It’s almost impossible to imagine a modern school setting without computer technology. Likewise, a student without a computer is at a crippling disadvantage, and high school students are no exception to this rule. Computer skills have become a ruling precedent for accessing educational resources and completing assignments; the pen and paper of contemporary studies.
Vast amounts of learning materials are available in digital space, expanding the potential of how and where students learn. One of the most useful resources high school students can own is a laptop computer. When selecting a laptop for a high school student, it’s important to recognize what qualities and features make for the ideal purchase.
Durability is just as important as any other feature. A high school student’s laptop must be able to withstand an active lifestyle. Plastic materials make for a more affordable computer, but metal is far more durable. A metal laptop case also helps hardware components to disperse heat better than plastic, which will extend the overall life of the laptop and its working parts.
Where plastic will crack and shatter, metal components are more likely to dent or bend, leaving the computer’s internal components more likely to be unharmed in the case of an unfortunate accident. We all know how roughly a high schooler’s belongings are often treated.
The choice in operating system is dependent upon the preference of the user.For a high school student, it’s far more convenient if the operating system is the same as the standard used by the school. This usually falls as a choice between Mac OS and Windows.Too much difference can result in file format obstacles. While most standard file formats can be accessed and edited with either operating system, convenience can’t be overrated when it comes to helping students get their work and study finished on time.
It should also be noted that Mac OS only runs on Apple computers, which often carry a considerably higher price tag than their Windows counterparts. The additional cost is often worth it, however. The student’s experience will better mesh with that of their teachers and classmates.
A less expensive option than either a Windows-based or Mac laptop is a “Chromebook.” These laptop replacements feature considerably less capable hardware components and run on Google’s cloud-based Chrome operating system. While this may be a good solution for younger students, Chromebooks have a low ceiling in terms of their capability.
One of the best methods of enhancing one’s productivity on a laptop is opting for a solid-state drive, rather than a hard-disk drive. While the former often costs more for less overall storage space, it also contains no moving parts and therefore keeps a student’s data much safer. An SSD is far more likely to remain undamaged in the case of liquid damage or a dropped laptop.
Inversely, opting for an HDD can lower the cost of a laptop and also offer added gigabyte of storage space. The moving parts and rewriting process on an HDD, however, does make it more susceptible to damage and data loss.
If more storage space than an SSD affords is needed, it’s recommended to invest in inexpensive flash storage, such as USB thumb drives. Easily replaceable and just as portable as the laptop itself, USB drives are a favored item for students, and will allow a reliable SSD to cover storage needs on the computer.
As laptops become thinner and lighter, they’re shedding less necessary features that they’ve carried for years. One of the first to go has been the physical media drive for DVD and Blu-ray discs. As cloud computing has become more popular in all aspects of life, the need for these power hungry hardware components has waned.
For the consumer, this means one less component contributing to a laptop’s price tag. It also means that an external media drive may be necessary, if a high school student regularly uses disc-based media.
A computer’s weight can be a poor way to determine its cost. Lightweight laptops can still pack in strong hardware, but their price can also skyrocket as a result. Finding the right laptop involves finding a machine that suits the buyer’s budget, but also remains lightweight enough for a student to carry with them for an entire day.
Laptops in the 13”-14” screen-size range are typically the best suited for on-the-go lifestyles, and are often constructed from lighter weight materials. Not only can larger computers quickly become heavier, their size makes them cumbersome to fit into the average laptop bag.
Buying a laptop for a high school student doesn’t need to be a bank-breaking process. With a brief bit of research and the above information considered, the process can be pared down into simpler choices.The best laptops for students will stand apart from those with features that the student won’t need.
Classroom learning is more technology-dependent than ever, and choosing the best laptop for a high school student is a great way to place them one step ahead.