studies!
Studying without a laptop is not particularly recommended. Because a laptop has long since ceased to be a luxury item or a pointless pastime in boring seminars (although that can be a nice side effect), but is even necessary for many things in your studies. Because while in the past you had to laboriously copy the essays and text material in the library and take notes by hand, nowadays most things run digitally.
The lectures and presentations are put online as well as the secondary literature, there are eBooks, presentations run via Power Point and similar programs and thanks to internet access you can research quickly: So you see, the list of possible uses for a laptop during studies is long . Either way, this little device makes your life a lot easier. Students who spend all day at university, in particular, will appreciate not having to wait for one of the busy public PCs to complete their assignments.
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Students are poor, everyone knows that. That is why many manufacturers offer their products at a reduced price on presentation of a student ID, while your own university often gives you significantly reduced software. In addition to operating systems, this also includes useful applications from Office or Adobe. The whole thing is completely independent of your course of study.
If necessary, find out more about the relevant offers at your university - some of the estates are massive!
The beginning: what do I want and need?
A laptop for studying makes sense, there is no question about that, but how much do you want and can you invest in it? Of course, that also depends on your degree program: If you study design, media production or computer science, you probably have different requirements than someone who mainly needs the laptop for word processing and research.
We have selected a few recommended models for you. Of course, you can also search for yourself using special criteria. You can read below which are important when buying the right laptop for your studies.
Here you will also find a huge selection of laptops, there is sure to be a laptop that meets your needs.
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Long battery life or good graphics card?
First, be clear about your preferences. Big screen or long battery life? Robust housing or low weight? Strong processor or small price? And of course the ultimate choice - Apple, Microsoft or even Linux & Co.? In the end, the decision is always yours.
But you shouldn't forget that you are looking for a work tool. And after a mobile one. If you walk around the campus for a whole day with lots of pounds in your luggage, you will quickly feel the extra weight. We therefore recommend a smaller screen diagonal of 12.5 to 15 inches and a weight between 1.3 and 2.5 kilograms.
Bear in mind that reduced weight for the same performance usually drives the price up. Or just reduced the performance.
When buying, there are critical hardware elements that you should study a little before making a decision.
CPU / Processor: The abbreviation CPU stands for the Central Processing Unit - the heart of every computer. The processor does most of the computing and manages the memory. Therefore, the CPU decides on the maximum computing speed of your laptop. A dual-core CPU is easily sufficient for normal demands. It doesn't always have to be the last generation either - a slightly outdated processor differs only minimally in its performance from the current models, but the price can be significantly lower.
Processors from Atom, Celeron or Pentium are not recommended, as they are not very reliable and do not perform well. Even with simple multitasking tasks such as working with an Internet browser and the text program, there can be problems.
RAM / working memory: The working or main memory contains the currently executed programs or parts of them and the necessary data. So it essentially influences the performance of the entire PC. A minimum of four gigabytes is recommended. If there are no more free slots on the computer for a later upgrade, it should be closer to eight gigabytes. If there is a free socket, the speed can be increased later if necessary with an additional "memory bar". However, this can violate the guarantee rights and should be clarified with the manufacturer beforehand.
Hard disk: The hard drive is the medium on which a computer's data is permanently stored. SDD technology (Solid State Drive) is currently on the advance. In contrast to conventional hard disks (HDD - Hard Disk Drive) with their moving mechanical parts, which are accordingly prone to malfunctions, the SDD disk does not have any moving parts. It is correspondingly more robust and also has very short access times and makes absolutely no noise. However, they are much more expensive. The bottom line is that this is a question of your finances - but when in doubt, an SSD is preferable to a fast processor.
Battery pack: Be careful with the manufacturer's information! One should not believe these naively, because they rarely correspond to reality. They mostly refer to an optimal case that has little to do with practice. Since you won't find a power socket everywhere, you should already have around six hours of running time. Alternatively, a second battery can also be carried, which of course adds to the weight. Everyone should find their own balance here.
Graphic card: As already stated in the introduction, the laptops are subject to very different requirements depending on your degree program. This is especially true for the graphics card. For normal operation, an Intel HD Graphics for Core i processors should be completely sufficient. Anyone who works with a lot of computationally intensive software will have to dig much deeper into their pockets.
Screen technology: Often this criterion is completely ignored when making a purchase, which is a big mistake. Because you can only work effectively outdoors at a brightness of around 200 cd / m². In this context, a matte screen is also preferable because it is not reflective. In addition, the display should be based on IPS and not TN technology, as the former offers the significantly better viewing angle.
In general, think about what you want and what demands you have on your laptop and look for it specifically. Because the range of offers is huge and sometimes quite confusing. But the search is worth it, because in the end a lot of money can be saved.
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