Going off to high school or college without a decent laptop is like refusing to use pencil and paper. It instantly puts a ceiling on how much students can learn, how far they can go and how many lifelong abilities they can acquire. But don’t just buy whatever is on sale; you need the right laptop for your specific needs.
1. Don’t Buy a Tablet Instead of a Laptop.
We know iPads and Android tablets are awesome. They’re highly portable, their batteries last an entire school day, there are plenty of apps and their prices are usually reasonable
2. Don’t Buy a Chromebook Instead of a Laptop.
Samsung, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Google all offer notebooks built on Google Chrome, a Linux-based operating system that works exclusively with Web applications.
3. Go for Ultra Portability—If You Can Afford It.
Ultrabooks—a lightweight class of Windows laptops inspired by the success of Apple’s thin-and-light MacBook Air—may be nearly ideal for students. When you’re already shouldering a bulging backpack all day around campus, why further burden your back with a five-pound laptop?
4. Consider a Mac—If You Can Afford It.
Yes, you’ll pay more for an Apple laptop. Apple’s least-expensive laptop is the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, at $999. Some Windows laptops sell for half that, such as HP’s Envy dv4-5211nr, currently on sale for $499.