Copyright 2006 Titus Hoskins
Merchants are singing those three magic words again, 'Back to School' and the fallout is everywhere!
Just as you're getting your deep dark pre-cancerous tan going - you hear those words - and it spells the end of summer. Once again we are bombarded with advertising, featuring the latest in 'teen ware' 'school ware' and 'metal detector ware'. Kidding!
Is it just me or does it seem this year there is a lot more 'Back to School' advertising for notebooks and laptops? They seem to be everywhere... on TV, radio, and online.
Laptop ads are everywhere. Why is this?
Well, notebooks have come down in price, they have become more affordable, even for the modest student. Laptops have also come down in size, making them ideal for that school napsack, or dormroom. They have also become tougher and sturdier - better equipped to meet the hard/wear/tear that students give it.
With notebook technology changing every two years or so - notebooks can now handle most tasks students throw their way. These advanced notebooks can do the job. They also present a much stronger entertainment value to students, they can handle better graphics and gaming, but most students try to keep parents in the dark about this factor as they plead for a new laptop for college or school. All this pleading is further fueling the demand for laptops.
Then there is a little thing called the Internet. Throw in a wireless connection and the student laptop is coming into its own. Big Time!
The Internet has become a second teacher/parent/counselor to most students. God help us all! But it has also become a priceless source of the collective knowledge on this planet; frightening but true. The Internet is an invaluable source of knowledge for any high school/college student.
Not having ready access to all this knowledge and information will put any student at a disadvantage with his peers. It's a very competitive world, in high school, in college and in the future job market - every student should have an even playing field.
That's where the little notebook computer enters stage right!
Laptops or notebooks have quickly become a school necessity. When? How? Why?...
It's the perfect learning tool for students:
* very portable, you can carry them anywhere, class, cafe, dorm, home...
* very convenient, you can take notes in class, type up assignments, print assignments, communicate home, access the Internet...
* very tough, many newer notebooks are designed to withstand a good pounding and keep on computing, ruggerized for sturdy use...
* very powerful, notebooks or laptops are catching up to their desktop cousins in computing speed, hard drive storage and performance...
* very affordable, prices have dropped and are falling even further, laptops are now outselling desktop PCs so this price will drop even further, there's a whole slew of used and refurbished laptops hitting the market...
If you're a parent, student, or guardian; here are some of the factors you should consider when buying the best student laptop or notebook:
* size, it must be small, lightweight and very portable, fit comfortably under the arm or in that backpack
* sturdy, it must be tough, sturdy, ruggerized, and able to take more than one hard knock because students are students
* connections, wireless connections should be offered, the Internet is such a valuable tool in itself - a student should be able to access it anywhere. Most notebooks have these connections but check - a printer port, a 56Kbps-modem, a VGA port for an external monitor, and should have at least one USB port for external keyboard/mouse, digital cameras, drives, and MP3 players
* technical specs, it should have enough RAM, storage space (hard drive) and computing speed to do any job the student can throw at it
* battery life, make sure your student notebook has a reasonable battery life, 5 hours or more
* price, it should be reasonably priced, refurbished laptops may be an option for those on a strict budget
However, some words of wisdom, students or parents shouldn't skimp too much - if you're spending 10's of thousands on an education, you should also provide for the best possible equipment in the form of a sturdy, lightweight high performance laptop. Besides, a high quality laptop will last for years... just imagine your son or daughter writing their resumes on it after they have finished college... keep this image in your mind as you go about buying that perfect student laptop.