These days you can’t get by in college or university without a computer. The days of carrying a notebook and pen to school for note taking are long gone. Today, technology dominates when it comes to taking notes, doing research for school papers, connecting to students for group work, listening to audio and video lectures for distance education, watching class-relevant multimedia, and communicating with teachers and colleagues outside the classroom.
So now that we’ve established how essential a computer is for student life, you’re probably wondering what type of computer will compliment your life on and off campus. My suggestion is to consider what you will be using your computer for? For instance, if you’ll be using it purely for reading and social networking, a tablet offers the best/largest screen for long hours of reading. However, if you plan to use it for long hours of paper writing and document storage, a laptop might be your better option. It’s also wise to check with your institution concerning any requirements or specifications they might have on student computer usage and hardware. It’s always best to check before you buy.
Otherwise, here are some helpful tips and options to help you decide on the perfect computer for school:
Desktop computers offer the most stable system for storing documents. However they are stable in every sense of the word, meaning they don’t travel with you like a laptop, netbook, or tablet would. That being said, desktops have distinct advantages for students, such as:
Portable laptop computers also have many benefits—firstly their portability—which makes them easily transportable from home to campus, and virtually anywhere else, such as class, to the library, for research between class at a café, or even to take home on holiday breaks. Here are some additional benefits of laptops:
Netbooks (also called ultrabooks) are super thin (approximately 1-inch) and lightweight (on average 3 pounds). But consider with this convenience also comes a rather hefty price tag (between $700 and $1,500). However, netbooks still offer:
Tablet PCs are the final option for students. And if you thought the netbook was lightweight, a tablet surpasses them all as far as size and portability—mind you—without the features typical to desktops and even laptops (i.e., processing, programs, and applications). Tablets also boast:
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