Laptop Specs

I regularly get asked by students, parents, and coworkers about what they need to look for when purchasing a good general-use laptop.  What is the best way to answer that question? I know a lot can depend on what the device will be used for, so let's say just for web surfing, general school work (docs, slide presentations, etc), and video streaming? And if I decided to do some online teaching, what specs might I need to look for in a laptop?

  • I'm a big fan of buying a laptop based on ergonomics, not specs. It's much more important to have a nice, sharp screen than another 4 GB of RAM. Similarly - the size/weight is really key. First question - is this going to be a laptop that goes in a bag, or a desktop replacement? 

  • I would say get the smallest Laptop with most power for transporting, for students that bring their laptop with them everyday so it won’t be a heavy burden like carrying a desktop replacement laptop in the bags.

    1. I find it helpful to have a support system of friends, family, or colleagues who can offer advice and encouragement.