The Back to School season is upon us, which means it’s time for many students to start looking into buying a new computer for their studies. A great laptop is essential when it comes to studying and working — and one that doesn’t work well can bring plenty of unwanted distractions.
If you’re looking for a new laptop, there are quite a few things to consider. After all, laptops are pretty complex machines. Here are a few key terms and features to keep in mind when you’re looking for a laptop:
- Operating system: While you will want to consider hard specs, the way that you interact with your laptop is through the operating system. You’re probably familiar with Windows, which is by far the most popular computer operating system, but there’s also Apple’s macOS, which is also very capable. Last but not least is Chrome OS, which is best for those who want a simple, affordable, no-fuss laptop for web browsing and other basic tasks.
- Specs: Computers vary widely in terms of processing power and other specifications. The processor and RAM will essentially dictate how fast your computer is, while the storage will determine how many files you can store on the computer. The screen resolution is another important spec, and you’ll probably want at least a Full HD, 1080p resolution. Battery life should be at least eight to ten hours.
- Size: Another thing you’ll want to think about is how big the computer is. A smaller laptop will ultimately be more portable, but a larger one will have a larger display, which is better for watching movies and video production. Common sizes for laptops are 13 inches and 15 inches, though 11 inches and 17 inches also appear every now and then.
Of course, apart from all these things, you’ll want to think about price. Although the very best laptops will cost you $1,000 or more, we’ve tried to offer a range of different laptops in different price ranges in this guide. You can also check out the best Chromebooks and the best budget laptops if money is tight.