Laptop for College Student

chadz777

Distinguished
Dec 28, 2009
10
0
18,560
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Hi Tom's Hardware community,

A friend of mine reached out to me asking about a laptop for her daughter for school. I'm not up-to-date on the hardware for laptops but looking for something that is good enough for school and maybe some minecraft (thats the only game she really plays).

We are looking to go as cheap as possible as money is tight.

They are looking to spend less than 500 bucks and get the best bang for the buck. Minecraft isn't essential but it is a way to keep the sisters together as they both play.

Thanks for any advice!

 

tmoseley@mtsd

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2011
6
0
18,520
3
I think more appropriate questions to help make your decision would be as follows. What OS on the laptop (Windows, Mac, or ChromeOS)? Does the university help desk support all three? Will there be any special software for class that you will need to purchase and install? Is that software Windows or MacOS compatible? Most colleges will offer the students Office365 which is great because it can be used on any of the 3 computers.

My daughter took a chromebook to college and loved it. Then she took a programming class and needed Microsoft Visual Studio for a project. Then another Professor would only except MS Excel documents and Google Sheets did have the functionality she needed for class and she hadn't purchased Office365.

My recommendation is usually Chromebook because all your data is in the cloud, battery life is excellent, they are affordable, fast startup, light, and easy to use. However, if you like to game or your degree path will require you to have something more then a Windows based system or Mac is your way to go. Many colleges have models they recommend or brands they are partnered with for deals. So check your university.
 

tmoseley@mtsd

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2011
6
0
18,520
3
I think more appropriate questions to help make your decision would be as follows. What OS on the laptop (Windows, Mac, or ChromeOS)? Does the university help desk support all three? Will there be any special software for class that you will need to purchase and install? Is that software Windows or MacOS compatible? Most colleges will offer the students Office365 which is great because it can be used on any of the 3 computers.

My daughter took a chromebook to college and loved it. Then she took a programming class and needed Microsoft Visual Studio for a project. Then another Professor would only except MS Excel documents and Google Sheets did have the functionality she needed for class and she hadn't purchased Office365.

My recommendation is usually Chromebook because all your data is in the cloud, battery life is excellent, they are affordable, fast startup, light, and easy to use. However, if you like to game or your degree path will require you to have something more then a Windows based system or Mac is your way to go. Many colleges have models they recommend or brands they are partnered with for deals. So check your university.
 
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