Computer Buying Guidelines

Choosing the right computer for college is important. You need to think about what you'll use it for, how much you can spend, and what features are most important to you. Here are some general guidelines to help you figure out what kind of computer will best fit your needs and budget for your college experience.

Consider Your Needs

Think about what you'll primarily use the computer for. Will you need it for basic tasks like word processing and internet browsing, or do you anticipate needing it for more demanding tasks like gaming or video editing?

Portability vs. Power

Decide whether portability or power is more important to you. If you'll be carrying your computer around campus frequently, you might prioritize a lightweight and portable laptop. If you need more processing power for tasks like graphic design or gaming, you might opt for a desktop or a more powerful laptop.

PC, Mac, or Chromebook

Consider which hardware and operating system you prefer. PC (Windows), Mac (macOS) , and Chromebook (Chrome OS) are the main options. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences.

PC (Windows):

PCs offer a wide range of hardware options, making them suitable for various needs and budgets. They excel in gaming performance, compatibility with most software, and are available at various price points.

Mac (macOS):

Mac computers are known for their user-friendly interface, integration with other Apple devices, and high-quality hardware. However, they tend to be more expensive and offer limited gaming options compared to PCs.

Chromebook (Chrome OS):

Chromebooks are an affordable option with a simple and secure operating system. They integrate seamlessly with Google services, offer long battery life, and are lightweight for portability. However, they have limited offline functionality, fewer software options, and a narrower selection of hardware configurations.


Determine your budget range before starting your search. Remember to consider not just the upfront cost of the computer, but also any additional accessories or software you might need.


Pay attention to the specifications of the computer, including the processor (CPU), amount of RAM, storage (SSD or HDD), graphics card (if applicable), and battery life (for laptops). Make sure the specifications match the requirements of the tasks you'll be performing. Here are some sample specifications for a PC. Higher numbers mean better performance (CPU and RAM) and more storage space but are more expensive.

  • Intel or Ryzen 5,7, or 9 CPU

  • 8GB - 16GB RAM

  • Solid state hard drive (SSD) with 500GB - 1TB storage

While it's impossible to future-proof completely, try to choose a computer with specs that will remain relevant for at least a few years.

Screen Size and Resolution

Consider the screen size and resolution that will work best for you. Larger screens are better for multitasking and watching videos, while smaller screens are more portable. Higher resolution displays provide sharper images and text.

Brand and Warranty

Research different brands and read reviews to find a reliable computer with good customer support. We recommend purchasing an extended warranty, so you are covered if anything goes wrong with your computer.


Remember that the "best" computer for you ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Take your time to research and compare different options before making a decision.