Building the Perfect Computer for Students Pursuing an Online Education

With more and more innovations and development in today’s technologies, we are faced with a dilemma of choosing the perfect design and performance of an electronic device. Whether it’s a mobile phone, laptop, PC, or any other gadget, it is advisable to get the one that’s consistent with your personal needs and lifestyle. The same is true when you begin an online education program – you have to look beyond just the sleek designs and interface. Here is a little checklist to make things simpler.

For Frequent Travellers or Commuters

We suggest you go for a laptop – foldable, portable, and rechargeable, it allows you to get stuff done absolutely anywhere. You can read your favourite novel on a flight, complete that pending assignment in your car, or type your thoughts down in the loo – yeah, that can happen too!

For the Lover of Classics: Go for a PC

If travelling is not a priority to you or you prefer studying at home, and you can sit for three hours at a time without being disturbed, then a PC is the best option for you.

A PC with good specifications can be less expensive than a laptop. With features such as a dual core processor, one can get stuff like photo editing, assignments, and organizing mp3/videos done comfortably. The $500 range systems still enable the user to perform a lot of distance learning work using Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Additional features and advanced graphics will demand more memory and hard drive space. There is a lot of research you need to do before buying a desktop computer.


Different types of processors are recommended for better performance. Look up the AMD A8-7600, AMD A10-6800K, Intel Core i7-4770k, or Intel Core i3-4330.

RAM, or Random Access Memory

The more RAM you have, the more stuff you can do at once. RAM determines how many programs your computer can handle simultaneously. When pursuing distance learning, you need a system that can multitask for you so you can easily switch between applications and program. Therefore, look for a desktop with a minimum of one gigabyte (GB) of DDR2 memory – that stands for “double-data-rate”.

Hard Drive

Look for a 250GB hard drive. Since one GB equals 1 billion bytes, a computer that has a 250 billion byte hard drive can easily store a million 500-word papers (since a 500-word document typed using Microsoft Word accounts for 25,000 bytes of hard drive space).

Graphics or Video Card

A decent video card will enable you to watch lecture videos. It is best to opt for the GTX 1050, 1060, or 1070.

Size of the Monitor

17” is a decent size; beyond 19” will be too big for your desk. An LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, monitor is completely optional.


In distance or online learning programs, it is very important to be able to hear the lectures loud and clear. This requires a desktop with speakers, so definitely look into that, too.

Operating System

Organization and management of memory and storage falls under the scope of an Operating System. Microsoft 8 and 10 are both good options.


Desktops come with preinstalled software. Among the best options are Microsoft Works Suite and Apple iWork.

The above-mentioned points should be taken into consideration before purchasing a computer for your online learning program.