There are some very interesting new laptops on the market today, just in time for the start of the next semester. The Dell XPS 15 with its Infinity display is one of the best you can pick up. The newly refreshed MacBook Pros now come at lower prices and with better specs too. Unfortunately, an upgrade to the latest model isn’t always an option.
If you have a relatively limited budget and you can’t afford to invest in a new laptop, then these few upgrades and refreshes are definitely for you. With the help of the following upgrades, you can get your laptop ready for school assignments and other everyday tasks.
More RAM for Better Multitasking
If you have an older laptop with 4GB of RAM, then a RAM upgrade should definitely be at the top of your priority list. Bigger RAM allows you to multitask smoother and better, which means you can jump between reading digital books to working on course assignments in Microsoft Word without missing a beat.
A bigger RAM is even more important for online students. Top universities such as Norwich University are using 90% digital materials – with the exception of physical books you may buy from a local bookstore – so you need a laptop capable of handling multiple tasks at the same time.
Fortunately, RAM modules are fairly affordable. You can pick up an extra 4GB of RAM from Corsair to match your existing one for around $30. You can also buy a set of 2 x 8GB of RAM modules to boost your laptop’s RAM to a whopping 16GB for better performance.
It is also worth noting that older laptops usually come with a 5,400RPM 2.5-inch hard drive. The drive has a theoretical read and write speed of around 100MB/s. This may seem to be fast enough at first, but 100MB/s is actually very limiting.
What you can do is install an SSD drive. The Samsung EVO 850, for example, has a read and write speed of over 500MB/s. That’s five times faster than your current drive. You have to trade storage space for speed when upgrading to an SSD, but there is a solution for that too.
Let’s say you’re studying for an online diplomacy degree and you need to store plenty of course materials, digital books, and supporting documents. You can replace your laptop’s DVD drive with a hard drive caddy and install an SSD. You can then configure the SSD to act as the primary boot drive while your old drive is used for storing files.
A Second Screen
This last upgrade is for those of you who use your laptop at home a lot. Instead of settling for the small screen of your device, you can invest in a bigger, brighter screen for your desk. The LG 24-inch 24MP88HM monitor is the perfect tool for the job.
The monitor is not only bright and crisp, it also features a bezel-less design that looks stunning on your desk. The monitor supports HDMI input and uses an IPS LED panel for maximum viewing angle. Reading long documents and the course material from your online MDY program will not be a problem on this screen.
All of these upgrades are not only affordable but also very easy to install. You’ll be surprised by how much more performance you can squeeze out of your old laptop by investing in these upgrades.