What To Consider When Buying A Laptop For University/College

Devices General
As a university or college student, you might require a laptop. However, getting one is a bit daunting since you’re probably working with a limited budget. So, you need to
get it right the first time by buying a laptop that suits your needs. Here are the main things you should look out for when buying a laptop for university/college in Kenya


Do You Need A Laptop?
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you need a laptop. If your main aim is to browse social media sites and doing online shopping, you might not need a
laptop after all. An iPad or a tablet might be a better and cheaper option for you. You might also find that the computer labs in your learning institution are sufficient for your needs. In this case, you might consider not buying a laptop. In other words, only buy a laptop if you really need it.
What Is Your Budget?
Keep your budget in mind when shopping for a new laptop. This way, you’ll know whether you can afford a particular laptop. If you can’t afford to buy a new laptop with the exact specifications you want, you should consider looking for the same laptop
from second hand shops. Second hand laptops are cheaper than their new counterparts. You can also check out laptop deals and discounts from different shops and online vendors. Sites like Jumia, Kilimall and Masoko always have offers on different laptops regularly. You’re likely to find a good laptop for less than Ksh. 20,000.
How Portable Is The Laptop?
As a student, you’ll require a laptop that’s easy to carry around. This means that it should fit in your bag and it should also be light. If you intend on carrying the laptop around often, you might consider a screen size of 13″ or less. The lightest laptops in the market are Ultrabooks and Apple’s Macbook. However, they are expensive.
What Operating System Are Your Comfortable With?
Laptops come with three main operating systems: Mac OS, Windows OS and Chrome OS. Windows is the most popular operating system. Mac OS is found on Apple products while Chrome OS is found in Chromebooks. If you want to install Linux OS on a machine find out if you can do so before buying it.
How Durable Is The Laptop?
Durability is another important factor to consider. Laptops, like any other device, can be
damaged. There are laptops that are designed to withstand physical trauma. You might also consider checking whether the warranty covers this kind of damage.
What Is The Power And Speed Of the Laptop?
Power and speed is determined by three factors; type of hard drive, CPU and RAM.
  • Type of Hard drive
A laptop can either have a hard drive(HDD) or a Solid State Drive(SDD). The
traditional hard drive(HDD) is typically a spinning disk. It tends to overheat
and slow down when retrieving a lot of information. On the other hand, a Solid
State Drive has no moving parts, hence making it faster to retrieve data.
  • CPU(Central Processing Unit)
The CPU is in charge of processing data in a laptop. The processing power is
measured in gigahertz(GHz).  The higher the GHz, the more powerful your laptop will be. Most current laptops have a processing speed ranging from 1GHz to 2.5GHz.
  • RAM(Random Access Memory)
RAM is a memory location in a computer that allows multiple processes to be carried out without slowing down the computer. Be on the lookout for laptops with 4GB RAM and above.
What Is The Battery Life?
If you’re going to carry your laptop around, you need a laptop with a long battery life. A good battery can hold power for up to 6 hours when fully charged. Check reviews on the laptop to see whether it actually holds power for the duration the manufacturer claims.
More Considerations
There are several more things you should consider such as the keyboard, display, USB Ports and in-built wireless card. Depending on what you want to use your laptop for, you should check the screen resolution. There are three levels available: HD(High
Definition), HD+(High Definition +) and FHD(Full High Definition).
Ensure that the laptop has a regular keyboard that you can easily work on without experiencing any discomfort or pain on your fingers and wrists.
The laptop should also have USB ports. You’ll definitely need them to plug in a flash disk or a USB cable.
An in-built wireless card will ensure that your laptop can connect to wireless networks.
Laptop Considerations for College/University
Students
 Budget
 What is the budget you’re working with?
 Portability
Size and Weight preferably 13” screen and 1.8kg
or less.
 OS
 Windows OS, Chrome
OS or Mac OS.  
 Durability
 Whether it can withstand physical trauma.
 Power
 SSD instead of Hard Drive(HDD)
 CPU at
least 2.5 GHz
 Processor core
i3 or higher
 4GB RAM or higher
 Battery Life
At least 6 hours.
 Screen
Avoid touch screens. They get spoilt easily.
More
Screen Resolution (HD, HD+ or FHD)
Regular and Comfortable keyboard
USB port present
In-built wireless card
Hopefully, these considerations will guide you towards buying a laptop that suits your needs.
Feel free to ask a question or leave a comment below.

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