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The Top 5 Computers for Back to School: A Computer Expert’s Recommendations

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As back-to-school season approaches, choosing the right computer becomes crucial for students in high school and college. Here is a list that our team at Express Computer Service has compiled after testing the many computers for back to school. These devices have a perfect balance between performance, design, and affordability. If you are interested in purchasing one of these models please contact us or visit our store front in Fayetteville, NY. We offer free data transfer and support if you purchase a computer through Express Computer.

MacBook Air (Starting at $999):

Pros:

  • Exceptional Performance: The MacBook Air delivers a seamless user experience with its powerful M1 chip and ample RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking and speedy performance.
  • Lightweight and Portable: Weighing only 2.8 pounds, the MacBook Air is ideal for students on the go, providing easy portability between classes and study sessions.
  • Long Battery Life: With up to 18 hours of battery life, the MacBook Air keeps you productive throughout the day without worrying about finding a power outlet.
  • Retina Display: The stunning Retina display offers vibrant colors and sharp text, enhancing the visual experience during research, presentations, and multimedia activities.
  • Seamless Integration with Apple Ecosystem: If you already own an iPhone or other Apple devices, the MacBook Air seamlessly integrates with them, allowing for effortless file sharing and synchronization.

Cons:

  • Limited Software Compatibility: While macOS offers a range of productivity and creative software, some specialized applications may only be available for Windows.
  • Higher Price Range: Compared to other options on this list, the MacBook Air is relatively more expensive.

 

Dell XPS 13 (Starting at $899):

Pros:

  • Superb Display: The Dell XPS 13 boasts a virtually borderless InfinityEdge display, providing an immersive viewing experience and maximizing screen real estate.
  • Excellent Build Quality: Crafted from premium materials, the XPS 13 exudes durability and sophistication, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of student life.
  • Powerful Performance: Equipped with the latest Intel processors and ample RAM, the XPS 13 delivers snappy performance for demanding tasks like coding, design, and multimedia editing.
  • Thunderbolt 4 Connectivity: Thunderbolt 4 ports enable fast data transfer and support multiple monitors, making it easier to connect to external devices and peripherals.
  • Long Battery Life: The XPS 13 offers extended battery life, keeping you productive throughout the day without frequent recharging.

Cons:

  • Limited Upgrade Options: The XPS 13’s components are not easily upgradable, so it’s essential to choose the right specifications at the time of purchase.
  • Slightly Heavier: Weighing around 2.6 pounds, the XPS 13 is slightly heavier than some of its competitors.

 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Starting at $1,299):

Pros:

  • Robust and Lightweight Design: The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is built with a carbon fiber chassis, making it incredibly lightweight and durable.
  • Impressive Keyboard: Featuring Lenovo’s renowned keyboard design, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers comfortable typing experience, making it ideal for extensive writing and note-taking.
  • Enhanced Security Features: The ThinkPad X1 Carbon includes built-in security features like a fingerprint reader and optional IR camera for secure login and data protection.
  • Excellent Battery Life: With up to 15 hours of battery life, this laptop keeps up with your demanding schedule, reducing the need to carry a charger around.
  • Fast Performance: Powered by Intel processors, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon delivers snappy performance for tasks such as research, virtual meetings, and coding.

Cons:

  • Higher Price Range: The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is priced higher compared to some other options on this list.
  • Limited Graphics Performance: While the X1 Carbon is suitable for most academic tasks, it may not be the best choice for intensive graphical applications.

 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (Starting at $999):

Pros:

  • Premium Design: The Surface Laptop 4 features a sleek and stylish design, with a choice of Alcantara fabric or metal finishes, making it visually appealing and comfortable to use.
  • Vibrant Touchscreen Display: The PixelSense touchscreen offers vivid colors and excellent touch response, making it perfect for note-taking, drawing, and creative tasks.
  • Versatile Form Factor: The Surface Laptop 4 can be used as a traditional laptop or as a tablet with its 360-degree hinge, providing flexibility in various scenarios.
  • Great Performance: Equipped with the latest Intel or AMD processors and ample RAM, the Surface Laptop 4 handles demanding tasks effortlessly.
  • Long Battery Life: With up to 17.5 hours of battery life, the Surface Laptop 4 keeps you productive throughout the day.

Cons:

  • Limited Ports: The Surface Laptop 4 has a limited number of ports, so you might need adapters or docking stations to connect multiple peripherals simultaneously.
  • Relatively High Price: The Surface Laptop 4 falls on the higher end of the price range for laptops in its category.

 

Acer Aspire 5 (Starting at $549):

Pros:

  • Affordable Price: The Acer Aspire 5 offers excellent value for money, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious students.
  • Solid Performance: With its AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors and ample RAM, the Aspire 5 provides smooth performance for everyday tasks like web browsing, document editing, and multimedia consumption.
  • Full HD Display: The 15.6-inch Full HD display ensures crisp visuals and an immersive viewing experience for studying, watching videos, and browsing the web.
  • Extensive Connectivity: The Aspire 5 includes multiple ports, including USB Type-C and HDMI, allowing for seamless connection to external devices and peripherals.
  • Backlit Keyboard: The backlit keyboard enhances usability, enabling comfortable typing in low-light environments.

Cons:

  • Average Battery Life: Compared to some other options on this list, the Acer Aspire 5 has relatively average battery life, requiring more frequent charging during long study sessions.
  • Bulkier Design: The Aspire 5 is slightly bulkier and heavier than some of its competitors, which may affect portability.

 

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to our team at Express Computer Service. We are open Monday- Saturday 9am to 6pm and serve all of central New York.

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