Before we look at the laptops most suitable for college students, we should understand what makes a good student laptop. Typically, a student would want a laptop that's lightweight and comfortable enough to lug to and from their various classes. In addition, the laptop has to have great battery life and performance. And price is sometimes a concern, so the above features need to be packed into an affordable package.
After considering the types of laptops suitable for college students, I've decided to split them into three categories: budget, thin and light and ultraportable. So let's take a look at them now …
2. Budget Laptops
For a college student who is short on cash, a budget laptop is a good buy. Some of the best budget laptops include those from Dell, Toshiba and HP. I personally find the Toshiba Satellite A215-S4747 to be a great budget laptop. You get an AMD based dual core CPU, which perfroms very well with most applications. You also get a huge 200GB hard drive and a large number of peripheral ports.
There's also a nice Sony VGN-NR160E / S model that is (surprisingly) within the budget category. Out of the box, this machine gives you the Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 processor, 1 GB of RAM and a large 160GB hard drive – that's a lot of computing power at budget price.
3. Thin and Light Laptops
If you prefer a more powerful laptop and do not mind a little bit of weight, then try going for a thin and light laptop. Some of the models I can think of include those from Lenovo, HP and Sony.
The Sony VAIO VGN-FZ280E is a pretty good choice for a thin and light notebook. This system comes with a Bluray compatible writer that can also burn CDs and DVDs. You also get an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz CPU, 2GB RAM and a very large 250GB hard drive.
Another model I'd consider is the HP Pavilion dv6675us. You will get an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz CPU, 4GB RAM and 250GB of hard drive space. The 4GB of RAM is a great feature which will come in handy if you're a student of finance or science and need to run intensive computational applications.
4. Ultraportable Laptops
If the size and weight of the laptop is of high importance to you, then go for an ultraportable laptop. These laptops give very good computing performance in a very small, compact package.
In this category, I think the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 is a great choice for students. It is slightly pricey (but not outrageously so) but it is one of the best performing laptops around. It weighs only about 3 pounds and is since an extremely portable piece of hardware. You also get an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz CPU, 2GB RAM and an ample 100GB hard drive. You do not get a built-in DVD writer though – that unit is external to the laptop.
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