Not all laptops are created equal, especially when finding the best laptop for online classes. How you use your computer will impact what features you need. In general, a laptop that is designed for browsing the internet or doing work from home should not be used as a primary computer for taking college courses.
There are many different brands of laptops, but one thing that remains true about them is that they will always come with other specs. With so many options available, it isn’t easy to know where to start.
You can also get a laptop at a discounted price by opting for a refurbished model. These models are usually just as good as their new counterparts, but the price tag is often much lower. We’ve compiled a list of the critical specs for any laptop-for-online-classes shopping spree.
Things to Consider When Buying a Good Laptop to Buy for Online Class
There are several factors to consider when buying a laptop for online classes.
The Type of Classes You Will Be Taking.
If you are taking primarily lecture-based classes, you will need a laptop with a good processor and enough RAM to handle multiple tabs and programs open at once. If you are mainly taking creative or writing-based classes, you need a laptop with a good keyboard and screen resolution.
Size of the Laptop
One of the first things you’ll want to think about is how big you want your laptop to be. You can either go with a mini notebook that won’t take up much space or get something larger and heavier so you can use it on your lap if need be. The cost of a mini laptop will vary depending on its features. If you’re going to be typing papers, then maybe it’s not worth spending all that money on a new laptop.
Laptops can vary in battery life depending on their size and applications. To determine how long your battery lasts, fully charge your computer before using it, then time how long it takes until the power shuts off (note that this time will shorten over time). Look for laptops that last at least 3 hours when unplugged from power.
Windows or Mac?
It’s up to you. Windows computers come preloaded with Microsoft Office, which is helpful if you’re looking for word processing software. Apple’s MacBooks come preloaded with iWork, which is great if you’re looking for spreadsheet software, and Pages which is great if you’re looking for word processing software.
Processor and RAM
These are important for handling multiple tabs and large files, but don’t worry about them too much because even if you have a lower-end laptop these days, it should be able to handle what most of your processing needs. On the other hand, make sure your computer has ample storage space because this may not be upgradable later on down the line. A laptop needs both hardware and software so ensure it includes those.
You want a screen that isn’t too big or too small. Smaller screens glare less, but the smaller text is harder to read. Large screens take up more desk space, but the increased brightness makes it easier to see. Choose a screen type based on what’s best for you, whether touch or non-touch sensitive displays, LCD or LED displays, glossy screens, or matte screens.
Ensure your laptop has all the necessary ports to connect to other devices like speakers, keyboards, printers, and external hard drives. Some models include Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones and speakers.
Budget is a key factor in choosing a new laptop for many students. Do research to determine which models are offered at different price points with the features you need without breaking the bank.
How to Test a Student Laptop
When you are in the market for a new laptop, it is important to remember what you will be using it for. If you are planning on using it primarily for online classes, there are a few key things you should look for.
Ensure the laptop has a good web camera and microphone. You will need these for video conference calls and lectures.
Get a laptop with a good processor. You will want something that can handle multiple tasks while streaming or downloading media. Look for at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB or more would be ideal.
Ensure your wifi card supports 802.11ac if you plan on connecting to 5GHz networks and 2.4GHz networks (this is especially important if your school’s network uses 5GHz). Finally, don’t forget about battery life- 10 hours of battery life or more would be ideal.
No matter your budget, there are plenty of laptops out there that will be perfect for online classes. We have made it clear that the best laptop for you is the one that suits your needs and not just the cheapest laptop you can find. The process should involve going through all your options and determining which features you need in a computer before purchasing one.