Sunday, September 11, 2011

Laptop for MBA

I have got lot of queries on which laptop one should buy for business school. I also had this question when I was coming for the Sloan Fellows program.

So here is my take -

1) Software
- You just need a basic machine which can run Microsoft Office (Outlook, Powerpoint, Excel) etc. For submitting course papers, case write-ups etc you will basically use MS Office. For some quant type of classes like Data Models etc. you need softwares like Solver etc.

2) Processor - An i3 processor is sufficient. i5 is ok if you want more speed but I guess the difference when you are running just MS Office is not huge. i7 I think is overpowered unless you are into some heavy stuff like editing videos etc.

3) Size/Weight - 13/14 inch is what most people use. One should go for a lightweight machine as you have to carry it all day long and with books the bag does become heavy.

4) Where to buy - For international students, you can purchase from your home country or come to US and get it. I recommend getting one in US as you get better deals and international warranty for some brands may not be available if you bought your pc lets say in Japan. 

5) Mac or Windows - Though MIT recommends PC over Mac, it just depends on personal preference. Either of them would work fine. Though the support for Mac is limited and also some 3rd party softwares dont have a Mac version. But its not a big deal and there are ways around it.

6) Netbooks - I have seen plenty of people use it without any issues. Its light and easy to carry (something which is a big plus as you lug your laptop from class to class, all day long). But it does strain your eyes as the screen is very small.  

Lastly, think about spending big bucks on your laptop for school because once you graduate, you would get a new machine from your employer (in most cases). So think of it as a short term purchase.

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