Ideal Dorm Room Computer Setup

To maximize your grades and GPA, it is critical to have an ideal computer setup in your dorm room. You will be spending hours on your computer typing up papers and homework assignments, and the ideal setup will make tedious computer work less of a headache (literally). Here are a few ideas on how to set up a workstation in your dorm room.

  1. Skip the desktop computer and use your laptop. A laptop is ideal for college because it is portable. By purchasing a docking station for your laptop, you can use your laptop as a desktop in your dorm room and easily disconnect it when you need to bring your laptop to class. A laptop docking station will allow you to connect a standard size keyboard, mouse, and computer screens to your laptop. The docking station will take up less room than a standard desktop computer, but you will enjoy all the benefits of a desktop when writing your research papers and other homework assignments. Your laptop battery will charge while connected to the docking station. My favorite laptop used in this configuration is the Dell Latitude E7250 ULTRABOOK docked with the Dell Latitude E Series PR03X Docking Station. The laptop is very light and its operating system is fast and responsive. It fits nicely into the docking station. There may be a sale on this laptop here: Amazon laptop deals of the day

  2. Use two computer screens. Connect two computer screens to your laptop docking station. By utilizing two computer screens, you can have Microsoft Word, Excel, or any other program open on one screen, and you can have your research or search screen open on the other. This will prevent you from having to open and close windows any time you need to switch views. Your workflow will be much more efficient. Your textbook can be open on your desk, Google can be open on one screen, and your paper can be open on the other screen. This is an efficient work triangle. I use two Acer Monitors. The monitors have a nice, slim design - the only drawback is that they do not include speakers.

  3. Use a wireless keyboard and mouse. As we all know, there isn't a lot of room in a dorm room. In addition to your roommate's stuff, you also have to find room for your own. The more mobile your electronics can be, the easier it is to store them when not in use. By using a wireless keyboard and mouse, you can place them in a drawer when not in use, or you can place them in another easily accessible location. My favorite wireless keyboard is the Microsoft Sculpt wireless keyboard. You can find this keyboard for a great price on Amazon. I love, love, love the Microsoft Sculpt Mouse. It's awesome. Since you'll most likely be on your computer a lot while in college, your fingers will love this mouse. It's super comfortable, and it fits perfectly into the palm of your hand. Just remember to keep a supply of AA batteries near your computer station for when you need to replace the batteries in your wireless keyboard and mouse. One other hint - the battery cover on the Microsoft Sculpt mouse is magnetic. When you go to replace the cover on your Microsoft Sculpt, the lettering on the cover goes on the inside. It looks like the lettering goes on the outside, it doesn't - the lettering goes toward the inside, towards the batteries.

By setting up an efficient and mobile workstation in your dorm room, your workflow will be smoother when writing research papers and completing your homework assignments. Think of how you want your computer setup before you get to school as you will be utilizing it a lot during the semester. When you get to your dorm room, you can make some modifications to fit the space. Your computer station will be one of your most used assets in getting good grades, so it does deserve some thought and investment.