Parents and students are preparing for the new normal as school districts around the country unveil the fall classroom configurations.
If you are learning from home and spending increasing amounts of time online, it may be time to upgrade your technology to maximise your virtual classroom experience.
Derek Meister, a Geek Squad agent, offers the following advise on what to look for in a new laptop.
Your laptop’s operating system is its fundamental component. It handles the administration of all software and hardware, including files, memory, and associated devices.
Agent Meister suggests asking your school district if they mandate or at least prefer a particular operating system (OS).
“Some schools may propose Chromebooks because their curriculum is designed to be accessed via the web,” he explained. Or, a Windows computer may be required so that students may use specific applications, such as Microsoft Office.
When selecting a laptop for virtual learning, pay careful attention to the internal specifications. The processor, system memory, and hard drive are included.
Agent Meister stated, “The good news is that you do not have to empty your bank account to purchase an excellent computer for school.” For the majority of homework, we recommend a laptop with at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor.
For system memory, he recommends having sufficient RAM to improve overall performance, particularly while running many files, applications, and even video conferencing.
“When it comes to the hard drive, I recommend at least 50 gigabytes (GB), and if possible, a solid-state drive (SSD),” Agent Meister advised.
Weight versus. screen size
Consider how frequently you will transport your laptop. Agent Meister stated that a heavier pick may not be an issue if you’re remaining at home, but if you’re planning to go college in the future, weight may be an issue.
“A higher screen size, such as 15 inches or more, allows you to run numerous apps simultaneously, including your video conference window,” he explained. On the other hand, a laptop with a smaller screen is often lighter and more portable.
There will be many virtual classrooms and video conversations with peers if you study from home, so you may choose to improve your webcam and microphone.
“The webcam specifications will have a significant impact on how your teacher and fellow students perceive you,” stated Agent Meister. “However, we recommend ensuring that your laptop has at least 1080p resolution so that the class can see your smile in high definition.”
If your computer’s built-in camera is subpar, an external USB webcam is an excellent alternative.
“Even for laptops with a webcam, these offer more mobility on your desk, as well as microphones and cameras that can see better in low-light circumstances,” he explained.
Slow internet can be aggravating, particularly when your academic performance depends on it.
Agent Meister stated that a strong network connection results in enhanced video and audio for teleconferencing. When purchasing a new laptop, keep an eye out for 802.11ac (also known as Wireless-AC) or 802.11ax (Wireless-AX).
“Now is also an excellent opportunity to evaluate your wireless router and broadband connection,” he added. “An older wireless router or poor Internet will make even a speedy laptop feel slow on the internet, particularly when remote video is involved.”
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