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Laptop Buying Guide: Student Edition

One of the best purchases a parent can make to help their students perform at a high level is a laptop, and we have the most important categories to consider while choosing the correct one.


With the holidays quickly approaching, the need for excellent gift ideas increases. If you have a student in your life that is attending college or is about to, consider increasing their productivity while gaining all the brownie points you can handle; get that student a laptop. So before you begin to stress over every one of the many options available to laptop consumers, consider this list of important features that provide the most bang for your holiday buck.

A Warranty Or Protection Plan

For most consumers, the thought of a protection plan or extended warranty comes across as a money grab by the retailer or just a waste of cash that can be spent on other gifts. In this case, buying a laptop for a student, the protection plan may be a very good idea. A laptop in the hands of a student may experience many bumps and bruises along the way to and from class and anywhere else that the machine might get dragged. Purchasing the extended warranty might just save you the hassle of buying a new laptop next year, just be sure to read all the fine print to make sure the protection offered is worth the costs.

A Sizeable Screen

Students tend to multitask much more than their older and wiser parents. An average student working on a term paper can have windows open for writing and researching a paper, Facebook, a music player, and Skype all at the same time. That's a lot of windows open on a single screen and if that screen is smaller than a 15-inch, getting anything accomplished could be difficult. Choose a laptop with the largest affordable screen available and your student will thank you by the end of the semester.

Light Weight And Thin

Students still lug around a large quantity of books, notebooks, and other essential items to and from school every day. Lighten their load and make it a bit more manageable by purchasing a laptop that is both light in weight and low-profile. Your student and their back will thank you buy the end of the semester.

This is the section of guide where the benefits of a tablet with full keyboard and hybrid laptops provide the highest utility over their larger-screened counterparts. Weigh the benefits of super-portability versus multitasking potential and decide which is a higher priority.

Long Battery Life

No matter how well your student manages their time, there will be days where they will end up stuck on campus from dusk until dawn. Save your student the headache of lugging around a power cord all day by purchasing a laptop with excellent battery life. Newer model laptops now have the option of using Intel's Haswell processors, which provide extended battery life when compared to previous iterations. Look for processors with a 4000 designation, like the Intel Core i7-4770, to guarantee the best chance at long lasting battery life.

Security Software

Students are, on the whole, more inquisitive and curious than their parents and that can lead to exposure to malicious software and phishing sites. Protect your investment and files of your student with preinstalled security software. Many new laptops come with Norton AntiVirus and McAfee Internet Security pre-loaded and offering up to a year of system protection. Go with previous experience here for which system is best for your student, but be sure that the laptop has a security program.

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