Navigating the jungle: Which laptop is best for me?
All products offered by Projekt Neptun are thoroughly assessed before being accepted into the Neptun selection. With this process we make sure that no matter which device you choose, it will fulfill a student’s basic needs. However, certain fields of studies or special workloads come with specific requirements that go beyond these basic needs. In the following, we will guide you through the Neptun selection and help you decide which product might suit you best.
By user target groups
Requirements given by your field of study
Certain universities or institutes provide their students with specific requirements for individual fields of study or for all fields as a whole. For instance, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz provides their students with a list of minimal requirements here. The various fields of engineering in particular often set higher requirements on the laptops students have to acquire. In general, however, the machines offered by Projekt Neptun surpass the requirements given by universities for fields of study without any special needs, so even the most affordable laptop can serve you throughout your education, if you can live without some high-end features.
Students who need actual computing power
If you plan to run simulations or CAD applications, or if you want work with high-end graphical applications on your computer, you fall into the group of students who need computing power which only a workstation can provide. While a smaller, cheaper computer might be able to run these programs, too, a workstation can run the calculations much faster and thereby save you a lot of time, especially if you have to do this on a regular basis. However, some universities offer desktop workstations or remote servers for students in case they need more computing power. If you only need the power of a workstation once or twice a semester, the tradeoff in price, weight and battery runtime may not be worth it. If in doubt, it is always a good idea to ask your faculty or students further along in their studies if a workstation is necessary.
Students who need to read a lot
Some fields of studies like the social sciences and any PhD program will require you to read a lot of papers. If you have to read a lot, you might consider doing that on your computer in order to save money, time, and precious resources. In this case, consider getting a convertible laptop which enables you to handle digital text as if it was printed. Convertibles have touchscreens and can be flipped over into tablet mode, so you can work on them as with pen and paper. All Neptun convertibles come with a digital pen in the box and most come with a high-resolution screen that reduces eye-strain while reading.
By product group
Our laptops span a wider price range than convertibles, but they come with a keyboard only (no pen, no touchscreen). However, they often offer some benefits in terms of battery life and port selection over convertibles. Depending on your needs, regular laptops are the most affordable way to fulfill your basic computing needs.
Convertibles are lightweight and you can easily bring them to all your lectures. In Neptun offers, they always come with a pen that allows you to take handwritten notes or highlight text directly on the screen as you are used to do with paper. As it is a convertible, you can fold the screen to switch between laptop and tablet mode. The convertible even allows you to have the screen flat on the table which further helps the resemblance of paper. These features make the convertible your perfect companion for note taking and for reading and working with text. If you still want to have your work on paper, you can print your edited pdf files with the handwritten notes and the highlighted sections you already made on the convertible.
A workstation comes with high computational power and enables you to run work intense applications like CAD, virtual reality applications, or simulations. However, this power comes with a price which you have to pay in weight and battery life. Most Neptun workstations come with professional graphics cards (Nvidia Quadro, AMD Radeon Pro) that offer special features which are required for various engineering and simulation software suites. Additionally, workstations offer more RAM, storage space and options for expansions and upgrades than regular laptops.
Similar to convertibles, hybrid tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro offer the best of both worlds of tablets and laptops. All the hardware is integrated into the screen, so a hybrid tablet can be used like a tablet for reading or other media consumption. If you need to do office work, simply attach the keyboard or use the digital pen to use the full laptop-like power. Hybrid tablets are very compact and light, which means there is a tradeoff in screen size.
If you are planning to get a new computer, you should check the requirements of your university or institute first. Second, think about how you can work best. Whether you love to take notes by hand, you like to design detailed virtual environments, or you want a companion that you can carry around at all times, our friendly Neptun staff can help you find your perfect match. You can see, touch, and try all our devices at the Neptun Demodays or you can drop us a line for any questions under firstname.lastname@example.org.