Best Laptops For Journalism Students: Writing And Media Editing – Which laptop is best for students? We asked students/The best laptops for students from kindergarten to college
Written by Monica Chin, senior reviewer for laptops and other gadgets. Before joining The Verge in 2020, Monica was a writer for Tom’s Guide and Business Insider.
Best Laptops For Journalism Students: Writing And Media Editing
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Buying a laptop can be stressful, especially if you or your child are learning online for the first time. Children of different ages have different laptop usage scenarios and different needs. And as the choices for the best laptops and best Chromebooks evolve, so do student needs. That’s why I spoke to some experts in this field: the students themselves.
My recommendations here are aimed at serving a variety of tastes and price points. However, these are a starting point rather than an exhaustive list, and every student is different. Before making a decision, read the reviews and try the device yourself if possible. We do our best to keep this article up to date with the items that are in stock.
Google’s Pixelbook Go is perfect for kids because of its long battery life and easy-to-hold wavy base.
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For younger students, touchscreen devices are easier to use than keyboards or touchpads, says Michelle Glogovac. Glogovac’s 5-year-old son uses an iPad for Webex meetings with his kindergarten class. He got the hang of it. Glogovac says she has already learned how to mute and unmute herself, a skill that “many adults are not used to.”
That said, if you go the tablet route, it may be worth investing in a keyboard case. Grogovac must instead enter her son’s meeting code and password, which can be tricky on the iPad’s flat screen.
As your child grows, the choice of the best laptop will change depending on his or her needs. As a parent, it is important that you and your child are on the same page about how you want to use it and the extent of the program you need.
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Kristin Wallace bought an affordable HP laptop for her daughter Bella, but little did she know the 9-year-old would quickly use up her 32 GB of storage space. “It’s very slow and I don’t have room to play games. I need a computer with more storage,” Bella said. She uses her laptop to Zoom with friends, take virtual guitar lessons and take math classes. Wallace plans to buy a better device for Bella in the coming weeks.
Audio quality is an important consideration for children’s laptops. Lisa Mitchell, a media specialist at the elementary school library, said students are using their devices to watch YouTube videos in addition to online classes. The battery also lasts a long time, which is also an advantage for students who study remotely and are not far from an electrical outlet. Bella likes to use her laptop around the house and doesn’t feel like carrying the cord.
Mitchell says sustainability is also worth the money. If you use a tablet, make sure you have a protective case. “If affordable insurance or alternative insurance is available, it is usually worth the extra cost.”
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The high school students I spoke to don’t use their laptops for anything other than schoolwork on the Internet or surfing. Don’t worry too much about power. Prioritize machines that are comfortable and easy for your child to use.
“We have the simplest Chromebook and it’s absolutely perfect,” says Gabrielle Hartley, a lawyer and mother of three. “The simplest Chromebook meets all the needs of a high school student.”
Hartley’s son, Max, an eighth grader, agrees. “I really want a gaming PC or a gaming laptop that can connect to a monitor and run video games at 120 fps, but I don’t really need that,” says Max. “Most eighth-graders won’t be running video games or power-hungry software on their laptops.”
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Max mainly uses his laptop for Google Classroom applications such as Gmail, Slides, Google Docs and Google Sheets. These are very easy to use on his devices, which he describes as “your everyday Samsung Chromebook.” However, if your child is starting high school this year, it may be worth checking with the teacher to see which operating system is most compatible with his or her workflow. Caspian Fischer Odén, a ninth-grader in Sweden, told me he was having trouble with his Chromebook because his school forbade him from downloading apps from the Google Play Store.
We believe that even children with demanding hobbies can get the job done with inexpensive equipment. Sam Hickman, a British eighth grader who uses his laptop to edit photos and videos, says, “For most high school students, any processor developed in the last two years will be able to handle any task.”
Is it worth the money? Several students told me it was a comfortable keyboard. Many high school students are not used to typing for long periods of time. You should also look for a device that is compact and easy to carry, especially if you are preparing for in-person classes. Choose a model between 11 and 13 inches. Obviously, avoid anything larger than 15 inches.
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High school students’ laptop needs vary depending on their interests, but most high school students don’t need powerful machines with lots of bells and whistles. This is especially true if there are deficiencies or major shortcomings that could interfere with school studies. Miles Leal, a student at Laguna Beach High School, has a high-end Surface Pro 7 but finds it disappointing. “There are a lot of other things I don’t use that often,” he says. “Maybe something simpler would be a little more understandable.”
The best operating system may depend on what your child is comfortable with. Aryan Nambiar, a student at Barrington High School in Illinois, has an iMac at home and likes to use the iPad for school work. Riehle says he prefers a Chromebook because he has an Android smartphone and uses Google services a lot.
But almost every student I spoke to agreed that portability is the most important feature of a high school laptop. Children attending in-person classes are likely to carry their devices along with other books for most of the day. Look for a 13-inch or 14-inch screen, or a lightweight 15- to 17-inch model.
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We also recommend durable ones for students. “Most high school students I see just throw their laptops in their bags without paying much attention to them,” said Moses Buckwalter, a student at Penn Manor High School. You can also push your backpacks in the hallway. Children can also experience problems at home. “Anything can happen,” said Adit Agrawal, an Indian high school student. “My own brother scratched my laptop with his fingernail.”
Battery life is also an important feature. “It is very difficult to find a place to charge during class,” says Kas Heemskerk, a second-year student from the Netherlands. Unlike college students, many high school students don’t have regular breaks to charge their devices, so try to find one that will last a full day.
Many students recommend a touchscreen that supports a stylus. Nambiar uses this feature in his biology class, where he does a lot of visual modeling. “Touchscreens are always useful for drawing, but if you use a laptop, submitting your drawings requires a series of processes,” says Nambiar. Riehle uses the Surface Pen to fill out school forms and annotate PDFs. Agrawal finds it useful to take notes on the same screen as the online class.
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Depending on the broadband situation in your area, you may need a laptop with multiple connectivity options. Agrawal’s online classes can be interrupted by power outages, which is why he recommends the LTE model. Matej Plavevski, a third-year student at Yahya Kemal University in North Macedonia, recommends finding an Ethernet port in case a slow connection disrupts your meeting. This is hard to find on smaller laptops, but there are plenty of affordable dongles and docks to consider.
The Chromebook Spin 714 is one of the most powerful Chromebooks you can buy, and the price isn’t too bad.
Students rightly spend slightly more money than other age groups. You can expect some courses (especially STEM courses) to be quite demanding. Asad Abid, an electrical engineering student from Pakistan, has to run simulation software for an assignment. Aakash Chandra, a student at New Horizon College of Engineering in India, does a lot of coding in addition to creative work in Premiere Pro and Photoshop, and gaming. Students also pointed out that it was worth paying for a laptop that will last for years after graduation. This means you don’t have to worry about finding or financing your next device until you’ve (hopefully) mastered it.
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However, there is still a wide choice of high-quality and capable devices. Students emphasized that college laptops should be lightweight. Expect to take it with you between classes, meals, meetings, the library, and other locations on campus. “It’s a blessing that I can take not only my laptop, but also several laptops with me.
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