Major, budget are factors in choosing right college laptop

When it comes to laptops, one size does not fit all


SAN ANTONIO – Heading off to college means making all kinds of decisions, including what laptop to buy.

When it comes to laptops, one size does not fit all. It all depends on your major and your budget.

Keith Howard, a computer expert at Best Buy, said, for those on a tight budget, a Chromebook is a good buy at $300 to $500.

"That would really be good for researching, writing papers, basic stuff," he said.

For majors such as sciences and engineering, Howard said, you'll want a laptop with more speed.

"You can still get a really good two-in-one (computer/tablet) for $700 to $800," Howard said.

Tablets you can write on can be handy in class.

"You can write on the screen so you don't need to take a notebook to class," Howard said.

For architecture or film students who need to edit video or manipulate graphics, Howard suggests top-of-the-line laptops, such as the Apple MacBook Pro, which costs about $1,200. 

Higher-end laptops now have solid-state drives, which don't have as much storage space. But that's when cloud and external hard drives come in handy. 

"It's gonna boot up faster, load things faster -- a better hard drive," Howard said.

If you're looking for cool features, consider biometrics, which allow you to log in to your computer with fingerprint recognition.  

You should also check the weight of the laptop and test-drive the keyboard because you'll be doing a lot of typing.

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