If you’re a student, you most likely want one of the best laptops that will make your college experience seamless. A laptop is a fundamental tech tool for every student. It aids in writing papers and taking notes in class as well as entertainment in the form of games and videos on Netflix and Youtube.
With so many laptop choices at so many different prices, it can be cumbersome to find which ones are the very best laptops for students. When getting a laptop for college, the requirements are majorly long battery life and fast CPU performance. If you prefer taking notes by hand then you might want to invest in a 2-in-1 laptop.
Students who are on a tight budget can easily cough up $200 – $400 for entry-level laptops with good battery life, decent hard drive, graphics card and display. But it would be worthwhile to spend a few hundred extra dollars to get a machine with better specifications as this is an investment into your college life.
Whatever laptop you get, you might want to pick up some accessories like a mouse, a backpack, and maybe a printer. Below are our picks for the different categories of laptops for students.
Best Laptops for Students
The Best Laptop for students in our opinion is the HP Envy 13. Not every student is on a budget, but most will prefer to save up as much as possible.
That’s why we recommend the $800 Envy 13 which is less than the $1000 price mark. It delivers fast performance, is portable, and has a very good screen.
If you have more flexibility in your budget, then you might consider the Spectre x360 13. It gives you the convenience of a 2-in-1 laptop with more power and a fancier look. The XPS 13 2-in-1 and the Yoga C940 are also great 2-in-1 laptops for college students.
Students who love Apple products can opt for the new Apple MacBook Air (2020). Its improved keyboard makes it a better choice over the pricier MacBook Pro. If you don’t have a budget however and require a powerful machine for designing 3D models and crunching numbers, then we recommend the 16-inch MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS 15.
HP Envy 13 (2019)
Our Pick for the overall best laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | RAM: 8GB/16GB | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620/Nvidia GeForce MX250 |Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds
Pros: Attractive and portable chassis, Fast performance, Good Display, 11+ hours of battery life(the FHD model)
Cons: No Thunderbolt 3
The HP Envy 13 comes with powerful speakers, a new design, and useful security features. It also comes with a fingerprint sensor and a webcam kill switch which shuts power to the camera. Also, with its attractive chassis, bright 4K display, and high performance from its 8th Gen Core i5 and i7 processors, the Envy 13 is first in our ranking.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that this is a sub-$1000 budget laptop.
HP Spectre x360 13 (Late 2019)
Our Pick for the best 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Core i5/Core i7 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds
Pros: Ultraportable design, Epic battery life, Vivid display with thinner bezels, Very fast overall performance
Cons: It has lots of bloatware, Its speakers become shrill at max volume
The Spectre x360 13 is the best 2-in-1 laptop for students with a bit over $1000. With its 10th Gen processor, stunning display, bright 4K or 1080P display, epic 13+hour battery life, and very fast performance the Spectre x360 is improved in almost every way over its predecessor.
It also comes with a webcam kill switch and a comfortable keyboard.
Asus ZenBook UX333FA
Our Pick for the best budget laptop for college students
CPU: Intel Core i5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | GPU: Intel UHD 620/GeForce MX150 | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p | Size: 11.9 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds
Pros: Sleek aluminium design, Fast performance, Excellent battery life
Cons: It has a dim display and a cramped keyboard
The Asus ZenBook UX333FA is a beautiful, premium laptop that gives a fast performance for a reasonable price. With its price range at $800, you get an integrated UHD 620 graphics and an Intel Core i5 processor and only the Envy 13 can match its value. This makes the ZenBook UX333FA among the best budget laptops for college students.
It comes with 11+hours of battery life and a sleek aluminium chassis that makes for exceptional endurance.
Dell XPS 13 (2020)
Our Pick for the best all-purpose windows laptop
CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 (10th Gen) | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200 or 4K | Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds
Pros: Powerful performance, Attractive, premium chassis, No bezels, Excellent battery life
Cons: It lacks legacy ports
The Dell XPS 13 is a real workhorse and the best laptop for college students without a budget. With a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and integrated graphics, it can be used for either work or play.
The laptop is smaller, lighter and prettier than its previous models. It comes with a large trackpad, a comfortable keyboard, 13.4-inch, and near-bezel less display. If you’ve got the money and are looking for the total package, then look no further.
Apple MacBook Air (2020)
Our Pick for the best Apple laptop
CPU: Intel Core i3/i5/i7 (Y-series) | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel | Size: 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds
Pros: Sleek design, Powerful sound, Great battery life, Comfortable magic keyboard
Cons: Underwhelming performance
If you prefer the macOS to windows, then this is the only laptop you should consider. With its price starting from $999, the Apple MacBook Air has its biggest improvement as the new keyboard.
Other new improvements include; a powerful 10th Gen processor, a superfast SSD, and a 13.3-inch retina display. It also comes with great speakers, solid battery life, and a gorgeous aluminum body. It is a great laptop for those who prefer the macOS over Windows.
Lenovo Yoga C940
Very good 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7 | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.6 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds
Pros: Beautiful 4K design, Fast performance, Crisp, and dynamic speakers
Cons: Below-average battery life
The C940 is a refinement of last year’s C930. It has 10th Gen processors, a unique hinge that doubles as its soundbar speaker, and a premium, ultra-portable chassis. Its hinge can rotate 360° to convert it into a tablet making it a 2-in-2 laptop. Its 1080P and 4K displays are vibrant although they drain the battery.
It has a webcam cover, a slot for the included stylus, and a fingerprint sensor.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen)
The best overall business laptop
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7 |RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | GPU: Intel UHD | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds
Pros: Class-leading keyboard, Fast performance, Vibrant 1080p, and 4K display, Slim, lightweight design
Cons: Weak graphics
This new business laptop now boasts of Intel 10th Gen processors. It gives a fast performance, long battery life (on 1080p model), 1080p, and 4K display options and all in a lightweight chassis.
It still possesses the classic Thinkpad features like; best-in-class keyboard, and stealthy black/red aesthetics.
Asus Chromebook Flip C434
Our Pick for the best Chromebook laptop
CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | GPU: Intel HD 615 | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.6 x 8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds
Pros: Thin display bezels, Sleek design, Vivid 14-inch touch screen
Cons: Finicky Touchpad
Asus gives us our pick for the best Chromebook laptop. The 14-inch convertible makes for a good college laptop thanks to its slim profile and relatively affordable price, whose range is at $600. It comes with razor-thin bezels and a vivid 1080 display all in a compact chassis.
At 0.6 inches thick it takes up almost no space in a backpack and its battery can last a long time on a full charge.
Choosing the Best Laptop for College
A lot of factors need to be considered before selecting the best laptop for your college life. These factors are;
This goes hand-in-hand with screen size. 13-inch laptops are most common among college students due to their good balance between screen size and portability
This is important because you can not always count on there being an outlet in the library or classroom. Choose a laptop with at least 9 hours of battery life
Other factors to include in your decision are the laptop specifications, a comfortable keyboard, and a sensitive mouse.
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