Thinking about a new laptop?

Michal Kochanowicz, our Herts student technology mentor, takes you through things to think about when buying a laptop or PC. 

When I started studying at the University of Hertfordshire, I was aware that I would be spending a lot of time working on my laptop since nowadays almost everything is digital. So, I was a little bit worried about my current device, as it was quite old-ish. 

I started searching for information about a good laptop which would fit my needs for my University course. You can get clear advice on the Ask Herts page. However, there are a lot of different laptops to choose from. I was overwhelmed with the number of choices. I started to think, what will be useful in my course? And that was a very good starting point.

If you are looking for a laptop, you need to think about the software and programmes that you will be working with during your term time. For example, if you will be studying a subject related to 3D Graphic Design, a decent graphic card would be needed. 

However, if you are travelling a lot or working in places without the ability to charge your device, you need to think about a long-lasting battery. In addition, lots of events happen online. So, I would strongly advise you to check the built-in webcam, speakers and microphone. You can check the quality of these, by looking at reviews on YouTube. 

However, you also need to consider the software that will be installed on your device. The most essential software includes Office365, MS Teams, and antivirus, for example, AVG.

If you managed to choose one laptop, that’s great! You finished the first, hardest step. Now, you need to buy it! There are some ways to get a discount on electronic devices just search Totum card or Uni Days. If you show that you qualify for a student discount, you can get a good deal and save some money on buying peripherals like, for example, a computer mouse. 

However, be aware that if you see a huge discount , it might be a scam website. Worth steering clear to avoid losing money and not getting your preferred  laptop.

Do not be worried if you do not have enough money to buy a laptop. It is not mandatory to have one since the University offers the option to borrow a laptop or rent a computer. You can get a Chromebook from the LRC for up to 12 hours. It’s a great laptop for working in Office, or for Teams/Zoom calls. If you need something for longer , you can rent an LRC PC by getting in touch with the Ask Herts team. The PC can be used in your flat, even for a whole academic year. 

There are also PCs in the LRC that can be used for more advanced tasks, which need more operating power, like 3D rendering or running fluid simulation. Some  programme offer access to special PCs which are available just for the students undertaking that specific programme. You can connect to them from your PC with the usage of a special streaming application, provided by the University. 

Your PC does not need to be very powerful. You just need a decent internet connection to get it to work. 



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