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Student Laptop Buyer’s Guide: Use These 6 Tips When Buying Your Student’s New Laptop This Fall

School is almost back in session. If you’re in the market to purchase a new laptop for  one of your children, here are six tips to get the most out of your purchase.

Tip #1: Bigger is NOT necessarily better when it comes to laptops. If your student is on the go, smaller laptops are going to be your best bet. Go for less than 4 lbs. and either 11” or 13” screen size. The SurfacePro, UltraBook or MacBook Airs are all solid options for most students.

Tip #2: Pay for a good design. A student will be using their laptop day in and day out. Choose sleek over clunky.  Also opt for a design that is made to protect the display and resist wear and tear over the next few years of use.

Tip #3: Buy for the long haul. Think about how long you want your student’s computer to last. Make the mistake of saving a few bucks now for a cheaper processor, lower memory or smaller hard drive and you’ll be regretting that decision when you’re buying another laptop in 2 years instead of 3 or 4.

Tip #4: Go for long battery life… your student will use it!  Six hours of battery life is the MINIMUM spec you should purchase

Tip #5: Consider touch screen hybrids. Many Windows 8 devices such as the SurfacePro allow you to use the device as sort of a tablet/laptop hybrid. For kids that grew up on tablets and smartphones, these hybrids make them feel right at home with their new computer and actually make them more efficient.

Tip #6: Mac versus PC. This decision is really up to you and your preferences. Software choices these days allow your student to do just fine with either choice. Choose whichever operating system your student is used to using and they’ll do just fine.