How to choose a Laptop for Business School + 4 Best picks

What is a good notebook for MBA student?As a business student, there are a few things you need to consider when shopping for the best laptop for business school. Is the laptop sturdy enough to stand all the work and possibly traveling you’re going to put it through? Can it manage multitasking, including running Excel while taking notes and researching on the Internet?

In addition, the business school you’re attending will have its own recommendations and guidelines. Most schools will want you to use Microsoft Office and may even recommend the best laptop for their students. Columbia Business School, for example, recommends an i3 core processor or above, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and either an Ethernet port or USB Ethernet adapter to access their wired network.

At the same time as a student, you need to consider your budget. In the end, you want to make sure whatever you purchase will work for what you want it to do while still remaining affordable.

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Best laptop for nursing students – 5 Top Picks

Choosing the right laptop as a nursing student2018 September Update. Luckily, nursing students do not need to have some specific requirements for a laptop which make almost any laptop a viable option for the course. At the same time, lack of clear guidelines makes it hard if you’re determined to get the best laptop for nursing students, even if for your own limited budget.

In this post, I’ve taken up the task of researching and comparing a whole lot of hottest laptops (over 400!) to find the best of the best. In essence, I’ve compiled all the relevant information out of a bunch of blog posts, articles, forums and university guidelines with some EXACT requirements for a laptop that are rarely found online.

First off, I’ll start off by examining what an average nursing student needs, describing to the T what you should get, what is not important and where you should make decisions on your own if you want the best laptop specifically for you. At the end, I’ll list out the best laptops for nursing students and what are their strengths and if there are any “gotchas” that you should be aware of.

Let’s begin by defining what we mean by “best laptop for nursing students”.

What is important for a nursing students laptop?

Nurse filling a reportAs a nursing student, you’ll need to deal with office apps, research on the web and, possibly, some domain-specific software (for example, statistical programs). There are some basic requirements online outlining what laptop you’d need for the course:

  • Windows 10 Pro or higher (not Windows RT) or OS X
  • Intel Core i5 or higher
  • 14” HD display or larger
  • Integrated webcam
  • 6 GB memory or higher
  • 250 GB hard drive or larger (solid state recommended)

These are not particularly demanding specs. Let’s go through them one-by-one:

  • Windows laptops and OS X laptops are both fine. That means that Chromebooks are out of the question (according to this particular school which might not always be the case for other colleges/university). Also, explicitly excluding Windows RT means that operating systems found in tablets and some 2-in-1 laptops are not enough.



ProcessorNursing students mostly have to deal with basic word processing/excel spreadsheet work, email, web-surfing and occasionally some statistical software. That type of work does not need a good processor. But there are a few types of processors I’d avoid still. First off, all Windows laptops with Celeron and Pentium processors should be ignored for good. Only Chromebooks can function properly on these slow processors but even then I’d suggest going for an Intel Core i3 CPU instead

It is quite easy to know if a laptop has one of these slow CPUs. In short, any Intel processor that is not in Core series (does not have a prefix of i3, i5 or i7 before its model name) – is most likely either a Celeron, Pentium or Atom CPU.

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Best laptop for engineering: Guide & 5 Best laptops

I used to be one of those people that took A LOT of time to find a good laptop. I researched every option, quantified every aspect I could and compared every option in a spreadsheet. I am making it sound as if I don’t do it anymore – actually, I still follow this process for my major purchases since it is the best way. But now, I know what I need to focus and what is non-essential. The same process can be applied when searching for the best laptop for engineering.

In this post, I’ll outline the key qualities and metrics you need to know to get the best deal possible. At the end, I’ll list out the top 5 options that I’ve found out by comparing every laptop on my extensive list of hottest and best selling models.

The laptops are geared towards the “classic engineering”: electrical, mechanical, civil etc.

Engineering laptop comparison
Engineering laptop comparison

What is needed to get the best engineering student laptop?

For the most part, you can’t expect your university to give precise guidelines to an engineering laptop. Even if your college website gives a description of what laptop you need – they make it sound as if any laptop that has a screen and a processor made in the 2000s should be just fine. At the same time, some websites recommend workstation notebooks which are way over most students budget. These machines are needed only if you’re already a professional. But if you get a professional workstation now and you do not intend to fully utilize it right now – it’s a waste of money that could be put better elsewhere.

Performance and speed

Major requirementProcessor

Here are the processors you should expect at every price range:

Price range Processors
$300 – $700 i3, i5 processors:
i5-4210U, i5-4300U, i5-4210H, i3-5010U, i3-6100U, i5-6200U
$700 – $900 i7 U processors:
i7-5500U, i7-6500U
$900 – $1,600 i7 HQ processors:
i7-4712HQ, i7-4720HQ, i7-5700HQ, i7-6700HQ
$1,600 and up i7 high-end HQ/HK processors:
i7-6820HK, i7-4770HQ

Remember that the higher you go on the processor ladder, the shorter battery life you’ll get. That’s why you might not want to go up to the most powerful processors in i7 x800 or x900 lines.

2 processors that dominate the laptop market right now are:

  • i7-6500U – ($700 and up) above average performance and good battery runtime
  • i7-6700HQ – ($960 and up) very good performance and shorter battery runtime

Any processor in i7 series and some higher-end i5 processors is fast enough for engineering students.

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The 5 Best laptops for Online College

right-laptop-for-online-coursesChoosing a laptop for online college is a bit easier than searching for one for a regular college. That’s because you don’t need to stress its weight and battery life as much. And anyways, a good laptop for online college is just a good laptop overall. Obviously, there are some variations between various courses, but overall, there are a few clear guides on choosing the right one no matter what you’ll be studying. In the next 5 minutes, I’ll lay out the most important bits of the best laptop for online college and which options might fit you best.

What am I looking for in the best laptop for online college?

The key to finding any great laptop is outlining what exactly should be on that laptop. These requirements will be a guiding light and our measuring stick when searching for the best laptop for online college.

For online college, there are 3 main requirements – the essentials – and 2 additional nice-to-have sets of specs that we’re looking for in a quality notebook for our online studies.

Major requirements for a Online College laptop

Major requirement Good processor

In most cases, I’d simply recommend getting an Intel Core i7 processor. Of course, that’s just a general starting point. There’s more to it than just a CPU series.

But since I don’t know how much you’re willing to spend on a laptop, I’m not going to make Core i7 as a requirement. These processors start to come into play as we pass $720 mark. It’s quite interesting how close to no laptops at all below that price point come with an i7 and how many notebooks just over $720 have it.

For the most part, i7 models start from $720 mark
For the most part, i7 models start from $720 mark

To make it a more general rule of thumb for 2016, I’ll round it up to $750 mark:

  • laptops over $750 should have Intel Core i7
  • laptops under $750 should have at least 5-th generation i3/i5

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What is the best laptop for Computer Science student? (2017 August)

Notebook for computer science studentsI have been a computer science student for about as long as I’ve been blogging about laptops – I’m close to finishing my 2nd year. In that time, I’ve seen what laptops suit this course the best. Sadly, I bought my laptop before the course started and in a way, I’ve made some mistakes in my judgment – but I’m here to make sure you don’t make them.

August 2017 update. I’ll go in-depth on what type of laptop you should be looking for and at the end, I’ll give a few of top-notch suggestions that I’d pick if I’d be buying a laptop today.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

So what are we looking for?

Major requirement Powerful processor

As a computer science student, you’ll probably have to code in several languages:

  • Java
  • Some scripting language (PHP/Python/Ruby)
  • Some functional/logic language (Prolog/Haskell)
  • Likely some C/C++/Objective-C

In all of these cases, your laptop performance will not limit the execution of your code. Yes, it might take a second longer to compile or 5 seconds longer to start a Java server but that’s not a good enough reason to stretch your budget for a better processor.

Even though a basic mid-range 2 core processor should suffice when compiling your code. So why am I edging you towards a fast processor? There’s one important reason on why you should aim for a higher-end CPU if possible. Responsive and snappy workflow actually makes you a better and a happier programmer.

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