Choosing a laptop for school can be a daunting task. Hundreds of models flood the market, ranging from small netbooks to huge 17” screen desktop replacements. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of various types of laptops. Match them up with your school and entertainment needs to make a regret-free purchase.
Netbooks are the smallest laptop models, with screens often measuring 10 inches or less. These computers are very portable, have long-lasting batteries and are excellent for completing work on the go. The downside is that they lack the power of larger computers, limiting your ability to perform tasks beyond typing a paper, surfing the web or listening to music.
Mid-sized laptops are the most common, with screen sizes typically ranging from 13 to 15 inches. Combining portability and power, they offer high-end specs in a reasonably-sized package and provide battery life of three to 10 hours, depending on brand and model. The primary limitation is typically graphic performance. Although they’re sufficient for everyday use and light gaming, you might consider other options if you plan on heavy gaming or video editing.
These laptops put the computing power of a desktop into a portable system. Screen sizes range between 15 and 17 inches, and the machines are generally much heavier and less portable than other laptops. They are powerful enough to play games or edit video at blazing speeds; however, don’t expect to carry them around all day, from one class to the next. Also, when choosing a desktop replacement, check out battery life, since there is a wide range, from as little as 90 minutes to as much as nine hours.
Check back next Thursday for the facts behind laptop specs.