It’s that time of year again, time to decide what kind of computer to send the kids off to college with. This year you have a lot of great choices for not a whole lot of money. There will always be the Apple or PC question, which for this time I will discuss a little bit further on. First thing to ask is laptop or desktop? For most students going off to college laptop is the desired choice. In deciding what type of laptop to bring you have to be clear on what you’re going to be doing with your laptop. For instance, will it stay in the room mostly and not be brought to class? What types of classes would it be used for and what are the software requirements? It is at this point that most often kills the Apple products. Many if not all critical software will not run on Apple Computers. In order to make an apple work you have to turn into a PC. Other than the operating system Apple’s are standard PCs. You will need to install another operating system such as XP or Vista at additional cost. I personally don’t get the Apple magic and have written several blogs explaining my opinion.
A very real option is to buy two computers. Getting a nicely configured desktop with a larger screen than the available on laptops allows for a few extra benefits. You can have a combination TV, movie player, music player and of course your workhorse computer. For the second machine you can get a net book. These are small portable lightweight lean laptops. They are perfect for bringing to class. They excel at browsing the web, taking notes and for webcamming. They are not designed or meant for any kind of heavy-duty use. But for about the same cost as a midrange laptop you can have two machines.
Laptops and desktops for that matter have come way down in price. A very nicely configured midrange laptop can be bought for $600. This will include dual core processors with the 6000 series chip, three or 4 GB of RAM, 320 GB hard drives, HDMI output, ESata port, 14 to 17 inch screens with a one-year warranty. All of the name brands, Dell, HP, Toshiba, and Gateway offer excellent models in this price range. I recommend keeping your eye on deals offered through FatWallet.com. I mentioned the 6000 series chip for a specific reason. Many made in low-cost laptops are configured with the Intel two or four series chips. These are nothing more than the Celeron series, and are never good performers. The two most common core two duo chips are the T. 6400 and the T. 6500.
Desktops should be purchased through Recom computers and only Recom computers. This ensures your best combination of expertise and value matched only by its high level of customer support.