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What computer would you recommend for Psy/Couns students


Threeboysmom

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Qualifications for a good counseling grad student computer = will it do everything you need without dying halfway through your semester. Honestly, you need longevity over the bells and whistles.

 

Grad school needs:

1. Write papers in the correct format. So that's getting either Microsoft Office Suite or Open office.

2. Battery life for in the office, library, bus, whatnot

3. Multitasking. I live by my email to organize group stuff, office work, class work, part-time jobs...

4. Video card. I'm given several video examples to watch. That I multitask with other assignments

5. Statistics software, if you get involved in research, would be nice

 

Notice, none of those require a lot of *high power.* If you're a gamer, netflix user, etc. base you choice factoring that.

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 Honestly, you need longevity over the bells and whistles.

 

This. Something that's light and has good battery life. If you have to plug in your laptop for a 50 minute lecture or presentation you look like a lameo, and you don't want to lug around anything heavier than a few pounds all day.

 

Get at least 8GB RAM so you can have lots of programs running simultaneously.  An i5 processor is probably sufficient because an i7 will be a battery drain. An SSD is faster, quieter, and more power efficient too. If you need more space, get an external hard drive and park it on your desk.

 

I would err on the side of a smaller screen size for mobility and buy a second monitor for your desk. Dual wielding monitors is the best, I wish I'd discovered it years ago.

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Ok thanks!  I know I would like something light the laptop I have currently is too heavy.  I thought I would drop in here and see what  laptops others in my field recommend. 

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Basically any computer will suit your needs. You won't be doing anything fancy; the fanciest thing you might do is run a statistical software program on your laptop, like SAS or Stata. Those can both function with 4 GB of RAM. I would recommend going with 8 if you can afford it, but particularly if you get a computer with replaceable RAM, starting with 4 GB will probably be fine.

 

But there are dozens of laptops that fit the criteria of small(ish), portable, 4-8 GB of RAM, and potentially has a SSD for speed. If you want Mac OS, there's the MacBook Air for super thin and light (13" or 11"). The MacBook Pro honestly doesn't weigh much more than the Air these days (I think 3.5 lbs. compared to the 13" MBA's 3 lbs.) The 13" Air gets 12 hours of battery life; the 13" Pro gets 10 hours.

 

On the Windows side, lots of different brands offer ultrabooks that fit thin, light, portable, while still having some power. There's the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, the Lenovo Yoga 2 or 3 (3 is more pricy, but more advanced), the Dell XPS 13, the Acer Aspire S7, and the Asus Zenbook. All of those are recommended ultrabooks that are pretty slim and light with decent battery life.

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re: RAM.  I have an ASUS Zenbook with 4GB and that's the only thing I dislike about it-- sometimes when I have chrome, powerpoint, spss, and photoshop open (e.g., prepping a talk) it runs out and tells me to shut something down.  Unfortunately the case is sealed up tight and I can't just substitute a bigger chip.

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