TECH BYTE: Features You Need on Your Computer

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — School is starting back soon.

If you’re in the market for a new computer for your classes, you have a lot to choose from.

From Macbooks to Chromebooks – you have lots of choices if you need a new computer or laptop for school.

It’s good to have options, but it can be overwhelming. So how do you know which one’s best for you?

First, of course, check your school’s requirements.

“Secondly, I think one of the most important things is making sure that you’re not only buying for now, but thinking about tomorrow,” said Nathan Roach, Best Buy. “And what I mean by that is, whether they’re going through elementary school, or they’re going to be getting a four-year degree, you don’t want to have to buy another computer during that time period. So making sure that not only you meet the specs, but it’s got enough power to really make it through that time period, so you’re not back out in two years purchasing a new laptop.”

Also, be thinking about what you need with your laptop.

You’ll likely have to have Microsoft Office. Depending on your needs, you can get permanent licensing for it.

But Roach says there are some advantages to getting a subscription service.

“For example, Office 365 – which is actually a year subscription – you’re always going to have the latest Office platform, so you always get all of the updates, things like that,” Roach said. “When you buy the permanent version, the version you get is what you get on day one, and that does not change.”

Roach says you can get a discount on Microsoft Office when you buy your computer.

“In the old days, you had a box that had the CD or DVD in it. Now it’s really a card that you’ll purchase,” he said. “If it’s the subscription, obviously, we’ll get your information before you check out. It’ll renew after a year, or with the permanent licensing, when you get home, you’ll actually just key in a product code that’s on the bottom of that card once activated, and it will start right up for you, and you’ll be good to go.”

It’s also a good idea to get an external hard drive, so you’re not limited on storage.

“Not only does it give you more room to grow, but it’ll allow you to back up the things that you’re doing on a daily basis. So if something were to happen, you’ve got that backup there available for you.”

Just make sure the external hard drive is compatible with your computer. Especially if you work on both Macs and PCs.

“Essentially, the first time you hook it up, it does somewhat of a format depending on the device that you have,” Roach said.

Roach also recommends getting anti-virus software, no matter what computer you get. He says even Apple products can still get viruses. It just doesn’t happen as often.

Most anti-virus software works on both Mac and Windows devices – even cell phones!

“A lot of people don’t think about cell phones as being protected as well, but it’s something that you can still get malicious software on,” he said.

And speaking of protection – It’s a good idea to get a case for your laptop, and a backpack or bag to keep it in tip top shape. The better you protect it, the longer it’ll last.

All of these items, of course, can get expensive.

You can check out all of Best Buy’s student deals on

Categories: Local News, Tech Byte, Technology