Links for monologue and today’s podcast
“Phablet Sales To Top Laptops This Year, Tablets in 2015”, by Joshua Bolkan, 9/4/2014, in: The Journal.com,
“Tablets Are a Fad — They’ll Largely Disappear in 2–3 Years”, by Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway, 7/14/2014, also in: The Journal.com,
Definition for ultrabook: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/buying-advice/laptop/3349478/what-is-ultrabook/
Definition for hybrid laptop: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/04/intels-idf-reinventing-the-pc-with-a-2-for-1-computer-deal.html
Definition for convertible laptop: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/04/intels-idf-reinventing-the-pc-with-a-2-for-1-computer-deal.html
HP is offering free 4G LTE with their chromebooks. This link is to Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Chromebook-14-with-Intel-Processor-4GB-Memory-16GB-SSD-and-Included-4G-Mobile-Internet-Service-200MB-month/28858405
While costs are always on a student’s mind (say nothing of the parent’s concerns), sometimes spending a little extra up front will ensure that the laptop lasts the four years until graduation. Remember that this is a device that will be used every single day, so it better hold up or you’ll be shelling out money again before they graduate. That said, there are plenty of affordable options out there, and many brands offer student discounts. Please keep in mind though that individual schools may (probably) have programs already set up offering sometimes massive discounts. Check them out here:
- Apple Education Store
- Microsoft Student Store
- Lenovo Student Discount
- HP Academy
- Dell Academic Discount
5” Laptop Hard Drives
This is the overwhelming choice of laptop hard drives currently. The SATA III’s are very fast, very efficient and much less expensive. The quickest 2.5” drives run at a speed of 7200 RPM (disc revolutions per minute), 5400 RPM and 4200 RPM. These numbers reflect the speed the hard drive can read your data. The faster the RPM’s , the more expensive and the more power they use.
Hybrid Solid State Drives (SSHD)
Hybrid drives have internal moving parts and are enhanced by an 8GB NAND flash. Yep it’s a small SSD. Why all this? You get a much quicker hard drive (its speed can be further enhanced by software) and much, much cheaper. Look at the prices:
- 500GB $62.99 Toshiba (2.5-inch SATA III SSHD)
- 1TB $99.00 Seagate (ST1000LM014)
- 2TB $163.84 IPC (STLC2000400)
Solid State Hard Drives
The SSD is a technology that is now becoming mainstream in laptops. The major advantages come from the fact that there are no moving parts. Because of that they have an ability to withstand jostling, dropping and other like forms of laptop abuse. They also are much, much faster, tend to run cooler, and could conceivably last longer. All of this is good because laptops are after all, mobile, we move them, we carry them and this ability to withstand day to day abuse should save you money in the long run. The disadvantage is the cost. SSD’s can be very expensive. Although prices have been coming down you should still expect to see the following prices (at Amazon):
- 64GB $44.99 (Dell C585T made by Samsung)
- 120GB $74.99 (Crucial M500)
- 240GB $119.99 (Crucial M500)
- 500GB $229.99 (Samsung 840 EVO Series)
- 1TB $441.87 (Samsung 840 EVO Series)
How long is the term of the warranty? Is it one year? Is it three years? This is the manufacturer’s warranty. You will need this after the first 30 days (if you buy from Amazon). Do you know what problems your laptop will be covered against? The majority of laptop warranties will cover hardware problems that were not caused by the owner, such as defective keyboards, monitor problems, modem or other issues with internal components. The laptop warranty generally covers the parts and labor for repairs. A laptop warranty will also indicate what actions (or lack of action) on your part can void the warranty. Something as simple as opening the case and breaking a seal can be enough to void a warranty.
Then what about what isn’t covered by your warranty? Damage to or loss of data is another item which is not covered by a laptop warranty. A laptop warranty will state quite clearly that any problems associated with software whether bundled or installed by you will not be covered under the laptop warranty. You also won’t find coverage for theft, damage or breakage caused by the owner in a laptop warranty. Those would be covered by an insurance policy.
The coverage section should also include information on how a damaged laptop is to be returned, who is responsible for charges to return a unit, what type of telephone support is available and how long it is available. You want free telephone support for a minimum of 90 days and 24/7 access.
Finally, the reason I buy so much from Amazon.com is because of their no hassle warranties. It has been my experience that most things that will go wrong will do so within the first 30 days and believe me, I am not shy laying claim to any warranty benefits I may have coming.
Amazon.com Return Policy: You may return any new computer purchased from Amazon.com that is “dead on arrival,” arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Amazon.com reserves the right to test “dead on arrival” returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, is missing parts, or is in unsellable condition due to customer tampering will result in the customer being charged a higher restocking fee based on the condition of the product. Amazon.com will not accept returns of any desktop or notebook computer more than 30 days after you receive the shipment. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.
Don’t buy software when you purchase your laptop because these are but a few places offering huge discounts for students (also don’t forget that your student’s school will have a program that will help):
- com: http://www.journeyed.com/
- B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio, The Professional’s Source: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/eduAbout.jsp
- International Student Identity Card: http://www.isic.org/about-us/ These guys are for real. I belonged when I was attending WGU.
- Sprint: http://now.sprint.com/save/
- Apple offers education pricing for students, with up to $200 off a new Mac. Even students who have been accepted to college are eligible. http://store.apple.com/us/browse/campaigns/education_pricing
- AT&T: https://www.wireless.att.com/business/authenticate/
All prices are from Amazon.com. If we could not find the computer at Amazon we removed it from the list.
Links for the Top Laptops
Links for the Top Budget Laptops