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5 Laptops That Are Perfect For College Students

5 Laptops That Are Perfect For College Students

I’ve been known to spend hours or even days before deciding whether or not to purchase one electronic product over another. Indeed, last summer, I probably spent more time reading reviews about laptops than using the one I eventually bought! While this type of behavior is probably perplexing to most people, it prepares me for writing an article like this one, since I’ve pretty much looked at every laptop in existence at one point or another. Below, you’ll find a list of laptops perfect for people going back to college. I’ve put together an assortment of options that should please the minimalists, average users, gamers, and Apple lovers. The following laptops aren’t arbitrarily ranked from best to worst (or vice versa); each serves a different need. Enjoy!

1. The Acer C720 Chromebook

    Chromebooks are fascinating little devices. You won’t be able to use any programs like Microsoft Word or Photoshop on them, but you will be able to use the Google apps that correspond to those, like Google Docs. If you aren’t a heavy gamer and aren’t married to Microsoft Word, these are a viable option for you. The C720 is extremely lightweight, which means it’ll be a breeze to carry to classes. Additionally, because it’s such a minimalist device, the processor barely consumes any power. This means that it can stay on without being charged for nearly 9 hours – a huge benefit if you’re stuck in the library without your adapter (which happens a lot, trust me).

    If you just want something that’ll get the essentials done, this is the device for you.

    Basic Details:

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    • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
    • Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz (Haswell micro-architecture)
    • 16 GB Solid-State Drive
    • 11.6-Inch Anti-Glare Screen, Intel HD Graphics
    • HDMI port, 8.5-hour battery life

    2. ASUS Chromebook C300MA-DB01

      This is another highly rated Chromebook. What separates it from the Acer C720 is the fact that it has a slightly larger screen at 13.3”. Additionally, it has better battery life at 10 hours and more of a substantial built quality. The flip side of course is that it costs about fifty dollars more.

      Additionally, its processor is a bit slower than the C720’s, though you shouldn’t run into too many issues if all you do is browse the web (just don’t open too many tabs). The ASUS’ keyboard is roomy and perfect for any humanities majors who need to crank out essays every other week.

      Basic Details:

      • 10-Hours battery life
      • 802.11ac wireless
      • Intel BayTrail-M N2830 Dual Core 2.16 GHz processor (turbo up to 2.41 GHz)
      • 16 GB solid state storage. 13.3″ HD LED display
      • 1.2MP camera. 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, HDMI, SD card slot (SDXC), Bluetooth 4.0

      3. HP ProBook 450 G1

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        We’ve moved beyond the Chromebooks now and entered the world of Windows powered devices. The ProBook is a minimalist laptop that runs Windows 7 (which is a plus in my book since Windows 8’s “upgrades” are negligible at best and annoying at worst). If you didn’t like the idea of having to do all of your work through the Internet via Google Chrome, this is a good jack-of-all-trades laptop that will run Microsoft Word and do pretty much everything you need to do without breaking the bank.

        On the other hand, it won’t run any newer games well (due to its integrated Intel graphics chip). If you aren’t a gamer or power-user though, this device should have plenty of juice for you. Its processor is a Core i3, which I’m quite familiar with. You shouldn’t run into any issues browsing the web, watching videos, writing papers, etc.

        Basic Details:

        • Intel Core i3 4000M (2.4GHz)
        • 4GB Memory 500GB HDD
        • Intel HD Graphics 4600
        • 1366 x 768
        • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
        • DVD+/-RW

        4. ASUS ROG G56JK-EB72

         

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          The laptop I bought last summer for college was an ASUS gaming laptop, sort of like this one. The only difference is that mine isn’t an “ultrabook” whereas this baby is. For about the same price as I paid for my laptop, you get nearly as much power in a slim, lightweight package. This is the machine you’ll need if you’re a serious gamer (and don’t want to lug your desktop to your dorm/apartment), or need the power for your major (engineering for example).

          Despite how expensive this laptop is, it’s still a thousand dollars less than my next suggestion.

          Basic Details:

          • Intel Core i7 4710HQ (2.50GHz)
          • 12GB Memory 1TB HDD
          • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M 2GB GDDR3
          • 1920 x 1080
          • Windows 8.1 64-Bit
          • DL DVD+-RW/CD-RW

          5. Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

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            If you’re a Mac person through and through, then this is the product for you. Sure, it’s expensive, but even I have to admit that its build quality is pretty off the charts. Not only do you get a classy looking device, but you’ll also be getting top-of-the-line hardware and software. While you could get the former in a PC for much less (see #4), the latter is what colors the decision making process of most Mac users, and I can’t really judge you since I use an iPhone.

            MacBooks are extremely lightweight and they’ll last you for years if you take proper care of them. My old roommate’s lasted him all of college, and my other roommate’s lasted him through high school and college.

            Basic Details:

            • Intel Core i5 2.60GHz (4th Gen Haswell)
            • 8GB Memory 512GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage SSD
            • Integrated Intel Iris Graphics
            • 2560 x 1600
            • Mac OS X v10.9 Mavericks

            To close, I’ll go over some of the common themes tying all five of these laptops together. First off, they’re all pretty lightweight. Unless you’re crazy like me and purposefully went for the 17.3” behemoth of a laptop based solely on the power of its graphics chip, you’ll value portability over all else when choosing your college computer. You never know when a lecture or study group will call for you to have your laptop with you, and when they do, you’ll want something light and easy to carry. Second, all of these devices have processors more than capable of doing your basic college work (like writing essays, doing research, and procrastinating), though you may need something more powerful than the first three options if you’re a gamer or have a major that demands the extra juice.

            Happy laptop hunting, and have a great year of college!

            Featured photo credit: laptop.jpg/ MorgueFile via mrg.bz

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            Last Updated on December 30, 2018

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

            No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

            If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

            But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

            Let’s dive straight into the list…

            1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

              If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

              Download Rescue Time

              2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

                If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

                Download Remember the Milk

                3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

                  This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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                  Download Focus Booster

                  4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

                    This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

                    Download Toggl

                    5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

                      There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

                      Download Dropbox

                      6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

                        Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

                        Download Evernote

                        7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                          Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                          Download Mind42

                          8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                            This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                            Download SnycBackFree

                            9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                              Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                              Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                              10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                                This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                Download 1Password

                                11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                                  When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                                  Download Pocket

                                  12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                                    This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                                    Download [email protected]

                                    13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                                      This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                                      Download Launchy

                                      14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                                        This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                        Download Forest

                                        15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                          This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                          Download Trello

                                          16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                            Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                            Download Wunderlist

                                            17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                              This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                              Download Time Tree

                                              18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                                Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                Download Todoist

                                                The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                                40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                                More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                                • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                                • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                                • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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