Back to School Laptop Choice: Top Picks and Buying Advice

It always feels too early to be talking about back to school but before you know it the time will be upon us once more. We’ve already given you information about the annual Apple Back to School promotion and also gave you some ideas for back to school tech accessories and tablets. Today though we wanted to bring you some information about back to school laptops and also buying advice.

Although many parents like to think of themselves as tech-savvy enough to know exactly what their offspring needs when it comes to tech equipment, there are a good few who need advice on what’s out there and what they should be purchasing for the students in the family. Over on Laptop there’s a great article by Mike Prospero, which suggests 12 of the best laptops for back to school purposes in various sizes and price ranges. The main specs and prices for each featured laptop are given and it’s an extremely useful roundup of what’s out there with prices for every pocket.

For example there are laptops from Acer, Sony, HP, Dell, Toshiba, ASUS, Lenovo and Apple. Just a couple of those specified are the Apple MacBook Air (personal note – I use one of these and can recommend it) starting at $999. The Air is ultra-light and slimline with flash memory to ensure a quick start and also has excellent battery performance. We should point out though that a refresh for the MacBook Air line is due very shortly so it might be worth hanging on for the 2011 version.

For the budget option there’s the Acer Aspire A0722 at $379. This is an 11.6-inch laptop with a surprising amount going for it for the price, such as the 1GHz AMD C50 Fusion processor, 2GB of memory and 500GB hard drive. At the top of the market a good option is the Toshiba Qosmio X775-Q7272 at $1,499 with a powerful quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX560M graphics and a 17.3-inch HD display. This has excellent specs but then you’d expect it for the price and it also has a USB 3.0 port with Sleep & Charge facility so that your student can be charging their other devices even when the laptop is turned off. To take a look at more detail and other devices head to the article in full at the Laptop link above.

For buying advice you can do no better than to check out an article on PC World by Jason Cross that specifically details what you need and also what you don’t need in a back to school laptop. It’s a clearly laid out article that has separate points. Things you need for example include a long battery life, light weight (all that lugging about between classes) and a good keyboard. Things you don’t really need include a quad-core processor (although we wouldn’t turn it down), solid-state drive and touchscreen. For more information on these aspects and other pointers too, see the article in full at the PC World link.

Hopefully this will have given you some advice on just how to choose the back to school laptop that the student in your household needs, along with some good suggestions to pick from. Are you looking to purchase a laptop for back to school and if so what might you choose? Are there any other laptops, or buying advice for laptops you can add for our readers at back to school time? Let us have your comments.