College Laptop Decision…

This is a super old post that remained in drafts for forever…finally publishing.

The moment of truth!  So I spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time this summer researching basically every laptop on the market.  I learned a lot and changed my mind a lot.  But basically here’s what I learned…hope this helps you.

1. Tablets = Meh.  If you recall (hint: look at old posts) I was pretty set on getting a tablet for college…or at least SOMETHING I could take actual notes on the screen.  And while yes, that would be awesome, I realized that the technology still isn’t there yet..I mean it is but it wouldn’t be a great experience, I’d be more at risk to lose all my notes, and I realized that pen and paper is still the way to go.  Maybe in a few years when Apple releases some wicked MacBook Pro / iPad combo I’ll snatch that right up, but until then I’m sticking with a normal laptop.

2. A normal laptop – so I narroed it down to this.  Narrowed?  There are HUNDREDS of laptops on the market to choose from…and believe me when I said I probably looked at every one of them.  At one point I had about 20 tabs open per laptop manufacturer all at the same time – probably around 100 total.  That was insane.  But I digress.

Several things were important to me in my hunt.  Several things were also important to me which I then dropped.  At first, I really wanted a fingerprint reader, a blu-ray player, and a backlit keyboard.  A backlit keyboard was a must.  I’m typing this right now on a backlit keyboard in the dark while lying on my bed.  Trust me, they’re amazing and I would hate to be without it right now.  I also wanted the laptop to be fast (at least an i5), portable, and have decent graphics, good screen, GOOD battery life, and just an overall great experience, not to mention good build quality.  The only PC that met these requirements (and even the three ridiculous ones I listed above) was the Sony Vaio SA.  Spoiler: I didn’t end up going with it.  But I did almost buy it several times and I believe it is the BEST PC notebook on the market if you look at all that you get and features and such.

So eventually I became a realist.  I realized that I could live without a fingerprint reader.  Yes, they’re lovely.  But they really don’t save that much time and effort and it really wasn’t worth throwing viable computers out the window because they didn’t have this unnecessary feature.  I also threw out blu-ray as a requirement because fist off, that increases the price of the computer a bit, and second because I don’t own any blu-ray disks and don’t really see myself owning any going into the future – everything is going digital so why tie myself down to a format that will probably be gone within five years?  If I need a blu-ray player for something academic in college, I’ll just use a lab or something – but I really don’t foresee myself ever needing it.

So I had a few computers in mind at this point, one being the MacBook Pro.  No, I don’t think I’m going to “review” it, but I will probably post several things about it in the coming weeks.  I ultimately decided to purchase the MacBook Pro because it gives you the absolute BEST notebook experience you can have today.  I’m also semi-terrified about where Microsoft is going with Windows 8…

About the Author: Chris Bellman

Sophomore ECE major at The Ohio State University. Technology enthusiast. Runs own IT business in Cincinnati.