Tips for Parents
3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Laptop for College
If you’re trying to decide which laptop to purchase for college, we’re here to help. Even though there are so many models to choose from, the first step is to identify the most important features you’ll need. We’ve interviewed students, parents, and IT staff to determine the best laptops for college students – and to help you narrow down your search. Start by asking the following questions.
1. Will the laptop fit easily in your backpack?
When we surveyed students, they named portability as most important. Whether they’re taking the laptop to class to take notes, or taking it to a nearby coffee shop to study, you’ll want something small and lightweight. Make sure to check the laptop’s specifications for weight and dimensions. Look for laptops that weigh less than 4 pounds.
For the laptop’s screen size, we recommend starting at 14” and buying an external monitor for your desk. University of Utah researchers found that, “using a larger monitor could save you 2.5 hours per day.” According to the New York Times, “The theory is simply that the bigger your monitor, the more of your work you’ll be able to see and the more you’ll be moved to do.” If the screen is less than 14,” it may cause eye strain. But, if the screen is much bigger than that, you’ll start to lose the laptop’s portability.
2. Does it have a long battery life?
Because students carry their laptop around, they need something with a significant battery life. Most laptop batteries range from a few hours to more than 10+ hours. Make sure you pick a laptop model with a significant battery life for your son or daughter.
The Lenovo™ 500e Chromebook weighs only 2.97 lbs and 20.35 mm thin. With up to 10 hours of battery life*, students can work through an entire school day on one charge. Plus it’s equipped with a world-facing camera which can capture photos and videos from any direction, making the 500e full of premium possibilities.
3. Is it affordable?
While you’re getting ready for freshman year, there are so many things to buy, and technology changes so quickly. Unless your major requires a specific type of computer, there are many affordable laptops available for students. According to the National Retail Federation, most families spent approximately $210 on electronics during the 2015 Back to College Shopping season.
The Best Laptops for College Students
Offering world-class performance, standout style, immersive entertainment and a host of brand new features, it’s in a league of its own. Sleeker than ever and packed with speed and power to streamline your day: long-range voice-activated support, a nearly edgeless 4K display, an optional digital pen offering the highest accuracy on the market, and more.
By drastically simplifying the form and reducing visual complexity, we’ve designed the Yoga 920 to appear even thinner than it already is. Featuring a 360° hinge and finished in CNC aluminum built to withstand wear and tear, the Yoga 920 is as tough as it is elegant. Available in Platinum, Copper and Bronze.
Your entertainment will pop on the Yoga 920’s wide-angle 4K display. By shifting intricate components, we were able to edge the screen with razor-thin 5 mm vertical bezels that will make the absolute most of your visuals. Also available in FHD.
Powerful, portable, and packed with premium features, the 500e brings the “class” to every classroom. In addition to its Gorilla-Glass HD touch screen, the 500e comes automatically paired with an EMR pen, which can be conveniently stored inside the system after note-taking and interacting with all your favorite education apps.
It comes with a world-facing camera and the ability to bend into four different modes, making the 500e flexible when creating and sharing work via G Suite for Education and Google Classroom. Plus, Chrome Education makes administering and managing a fleet of Chromebooks simple and secure, it’s easy to see why the 500e is the device many educators say has improved the speed and quality of class prep.
Stylishly compact 14″ convertible packed with features that will make the absolute most of your entertainment and creativity: up to premium Intel® CoreTM i7 processing and security options, Active Pen support, and dazzling visual and audio clarity for all of your multimedia needs.
Featuring polished aluminum surfaces and a 360° hinge that effortlessly transitions from tablet to laptop mode and back, the Flex 14 is as stylish as it is adaptable. And at 1.6 kg, you’ll be able to bring it anywhere the day takes you.
The optional Lenovo Active Pen (available separately) features pin- point accuracy and palm-rejection technology, providing the natural feel of a pen-on-paper writing experience. Use it with Windows Ink, found on the taskbar, to turn thoughts into action.
Don’t forget to check your college’s laptop requirements
Finally, check your school’s site. Many schools have minimum requirements and high performance recommendations for student laptops. Here’s an example of the University of Colorado’s laptop requirements for both PCs & Macs. You can typically find this information on the school’s site under Information Technology.
Preventing Laptop Theft
Another important step of finding the best laptop for college is deciding on a security option. Laptop theft is extremely common on college campuses. Here are a few ways to protect yourself from laptop theft on campus:
- Register your laptop with the campus police (if available)
- Subscribe to a security service like LoJack for laptops that will track your laptop’s location
- Purchase a dorm safe for storage of valuable items. Click here to order the Best College Dorm Safe from Amazon.
- Order a laptop lock like the Kensington Combination Cable Lock for Laptops.
For more information, read 6 Things to Consider When Buying the Perfect Laptop for your Student.