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College students head back to campus soon—and many of their parents will be sending them back with new computers. But which ones are best for returning students? These essential devices can be expensive, so getting the most for your money is key.

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  1. 1. August 14, 2011 What a student’s major is important to consider when choosing a laptop College Students Laptop Guide: What a student’s 11- to 14-inch laptops: Laptops in this size category major is important to consider when choosing pack power, speed, and durability into a compact a laptop package. They can actually be more expensive than mid-size laptops, but they make up for the price premium in slimness and portability—something on-the-go students definitely appreciate. C ollege students Apple 11-inch MacBook Air h e a d back to cam- pus soon—and many of their The ultrathin parents will be 11-inch Mac- sending them Book Air (64GB, back with new computers. But which ones are best $1,000; 128GB, for returning students? These essential devices can $1,200) serves be expensive, so getting the most for your money as an entry is key. port for Apple laptop buyers, A student’s major is important to consider when replacing the recently discontinued white MacBook. choosing a laptop. Windows is the platform of The updated Air runs the new Mac OS 10.7 Lion, choice for many business students, and enginee- which is easy to use and features multi-touch ges- ring programs such as AutoCAD and Pro/Engineer tures and full-screen apps. The Air is pricier than are only available on Windows. Arts and sciences other laptops, though: You’ll pay more for less on- students should be safe with either Windows or board memory. Mac, a platform that tends to offer more security against viruses. Dell Inspiron 14R 2nd-Gen i5 Furthermore, be sure to check your school’s website to see if the school recommends buying a computer with a specific operating system. The Dell Inspi- ron 14R 2nd- To help you make the right decision, we’ve listed Gen i5 ($650) isjoliprint several types of portable computers by category; an affordable all offer good value and performed well in our Ra- all-round ma- tings (available to subscribers). chine for the mainstream Printed with user. While it Page 1
  2. 2. August 14, 2011 What a student’s major is important to consider when choosing a laptop doesn’t excel in a specific area, it offers flexible pri- That said, this laptop is a solid value and has good- cing and versatility. The battery life leaves a little enough features for the average student. to be desired, but the keyboard and touchpad are easy to use, and the graphics are solid for gaming Dell Inspiron 15R 2nd-Gen i3 (after studying, of course). Asus U36JC The Dell Insi- pron 15R 2nd- Gen i3 ($550) The 13- has many of inch Asus the same fea- U36JC ($1,000) tures as the offers an at- 14R 2nd-Gen tractive design i5 (suggested in and is packed the previous category), but it improves greatly upon with power battery life. This Core i3 version is fast, functional, and features. It and more than adequate for everyday use. It’s a good has a quick-start feature that lets you browse the laptop that offers a little something for everyone. Web before you boot Windows, and it’s both thin (0.76 inches) and light (3.7 pounds). The touchpad Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro can be frustrating to use, but overall, the U36JC of- fers great value. 15-inch laptops: Midsize laptops offer plenty of fea- Apple’s 15- tures and versatility, and many of them won’t break inch MacBook the bank with lots of additions you might not need. Pro ($1,700) is fast and Gateway NV59C70u powerful, but it’s significant- ly more expen- sive than other The Ga- mid-size laptops. It features a sleek design, runs on a teway NV- Core i7 processor, and like the MacBook Air, it ships 59C70u ($600 with Mac OS X Lion. The MacBook Pro is pricy, but to $800) has fans of Apple products won’t be disappointed by an attractive this high-performance machine. design, aboutjoliprint 5 hours of bat- 17-inch laptops: These large laptops are really tery life, a Core desktop replacements, offering much more power i5 processor, and 640GB of hard drive space. It’s than smaller models—but they’re still portable. Just budget-friendly, probably because it doesn’t offer bear in mind that the extra power is most useful Printed with the extra features found on more expensive models. Page 2
  3. 3. August 14, 2011 What a student’s major is important to consider when choosing a laptop for gaming—which might not be the most optimal The HP DV7 6175-US ($750) isn’t quite as powerful pastime for a college student! as the 4295: It runs on a Core i5 processor and offers a 750GB hard drive. It also does not come equipped Dell XPS 17 with a Blue-ray disc drive. But it has a 10-hour bat- tery life–and lets you save a little money, too. Netbooks: These smaller devices are useful for The Dell XPS students who want to carry a computer with them 17 ($900; to take notes in class or work on the go but don’t $1,300 with necessarily require all the power and features of 3D) runs on a a full laptop. powerful Intel Core i5-2410M Asus EEE PC 1015PX-MU17-WT processor and includes 500GB of storage. It can play Blu-ray discs, but its most notable feature is an optional upgrade that A solid op- adds a stereoscopic 3D panel to the display, so stu- tion is the dents can watch 3D movies or play 3D games in 10-inch Asus their downtime. EEE PC 1015PX-MU17- HP DV7 4295-US WT ($270 to $320), which weighs only 2.9 pounds. It features an Intel Atom N570 Dual Core The HP Processor and a 250GB hard drive and includes a DV7 4295- multi-touch touchpad, a built-in webcam, and up US ($1000) has to 10 hours of battery life. a Blu-ray disc drive and an Tablet computers: Tablets may not be the first HD display, choice for schoolwork tools; most students probably and it delivers wouldn’t opt to write papers on them. But choose both power the right apps, and tablets can serve as study guides and performance with its superior audio, video, and and e-book readers, and they can let students do graphics quality. The laptop runs on a powerful i7 Web research on the go. Of course, tablets are also Core and comes with a 1,000GB hard drive, and its great for multimedia entertainment. battery lasts up to 5 hours. Apple iPad 2 HP DV7 6175-USjoliprint The Apple Printed with 10-inch iPad Page 3
  4. 4. August 14, 2011 What a student’s major is important to consider when choosing a laptop 2 ($500 to $700), the leading tablet on the market, fice. You’ll need a student or teacher ID to get such is lighter, thinner, and speedier than the original discounts. iPad. It has a fine display and includes both front and rear cameras for photo and video. Consumer Finally, consider what extras you might need. A Reports found the battery life to be about 12 hours, package like Microsoft Office may be necessary for about 50 percent better than its predecessor. And the students for word processing and presentations, Apple App Store offers over 90,000 apps, including and a laptop bag is an easy, secure way to tote your educational ones that can help students in math, computer with you when you’re on the go. A USB science, and other fields. thumb drive or external hard drive is also a good idea for students, because it allows you to save a Samsung Galaxy Tab second copy of your work in case anything happens to your laptop. Other Business News: The 10- inch Sam- sung Galaxy Tab ($500 to CloudTag: College Students , Laptop , Netbook , $600) runs on Tablet , Hp pavilion dv5 batteries , Dell xps m1330 the newest An- batteries , dell inspiron 1300 batteries , Dell d630 droid tablet OS, batteries Honeycomb, and will soon be upgraded to include Samsung’s TouchWiz UX interface. That upgrade will add a tray of mini-apps, including a calendar and music player, Battery Technology Related Articles: as well as a Media Hub (for downloading movies and other content), a Reader Hub (for downloading e-books), and a Social Hub (for e-mail, instant messa- ging, and social networks). As for apps, the Android Help Tips: Do Your Eyes Have Computer Vision Syn- Market is growing swiftly and also offers a plethora drome? of apps for students. The Galaxy Tab also comes in a 7-inch model ($350). Lose Your Laptop? Change all Passwords, Quickly Other things to consider: Before purchasing a lap- Battery Technology | Follow 6 tips To taking care top, be sure to check out your school’s website to see of your Laptop Battery if they offer any deals on computers or software. Many schools offer computers that come pre-equip- Top 10 ways to improve iPad battery life | Battery ped with the programs you’ll need for a specific Technologyjoliprint major, and they often come with an extended three- or four-year warranty. Sample Tips for Longer-Lasting Laptop Batteries | Battery Technology Apple also offers an education discount of $50-$200 Printed with (depending on the computer model) if you buy an 6 Ways to Revitalize an Older Laptop | Notebook AppleCare extended warranty (which covers you Refresh for 3-years) or the latest version of Microsoft Of- Page 4
  5. 5. August 14, 2011 What a student’s major is important to consider when choosing a laptop Care Tips – Clean Up That Laptop Before Back to School Lenovo Android tablet Review, brings Good value, long battery life 10 ‘great’ technologies products back with hindsight To read more good posts, please follow us on Twit- ter: Thank you! Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a com- ment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.joliprint Printed with Page 5