How to choose a laptop for College?

When College started I decided to get a new laptop as I had an older laptop for nearly four years and its storage space was almost fully used up and it was now very slow to get into websites and download/open files. I could see that I would definitely need a new one (I am not even going to talk about the state that my keyboard was in because of all the typing I used to do). As I, myself, did not have a broad knowledge about laptops, I asked my friend to help me with this task-choosing a new laptop-which even though he is studying IT in College, works in the area, and is very into technology, it still demanded a lot of thinking and decision making from both of us. He advised me to ask myself and answer the following questions: what kind of computer I was looking for, what did I need it to do, and also consider the prices and if the company offered a good support if it was needed. As all of us students know (well, at least most of us do :-P), we kind of have a low budget, and that makes it difficult to buy expensive machines. But as an Applied Psychology student I will be discussing what I think was important on my decision.

Processor:

As an Applied Psychology student we need Photoshop for our Multimedia module. As the size of the file is quite heavy (749 MB), it required a Multicore Intel processor. Not only because of this but because I also knew that I would be running files from lectures and other stuff, plus other personal stuff. Well, as all of us should know at this point (especially after our ICT classes so far) a processor is an attribute that will influence the velocity that operations will occur. Therefore, with the new technologies a Core I3 would be good enough for this course. 


Memory:

RAM is one of the core attributes that will make a computer work faster. A Applied Psychology student will be using systems like Microsoft office, Internet, Photoshop, watching videos, and saving files from lectures and other personal stuff (as mentioned above). That will not demand so much of the machine but still quite a lot, so an average of 2GB DDR 5 would be ok, but a 3/4GB like mine would be a bit safer and would probably perfect its performance. Other memory data storage devices could also be important to back up our files and to enable us to access them on the go, but with the new Cloud system nowadays, it would not be fundamental to have them, as it is a safe system, it has lots of storage and you don’t even need to remember to carry it around.

Hard Drive: 

This is the storage capacity of the computer. An Applied Psychology student would probably be fine with a 250 GB but could be more. 

Size and Weight:

Assuming that you would carry your laptop out and about, the size and the wait of the laptop would matter in the end, as we wouldn’t want to be carrying around something too heavy (and in the case of its size, I don’t believe a second bag-or a laptop case-would be very welcome for us students), therefore I would probably recommend a 15” one.

Prices:

As I mentioned at the very beginning, we, students, don’t have that big of a budget, therefore, price matters. I would say that you can find a good laptop between 300-500 euros. Mine was €519, including VAT and Shipping but you could probably find the same model but with small changes that can bring the price down. Therefore I think it is affordable.

 

Finally, here is the laptop:

 http://img8.flixcart.com/image/computer/b/u/f/dell-inspiron-15r-notebook-400×400-imadkjyvu5vsktft.jpeg

Its main details/info:

  • 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-3217U Processor (3M Cache, 1.8 GHz)
  • Windows 8 64bit, English
  • 15.6″ High Definition WLED with TrueLife (1366 X 768)
  • 4GB2 DDR3L at 1600MHz
  • 500GB 5400 RPM
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4000
  • 1 yr Collect & Return Service
  • 2.25 kg.

P.S. This post is dedicated especially to Applied Psychology students but will serve the same to any other student or non-student, haha.

Hope this could be of some help.

You can find more info on the following link:
http://www.dell.com/ie/p/inspiron-15-3521/pd?refid=inspiron-15-3521&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=3&~ck=dellSearch&isredir=true

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