Technology your teen needs

So you’re heading off to university or college. You probably have a good idea of the subjects you want to take. You’ve likely made living and travel arrangements. But choosing the right technology to suit your educational needs is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make before setting foot on campus. I’m sorry to say, but your dad’s hand-me-down – the one without a Web cam that’s slower than peak-hour traffic – is just not going to cut it.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a device that will best serve you during your studies. The most important is what you’re going to use it for. As an example, a nursing student will not need as much computing power as a software development student does.

Life has more than one mode. We may be in work mode one minute and social mode the next. It’s important that the technology we use enables multi-mode computing – what we call the PC Plus era, which includes a notebook, desktop, tablet, phone, visuals and software. These multi-touch, convertible devices are ideal for students.

While a decent laptop doesn’t cost much these days, don't be fooled by super-cheap devices – they probably can’t do everything you need them to do. And while a tablet is great for note-taking and reading, it’s not the best tool for writing a 40-page thesis.

Lenovo laptops are ideal for students. These multi-mode devices can be used as laptops or tablets, as well as in tent and stand mode, which are great for watching presentations. Having one multifunctional device is appealing to students, as they don’t need to carry multiple gadgets around campus. It also means all their work is stored in one place.

Previously, computers were designed from the inside out. In today’s markets, consumers are defining how they interact with social media, content and with the Internet, and Lenovo is ideally positioned to provide them with a device that gives them the best experience for this new social trend.

Students should also consider Lenovo’s multi-coloured tablet range of products, which offer multimode functionality, extended battery life (up to 18 hours) and Lenovo’s "Do It" apps, which simplify people’s digital lives, allowing them to easily share, sync, protect and manage information on their smartphones and tablets.

When shopping around for a device, keep in mind:

   • Enough storage space – at least 2GB.
   • Enough RAM to run many applications at once – 512MB or more.
   • Internet capability – 3G, WiFi and Ethernet to connect to the campus network.
   • Web cam, microphone and speakers – to take part in online lectures and to watch videos and listen to audio recordings. Web cams also make it easier to stay in touch with family and friends for those students who are attending university away from home.
   • USB ports – for easy transfer of documents.
   • If you’re planning on buying your own printer, go with an inkjet or laser model. You’ll need a machine that can cost-effectively handle high-volume printing.

Once you’ve chosen the best hardware, make sure you have basic software installed to make life on campus easier. Depending on your degree, you’ll likely need specific software, like Photoshop for designers.

For now, start with:

   • An online email account, if you don’t have one already. Most of your university correspondence will take place through email.
   • Anti-virus software – campus networks are breeding grounds for malware – make sure you’re protected.
   • Microsoft Office Student.
   • Cloud storage service – to back up all your documents online. Not only will you never lose them due to PC crashes, but you can also access them from anywhere.
   • Adobe Reader.
   • Media player – one that plays all video formats.

If you have a smartphone, install a document reader and link your email and cloud storage accounts. This allows you to catch up on varsity work wherever you are.

Keep in mind that the technology you settle on will either help or hinder your studies. Make wise choices. If you are unsure of which product is right for your computing needs, please visit
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