Tag Archives | buying a laptop

The Hunt for Deals: Student Laptops

Image by CollegeDegrees360, Flickr

Image by CollegeDegrees360, Flickr

Congratulations on finding your laptop for school! Now, it’s time for you to buy it. Here are some helpful tips on buying your laptop, without breaking the bank:

  • Take advantage of student pricing and back-to-school deals. Apple offers student discounts and a $100 app store gift card. Microsoft, HP and Dell gave out Xbox 360s with the purchase of a laptop over $699 during back-to-school season last year. Keep an eye on what deals they have this year. Computer stores always have some great deals around July and August.
  • Price match. Look through store websites and flyers for a really cheap price for your laptop. If you can find one, stores like Best Buy and Future Shop will match the price and give you an extra 10% discount.
  • Bargain. It never hurts to ask a salesperson for a better deal. If they can’t change the price, they might be able to throw in some free warranty or accessories instead.
  • Consider refurbished. Refurbished laptops are a great deal, but be careful. See if you can try it out before buying it and know the return policy in case it doesn’t work out.
  • The Internet is your friend. Some people have been very lucky, finding amazing deals on sites like Ebay, Craigslist and Kijiji.

Before you buy, make absolutely sure the laptop is for you. Go to a store and try it out. Pick it up, try typing a few sentences and press all the buttons to get a good feel for the device. And, make sure you like how it looks. This is going to be your ultimate productivity machine for the next few years, so make sure it’s right for you. Good luck!

Finding a Laptop for School

Image by luc legay, Flickr

Image by luc legay, Flickr

Laptops have become one of the most important all-in-one tools for students. You can take notes, do research for an essay, listen to music, watch videos and much more. There’s a whole list of things to consider before you buy a laptop, but when looking for the best laptop for school, be particularly aware of these aspects:

  • Price: This is going to be a problem for everyone. In my opinion, get something that will last you throughout university/college. Even though it might be expensive, it’s better than buying something cheap but unreliable. Establish a budget, but be prepared to spend an extra hundred dollars for something really good.
  • Operating system (Mac or PC): Choose whichever OS you’re most comfortable with. However, consider your needs when choosing one. Some very important applications only run on a certain OS. For example, some engineering apps only run on Windows and Final Cut Pro (for film students) only runs on a Mac.
  • Portability: Some people are fine with carrying 10-pound laptops with a huge screen. Others are not. You may have to sacrifice screen size for weight, but shop around and you’ll find something with a perfect balance of the two. When considering portability, also think about how heavy your charger is.
  • Battery life: Power outlets in typical lecture halls and classrooms come few and far between. Unless your room has an outlet for every person, battery life is going to be very important. Try to purchase a laptop with enough battery life for your longest class. If you have back-to-back classes, find a laptop with an exceptionally long battery life.
  • Storage: Finding a place to store all of your essays, notes, applications, music and videos is important. For most students, 250 GB should be enough, but if you have a lot of media, you may want 500 GB or even 1 TB. Take advantage of cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive for free extra space to store files.
  • Other features: Think about what features you want in your device. Do you want touch screen capabilities? A specific type of keyboard? An optical drive? Webcam? Mic? USB ports? SD card slots?
  • Warranty: Sooner or later, something is going to go wrong. A good warranty might set you back a few bucks, but is worth it in the long run when something breaks.

Your “perfect laptop” may not exist, but sitting down and figuring out what you want and need will save you time and money later on. Once you have chosen “the one,” check out this article on finding great deals for your laptop.