What Kind Of Computer Should I Buy For College
During the dark ages of the early 90s, all you needed to bring to college was clothes, air freshener, your brand new portable CD player and some spending cash. My how things have changed. Since computer technology is a giant part of your daily college routine now, let’s explore your options before making any decisions:
What used to be a very viable option for students is now a relic in the college dorm room or university apartment. But desktops (especially PCs) tend to be extremely cheap and powerful enough to run Pro Tools and GarageBand. You can get a brand new top of the line PC for a few hundred dollars where as other options are usually not as powerful and cost quite a bit more money. With cloud technology, USB flash drives, and document sharing it might be a bit easier to stay connected with your desktop these days but don’t plan on taking it to class unless you have the most awesome handcart 🙂
Laptops have become the computing device for college with Apple taking 1st place. College students are transient by nature so it would make sense that ease of portability would be important. Going home to see your parents? Throw your laptop in your bag. Need to take notes in class digitally? Ditto. LAMA musicians love the MacBook‘s ease of use and can easily do their recording on it. Laptops can get so darn pricey especially if you want an Apple. Go for quality — your laptop should be able to last your entire college career so divide the price by the number of school years to help convince your parents for some extra dough.
Enter the Netbook, a smaller version of the laptop. They are cheaper and lighter as well. The goal is that you need something portable that you can type on and do light browsing with. This is perfect for class because for note taking it is extremely efficient. Students at LAMA are probably weary about this option because it won’t have the horsepower that a musician needs to run ProTools or a similar program. And what’s the point if you take notes, browse the internet and run programs like GarageBand on an iPad…which brings us to:
The Ipad, Samsung Galaxy, HP Touchpad or a similar tablet is a bit of a riskier choice for the college student but it does have some rewards if you are able to pull it off. For one – the ease of carrying around a tablet just can’t be overstated. The slim nature and light weight make this a dream for carrying to class or really carrying anywhere. Also the price tag is usually comparable to or less than a laptop. Taking notes in class is not a big deal — especially if you connect a bluetooth keyboard. You can also wireless connect to a printer or email the document to yourself. For leisure purposes, words can’t even express how great it is to watch HD television shows, play addictive games, and use innovative apps. For musicians – the Ipad is now offering a version of GarageBand but recording on these devices are still in the early stages. Remember, many websites are flash based (ya…still) so you won’t be able to see any of that content on your Apple device.
OR…DON’T BUY ONE
Check with your college and see what kind of computers they have for shared use. LAMA for example has Apple computers at your disposal for anything you need, be it writing a paper or surfing the web. They are also all equipped with Pro Tools for recording. If you are comfortable working outside of your home or apartment it is possible to rely on public computers. Like anything free, there are negative drawbacks such as you won’t be able to work from home and you have to share a public computer lol.
Our suggestion is to visualize how you see yourself working while at LAMA. Where will you be, what will you be doing, what do you need from your technology? This might help paint a picture of what you should be looking for. Have an older brother or a friend who went through college already? Ask them what worked for them!
What do you prefer – desktop, laptop, tablet? All of the above?
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