Buying a Laptop for School: Rules to Remember

By | March 8, 2017


Buying a laptop that is on sale is really not the best strategy if you want to be able to use it with your school work. You’ll have to consider more important factors other than the price.


So instead of giving vague but well-meaning advice, here are some hard and fast rules when buying a laptop for school:

  1. It should last at least 6 hours of continuous use. That should be enough to last you till you get back home and recharge. Some laptops can even last for 9 hours or more of continuous online browsing.
  2. For the OS, you have options. If you already own an iPhone, get a Mac if you can afford it. Otherwise, get a Windows laptop, which can boost your productivity.
  3. What about specs? You’ll need an Intel Core i3, 6G of RAM, and at least 500GB of storage on your hard drive. The laptop should be able to use external peripheral accessories. Get as many USB ports, and you need at least 2 USB 3.0 ports. You should also get an HDMI port so you have the option to use a bigger monitor when you’re at home.

These are your most cost-effective specs, as they’ll get the job done with no trouble but you won’t have to spend as much. Getting better performance may not be needed so you can save money.

But if you do have some money to spare, you should spring for an SSD drive and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. SSD is faster for booting up, loading programs, and data retrieval. It’s also much more stable as there are no moving parts that can break down.


As for Wi-Fi, the 802.11ac Wi-Fi is more modern. The file transfer can reach more than 30MB per second.

  1. Size options. Your best bet ranges from 11 to 14 inches. Many students complain about the weight of their laptops, so the ones with the screens of this size are perfect because often weigh around 4 or 5 pounds. Gradeschool or highschool students can get by with 11 inches, but the bigger you are, the bigger your screen ought to be.
  2. Test the keyboard and touchpad. Before you buy online, maybe you can go to a retail shop and test the keyboard there so you can make sure that it is comfy to use. The touchpad should also be responsive and smooth, and that it responds properly to multi-touch gestures such as pinch to zoom.
  3. Prioritize durability. To find out, just press your finger on the laptop material. It shouldn’t wiggle or bend, or even feel cheap. If it does, it may not last for long.

Your best bet is to go for sturdier laptops with bodies made from carbon fiber, magnesium-allot, or aluminum.

Follow these simple rules when buying a laptop for students and you’ll be fine. Break even just one of these rules, and you’ll get an F for your decision!