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Best Computers for College Students

By on November 19, 2012

What are the best computers for college students like me?

What kind of computer does my child need for school?”

"Are tablet computers a good option?”

"Where should I buy computers for college?"

When it comes to computers and schoolwork, there are a variety of options out there from which you can choose. It's easy to see how picking the right one can be a daunting task.

That's why, in this post, we're going to explore what the best computers for college students. We can help you make a choice that will help increase the chances of student success in the classroom.

Do you already know what you need and want to get started right away?

Then pick up your phone and call us at 410-579-4508.

You can also contact us by clicking here and one of our representatives will be in touch

Top 3 Things To Look For In A Computer For College

When looking for a back-to-school computer, you need the right features that provide the right benefits. Read below to discover how to choose the best computers for college students, no matter their focus in school.

  1. Portability – You’ve probably ruled out a desktop at this point, but what laptop or notebook should you buy? These machines come in a variety of sizes and weights, and different qualities will work for different students.Here’s when you should consider a lighter laptop versus a heavier laptop:
  • Light – If your student is constantly on-the-go, a small, light laptop computer is your best bet. Students who use light computers are willing to sacrifice some power and speed in order to be connected wherever they go.
  • Heavy – If your student runs a lot of intensive applications or needs a lot of hard drive space to hold school files, a heavier laptop will be necessary. While harder to lug around, it can be a “battle station” for students that need more oomph out of their computer.
  1. Hardware – What classes will your student need the computer for? What kind of work will he or she be doing at school? Here are two important hardware features to consider when choosing the best college laptop for your needs:
  • Speed – How it is measured: Computer speed is determined by the processor speed (measured in Gigahertz) and RAM (measured in Gigabytes). Who needs what: Students who run a lot of applications at once (graphic designers, programmers, etc.) will need a more powerful computer. More casual users who just write papers and surf the web can save money by buying a lower-speed device.
  • Graphics – How it is measured: The graphics ability of a computer depends on the type of graphics card your computer has installed: higher-end models mean more capability.Who needs what: Students that do graphic-design work or enjoy computer gaming (don’t worry, we won’t tell mom!) will want a robust graphics card in their computer. Other students can get away with lower-end graphics card models.
  1. Operating System – Would you be better off with an Apple computer or one of many different brands of Windows-based computers? Which operating system suits your needs the best? Don’t just rely on hype – look beyond the brand to determine the best computers for college students’ specific needs. Here are two things to consider when choosing an operating system:
  • Applications – Graphics, music, and design students will usually find more applications suited for them on Mac computers. Windows computers are great for students who need word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Interface – What kind of learner is your student? Visual learners will find the intuitive interface of the Mac operating system to be easy-to-use. Programmers and hands-on learners may be more attracted to computers that can run operating systems like Windows or Linux.

What About Tablet Computers For College?

Many college students use iPads and similar tablet computers to work on school projects and share information. But what exactly is a tablet computer good for and what are its drawbacks? Are the capabilities of tablet computers enough for college students? Here are the pros and cons of tablet computers for college:

Benefits of Tablet Computers

  • Collaboration – Students working together on a project can quickly and easily perform research, share ideas, and compare notes on tablet computers.
  • Easy Note-Taking – Applications like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote make it easy for students to take notes in the classroom and collect research outside of it.
  • Organization/Scheduling – Calendar apps make it easier than ever for students to figure out what schoolwork is due when and plan their activities accordingly.

Limitations of Tablet Computers

  • Limited Applications – While the app market for tablets is growing daily, certain activities (graphic design, programming, etc.) still need to be performed on a laptop.
  • Processing Power – Tablets get faster everyday, but PCs are still more powerful. Students who need that extra power cannot rely on tablets alone.
  • Storage Space – Smaller devices are going to have smaller storage space. While cloud-based storage solutions are becoming more common, students who need to move a lot of large files around should probably still have a PC computer.

Getting the Best Computer for Your Money

When you need to choose the best computers for college students, work with professionals who deal in computers on a daily basis. It can go a long way toward choosing the best PC for school that meets your student’s unique needs.

At DSR Inc, we can help you assess your needs so that when it's time for you or your student to head to class, everyone is prepared to succeed.

We deal in all sorts of computer hardware from manufacturers across the industry. That’s why we can help you find the perfect machine for your needs.

Give us a call at (410) 579-4508 or click here to contact us online and let us know what you need. Once you do, you'll have the perfect computer for college before you know it.


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Topics: Computers in the Classroom

About the Author

Dan Hogan is the President and CEO of DSR, Inc. Since joining the DSR team in 2000, Dan has helped to distinguish DSR as a unique option for purchasing and supporting computer technology equipment in Maryland and the surrounding midatlantic region. He is passionate about making exceptional quality equipment available at affordable prices.