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How To Buy The Right Computer For College

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Many college courses require access to a computer. Other courses will allow you to bring a laptop to class so you can type notes directly into the computer. It may be possible to avoid buying a computer if you have access to those in the computer lab or at the local library. Use id free but you are limited by lab time availability and whether or not other students are using them.

Choosing the Right Computer

You should consider your computing needs for the next two to three years when considering a purchase. You may not have many classes that require the use of a computer right now or only need basic functions but what about as you progress through your courses? Will need better graphics capabilities? What kinds of programs will you need to be able to run? Will you need to bring a computer to class or to study groups?

Getting Help

Many electronic superstores like Comp USA or Best Buy have departments with staff that can assess your needs and recommend a computer for you. Local computer outlets can often custom build what you need. While you may think this might be more expensive, the opposite is often true. The big stores buy in bulk and jam what they believe are the most popular features onto the computers. In some cases you may be paying for add-ons or software that you don’t need. With a custom built computer, you get exactly what you need.

Laptop or Desktop

Desktops are the traditional computer. They can come with more features like multiple CD or DVD drives, more ports for attaching other devices and often more power and speed. However, they are not mobile. A laptop can go with you just about anywhere. Lightweight models can easily be carried in a briefcase, backpack or even a large purse. They often have many of the features of their desktop cousins.


Pricing will naturally be a major concern. Watch the local sales papers and check online often if you are leaning toward a conventional model or brand. The big box stores often have sales. Even places like Wal-Mart have sales on laptops from time to time. A good time to catch a computer on sale is during the Black Friday sales following Thanksgiving. Basic laptops and desktops, with limited features can often be found for just a few hundred dollars. These often have last year’s operating system and software so make sure they are compatible with your needs before buying.

How Many Study Gadgets Do You Need?

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It’s a world of electronic gadgets, and as a single mom who is trying to schedule taking care of her family with the demands of doing well at school knows, sometimes the budget has to be stretched to make a purchase to keep her life running smoothly.

While technology keeps coming up with products that have multiple uses, many parents hear about them from their children. Kids, of course, are usually more impressed with the entertainment value of the device, but the smart ones research how they can be used for practical purposes just in case mom might be persuaded into investigating the electronic toy for them.

It’s not just your kids, mom. Ask your fellow students on campus what their favorite device is as a study resource, and you’ll probably be rewarded with a long list of ‘must have’ gadgets. You soon realize that deciding where you spend your precious educational dollars will take a lot of research.

Start by listing your needs and comparing them to what you already have. There’s no reason to duplicate applications. It’s just possible that you can be both a successful student and parent with just your laptop and cell phone. Check into software and apps for these necessities to see if simple upgrades can save you time and money while being more efficient.

Electronic gadgets can be helpful as you work toward your degree. They can make information transfer easier, allow you to save money on textbooks by allowing you to download digital information, give you greater access to online resources, and even reduce the weight of the necessities you need to lug around.

For each electronic gadget introduced into the market with a big marketing and advertising campaign, other gadgets are also being produced with similar capabilities. Kids, of course, want the same brand as their peers have. Take that into consideration before laying out the money for educational electronics for yourself.

Consider the battery life and data storage space available and weigh those against the cost when trying to determine whether you need the top of the line model. Make sure that there are data ports so that you can easily transfer information. Confirm that Wi-Fi capability is compatible with both the school and your home.

While there are a lot of electronic gadgets out there that promise to help you in all areas of your life, choose wisely. Make sure your purchase meets your needs, but don’t be fooled into spending more money than you really need to.


College Laptop Buying Tips 2010

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A laptop is a valuable tool for people returning to school. Look here for tips about pricing, as well as how to evaluate what kind of computer you will need according to what programs you will be running and how you will be using it.