How to Buy a Laptop As a University Student

Two Parts:Knowing What You NeedFinding a Good Deal

If you are a college student, a laptop computer will make your college life easier and more enjoyable. Laptops are a good tool for use in lectures and, as many university students live away from home, they are easier to transport. It also means that you can study anywhere!

Part 1
Knowing What You Need

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    Do your research and find out what sort of specifications you need. Most students don't require a state of the art device, but something that runs fast enough and has a decent amount of storage space. Graphics and sound probably won't be a top priority unless you're planning on playing games on the computer.
    • Laptop screen. Screen size varies from person to person. Having 12-inch laptop portability is generally a good choice. However, from the perspective of video games, a 14-inch laptop is more appropriate.
    • CPU. The CPU is the core of the notebook computer, which determines the overall performance of the laptop. As far as possible, select a high-performance CPU. If you are just chatting on the Internet, data processing, you can try a high-performance CPU; If you are likely to play games, then weigh the balance issues between the CPU and graphics performance.
    • Memory. Computer systems run almost all programs are on the memory, so selecting more memory for good computer performance is helpful.
    • Graphics. If you like to play games, then you need good graphics and a high-performance CPU.
    • Hard disk. A mainstream laptop hard drive can be 250GB to 500GB. The specific amount of hard drive space can be selected according to your specific needs.
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    Decide what software you will need. Productivity software will be a must. Many universities offer software at reduced prices to their students. This will often be cheaper than purchasing the same software with a new computer. If your budget is limited, you can use free open source applications.

Part 2
Finding a Good Deal

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    Make a brand choice. While none of the following are endorsements for any brand, the following suggestions have been made by readers:
    • If you like the business style laptop, ThinkPad is a good choice.
    • If you like fashion, Apple and Sony will meet your needs.
    • If you are looking for value for money, then you can choose Acer.
    Each laptop brand has a relatively good product, but always read the reviews from existing users of the ones you're interested in.
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    Shop around for the most reasonable price.
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    Buy on sale if possible. When you have found the right one, purchase it.
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    Arrange insurance. University students are often a popular target for thieves. You may be able to find insurance with a provider on campus.
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    Look after it. Once you have your laptop, be sure to take good care of it. Replacing or fixing a laptop is an expensive task!


  • Make sure you know exactly what kind of laptop you need or want before you set foot in a computer or laptop store. This is to avoid being talked into buying a laptop you may later regret purchasing.
  • If you have a friend with a laptop, ask them questions about where they got it from and what made them opt for that particular model.
  • Try open source software, like It's free and it often works just as well as software that you have paid for.
  • Many universities have special programs with computer manufacturers that can save money. Sometimes they're good deals, sometimes they're not. Don't be afraid to shop around.
  • If your university bookstore offers on-site service for computers, check whether there are limitations on the brands they service. Check whether they service computers under the manufacturers' warranties.
  • Many universities have a technology department in their on-campus bookstore that offers sales as well as service. Oftentimes, these are non-profit organizations that have a relationship with the university. At a large enough school, this typically translates into paying less than retail for the computer and getting on-site service at a steep discount.


  • As a laptop is portable, it may not be covered by some home insurances. Double check the fine detail to make sure you are fully covered.
  • Don't get a desktop if you need a laptop. You'll end up regretting it, even if the specifications are better.
  • If you are purchasing a laptop to use during lectures, be warned. Some lecturers do not allow laptops to be used in lectures. If a particular lecturer prohibits them, you may need to purchase a mini laptop to sneak in. Sony manufactures a laptop small enough to fit in your pocket, although the keyboard may be difficult to type on.

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Categories: Selecting and Buying a Computer | Laptops