The Best Laptops for Students in 2014
April 28, 2014
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Every college student needs a laptop, but there are so many options to choose from that finding the right computer can be overwhelming. Price, size, capabilities, features, battery-life and your needs will all play a part in your decision. Here are three of the best laptops for students this year, with options for people who just need to surf the Internet and write papers, as well as more expensive and powerful computers for emerging graphic designers and digital artists.
Acer C720 11.6" Chromebook, $199
Chromebooks are the newest class of laptops, and their top selling point is their incredibly low price tag. The low cost, however, comes with some trade-offs. The memory and capabilities are limited. This Chromebook includes only a 16GB hard drive, but it entitles you to 100GB of free storage on the cloud for two years. Chromebooks run apps in a similar way to your smartphone, rather than having programs installed on them. Expect to use Google Docs and the Chrome browser often. There are many great apps available for Chrome, and more are coming every day.
If you have regular Internet access and aren't too attached to programs such as iTunes or Microsoft Word, the Acer Chromebook offers good functionality for an exceptionally low price. To top it all off, it has great battery life and is quite lightweight at just under three pounds.
HP Pavilion 10.1" TouchSmart, $300
If you need more storage and programs than a Chromebook offers, but your budget is still tight, HP's Pavilion TouchSmart might be for you. It runs Windows and offers a more traditional PC experience in addition to the newest apps. A free trial of Microsoft Office is included, but you'll need to pay to use programs such as Word long term. This laptop contains fairly low computing power, but the performance is great if you avoid multitasking.
Ordinarily, the touchscreens on budget laptops are terrible, but the TouchSmart is the exception, It is very responsive and accurate, and is unusually smudge resistant. The screen's only serious flaw is low brightness, which puts it behind similar laptops.
Apple MacBook Pro 13", $1,299
The MacBook Pro is, without a doubt, among the best laptops for students, if their budget allows it. The MacBook Pro has enormous computing power that makes it ideal for editing photos and videos, running design programs, and general heavy usage. The screen is clear and bright, the interface is intuitively easy to use and the overall experience is great. Apple computers are generally considered to be longer lasting and less prone to problems such as viruses than their Windows counterparts. Apple has its own version of typical office software, but you can also buy Microsoft Office for Mac if you feel more comfortable with the familiar suite of programs.
These are just a few of the best laptops for students. To pick the right laptop for you, first figure out what you plan to use it for most and how much you are willing to pay. Once you have narrowed your options down with those criteria, check out possible models in a computer store to get a feel for which computer you enjoy using most.
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