As we roll into the new year students are gearing up for their classes and assignments, but many are missing an essential tool for their learning: a new laptop. 

While each student requires a computer for their learning as many classes are now remote, there isn’t a baseline or standard each student should hold their laptop to. Each major and occupation can share a different concept of the perfect laptop. 

Every Zag has their own needs, and Gonzaga students can save money, time and effort by buying the right laptop for their lifestyle rather than draining their pockets with a “one size fits all” recommendation. 

Students that are casual users and not pushing their machine to the limits should invest in a Dell Inspiron 14 ryzen 7/ intel i5 or ASUS Vivobook S15 S533 i5. 

These laptops range from $550 to $700, saving students money. Additionally, they offer touchscreen features, and the Dell laptop offers a 2-in-1 feature tablet and laptop function. This provides usability while maintaining a great user experience. 

Students who are creators or moderate users should consider a 13 inch Apple MacBook or an ASUS Zenbook 14. These laptops are great for using photoshop, making videos, and doing extensive multitasking. 

Prices for these laptops range from $899 all the way to the higher end for the MacBook at $1,399. 

Both laptops offer i5 or i7 processors and 16GB of working RAM, allowing content creation to run smoothly. This also allows media to be made and rendered quickly while managing your busy workload, all at your pace. At convenient sizes and weights both laptops can be taken on the go at any time. 

Any engineers or students using graphic intensive programs should consider purchasing the HP Envy 13 or Dell XPS 13 on the smaller end, or the Acer Helios 300 and Razer Blade 15 on the heavier end. These laptops are great for making 3D modelled diagrams, using simulations, running multiple operating systems and anything else graphically intensive. 

On the smaller but powerful end the HP Envy 13 and Dell XPS 13, ranging from $999 to $1,399, both offer i7 processors with 16GB of RAM and either Iris or Nvidia integrated graphics. Both offer touch and 4k screens, making them the perfect fit for a student working on difficult and hardware intensive tasks. 

Both engineer laptops and gaming laptops are the most powerful type of laptop. The Acer Helios 300 and Razer Blade 15 both offer 6-core i7 processors with Nvidia RTX graphics cards. The combination of graphic and processing power will be able to handle any intensive task life may throw at you. 

Three drawbacks with these laptops are battery life, weight and cost. These laptops can do a lot but must always be tethered to a wall for charging. Prices can range from $1,197 to $1,899, which is quite expensive but truly worth every penny if it is the right fit for you.

Regardless of what type of student you are, laptop buying should be efficient and cost-effective, saving you time and money in your education. 


Hunter Hauser is a staff writer

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