Choosing a Computer for Online Classes

Choosing a Computer for Online Classes

You’re about to start online classes, so the main thing to ensure is that you have a reliable computer to use. When looking for a new computer, there’s a lot of technical information that’s important to understand. Before you end up caught up in marketing campaigns and the latest sleek designs, take a moment to consider your technology needs. If you want the freedom to travel frequently and take your studies with you, then a laptop is probably going to be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you have a fairly regular routine and prefer to study in surroundings that you are familiar with without distractions, then a desktop computer could be the best choice. Although you won’t be able to take a desktop anywhere with you, they tend to be cheaper compared to laptops, in addition to being less likely to have hardware or software problems.

Searching for the Best Laptop:

Just like any expensive purchase, you want to make sure that you are getting the most for your money when you buy a new laptop for your online classes. Consider factors such as durability – can it withstand a few bumps? – and portability; is it small enough to fit into your bag and easy to carry around with you? It’s also not a bad idea to go to a physical store where you are able to test the laptop out first, rather than shopping solely online. This gives you the option to see the screen, use the touch pad, and try out the keyboard to get a sense of whether or not it is a laptop that you would be comfortable working on. Then, once you’ve found a laptop that is a good fit for you, you can always search for it online to take advantage of potentially cheaper deals and prices.

Finding the Best Desktop Computer:

If you’ve decided that a desktop computer is a better option for you, then there are a number of factors to keep in mind. The best thing about desktops is that unlike laptops, you can choose the keyboard, mouse, and monitor that you would like so you can get a little bit more additional freedom when it comes to customizing your PC and buying components that are the best fit for your needs. Cheaper desktops will be more than enough for tasks such as word processing, researching online, and creating slideshows, while you’ll probably need to invest some more if your online degree entails work such as video editing or creating graphics.


Whichever type of computer you are going for, the processor is an important component to look out for. Also referred to as a CPU or APU, the processor is what determines the performance of your laptop or desktop PC and the better it is, the faster and smoother your computer will run. Look out for an Intel Core i3/i5/i7 or an AMD A series; computers with these processors may be more expensive to buy but you can be sure it will last longer and run faster.

Hard Drive:

Another important factor to take into consideration is how much space the computer has on its hard drive, particularly if you are buying a laptop where it is often more difficult to add hard drive space compared to a desktop PC. Your hard drive is a little bit like a bookshelf; it’s going to be the place where you’ll be storing everything that you need for your online degree including digital textbooks, slideshows, study materials, recorded lectures, your notes, essays and everything else. Consider the type of degree that you’re planning to study for online – an online operations management degree, for example, is likely to require a lot of space for storing your study materials and resources, not to mention the projects that you work on. That being said, it can also be worth looking into the option of an external hard drive or cloud storage instead. This gives you some extra peace of mind that if anything were to happen to your computer, your data would still be safe.

USB Ports:

It’s a good idea to check out the amount of USB ports on offer whether you are thinking of buying a laptop or a desktop PC. Bear in mind that certain laptops today, such as the newer Apple MacBook models, will require you to purchase additional adaptors in order to use the USB ports so it’s worth factoring the cost of these in too if applicable. The more USB ports that you have, the easier it will be to use a range of different gadgets alongside your laptop or desktop, such as a printer, scanner, or a flash drive.

Operating System:

The operating system that your PC or laptop is going to use is also an important factor to take into consideration. Think about what you are already used to and know that you like using; if you’re used to Windows, for example, then it makes sense to continue this trend with another Windows laptop or PC. That being said, it’s also worth considering the gadgets that you already have and whether or not you would like them to sync seamlessly with your new computer. If you normally use an iPhone and want to use your smartphone as much as possible for school, then getting a MacBook or Apple Mac gives you the option of syncing your phone – you can save appointments and reminders on both devices simultaneously, save files onto both devices at the same time, save passwords, and easily send files from one device to the other using AirDrop within seconds. While you can still sync other smartphones such as Samsung and Huawai to a MacBook, it’s certainly nowhere near as easy as syncing your iPhone. So, this is definitely something worth considering if you’re wondering which operating system to choose. Lastly, consider the operating system version that it is using – is it the current or latest one?

Choosing a laptop for your online classes should be done with plenty of consideration; after all, your gadgets can help to make or break your success.