Whether people are starting their college career at a university or still attending high school, the days when students could write all of their assignments by hand and do all of their research in a library are gone. Now homework is typed on a computer and then printed or sent electronically to the teacher. Even notetaking has largely switched to being done electronically. As lectures are given, students are busily typing away on their computers.
Computers are also necessary for research now. The information provided in books is often available online, making it far easier and quicker to use the Internet as a research tool than it is to shuffle through countless books at the library. In addition to this, the majority of books are being converted to digital form so that they can be read on a computer screen. For research purposes, this is very convenient because students can do a keyword search to find a specific topic in the book, rather than reading through the whole thing in search of certain information.
When it comes to purchasing a laptop or netbook, there are a lot of decisions to make. Computers are easily one of the most technologically advanced devices that people can buy and each model has different features and specifications.
Whether to Get a Laptop or a Netbook
Laptops and netbooks are designed to meet the needs of different people. Netbooks are small and lightweight so they are more portable and easy to carry around. They still function on the same operating system as the laptops do, so there is no learning curve to get over when starting out with on. However, there are disadvantages of going with a smaller size, For one, the keyboard is more compact so it is harder to type on. Netbooks also come with less memory and hard drive space which means that they run slower and not as much data can be stored on them.
Laptops on the other hand come in various larger sizes so people can pick the one that best suits them. They are capable of handling bigger software programmes and storing more data. Increasing their capabilities, though, also means that they are heavier to carry around.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Laptop or Netbook for Students
Having so many options to choose from when shopping for laptops and netbooks is confusing, especially to those who are not technologically minded. Luckily, having so much variety means that students have the opportunity to find a computer that meets all of their specific needs and stays within their budget.
Knowing what to look for in a computer is what confuses most people. However, having basic knowledge of computer specifications is all that shoppers really need. Understanding what to look for and how to decipher the technical terms will allow buyers to make an informed decision when it comes to making their selection.
Prices of Laptops and Netbooks
These days, owning a laptop or netbook is considered to be a necessity for most students. Unfortunately, computers can be very expensive so finding one that fits the budget is important. Certain features such as high-definition graphic cards may not necessarily be needed. It is better find a quality computer that provides all the basics and stays within the designated price range.
The following sections discuss the basic features of laptops and netbooks. Consider which specifications are a necessity, and which ones are just on the wish list. For those who want a more advanced laptop or netbook, purchasing a used or refurbished one on eBay may be an option to consider.
Size of Laptops and Netbooks
Perhaps the easiest decision to make is choosing the computer's screen size. Laptops and netbooks range in size from 5 inches to 18 inches. However, the measurement is not from side to side. They are measured diagonally from corner to opposite corner, just like a television is.
Here are some things to consider about the laptop or netbook screen size.
- Typing: The smaller the screen is, the more compaqued the keyboard is. Small keyboards are difficult to type on.
- Weight: Naturally, larger computers will be harder to carry around
- Media: Those who enjoy watching films and videos on their computers may prefer a larger screen
- Multiple Windows: When doing homework, many people have multiple browser windows open. This can be frustrating to do on a small screen
- Gaming: Anyone who likes to play games on their computer may find that it is harder to see graphic details on a small screen
- Cost: The smaller netbooks and laptops are less expensive
Weigh out all of the pros and cons of having a larger or smaller screen size. Everybody has different needs so there is no right or wrong decision.
Laptop and Netbook Storage Space
The hard drive is the brain of the computer. It runs the programmes and stores data. The amount of digital storage space that it has is measured in gigabytes (GB). The more gigabytes the computer comes with, the more programmes and data it can hold.
The high-end netbooks usually have up to 320 GB, while the high-end laptops typically have a maximum of 500 GB. It is rare for someone to reach their limit on hard drive space and there are external storage devices that people can purchase if they want to spare their computer.
Although the amount of hard drive space does not make a huge difference, the type of hard drive does. The traditional drives that most people are familiar with are the hard disk drives (HHD). However, a new technology has just be developed. There are now solid-state drives (SSD) that have no moving parts and allow the computer to run faster. Of course, the SSDs are much more expensive than the HHDs, costing nearly twice as much. Another downfall that turns people away from SSDs is that they have less storage space and cost much more per GB than the HHDs do.
Laptop and Netbook Memory
How fast the computer runs is dependant upon how much random access memory (RAM) it has. Every program on the computer that is running requires a certain amount of memory. The more things people put on their device, the slower it will run. At least 2 GBs of memory is needed to run a basic machine. But those who want to access their websites, email, and videos quickly will find that at least 4 GBs is necessary.
Laptop and Netbook USB Technology
The kinds of connections used between computers and external devices is always changing. USB has been the main type of connection for the last few years. However, the technology behind it has been improving. The latest USBs use the 3.0 technology that can transfer 5 GB per second through the connection. For those who store a lot of information on external drives, getting a computer with the USB 3.0 technology may be important.
Laptop and Netbook Optical Drive
The optical drive is what reads disks. Some of the smaller netbooks and laptops no longer come with an optical drive which could present a problem for those who enjoy watching DVDs on their computer. It may also be necessary to install study-specific software from a CD, or use CDs that come with textbooks. Also check to see if the computer is Blu-Ray compatible. However, adding the Blu-Ray feature does drive up the price of the device.
Shop for Laptops and Netbooks on eBay
Because of the huge amount of brands and models to choose from, there are no local shops that people can go to that have everything in stock. Usually they only have the space to display a few of the most popular computer models.
To get around this, try using eBay. They have thousands of computers to choose from that are listed by hundreds of sellers. People can find nearly every brand and model and then compare it between sellers to see who has it listed for the best price. On eBay, buyers also have the option of searching for used and refurbished products that are sold for more affordable prices.
To search for laptops or netbooks in general, type "laptops" or "netbooks" into the eBay search bar and then click the "search" button. A large list will then be generated with far more products than you'll ever be able to look through. You can cut down the number of listings by entering in your price range and selecting some preferences such as the brand, screen size, and condition.
In a world that is switching from paper to digital information, computers have become a necessary part of most people's lives. They keep people in contact with each other, store important information, and run important software programmes.
For students, laptops and netbooks in particular tend to be the kind of computer that is best suited for their busy lifestyles. They are portable so they can be taken inside classrooms, to study groups, and to a coffee shop. In addition to this, they do not have an extensive amount of wires to hook up and they can run on battery life. Having a desktop that is difficult to move around can be a pain to set up and take down when its location needs to be changed.
Buying any kind of computer requires research and a more extensive amount of shopping. However, with the basic knowledge provided, it is easy to compare devices and figure out which ones offer the most features for the best prices.