Guide to Buying Cheap Laptops for Students

The advancing technology has enabled automation of complex processes, mechanization of mundane tasks and made life a lot easier. Computers and the Internet are two of the greatest gifts of technology to mankind. They have redefined living and made the world a better place to live in. Thanks to the invention of laptops, computing is no longer limited to huge workstations and stationary desktops. It has taken a huge leap and has introduced to mankind, the concept of mobile computing. Following the advent of mobility in computing, the world realized its utility and notebook computers became popular for personal and professional use. Today, they are being used even by college-going students.

Youngsters make use of laptops for different purposes. They use notebook computers for both studies and recreation. Laptops are the means to connect to the world through the Internet; to socialize, to study, to gather information from the web and have access to the world at their fingertips. Computers are the need of today and even better if one can use them when mobile. Laptops satisfy this need. They enable mobile use of computer technology. But laptops don’t come cheap. Not everyone can afford big-budget laptops. The student crowd prefers to go for cheap ones, in order to balance their expenditure. As many students have to do with a restricted amount of pocket money, they cannot afford to go for expensive notebook computers. Most of them stay away from their families and have to manage their own expenses. This restricts them from splurging on costly laptops. What should they do? Do they have to be deprived of the bounties of technology? Is there no solution to their difficulty in buying an expensive laptop? Well, there is! There’s no need to worry; for there are multiple options for buying cheap laptops without having to compromise on anything.

Student’s Guide to Buying Cheap Laptops

Buy from a Power User
One way to buy an inexpensive laptop is to purchase it from a power user or gamer. People who use notebook computers for gaming purposes want cutting-edge technology. They tend to change laptops within short spans of time. Buying from them puts you in a win-win situation as you get a laptop with a good feature set and that too for less money. They sell off their laptops within a year or two after purchase, as their power-hungry applications and games need higher-end technology. These users often take good care of their laptops, so you have bright chances of getting a laptop which is in excellent condition. Ask around; great if you have power user friends. Visit gamer forums or local gaming communities online and go to their sales section. You might find posts from gamers wanting to sell their laptops. Go for them!

Refurbished Laptops for Students
Another economical means to buying a new inexpensive laptop, is purchasing a refurbished one. Inexpensive refurbished laptops should not be underestimated just because they are low-priced. In fact, reconditioned laptops offer the same features as those of brand new ones. It is a myth that they are in bad condition. In buying refurbished laptops, you can take advantage of their high depreciation value and get home just a few-years-old laptop at a considerably low price. Visit Craigslist and eBay; you may find good laptop deals there. Keep checking local bulletin boards, especially so, if you have software companies in the locality. Generally big firms put used computers for sale and you will find such offers quite frequently.

Older Technology
A good option for students is to go for slightly older technology. When you know that computer technology is advancing at an exceptionally fast rate, there is no point in spending big bucks on the latest. It’s sure to become old within the next few months. A better alternative is to go for older technology or settle on less features. Perhaps you can adjust with less RAM, a relatively lesser hard disk capacity, or a slightly lower-resolution screen, depending on your usage requirements. Stick to only what you need. Features like 3D, facial or fingerprint recognition can be skipped, thus saving you some money on the laptop. Get a video card only if you plan to use the laptop for gaming purposes. Get a DVD burner. You can save by not opting for a BD burner. Differentiate between need and luxury!

Student Discounts
Many laptop companies offer discount coupons and rebate schemes for students. Like corporate and military discounts, websites like usanotebook offer educational discounts on laptops. Avail of them. Even Apple offers educational discounts, which you can avail of, if you buy their product, say a Mac. If you are ready to spend something above $500, Macbook could be a good choice. But a Windows laptop is cheaper than a Mac. Computer manufacturers like Dell and HP offer good laptop deals throughout the year. Approaching the manufacturers directly lets you save on intermediate costs. Also, you can get the laptop customized to your requirements if bought from the manufacturer. Websites like gottadeal, dealtaker and slickdeals have attractive bargain schemes and discount coupons. Many laptop dealers come up with lucrative offers for laptop buyers in order to increase their sales. Don’t miss such opportunities.

When to Buy
During Thanksgiving, especially on the Black Friday, you will find several lucrative offers on literally everything. Be on the lookout for cheap laptop deals during this time of the year. The other good time to buy an inexpensive laptop is just before a new technology is to be released. All you need to do is keep your eyes open and keep track of the sales offer that suits you best.

Things to Remember

  • Before buying a laptop, check your school/college website. See if they recommend a specific operating system or certain specifications.
  • Once you decide whose (which manufacturer) laptop you are going to buy, search on the web with the name plus coupons and you might land on some good discount offers on the laptop of your choice.
  • Remember to compare different offers in terms of their cost-effectiveness. Participating in online forums related to laptop purchase and scanning through bulletin boards for laptop deals, can help you get the best bait.
  • Buy addons and computer accessories separately, instead of buying them with the laptop. That way they come cheap. Buy them online and well in advance instead of purchasing them from university bookstores. You will find them relatively inexpensive that way. Even with an external hard drive, consider buying it separately instead of buying it integrated with the laptop.
  • Security software, you will need to buy, but go for one like Microsoft Security Essentials which is downloadable and comes for free. Don’t spend on additional security and protection software.

Make sure you choose an authorized dealer for the laptop deal. It is advisable for students to seek guidance from someone with knowledge of computer buying. Weigh your usage requirements against the laptop’s features and price and get home that technological wonder you had been craving for since long – a laptop!

Buying a Laptop ? What to Look for in a Laptop

Laptops provide more convenience and give a personal touch to the whole computing experience. Also, significant progress in the information technology sector has helped increase usage and sales of laptop computers over the years. The high convenience a laptop provides is the main reason for people to choose one over the traditional desktop computer. Since buying a laptop involves a considerable investment, people are conscious as to what they buy, and often seek advice on which computer suits their work the best.

What to Look for in a Laptop for College
College studies are not the same anymore. The number of colleges which are successfully including information technology in their teaching methods is on the rise. Lots of colleges these days have professors asking students to type their assignments and certain institutes even offer online classes. Innovative methods adopted by college instructors in teaching students also involves using an electronic information processing system. All this has made it sort of mandatory for college students to look and purchase laptops, before going to

college.

While picking a laptop for college, students should ideally start by defining its use. Mostly, college students require laptops for basic purposes, like reading notes, research, writing papers and a little bit of entertainment, unless they are studying a course which requires them to use certain specific software. Students tend to buy high-end expensive laptops (mostly to show-off) which they do not require, and is a wastage of money. Unless necessary for studies, buying an expensive laptop should be avoided, as it can easily be bought when need arises.

Hard Drive

Storing music and movies is what takes up most of the space on a student’s hard drive. But buying laptops with a higher hard disk capacity and thereby spending more money is useless, as a portable external hard drive is always a cheaper option. A 320GB hard drive is a good option, considering it has enough space for storing necessary data and is not very expensive too.

Processor

The laptop processor goes a long way in determining the speed of operations on it. It is better not to compromise on this aspect and go for the most trusted brand in the market. The basic processors are not highly expensive and should be chosen over more advanced and costly ones.

Memory

Apart from the processor, the other crucial determinant of the operating speed on the laptop is the memory. A 2GB RAM (Random Access Memory) card is advisable against one’s with more capacity, as this should be more than enough to perform all important tasks required by a college student quickly.

Size
Choosing the right size can be a little tricky. This is because a college student would ideally prefer to have a lightweight and slim laptop for convenience in carrying it around in college. But these are precisely the ones, which are more expensive compared to the big ones. Screen size is another point of consideration, though a 14″ or a 15″ screen should be sufficient. Instead of spending more on buying a stylish looking laptop, get something which doesn’t burn a huge hole in the pocket.

Operating System
Different laptops in the market come with different operating systems. The various choices available are- Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux, and Macintosh. Check for software compatibility and consult senior college students or the faculty on the operating system, which suits best to the course content.

Networking for Students
Internet is a great storehouse of information and can be used for research purpose. Laptops for college students need to be Internet compatible and well fortified with a reliable anti-virus software. Hardware enabling Wi-Fi connectivity is a must.

Battery-Life

For a college student, this aspect holds most importance. A good laptop battery life is surely an asset, as it can be used for longer duration without charging. Students may not always be able to charge their laptops frequently and ones with longer-lasting batteries are therefore preferred.

Wait! Before you go hopping to the nearest dealer, Check out with your college authorities whether the college provides it to the students. These machines come preloaded with the software useful for students and most of the time, they are free of cost. After the student graduates, he doesn’t have to give it back to the college, but rather, is allowed to keep it.

Gaming Laptops
Tremendous advancement in graphics used for rendering computer games along with networking innovations which allow multi-player games, has given rise to a new species. The gamers. These gamers are addicts (to say the least), when it comes to playing games and therefore, constantly require to be in touch with games they expertise in. If a gamer were to buy a normal laptop like the one for a college student, he would be grossly disappointed. This is because playing games on a basic laptop ain’t the same experience as playing it on a more advanced one. This has led to laptop manufacturing companies producing laptops specifically for gamers. It is advisable to buy these for gaming purposes, as they have all the necessary features inbuilt for an unbelievable and unparalleled gaming experience.

Hard Drive
Games need a lot of space on the hard disk, and this is primarily the reason for a gaming laptop to have a huge hard drive capacity. A 750GB hard drive should be sufficient, considering there may be other things which need to be stored on the laptop.

Processor
The fastest and the most powerful processor is recommended as games have a host of graphics which need to run. This is why it is better to get the fastest possible laptop processor installed to play high-end games without any problems.

RAM
To keep it simple and devoid of technicalities, more the RAM, the better. A 4GB RAM should be the minimum for a gaming laptop to perform to its potential. Certain games require a higher RAM to run, so it is better to check and confirm (Bigger the faster).

Additional Cards
For a gaming laptop, there are few additional cards which need to be attached to its motherboard for an optimum performance. Sound cards, video cards and graphic cards that are tailor-made for gaming purposes will always enhance the gaming experience. A few motherboards have inbuilt cards, but these are not adequate and hence, require additional cards anyhow.

Screen Size

For a gamer, a large laptop screen is must. A 17″ is recommended, but it is inconvenient to carry around. Playing good games on a smaller screen spoils the fun to a certain extent and therefore, it is better to make adjustments in the convenience factor than the size element.

Networking

Gamers want their laptops to be network compatible to enable them to play competitive games whenever they wish to. Provisions for LAN cables, network cables, USB attachments and Wi-Fi connectivity, along with few other networking options need to be looked at when buying a laptop for gaming purposes.

Laptop for a Graphic Designer
A graphic designer will be looking for a laptop which has graphically advanced games to play on the laptop to create superior graphics. A graphic designer also has to constantly work with software which require high memory and visual features.
Creations by the graphic designer are often heavy in size and therefore a large hard disk (750GB) is recommended.

RAM is most important to ensure decent and uninterrupted performance while working on the laptop. Minimum 4GB RAM is advisable. Various graphic, sound and video enhancement cards, are also necessary to a graphic designer’s work. Screen size needs to be at least 15″, as bigger laptops can be tough to carry around at times. Processor should be the fastest and the best. Apart from this, a good battery-life, DVD compatible drive and an operating system supporting all necessary software is a must.

Remember to buy a laptop which suits the requirements perfectly. No point in overspending on unnecessary features. A lot of popular brands manufacture products specific to its use. Look for these. A highly competitive market ensures no dearth of options for buyers and therefore, a thoughtful choice needs to be made.

Tips to Put Music on an iPod

Assuming that you are a newbie to the Apple universe, this Buzzle article explains, in a simple method, how to put music on your newly purchased iPod, from scratch. Many believe that adding songs to iDevices is a little cumbersome, given that an individual has spent a decent amount of time simply Ctrl + Cing and Ctrl + Ving media on their storage devices. However, today, we explain to you a different, yet an easy procedure of flooding your iPod with content. You see, all Apple devices use iTunes as their base software to sync content, and so, before we learn the process of adding music to an iPod, we shall first learn how to sync music in your PC/Mac to iTunes, so that later on, it becomes a cake-walk for you to put songs in your iPod. Take a look at the following section to know about iTunes.

Syncing Music from Mac/PC to iTunes

1. The first step after unwrapping your newly bought iPod is to download the latest version of iTunes (10.5.3) from Apple’s official website.

2. After you are done downloading and installing iTunes, open it, go to the File menu, and click on Add file/folder to Library. You could also drag files to the iTunes library. This will also add content to your iTunes’ music library.

Note that, if you wish to import music from a CD, stay connected to the Internet as iTunes will automatically look up information in the CD, and will offer you to import its content into your iTunes library. Click Yes to add all content, or click No to manually add content by checking the checkbox next to the songs.

Putting Music on iPod

1. Now that you have all the music in your iTunes library that you wish to add to your iDevice, the next step is to connect your iPod to the computer via the USB cable. Also, launch iTunes, and wait for it to recognize your device.

2. Register your iPod by naming it, and check Automatically update songs on iPod, so that you don’t have to manually update it every time.

3. Towards the left in the iTunes window, you will see all categories of music that is available in the iTunes store, along with your iPod’s name under Music Store. Click on it to select your device.

4. To add music to the iPod, click on Library at the top left corner, which will display all the songs you added to your iTunes library. Drag and drop all the songs onto your iPod’s name displayed in the panel on the left of your iTunes window. Note that, every music file has a checkbox alongside its name so that you can uncheck songs you don’t want to put into your iPod.

5. It might take a while to sync all songs to the iPod, and so, be a little patient. After iTunes is done putting songs into your iPod, disconnect it from the PC, and start enjoying music on your music player.

Transfer Music From iPod Touch to a Computer

You have got the best mp3 files from all over the world in your Apple iPod touch. You are extremely proud of your collection, but wait, you have not yet created a backup file in your computer! Or you have recently formatted your computer and have lost your proud collection. And the only option left to retrieve your files is through transfer of music from your iPod touch to your PC.

Transferring Music With iTunes
The first solution to transferring music from iPod to computer is by using iTunes. You need to update your iTunes with the latest available software update and then connect your iPod touch to your computer. You will see your iTunes start-up and you need to make sure auto sync on iTunes is turned off, or else all your songs on iPod will get deleted. If you cannot find auto sync, just press cancel when you see the ‘Erase and Sync’ tab.

You should now use iTunes to recover all the music that you have purchased on your iPod. All you need to do is go to the ‘Authorized Computer’ tab you will find in the ‘Store Menu’ button. Then, you need to enter the iTunes Apple ID and password that you have used to buy your music files. Now, click on the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Transfer Purchases from your iPod’s name’. When you do this, you will get a new pop up window that will contain all the files that you have purchased. These mp3 files will now be transferred to your PC and iTunes library.

Transferring Music With Software
You can connect your iPod to the computer and launch iTunes. You need to go to iPod management screen and scroll down to Options. Here, select ‘Enable disk use’. You will get a warning from iTunes, and you have to select OK. After this step, your iPod shows up as a drive on the desktop. You need to download a software called Houdini on your computer. This program helps you view the music folder in iPod that is automatically hidden. You need to launch Houdini and click on ‘Folders’. Then, select ‘Reveal’ and locate iPod. Open ‘iPod_controls’ and highlight ‘Music’. Select ‘Choose’.

When you are in iPod folder, you need to open iPod_Controls > Music. You can highlight all the folders and drag them into the folder on you computers hard drive. You can now transfer the music to your iTunes or other media players after the transfer to your computer hard drive is complete.

Transferring Music Without Software
For this, you will need to manually transfer the files to your computer. You need to click on the iPod icon and on the left you will find an icon that says ‘Enable Disk Use’ and click on it. Then, go to ‘My Computer’ and search for ‘Devices with Removable Storage’, that is, your iPod. You will need to double-click the iPod icon and find a list of folders displayed. You need to look for a folder that says, ‘iPod_control’ and if it is not visible, you need to click on ‘Tools’. Here, you need to click on ‘Folder Options’ and click ‘View’. You need to locate the tab that says, ‘Show Hidden Files and Folders’. You will find your ‘iPod_control’ folder visible now.

In this folder, you need to go to the ‘Music’ folder and just drag the files you want to save on your computer. You can even copy the entire folder using iTunes. Then, you need to go to ‘File’ and ‘Add Folder to Library’. However, this will not be able to save your playlist, ratings, last played details, etc., correctly. In order to transfer your playlist as it is, you need to use a third-party software.

Transferring Music Without iTunes
There are a number of software available that help in transfer of music from iPod touch to computer. You can try software’s that can be bought, like PhotoTrans, CopyTrans, iGadget, iPod.iTunes, Music Rescue, iPodRip, etc. You can also use free software’s like iDump, YamiPod, SharePod, SenUti, etc. You need to download the software and install it on your computer. Then launch the program and connect your iPod to your computer. You need to cancel the iTunes syncing process, if it starts. Then, launch the third-party program and search for ‘iPod_control/Music’ or ‘iTunes_control/Music’ folder. You can then, select ‘Save Folder In’ or ‘Backup Folder’ and save it to the folder you want to save it on. Once the files have been successfully transferred to your computer, you can close the iPod music transfer software.

iTunes automatically starts syncing the iPod files and saves it in its library on the computer. You can try the free software’s available on the Internet and transfer not only your music files, but also your videos, photographs, etc. to your computer. Hope this has helped give you some basic idea that has helped you understand how to transfer or copy music from iPod to computer. So, say goodbye to all your worries regarding losing your irreplaceable music collection!