WTAM 1100 – Choosing a Laptop for College

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday – July 8th, 2014

WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland OhioIt’s pretty much a given that college students are going to need a computer for their studies. With limited dorm space and the need to access resources across the campus, a laptop is the most common choice. But what laptop is right for you? The Best Buy website has a Laptop Buying Guide that can help.

Two questions you need to answer first:

How will you use your laptop? Determining if you’re a light, average or advanced user will help determine what laptop specs fit your needs best. For example, demanding users will want to invest more in a higher resolution screen, faster processor, more memory and a larger hard drive.

How important is portability to you? This will help determine what balance to strike with large or small screen and keyboard size, as well as how many accessories, like Blu-ray drives you carry with you. There’s even a special laptop category for those that value portability above all else, known as “Ultrabooks“.

When shopping, you’ll come across 4 hardware specs that you’ll want to understand to help decide on a laptop:

  • Processor – This is both the brain and the muscles of the laptop. The faster and more powerful a processor is, the more work it can handle from your programs, just like an engine in your favorite car.
  • Memory – System memory, or RAM, is where your data and program lives while you’re working on the laptop. The more RAM, the more data you can be accessing and manipulating at any given time, like adding more seats to your car.
  • Hard Drive Storage – This is where your data, like your photos, documents, music and videos lives while not in use, and the more you have, the more files you can carry with you.
  • Battery Life – This one is important for college students on the go, because you may not always have a handy outlet to use at the library or time to recharge between classes.

Best Buy is offering some special discounts for college students. If you visit the Best Buy website, you’ll see a “College Student Deals” link to the right. To receive your deals, you will need a .edu email address, which can be entered on the site to get all the latest student-only offers sent right to your mailbox. When you sign up, you’ll be entered for a chance to win $100,000 as part of Best Buy’s Cash for College program.

Of course, no matter what laptop you choose, Geek Squad will be there to support you with our Geek Squad Tech Support program.