8 Key Considerations When Buying a Laptop for College Students

8 Key Considerations When Buying a Laptop for College Students

19/12/2019 6

College is about friends, careers, and expanding the boundaries of what you think you know. As you think about everything you need to buy to be successful in your education, a laptop probably sits at the top of the list. Everyone who starts a college course puts a laptop at the top of their must-have lists.

What makes buying a laptop for a college student different than buying one for anyone else? Surely a simple laptop you would use at home can be just as functional for the college student. However, that isn’t the case.

There are a few key considerations that you are going to want to keep in mind when it comes to purchasing a laptop for college students. Their needs are not going to be the same as the home or business needs will be because of the nature of the laptops use and where it is being used.

Therefore, when you are on the market to find the best laptop for college students, you are going to want to keep these key considerations in mind.


1. Portability

One of the biggest challenges a college student is going to face with a laptop is going to be how portable the laptop is going to be. From the library to the classroom and back to home, the laptop is going to be well-traveled by a student. Nursing students need laptops that are even going to make hospital rotations with them. Therefore, when choosing the right laptop for a student, you want it to be fairly lightweight and small enough to carry around without causing strain.

2. Battery Life

A college student is going to spend long hours on campus. Chances are, from the common rooms to the cafeteria, that laptop is going to be used everywhere. A good battery is going to be essential. 

Most students are going to have a laptop with them, so there isn’t going to be enough outlets for charging for everyone. The longer the battery life, the better for the college student who doesn’t want to be in the middle of an important paper, and their battery dies.

3. Storage

Students are going to keep their entire educational lives on their laptops. Law students are going to have a million and one things they are going to need to save on their laptops along with pretty much every other student. 

Therefore, a good amount of storage is going to be necessary. The average amount of storage for most laptops is 512GB, 1TB is probably more ideal for those who need to keep a lot of information stored on their laptops. You may pay a bit more for additional storage, but it is a necessity for a college student that they can’t live without.

4. Upgrade Opportunities

A college student is going to need a laptop for their entire education. Therefore, before purchasing any particular laptop, you want to check to see if it is upgradable. Check to see if the memory can be upgraded. How much RAM can you put into it, and how many slots are available? 

Knowing that you can upgrade the laptop a bit once your reach year three of school is going to be useful so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of changing laptops partway through your studies.

5. Price

You need to choose a price range you are willing to spend when it comes to a laptop. There is a large range of excellent laptops on the market that can run you a small fortune if you don’t choose a price range and stick to it.

You can get an excellent laptop with a larger or smaller budget. Know your range and only consider laptops in that range. Education is expensive enough.

6. Durability

Since the student’s laptop is going to be carrying their laptop around and using it in crowded study halls and classrooms, you are going to want one that is durable. Chances are before the first year of college is even finished, you are going to drop that laptop. 

You want one that can take a few bangs and jostles and not be affected by them. Choose a laptop that is going to be durable and long-lasting.

7. Touch Screen and Pen Support

Most students are going to need to have their laptops be multi-functional. Getting a laptop that has a touch screen and pen support is a great idea, though not an absolute necessity. The architectural students will love laptops having the pen support when they want to create digital images of designs that they can submit to their professors or add to as time goes on. 

Many other students will love the option of having the touch screen for scrolling and the pen for quick notes. It might also be a good idea to have a laptop that can flip the screen to look like a tablet or a laptop. Many of the touch screen and pen support laptops will have that feature.

8. The Curriculum

What you are studying is going to have a direct impact on which laptop you choose. The nursing student isn’t going to have the same needs as the engineering student, and the same can be said for the social sciences. Therefore, you need to be aware of what types of functionality you need your laptop to have and what it can support software-wise. Some laptops won’t keep up with AutoCAD software used by engineering students, and others won’t be able to handle the drawing software an architectural student need. Pay attention to your curriculum, and what they need will be so that the laptop you choose is compatible.


The needs of a college student are vastly different from the needs of someone who games. Therefore, there are going to be varying considerations when you are on the market for a laptop for a student. However, there are a few universal things you are going to want a college student’s laptop to have.

When on the market for the next college student’s laptop, make sure to keep the above in mind so that you give the student the best chance possible to start and continue their education with the right tools necessary to succeed.

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  • Rilea Phelps

    Buying a laptop is harder than buying a new car for college students.

  • Daniel Tran

    The main problem is I don't have money to buy one. I just use the ones in the library.

  • Alex Halliwell

    Immediately crossed all macbooks off the list

  • Steve Browning

    Really good overview of things to consider, thank you!

  • Beth Izzy

    I need a monster laptop.

  • Nayem Gatz

    This makes it so much easier for me now that I am starting college and I am trying to budget !

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