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Our Experts Have Tested 130 Products in the Laptops Category in the Past Year

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)

If you’re ready to trade your cap and gown in for business-casual (or sweatpants and slippers, for those of you planning on working at home), one of the biggest questions you might be asking yourself is, “Which laptop should I get?” As you embark on the first leg of your professional journey, it pays to be properly equipped, so we looked at several of the top graduating majors and the technical needs for each.

Simply asking “What’s the best laptop for a college graduate?” doesn’t narrow things down very much, though. According to college advising website MyMajors.com, the list of common college majors has more than 1,800 different areas of study, from Agriculture to Visual and Performing Arts.

So we turn to data, not only to see the most popular majors and professions, but how many find themselves wondering what’s the best laptop for their type of work. According to both graduation statistics and search volume, here are the seven most popular fields that require computers tailored to their specific needs.


The Grads Who Need the Right Laptop the Most

In our research, the top most-sought-after recommendations come from media creators working with video and music, photographers and graphic designers, a mix of office workers and home-office workers, programmers, engineers, stock traders, and writers.


(Image: René Ramos, Molly Flores, Zlata Ivleva)

While these different categories may have some overlap in often-recommended laptops, each has a distinct set of requirements, with use-specific software, a unique mix of hardware, and performance demands.


How to Pick the Best Laptop for Your Career: The Basics

Though the specifics may differ depending on what you need to use your laptop for, the basics are pretty consistent across the board. You want something that’s comfortable to use, durable enough to last, and powerful enough for your most demanding projects. However, the specific needs of your job will bring some features to the forefront. Here’s the condensed version of our laptop buying advice.

Processor

If a laptop is like a car, the central processing unit (CPU) is the engine that makes it go, handling all of the actual computing tasks. From the operating system to the individual programs you use, the processor makes it work.

For an in-depth look at CPU selection, our guide How to Choose the Best Laptop Processor offers plenty of detailed advice, but for our purposes, it’s pretty simple. Generally, you’ll want to stick to Intel, AMD, and Apple options for professional use, since they offer not only the most variety, they also have the widest compatibility with various programs. The specific processor name will tell you the series (such as Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 7) as well as the generation of chip, or how recent the design is. A higher series will generally denote better performance, while the latest chips will have the most up-to-date capabilities.

Memory

There’s not much need to go into the specifics of RAM functionality and format here. Random Access Memory (RAM) is the short-term, working memory for your computer, holding the data for the apps and files that are currently running. It’s fast …….

Source: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/2022-grads-guide-the-best-laptops-for-each-type-of-graduate

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