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Is It Worth Buying a Laptop for College? How To Decide

College life happens to be an exciting time in a student’s life, a phase of learning, exploration, and freedom for many. When preparing for college, students tend to ask many questions about what they’d need and what’s a must-have, and what isn’t. More often than not, a laptop for college often takes the top of the list, and some wonder if it’s worth buying a laptop for college.

It’s worth buying a laptop for college if convenience is a priority because you’ll be writing essays and doing research and assignments for different courses. Owning a laptop saves time, increases efficiency, prevents file loss, and keeps you engaged in fun activities like computer games.

While owning a laptop before your first day in class isn’t compulsory, read on to find out if buying a laptop is an investment for the present or if you can hold it off a bit longer. 

Buying a laptop for college - is it worth it?

Reasons Why Buying a Laptop for College Is Worth It

A laptop for college happens to be something that most feel they can’t do without, while others feel they could find ways around their need for a laptop. If availability and convenience top your reasons for needing a laptop, then it shouldn’t take you too long to decide to own one. 

An article from the BBC emphasized the importance of student laptops in enhancing learning in STEM-related courses. 

Hence it’s important to prioritize owning a personal laptop, even if you have public computers available for students’ use in your college. You never know when there might be a high demand for them during peak periods such as during tests and examinations (source).

So if you’re just wondering if it’s a worthy investment to start saving up for a college laptop, or if you should spend your savings on buying a laptop or for something else, then here are important reasons to consider owning a personal computer. 

Owning a Laptop Saves Time and Increase Efficiency

No college semester is ever complete without assignments, term papers, and essays. If you’re a typical student looking to make the best grades, one of the things you’d have to consider is the quality of your term paper and essays. 

To achieve this, you’ve got to be in charge of your time and ensure that you have all your resources available to deliver the best quality of work on those projects. 

Having a personal computer makes this super-easy because the alternatives if you don’t have one include either borrowing one from a friend or using the public computers in school. In either case, you may not be in charge of the time you put into what you do, nor be able to control the quality of your workflows. 

More often than not, you’re constrained on how long you get to use them. 

This could further affect you, as it might be difficult to factor in the time of the day you find most productive, such as in the early hours of the day. Also, if you are working on a critical project and then have to give back the computer before you’re finished, you could lose momentum on it.

It’s best to own your laptop since you can work at the time that’s best for your productivity. You also have the freedom to work for as long as you like without the constraint of knowing someone else needs to have it. 

Your laptop helps to cut down the time you spend moving around trying to get a PC in half. If you have yours, all you need to do is pick it up and get to work.

No Loss of Files in Transit With a Personal Laptop

It’s easier to store all your items on your laptop, knowing that you can access them when you need them. 

You’d need to move your files around, possibly in a flash drive, copying it from laptop to laptop when you work with them. This could put your files at risk of loss or even becoming corrupted with viruses due to using multiple computers. 

Now with a personal laptop, you need not go through this challenge. All you have to do is leave what’s essential securely backed up. This means that you don’t have to deal with a loss of files or risk your flash drive becoming corrupted. 

Enjoy Your Hobby on Your Laptop

What’s college life without some dose of fun? 

While many are becoming expert gamers, others have various things that are calling for their interest. More often than not, most people’s hobbies are becoming computer-inclined, and if you have one of those, say writing, for example, you’d need a personal laptop to do that comfortably. 

If you don’t have a laptop, it means you won’t get to engage in what you love as much as you’d want to. It’s a worthy investment to own your personal computer in this regard, as you can get to your hobby during your leisure time, as often as you want to.

Learn a New Skill With Your Portable Laptop

College is expensive, which means that most students keep looking for ways to learn new skills that could earn some money outside of the classroom. 

If you’re putting in some extra hours to learn a new skill, it might be necessary to have a personal laptop that makes that easy to do, and most of all, make it convenient to do that at any time of the day. 

Finally, if you get through with practicing and mastering a digital skill, for example, it’s way easier to exchange your skill for money if you have a personal laptop. 

You also can attend to what’s essential in between your class schedule. If you don’t own a personal laptop, it might be challenging to utilize the time you have in your hands for what’s important. 

With a portable laptop that you can easily carry around, you can put some time into other things as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Use Your Laptop for Entertainment and Relaxation

Once in a while, you get to ease down on your schoolwork and begin to think about binging on your favorite series or having friends come around to play some fun games with you. It’s all part of the package that makes college life fun. 

Owning a laptop makes your relaxation and entertainment moments more fun, and you don’t have to deal with watching from a small smartphone screen if you have a laptop that does the job. 

With a personal laptop, you get to play host to your friends as often as you feel like and have as many nights of fun as you wish after a long day of work. 

Deciding on Getting a Laptop for College: Things To Note

Now that you’ve realized how important owning a laptop in college is, it’s normal to be skeptical about how to go about it or be overwhelmed with options that make it even more difficult to decide. Here are certain things to have in mind when purchasing a laptop for college.

When To Buy a Personal Laptop

If you’re thinking about when’s the best time to buy a college laptop, before or during your semesters, then these tips will help your decision-making.

Whether to buy a laptop before resuming college or during your course of study is a critical one, especially if you’ll be buying with your savings. If you’re saving up for it, there’s no need to pressure yourself into getting one before the start of the session. 

However, various discounts are usually available during back-to-school sales.

Your course of study will largely determine how intense your need for a personal computer might be. The foundational course outline for some courses might not be so intensive that it would require you to purchase a personal computer right away, while others might demand your need for it right from the first contact.  

Also, you’ll need to factor in other aspects, such as the availability of a public computer center in your school. If this is an available option, and you don’t mind the associated challenges, you may decide to wait a bit longer so you can have more time to save.

To get the best deals on your laptop purchase, the time of the year you buy can determine how much you can save on your purchase. The most common period when various dealers offer discounts on prices is during back-to-school sales. 

At this time, competitors are doing their best to see that they make the most sales since many students will be looking to purchase. 

You can take advantage of these sales to get a student laptop at a reasonable price. 

Another cool time to get a laptop is during Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. You always find a deal range that suits your pocket and spec. You need to pay attention during this time, as the sale is usually time-sensitive, and stock is often limited during the sale. 

Once you’ve seen a deal you love, take your time to know when it’ll go live, get your credit card close by, so you’re in the nick of time when it goes up for sale.

You may also look for laptop brands that are set to release newer models and when they plan it would be released. There’s a tendency that older models from such brands may have a fall in price, which makes it a good buy if you’re good with older models (source).

How To Buy a Laptop for College

Now that you’ve determined when to buy, you might still have the question of what to buy. These tips will help you decide what’s good for you and how to determine the kind of laptop to buy.

Determine the Functionality of the Laptop

The operating system is the brain behind the functionality of a laptop you’re buying. 

If all you need is a basic laptop that does better than a phone in terms of screen size and other relative features, a Chromebook might be an alternative pick. 

You must note that a Chromebook has the operating system of a phone browser. So the interface and functionality you get are more like a phone with more hardware to play around with. If this doesn’t look like what you need from a PC, a more functional computer with Windows or Mac operating system will do the job.

Like phones, laptops are of various grades and functionality, which means that what you want will determine what you choose. 

A laptop for college won’t require you to use heavy-duty applications that require large processors. So if all you need is a machine that does basic day-to-day computing, you may go for laptops with lower-end processors. 

However, if you need more than a basic laptop, but something you can use for intensive work like video editing or gaming, choose a laptop with higher-end processors and a recent generation. Also, you must note that the higher the functionality of a laptop, the more it would cost (source).

Check the Size and Weight of the Laptop

Your college laptop shouldn’t be bulky since you might need to carry it with you on most occasions. 

Getting a small-sized laptop is okay for basic things, and you might have to settle for a laptop with a smaller screen for easy mobility. Check the weight of the laptop, and if a wider laptop seems more like a fit for you, you’ll want to get the larger model.

Determine the Processor Speed of the Laptop

The laptop’s ram size and clock speed determine how fast your laptop operates. It’s best to go for laptops with a minimum of 4 gigs or more for optimal performance. You might need to leave several tabs open while working as a student, and you don’t want to have your laptop crash from overuse.

Get the Laptop at a Good Price

The pricing of your laptop is hinged on how much functionality, specification, and sophistication you require from your laptop. There are many great deals out there, and you won’t necessarily have to sacrifice too much to get a good laptop at a reasonable price (source).


A laptop for college is an essential part of college life as a student, and you’ll find it handy, either for assignments, entertainment, or learning a new skill. This means that buying a laptop for college is worth it, regardless of other options if you have the money. You’ll find great deals on laptops during peak periods and black Friday sales. 

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