The four best tech options for the student in your life

(BPT) - Cash, new wheels, dream travel, gift cards — what will you be giving the students in your life this year? Chances are good they want a laptop; 51 percent of high school grads and 43 percent of college graduates said a new laptop was the gift they most desired in 2015, according to a survey by technology protection provider Asurion.

Parents probably aren’t surprised when their children ask for laptops. Technology is a big-ticket item students likely can’t afford to pay for themselves. Yet, it’s something they really need to succeed in college and in professional life.

If you want to purchase a laptop for your student this year, you don’t have to overspend to find exactly what they need. Armed with some knowledge of popular options and the types of tasks each is best for, you can choose an affordable, powerful piece of technology for your graduate.

Here are some common and popular options, all of which run the powerful Windows 10 operating system:


For power and flexibility, laptops excel. With capabilities comparable to what you would find in a desktop, laptops offer portability, powerful video editing and game development capabilities, and the ability to add external peripherals like printers and external hard drives. Keyboards and screens that are larger than the average tablet also enhance their usability. Options like the Dell XPS 13 are also lightweight, squeezing a 13-inch display into an 11-inch frame.


Portability, a sleek appearance and touch-screen convenience are hallmarks of tablets. Earlier iterations lacked power to compete with laptops, but newer options like the Surface Pro 4 are both powerful and portable. Paired with a Surface Pen, the tablet empowers students to take notes in class, sketch out designs, finish a report or project, or just kick back and watch a movie in the comfort of their dorm room.

Hybrid Laptop

Deciding between a laptop-style device with a keyboard or a tablet can be a challenge. Each performs different tasks in different ways. If your graduate needs a device that merges the best attributes of tablets and laptops, the Surface Book can be a solution. The device comes with a keyboard and detachable 13.5-inch screen you can use on its own like a clipboard, similar to the Surface Pro 4.


While hybrid devices can function as either laptops or tablets, all-in-ones step up the game with the ability to take on multiple configurations. Whether it’s taking notes on a tablet, typing on a laptop, or displaying a presentation in a tent or stand configuration, multi-tasking all-in-ones like the Lenovo Yoga 900 offer maximum versatility to fulfill a variety of tasks. The device can deliver in all four configurations: laptop, stand, tent or tablet, and offers a flawless writing experience on its touchscreen.

Knowing these basic options before you start shopping can help ensure your student gets the technology he or she will need to succeed in college or the professional world.

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