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Which Laptop Operating System Should I Choose for University?

Whether you are already a student, or are set to start university this year, having a good laptop will help you get the most from your course. But with so many options to choose from when it comes to finding a good laptop for students, making the right decision for you can be overwhelming. One of the main decisions to make when choosing a laptop for university is that of which operating system to go with. There are three main laptop operating systems that you will likely be choosing from; Windows 10, macOS, and ChromeOS. Since no single one of these is going to be the best for every student, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of each to find the best fit for you. 

User Interface

Each of the three operating systems are designed for everyday consumers, and have an UI that is clean and easy to use. Ultimately, it’s down to which one you like best. There are some key differences, however.  

  • Windows 10: This OS has modernized the best parts of Windows 7 and Windows 8. It has a traditional desktop interface with a new title-based Start menu that you can resize to your preferences. Files and programs are organised in the start menu and are easy to find. You can easily pin a program to the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. It is a graphics-heavy OS with various customisable themes and wallpapers. 
  • macOS: There have not been any major changes to the interface of this OS in a long time, making it easy to use and keep up with. It is sleek and easy to navigate with a customisable taskbar where you can store programs and apps. 
  • Chrome OS: If you use Android devices, then you’ll get on with a Chromebook. This web-based OS relies heavily on the Chrome browser. It does have a customisable desktop interface too. 

Top Features

The features are the most important thing to consider when choosing the right OS for you while you’re looking for business students laptops

  • Windows 10: This OS has many great features for students including an ability to switch between desktop and tablet interfaces, making it ideal if you want a convertible laptop that you can use as both. If you prefer taking notes by hand but want to avoid going through lots of paper, this might be a worthwhile option for you to consider. 
  • macOS: The Spotlight feature in this OS is an ideal one for students. It is a powerful tool that allows you to scan your computer for files, check the weather, or calculate equations among much more. In the latest version of this OS, the Sidecar feature allows you to work on multiple apps at the same time with your iPad as a second display, and you can easily automatically back up all your files to iCloud. 
  • Chrome OS: The main feature of this OS is the Chrome browser. It’s something that most students will be familiar with as it’s clean, fast and easy to use. Since this OS is so lightweight, your laptop will run smoothly and boot up very quickly. You can tether to Android phones instantly and sync to the cloud easily. 

Programs and Apps

Before purchasing a laptop for university, it’s important to check which programs you might be required to use, and if you will be able to get them with your chosen OS. It’s also worth considering what you might be using for your laptop in your spare time, like gaming. 

  • Windows 10: This OS comes with Microsoft Office, which includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel. There is also a huge ecosystem of third-party programs available to download including photo and video editing apps, and CAD and modelling software that is only available on this OS. 
  • macOS: You can find Apple’s own suite of programs that are exclusive to this OS. If you are a media student, for example, then iMovie is an ideal tool for getting started with video editing before you upgrade to a better one. You can also get all the basics like Microsoft Office for your MacBook too. macOS users can download thousands of apps from the app store, along with other third-party programs available online. 
  • Chrome OS: The main downside to this OS is that you cannot install third-party software. However, you can choose from plenty of apps from the Google Play Store and the Chrome Web Store, which offer some of the best and most popular apps around. 

The operating system is going to be one of the biggest choices when you choose a laptop for uni, so weigh up the different options carefully before you decide.