Back to School: Guide to Technology

Kaitlyn Pujols

Buying a laptop or tablet now-a-days can be one of the most crucial decisions of a student’s career, depending on your career path it can either make or break you. And there are so many options out there with price ranges that can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 9.02.03 PMThere’s always the classic MacBook pro which seems to be the preferred choice for students everywhere. With its sleek design and easy to use functions it is easy to see why it has gained the title of best student laptop of 2015 by esteemed tech reviewers everywhere. It’s battery life alone is nearly double that of most other laptops, on a single charge and moderate use the laptop will run for 15 hours which is slightly more than the amount of time spent in class making it ideal for the student. However priced at nearly $1,200 it may not be feasible for students on a budget.

Some worthy competitors to the Mac include the Lenovo yoga 3, which you may recognize from the commercials where the screen completely flips over to convert into a tablet. The battery will last up to ten hours with one charge and you get the added bonus of being able to change into a tablet. This functionality makes it ideal for students constantly on the go while also being reasonably priced at $900 which considering the fantastic all metal body and office 365 already pre-installed, is a bang for your buck. Aside from that the storage capacity is
double that of MacBooks meaning you can keep every essential document saved without going through the hassle of picking and choosing which you can delete due to lack of storage space.

Now Microsoft has recently made huge strides in the tablet market with the infamous surface pro which has coined the phrase “the tablet to replace your laptop”. This tablet has all the capabilities of a macbook pro but compacted into a thin Microsoft “slate” with a pressure sensitive pen, pre-installed office 365, and full photoshop ability this tablet is perfect if you’re in a career track in design or engineering or even if yScreen Shot 2015-08-09 at 10.25.08 PMou’re a just casual user. All of these available functions attribute to the less than favorable battery life which according to a run-down by PC MAG is 4 hours but ultimately depends on how you use the tablet. But costing only $800 dollars you get much more than what you pay for considering everything that this little tablet can do.

Other notable laptops include the HP stream ($300) and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series ($400) which are ultimately “value laptops” meaning they are considerably cheap when taking all factors into account. They each have windows 8 capabilities and similar 9 hour battery lives, the only striking difference between the two is that for the additional hundred dollars you’re paying for the Dell you also get a 2-in-1 experience as the screen also detaches and becomes a tablet. However as they are “value laptops” don’t expect to be able to run many programs such as photoshop or solid works efficiently these are essentially laptops for moderate daily use. Stay away from these if your career path focuses heavily on tech or design as they may not meet your requirements.

All things said the laptop you choose should be heavily based on what you’re planning to use it for, with the right choice you can head back to school with style and finesse.

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