The one thing that makes college life happen the way it does in the modern age is the laptop. From presentations and homework to research and online shopping the laptop is pretty much required in order to succeed in the best way possible in college. Without the laptop you won’t have as much freedom to explore whenever and wherever you want aside from your cell phone of course. With so many options what laptop is best for you? Glad you asked! Here is a quick guide to getting the best PC laptop that fits your needs/lifestyle.

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Before I begin, this guide is more about specs and expectations rather than branding. No matter what brand you get generally you will be doing the same thing so save money by going for the specs that fit your life rather than a brand name. Lastly this guide is put in plain language so I won’t be diving deep into tech talk. With Intel i3, i5, and i7 the number does not mean it has more cores but rather how many processes it can do at once and at what speed.

Intel Core i3

The Intel core i3 processors are typically found in smaller lower end laptops that are meant to be portable and do simple tasks. You will find this type of processor in chrome books and laptops similar to chrome books. You can use this laptop to do basic assignments such as writing papers, doing presentations, and online assignments such as quizzes, reading etc. What you can’t  do with this kind of laptop is multiple things at the same time that require ongoing processing power. Sure you can open two screens of word documents or the web and a word document. For example if lets say you are streaming music, typing a paper, and have several webpages up you could potentially experience some disturbances here and there while working.

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Intel Core i5

The Intel core i5 processor is of course better than the i3 but not because it can do more at once but can do the same amount faster and more efficiently by having more cache associated with it. So what can the Intel Core i5 do? Basically, everything any typical college student does day to day. It can do everything stated that the core i3 can do and then some. You can stream video/music, work on a paper, and have multiple pages up with no blips. This is due to i5 having the technology to increase processing speed as necessary known as Intel turbo boost. In a way how a car may use more power going up a hill than when it’s on flat ground. I always recommend Intel Core i5 processors for most if not all college students. Not only can you find great deals on this processor in laptops, it can handle the day to day functions of a college student, and there are plenty of options for sizes, styles, and brands.

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Intel Core i7

Now for the best of the three. I recommend this computer for students who have to work with high powered programs such as a computer aided design software (CAD) that many engineers and designers may use in their time as an undergrad. Typically, your classes will let you know what is recommended for their courses but once again they are recommendations not requirements so if you find a well powerful core i5 laptop with the right companions then you will be just fine. What makes Intel Core i7 processors so good is that they make use of hyper-threading, more cache, and Intel turbo boost to make processing a breeze. You can also use this type of processor for some good gaming with little to no blips that could happen at an important time in the game.

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Always keep in mind that though the names may be the same processors are always improving and today’s i3 processors are much better than what they once were and should not be looked over completely. You may find one that has everything you need and don’t feel obligated to get the i7 if you know you are not going to use it to the fullest. Whichever you choose a laptop is the connection to the cyber world and to be connected whenever and wherever so take advantage and explore what technology has to offer.

Kevin is a Sophomore from Northeast Philadelphia studying psychology neuroscience. He is the marketing and outreach manager for the Underground and on his free time you can find him sleeping, studying, or at the gym.

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