Back when I was in college, many students didn't have their own computers and, instead, did all their writing and emailing from the computer lab. However, in 2017, you'll have a hard time getting through a semester without a personal laptop.
Forum user Andre66 is wondering whether to purchase a PS4 console or a new college laptop. They write:
"I'm going to buy a PS4 or a new laptop for me, but I don't know which one. The laptop would be to use at college, since my last one is doing really bad. But I think it would be nice to have a new console, since my last one was the PS2. But I already have a gaming desktop."
At first glance, the answer is obvious and it involves a value judgment on my part: always prioritize education over entertainment. However, we don't know whether Andre66 is really using his or her gaming desktop as the primary computer for school work and, therefore, doesn't necessarily need a great school laptop as badly as most people do. On the other hand, even if I had a great desktop at home, I'd still want a laptop to take to class and use in the library.
MORE: The Best Laptops for Every Need
We also don't know what Andre66's budget is. On holiday sales, you can sometimes find a PS4 for as little as $199, which is a lot less than the cost of a really great college laptop. Perhaps Andre66 can afford to get both a PS4 and a laptop. From most to least expensive, here are some laptops that are great for school and relatively easy on the wallet.
HP Envy 13t: This is our favorite college laptop overall, thanks to its excellent keyboard, nearly 10 hours of battery life and lightweight design. The Envy 13t starts at under $900 normally, but as of this writing, HP.com has it on sale for $799. It comes with a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Asus ZenBook UX330UA (Core i5-7200U model): For just $699, you get an aluminum laptop with a 256GB SSD, a 1080p screen and over 10 hours of endurance. Best of all, the ZenBook UX330UA weighs just 2.7 pounds.
Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM): If your laptop will spend most of its time on your desk, the Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) is a great value. For under $350, this 15-inch system features solid specs such as a Core i3 CPU, 1TB hard drive and 1080p screen.
Please check out our list of Best College Laptops to see top picks for every major. Whatever you do, school always has to come first, so getting a high-quality notebook is important. However, if you budget properly, you may be able to afford both a laptop and a game console.
Credit: Laptop Mag