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The 6 Best Laptops for Students in 2020

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Best Laptops for Students 2020

Education is important. It is important because you will gain knowledge and information that you need later down the road. If you want to become an engineer, for example, education can help you reach your dream.

That being said, while some schools would still want you to use a pen and paper to jot down notes, some people prefer using new technology and that is why I recommend that you get a laptop.

If you are interested to know the best, do read further to find out the best laptops for students in 2020.

What Do You Need in a Laptop?

Just like choosing your clothes, different people have different needs. For some, they want the best CPUs out there to help them with their projects, while others would need more storage space.

Below are just some of the things that you should consider before heading out to buy a laptop.

1.Weight

As a student, you might have to go to different classrooms for your next subject. While a laptop is indeed a portable device, not all of them are created equally. Some of them are hefty while some of them are ultralight.

What you need to remember is this: The more features a laptop has, the heavier it will always be. So, if you want an ultraportable device, you may have to cut down on features just to make it easier for transport.

2.Battery Life

Part of what makes a laptop reliable is its battery life. Since you are going to be out there and probably without a means of recharging the unit’s battery, you’d want to get one that has considerably good battery life.

Ideally, you want one that can last at least 7 hours or so, but again, that is really up to you.

3.Processing Power

Do you intend to use the laptop mainly for school or do you also want to play some games during your spare time? If you want to do the latter, you want a laptop that has some respectable specs that will allow you to play even the most demanding games.

The trade-off is that the beefier the specs are, the heavier the unit will be. Unless you don’t mind the extra heft, having one that has great specs across the board might be more suited for you.

4.Storage

This is pretty subjective, but if you were to ask me, my recommendation would be to get one with an SSD and an HDD for mass storage.

You see, a solid-state drive (SSD) is much faster when it comes to reading and writing data simply because it uses flash memory as opposed to spinning disks like in the HDD.

However, if you want an SSD that has a considerable storage space, you will need to spend a lot of money for that.

Running on an HDD nowadays is a huge no-no because they are significantly much slower than even the cheapest SSD out there, though it is great if you are thinking about storing a lot of files such as documents, photos, videos, and what have you.

Again, this is a matter of personal taste. Are you okay with just an SSD or you want more mass storage that also comes with an SSD for the operating system?

5.How About Chromebooks?

Chromebooks have become quite popular in recent years because they are low-powered laptops that run the Chrome operating system.

That being said, if your intention for using a laptop is strictly for schooling, a Chromebook would definitely suffice.

It is much cheaper than your regular laptop, though your use-case will be limited (for instance, you are not going to be able to play the games that you want with it).

However, a Chromebook can be quite appealing to people that want to save a lot of money.

Best Laptops for Students

While I would recommend budget laptops to students, some of them might want more because they want to play their favorite games in their free time.

If you want to know what our recommendations are, read ahead to find out.

1.Huawei Matebook 13

Huawei Matebook 13

Price: $899

The Huawei Matebook 13 is what I would consider being one of the best gaming laptops for students. That is because it marries both the price and performance really well.

Though you cannot expect high-end specs with this one, the Matebook 13 does have pretty respectable parts that students will love.

You get an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, a beautiful 13.3-inch Hybrid IPS panel, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

Probably, the only downside is that the laptop only comes with a maximum of 8GB of RAM, but other than that, the specs are pretty good across the board.

The screen is actually really nice. It is a hybrid panel which means that it can also act as a touchscreen as well.

Since it has a 13-inch display, the laptop itself is lightweight so you can just bring it with you quickly and easily wherever you want to go.

Its battery life is also good at 7-8 hours depending on use. It is extremely affordable and I would definitely recommend this for students that want a really good laptop on a budget.

2.HP Envy (2019)

HP Envy (2019)

Price: $1,129

A really good-looking laptop, the HP Envy 2019 edition is also great for students. It has a 13-inch chassis, a 4K-capable screen, has really good specs, and it is lightweight at just 2.8 pounds.

First, let’s talk about the design. It has a predominantly metallic gray exterior and it also comes with built-in security features that put your mind at ease when you are using it.

What I was referring to is its included webcam kill switch and fingerprint sensor. The former is a toggle that you can use that will kill the webcam when it is not in use and the latter unlocks the device using your very own fingerprint.

Although you can also get a much cheaper version of this laptop, the one I am talking about here comes with the 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and the Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. It also has 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD storage.

You can also choose a version that only comes with a Full HD display, though for people that want to watch Netflix, for example, would really love the more vibrant 4K resolution.

Of course, battery life will depend on your usage. Keep in mind that if you opt for this model, its battery life is considerably lower (at 8-9 hours compared to 11+ hours on the FHD version).

Still, the HP Envy 2019 is a really good laptop and one that students would really love to bring with them in class.

3.Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

Price: $1,199

While most students want a thin and ultraportable laptop, there are those that want a portable gaming machine and that is where the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes in.

This laptop has really amazing specs for the price. It comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, coupled with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU.

In addition, this particular model also comes with 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD as well.

Although I love the fact that they’ve included an SSD, it might not be a good idea to be installing your games on it since 256GB of storage nowadays is quite small (especially since AAA games have become storage hogs. I am looking at you, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019))

Gamers will also love the fact that the laptop has a 15.6-inch, high refresh rate screen. Its 144hz display translates to smoother games across the board. It also has Full HD resolution as well.

Now, there are two major things to consider here. For one, this laptop is heavy. It weighs a hefty 5.1 pounds so its heft is really noticeable.

Second, its battery life (at least, when you are playing games), is just a mediocre at 4 hours screen on time. You do get a longer battery life if the majority of what you do is just productivity and school-related tasks, but you will definitely see that it doesn’t have the endurance when it comes to playing demanding titles.

Still, for a laptop that costs under $1,200, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is definitely tough to beat.

4.MacBook Air 2020

MacBook Air 2020

Price: Starts at $999

There are some students that do not like to use Windows 10. If you are comfortable using MacOS, then look no further than the newest MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air 2020 edition is Apple’s entry-level laptop and it is definitely amazing for students. What makes this don the ‘Air’ moniker is its thin and lightweight profile.

With dimensions of 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm, no wonder people recommend this to anyone that wants a laptop that they can easily bring with them.

The 2020 edition comes with the newest 10th-gen Intel processors and its keyboard is vastly improved over the previous versions.

While there is a lot to love here, it is also important that you know about its negatives as well.

First is that the battery life is okay. With moderate use, it should last up to 7 hours (though, it would have been better if it was improved).

Second, the screen colors are somewhat not vibrant as one would hope in a laptop that comes from a reputable brand. I am not saying that it is bad, but what I am saying is that I was surprised that it wasn’t as vibrant as their pro models at least.

Lastly, its webcam only supports a maximum of 720p resolution. But, despite its shortcomings, the MacBook Air 2020, with its thin and light chassis and svelte looks, makes it quite appealing to most consumers.

5.HP Spectre x360 (2019)

HP Spectre x360 (2019)

Price: $1,299

If you want a laptop with a hybrid design, the HP Spectre x360 is definitely worth looking into.

For those of you who do not know, a hybrid laptop is basically one where you can detach the screen and turn it into a tablet. Having such a design will definitely be great for students.

That being said, the Spectre x360 comes with Intel’s 10th-gen processors so you can expect really great performance for the price.

For $1,299, you are going to get a version that comes with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a hefty 512GB SSD. Those that can squeeze an additional $200 will get an OLED display, as well as 16GB of RAM.

The laptop is svelte, is lightweight, and it also comes with a stylus which makes it so much easier for students to jot down notes.

If you opt for this version, you will get a 13.3-inch IPS panel that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The screen is so color-accurate that it scored more than 100% in the sRGB color gamut test.

Its battery life is also pretty good. It can last up to 15 hours and with my testing, it lasted 13 hours by doing mostly productivity tasks and some light gaming.

Despite its amazing performance and vivid display, the laptop does come with a lot of bloatware. Sure, you can uninstall them quickly and easily, but I just do not like the fact that you had to do that.

Furthermore, this 2-in-1 hybrid laptop does run a bit warm, though it is not a cause for alarm; just something to keep in mind.

6.Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Price: $550

As mentioned earlier, there are students that just want a handy laptop that they can bring with them to school and that is why some opt to get a Chromebook.

At the time of writing this article, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is touted as the best Chromebook that you can find on the market. It’s inexpensive and for its price, it comes with a bevy of features that students will love.

You can easily flip this laptop depending on whether you want to type on it or just read notes. Its display has amazingly small bezels and its 14-inch screen is vivid and provides a lot of screen real estate. And oh, did I mention that it is also a touchscreen as well?

Its thin and lightweight profile allows you to easily slip this laptop in your bag without any problems.

It has an Intel Core processor but keep in mind that it is only great for productivity tasks and not intended for gaming. So, its performance from an educational standpoint is amazing, though, for playing games, it is definitely not capable of such.

Still, if you want an inexpensive laptop for students, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is what I would recommend.

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Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

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The 6 Best Laptops for Students in 2020

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Best Laptops for Students 2020

Education is important. It is important because you will gain knowledge and information that you need later down the road. If you want to become an engineer, for example, education can help you reach your dream.

That being said, while some schools would still want you to use a pen and paper to jot down notes, some people prefer using new technology and that is why I recommend that you get a laptop.

If you are interested to know the best, do read further to find out the best laptops for students in 2020.

What Do You Need in a Laptop?

Just like choosing your clothes, different people have different needs. For some, they want the best CPUs out there to help them with their projects, while others would need more storage space.

Below are just some of the things that you should consider before heading out to buy a laptop.

1.Weight

As a student, you might have to go to different classrooms for your next subject. While a laptop is indeed a portable device, not all of them are created equally. Some of them are hefty while some of them are ultralight.

What you need to remember is this: The more features a laptop has, the heavier it will always be. So, if you want an ultraportable device, you may have to cut down on features just to make it easier for transport.

2.Battery Life

Part of what makes a laptop reliable is its battery life. Since you are going to be out there and probably without a means of recharging the unit’s battery, you’d want to get one that has considerably good battery life.

Ideally, you want one that can last at least 7 hours or so, but again, that is really up to you.

3.Processing Power

Do you intend to use the laptop mainly for school or do you also want to play some games during your spare time? If you want to do the latter, you want a laptop that has some respectable specs that will allow you to play even the most demanding games.

The trade-off is that the beefier the specs are, the heavier the unit will be. Unless you don’t mind the extra heft, having one that has great specs across the board might be more suited for you.

4.Storage

This is pretty subjective, but if you were to ask me, my recommendation would be to get one with an SSD and an HDD for mass storage.

You see, a solid-state drive (SSD) is much faster when it comes to reading and writing data simply because it uses flash memory as opposed to spinning disks like in the HDD.

However, if you want an SSD that has a considerable storage space, you will need to spend a lot of money for that.

Running on an HDD nowadays is a huge no-no because they are significantly much slower than even the cheapest SSD out there, though it is great if you are thinking about storing a lot of files such as documents, photos, videos, and what have you.

Again, this is a matter of personal taste. Are you okay with just an SSD or you want more mass storage that also comes with an SSD for the operating system?

5.How About Chromebooks?

Chromebooks have become quite popular in recent years because they are low-powered laptops that run the Chrome operating system.

That being said, if your intention for using a laptop is strictly for schooling, a Chromebook would definitely suffice.

It is much cheaper than your regular laptop, though your use-case will be limited (for instance, you are not going to be able to play the games that you want with it).

However, a Chromebook can be quite appealing to people that want to save a lot of money.

Best Laptops for Students

While I would recommend budget laptops to students, some of them might want more because they want to play their favorite games in their free time.

If you want to know what our recommendations are, read ahead to find out.

1.Huawei Matebook 13

Huawei Matebook 13

Price: $899

The Huawei Matebook 13 is what I would consider being one of the best gaming laptops for students. That is because it marries both the price and performance really well.

Though you cannot expect high-end specs with this one, the Matebook 13 does have pretty respectable parts that students will love.

You get an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, a beautiful 13.3-inch Hybrid IPS panel, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

Probably, the only downside is that the laptop only comes with a maximum of 8GB of RAM, but other than that, the specs are pretty good across the board.

The screen is actually really nice. It is a hybrid panel which means that it can also act as a touchscreen as well.

Since it has a 13-inch display, the laptop itself is lightweight so you can just bring it with you quickly and easily wherever you want to go.

Its battery life is also good at 7-8 hours depending on use. It is extremely affordable and I would definitely recommend this for students that want a really good laptop on a budget.

2.HP Envy (2019)

HP Envy (2019)

Price: $1,129

A really good-looking laptop, the HP Envy 2019 edition is also great for students. It has a 13-inch chassis, a 4K-capable screen, has really good specs, and it is lightweight at just 2.8 pounds.

First, let’s talk about the design. It has a predominantly metallic gray exterior and it also comes with built-in security features that put your mind at ease when you are using it.

What I was referring to is its included webcam kill switch and fingerprint sensor. The former is a toggle that you can use that will kill the webcam when it is not in use and the latter unlocks the device using your very own fingerprint.

Although you can also get a much cheaper version of this laptop, the one I am talking about here comes with the 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and the Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. It also has 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD storage.

You can also choose a version that only comes with a Full HD display, though for people that want to watch Netflix, for example, would really love the more vibrant 4K resolution.

Of course, battery life will depend on your usage. Keep in mind that if you opt for this model, its battery life is considerably lower (at 8-9 hours compared to 11+ hours on the FHD version).

Still, the HP Envy 2019 is a really good laptop and one that students would really love to bring with them in class.

3.Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

Price: $1,199

While most students want a thin and ultraportable laptop, there are those that want a portable gaming machine and that is where the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes in.

This laptop has really amazing specs for the price. It comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, coupled with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU.

In addition, this particular model also comes with 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD as well.

Although I love the fact that they’ve included an SSD, it might not be a good idea to be installing your games on it since 256GB of storage nowadays is quite small (especially since AAA games have become storage hogs. I am looking at you, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019))

Gamers will also love the fact that the laptop has a 15.6-inch, high refresh rate screen. Its 144hz display translates to smoother games across the board. It also has Full HD resolution as well.

Now, there are two major things to consider here. For one, this laptop is heavy. It weighs a hefty 5.1 pounds so its heft is really noticeable.

Second, its battery life (at least, when you are playing games), is just a mediocre at 4 hours screen on time. You do get a longer battery life if the majority of what you do is just productivity and school-related tasks, but you will definitely see that it doesn’t have the endurance when it comes to playing demanding titles.

Still, for a laptop that costs under $1,200, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is definitely tough to beat.

4.MacBook Air 2020

MacBook Air 2020

Price: Starts at $999

There are some students that do not like to use Windows 10. If you are comfortable using MacOS, then look no further than the newest MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air 2020 edition is Apple’s entry-level laptop and it is definitely amazing for students. What makes this don the ‘Air’ moniker is its thin and lightweight profile.

With dimensions of 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm, no wonder people recommend this to anyone that wants a laptop that they can easily bring with them.

The 2020 edition comes with the newest 10th-gen Intel processors and its keyboard is vastly improved over the previous versions.

While there is a lot to love here, it is also important that you know about its negatives as well.

First is that the battery life is okay. With moderate use, it should last up to 7 hours (though, it would have been better if it was improved).

Second, the screen colors are somewhat not vibrant as one would hope in a laptop that comes from a reputable brand. I am not saying that it is bad, but what I am saying is that I was surprised that it wasn’t as vibrant as their pro models at least.

Lastly, its webcam only supports a maximum of 720p resolution. But, despite its shortcomings, the MacBook Air 2020, with its thin and light chassis and svelte looks, makes it quite appealing to most consumers.

5.HP Spectre x360 (2019)

HP Spectre x360 (2019)

Price: $1,299

If you want a laptop with a hybrid design, the HP Spectre x360 is definitely worth looking into.

For those of you who do not know, a hybrid laptop is basically one where you can detach the screen and turn it into a tablet. Having such a design will definitely be great for students.

That being said, the Spectre x360 comes with Intel’s 10th-gen processors so you can expect really great performance for the price.

For $1,299, you are going to get a version that comes with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a hefty 512GB SSD. Those that can squeeze an additional $200 will get an OLED display, as well as 16GB of RAM.

The laptop is svelte, is lightweight, and it also comes with a stylus which makes it so much easier for students to jot down notes.

If you opt for this version, you will get a 13.3-inch IPS panel that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The screen is so color-accurate that it scored more than 100% in the sRGB color gamut test.

Its battery life is also pretty good. It can last up to 15 hours and with my testing, it lasted 13 hours by doing mostly productivity tasks and some light gaming.

Despite its amazing performance and vivid display, the laptop does come with a lot of bloatware. Sure, you can uninstall them quickly and easily, but I just do not like the fact that you had to do that.

Furthermore, this 2-in-1 hybrid laptop does run a bit warm, though it is not a cause for alarm; just something to keep in mind.

6.Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Price: $550

As mentioned earlier, there are students that just want a handy laptop that they can bring with them to school and that is why some opt to get a Chromebook.

At the time of writing this article, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is touted as the best Chromebook that you can find on the market. It’s inexpensive and for its price, it comes with a bevy of features that students will love.

You can easily flip this laptop depending on whether you want to type on it or just read notes. Its display has amazingly small bezels and its 14-inch screen is vivid and provides a lot of screen real estate. And oh, did I mention that it is also a touchscreen as well?

Its thin and lightweight profile allows you to easily slip this laptop in your bag without any problems.

It has an Intel Core processor but keep in mind that it is only great for productivity tasks and not intended for gaming. So, its performance from an educational standpoint is amazing, though, for playing games, it is definitely not capable of such.

Still, if you want an inexpensive laptop for students, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is what I would recommend.

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Gaming

Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

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