Buying a Laptop for College: What to Look For

No matter what subject you want to study as a college student, chances are that you are going to need a laptop. There are lots of things that you are likely going to have to buy before you head to college; however, unlike the cheaper school supplies like notebooks and pens, laptops are long-term investments that require some thought and research before buying. Spending some time researching the market before buying will help you determine what kind of device is going to work best for your needs.

Weight and Size

When checking out the laptops available from, the size and weight tend to be some of the main things that college students will consider. This is because most students will prioritize portability when buying a laptop as they will be carrying the laptop around campus with them to get to classes or to the library. The last thing that you want is a super-heavy laptop that is going to make your back ache after carrying it in your bag all day.

Battery Life

Another key thing to think about when you choose a laptop for college is the battery life. Most laptop batteries last for around ten to fourteen hours, but this can vary a lot. The performance of the laptop that you go for is going to have a big impact on how long the battery will last – smaller, more basic laptops tend to offer longer battery life, while high-performance laptops use more power and therefore may not last as long on a full charge.


RAM or random access memory is a specification that determines how many programs your computer will be able to run at the same time. The vast majority of laptops today start with 4GB of RAM, which is sufficient for basic use such as word processing and web browsing. However, if your program is going to require you to use a lot of different programs at the same time, then you might want to go for a higher RAM amount such as 8GB or even 16GB.


The processor is responsible for handling most of the major processes of the laptop and is therefore one of the most important components to consider before you buy. Most students will usually find that an entry- or mid-level processor is enough for what they want to do. However, a high-level processor might be a better option for you if you are going to be using more demanding applications, such as those for video editing or graphic design.

Operating System

Most laptops today run on either Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS. Macs tend to be more expensive; however, they sync well with Apple’s other products and often offer more durable hardware. On the other hand, Windows laptops are available at a wider range of price points and tend to offer more customization. Along with this, there are more brands to choose from.

Your laptop is likely to be one of the most important purchases that you are going to make as you head to college, so be sure to do your research beforehand to make sure that it is right for you.

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