The Best Laptops For College Students Right Now
Reasons to avoid
College students learning to make a dollar stretch can learn a lesson from the Acer Swift 3. That lesson? You don’t need to pay a premium for great performance. Its AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU is snappy and it’s got exceptional battery life all packed into a lightweight design. Plus, its USB Type-C, HDMI and USB-A ports mean you’re able to do more with any adapters or dongles.
On top of that, its keyboard is great for typing out term papers, with quiet, clicky keys that won’t irritate your roommate. Just don’t expect it to replace your Bluetooth speaker: we wish its audio had a bit more kick. Its slightly dim display isn’t great for Netflix either, but its mix of performance and price is so strong that you’ll be able to look past that minor concern.
Reasons to avoid
If you’re looking to spend between $500-$1,000 the AMD-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 OLED is an excellent value, offering an eye-catching 1080p OLED display and exceptional battery life in a slim, lightweight package for less than a thousand bucks.
Sure, the speakers aren’t amazing, the webcam leaves something to be desired, and there’s no headphone jack , but these are stumbling blocks you can work around. If you need a zippy little ultraportable with a great screen that will last you through a full day of classes and then some, you can’t do better than the OLED-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 at this price.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Hp Envy X360 15 Eu0097nr
The HP Envy x360 15 has an attractive design, decent internals, and a wide selection of ports. The unit we tested came equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. For ports, youre getting two USB-A, USB-C, HDMI 2.0, and a full-sized SD card slot. In our review, we liked the keyboard quite a bit, saying the keys give off a satisfying tactile bump and they actuate even if you hit just the corner of a key with your fingernail. In other words, you dont need to worry much about accidental keypresses.
Can Tablets Work As Laptops
A traditional tablet, like the iPad, can use external keyboards much like a convertible tablet like the Surface Go, but that doesnt mean they are without limitations. Unfortunately, tablet operating systems are less robust than what youll find with a convertible laptop-style tablet.
Students may find limited features and software options, making a convertible tablet with a full-fledged operating system a much better choice. In addition to reducing software limitations, users will find the built-in keyboard and touchpad much more convenient than third-party solutions for iOS and Android tablets.
A tablet with a detachable keyboard can work like a laptop. Before buying a tablet for school, consider a few factors.
Do your research and make sure the tablet works with any applications you know youll use a lot. Traditional tablets have more limits than their convertible counterparts. While programs like Microsoft Excel are easier to use in their full versions, you can still utilize paired down versions for Android and iOS.
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Choosing The Best Laptop For College
A laptop is essential equipment for college students today. Student laptops are required for a wide range of activities from taking notes in class and completing assignments to streaming movies late at night in the dorm. When looking for the best college laptops, the options can be overwhelming, and its important to know exactly how you plan to use the device and what features are indispensable. It is recommended to use a laptop that is easy to carry, can process an array of programs, and has enough storage to save all your work. As a premier provider of laptop technology, Dell offers a wide variety of laptops and 2-in-1s that make it easy to find the best college laptop for any major and every user.
Explore must-have Dell laptops & 2-in-1 PCs. Find the latest models from XPS, Inspiron, G-Series & Alienware.
Hard Drive And Storage
Your computer’s hard drive stores all of the digital information you create, which can vary in size and quality. A solid-state drive has no moving parts, and SSD-equipped PCs are 3-4 times faster and more stable than conventional hard drives. If your budget allows, go with an SSD if not, a conventional hard drive with at least 500 GB of capacity would suffice.
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The Best Student Laptops Available Now
Reasons to avoid
The Acer Swift 3 ticks pretty much every box for what makes the best student laptops. It’s affordable, without making too many compromises, and yet it’s powerful enough to easily handle day to day tasks, including web browsing and document creation, making it perfect for students.
It’s also thin and light enough to easily carry around school or campus, but with a decent build quality which means it won’t easily break. The latest model brings some choice hardware upgrades, so it’s now a better performer than ever before, and battery life has been given a boost as well.
It’s not the most powerful laptop in the world, and it won’t handle games, but for an affordable and dependable student laptop, this one is hard to beat.
Reasons to avoid
Many of the best student laptops are Chromebooks due to their fantastic value for money. They run Chrome OS, which is less resource-hungry than Windows 10, which means Chromebooks can use lower-powered hardware and still offer excellent performance.
This means Chromebooks are often a lot cheaper than Windows 10 devices, and the Acer Chromebook 314 is in our view the best budget Chromebook for students. With a low price, it means you’re not blowing your student loan on a laptop, and it still offers great features including a bright and vibrant 14-inch display and 12 hour battery life. So, you can work on this thing throughout an entire school day, and you’ll still have battery life left over.
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Best For Durability: Asus Chromebook C202sa
Can handle most productivity tasks
Locked down OS for virus protection
The ASUS Chromebook C202 is a rugged computer thats capable of being repeatedly thrown in your backpack. It has a spill-resistant keyboard, a reinforced rubber bumper to protect it from minor drops and scratches, and nano-molding technology on its edges and corners to reduce the impact of falls.
The Chromebook C202 is capable of withstanding a fall from as high as 3.9 feet and that’s particularly impressive, given that it only weighs 2.65 pounds. The C202s 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display even comes equipped with anti-glare technology, so you can work while you catch some rays on the quad. With a 180-degree hinge, you can also transform the laptop into a tablet to take full advantage of its touchscreen capability.
On the inside, it packs an Intel Celeron N3060 Processor and 16GB or 32GB of flash storage. Like other Chromebook models, the C202 also employs automatically-updating anti-virus protection so you don’t have to worry about accidentally downloading any malicious software when you’re surfing the web.
Size: 11.6 inches | Resolution: 1366×768 | CPU: Intel 1.6 GHz celeron | GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Storage: 32GB SSD | Touchscreen: Yes
“We found it a whole lot easier to use the C202SA outdoors in bright sunlight than most of the competition due to its anti-glare display.” Jeremy Laukkonen, Product Tester
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How To Choose The Best Laptop For School College Or University
How much should I spend on a student laptop?
Depending on what your studies involve and whether you plan on using your laptop for play as well as work, you can spend anywhere between a couple of hundred and a couple of thousand pounds on a student laptop.
If you’re on a tight budget or buying a laptop for your child to use for schoolwork, we recommend checking out our list of the best cheap laptops and the best laptops for kids.
However, if you want a device that will last you a number of years and has the capability to support a spot of light gaming, we recommend spending between £500 and £1,000. In this price bracket, you’ll find laptops that offer impressive performance coupled with attractive build quality.
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Do I need a fast processor and loads of RAM?
Processors and RAM arent too important if you just want a laptop for writing essays on even a cheap Chromebook is good enough for Google Docs and searching the internet.
However, if your studies require the use of more demanding software for photo or video editing, 3D design, or crunching databases, its worth putting money towards a more powerful CPU. Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors are a solid choice, while AMD’s Ryzen range of processors often rival Intel’s in terms of performance but come with a smaller price tag.
How much storage do I need?
What else do I need to look out for?
Best Convertible For Taking Notes With A Stylus
- Modern design with thin bezels and larger display
- Superior 1080p webcam
- Two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support
- Well-implemented kickstand
- Perky performance in tested Core i7 configuration
- Higher starting price diminishes entry-level appeal
- Accessories and configuration upgrades are pricey
- Keyboard base still sold separately
- USB-C ports only
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Asus Rog Strix G15 Advantage Edition
If youre serious about gaming, the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is one heck of a powerhouse. The review unit we tested had an 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, a AMD Radeon RX 6800M GPU , 16GB of memory, and 512GB of NVMe SSD storage. You can play older titles on high to very high graphics settings and newer games on medium. There are a few shortcomings, though. Battery life is lackluster and its pretty darn heavy. That said, poor battery life and a clunky form factor isnt unusual for a gaming laptop, and if youre looking to play some games when you arent busy working on assignments, this powerhouse offers much more value than most of its rivals.
What’s Important To Consider With Student Laptops
Laptops for students are not just for writing essays now but for taking part in those critical online sessions, so you need one that can handle video calls as well as documents. And with so many online classes, video meetings and virtual collaborations, students are spending more time on their laptops than ever before and to work optimally you don’t want to scrimp on an underpowered model.
We’re now in the pre-new academic year summer months, and that is good news for student laptop shoppers as plenty of retailers are currently discounting some great systems that are perfect for school and college.
If you’re wondering what separates the best college laptops from the best laptops overall or specialist systems like gaming laptops and 2-in-1 laptops, it’s that they have to satisfy two very different criteria: they need to be excellent all-rounders, and they need to be excellent value, too. That means they can’t cut any crucial corners but they need to be keenly priced.
The arrival of the best Chromebooks has given the market quite a kick. Google’s mobile-focused laptops have encouraged PC firms to up their game, as have Apple’s iPads and in fact we think you should check out T3’s best tablets guide too, because many of today’s tablets are perfectly capable laptops too. All you need is a keyboard. If you prefer Dells to Apples and laptops to tablets, though, check out our guide to the best Dell laptops.
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Ready To Start Your Journey
Advertising Disclosure: Our team independently selected these products. If you purchase a product through one of our links, we may collect compensation. Pricing and availability are accurate at the time of publication.
Tackling college courses without a laptop is unimaginable for most students. Especially when considering the needs of online learners, a functional computer is essential. Whether communicating with professors, completing online coursework, or taking notes in class, students rely on their devices to perform many basic functions of college life.
Depending on their field, degree-seekers may want superior functionality for graphic design or just basic word processing. Whatever your needs, the best laptops for college cover a broad spectrum of performance, design, and cost.
We compared dozens of top laptop rankings to compile a list of the 11 best laptops for college students. Our methodology considers factors such as price, portability, and technical features that can affect a student’s life.
Are Dell Laptops Good And Should You Buy One
ByIan Evendenpublished 26 May 21
Dell ships a huge range of portable computers, but which is the best, and are you getting value for money?
Dell has been making computers since 1984, and is one of the largest technology companies in the world and the worlds third largest computer vendor. Alongside laptops, it sells desktop PCs, servers, networking and data storage devices, and even TVs, cameras, and software. It features heavily in our list of the best home computers and the best laptops, and it makes some excellent PCs.
Its a company that does more than shift boxes, however. Its direct sales approach and build-to-order model – where customers choose the precise specifications of the computers they buy directly from Dell itself – have been both innovative and influential. As a large company that depends on mail order, it also has decent customer service, with the ability to simply return a faulty PC for replacement.
Considering all that, its laptops should be good. But theres more to producing good portable PCs than a decent supply chain. Dells range of laptops covers everything from svelte thin-and-light models to two-in-one touchscreen-equipped laptops, to powerful ultrabooks and more. Theyre the backbone of many businesses, and popular with gamers and creative types too.
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The Best Laptops For College In 2021
Finding the best laptop for college students is no easy task. In addition to offering snappy performance for note-taking and applications, the machines need to be highly portable and reasonably priced. Using our best laptop picks, we rounded up six machines that are great for college students.
We have two top recommendations depending on the operating system you prefer. The Asus ZenBook 13 is a highly portable machine with capable last-gen parts, and the Apple MacBook Air M1 showcases the best Apple has to offer at a decent price.
Looking to score a laptop on Prime Day? Make sure to check out our list of the best Prime Day deals, as well as our guide on how to find the best Prime Day laptop deals.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
If you think you can get buy with a Chromebook instead of a full laptop, then we recommend buying a Samsung product. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the newest addition to the Samsung Chromebook family and one of the most stylish options on our list. Designed with a QLED display, the contents on the screen look incredibly sharp, whether you are working or secretly watching Netflix during that boring history class. Its compact and only weighs 2.7 pounds making it great for the student who is always on the go.
In terms of firepower, it cant compete with traditional desktops or laptops, but it does come with an Intel Core i3 Processor, 8GB of Ram and 128GB of storage, which is more than the typical Chromebook. Normally priced at $700, right now you can buy the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 for just $350, making it the best laptop alternative of the summer.
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Keeping It Light: Why Weight Matters
Not every student will agree, but depending on how far you’ll haul it every day, a big-screen notebook may not be such a good idea.
It’s nice to have a mini home theater in your dorm room or play the latest games in big-screen 1080p glory, but a 5-pound-plus laptop with a 15-inch or 17-inch screen will be a chore to haul across campus while you’re running from class to class. You’re better off with something that’s light: If screen size matters less to you than convenience, a super-thin ultraportable might be the way to go.
For most people, a maximum 13- or 14-inch widescreen panel is ideal, as it will make room for other items in your backpack and minimize the weight burden. Depending on your tolerance level, a smaller display works as long as you understand that full web pages and productivity applications will involve more scrolling, and fonts will appear smaller than they do on larger screens, assuming the same resolution and zoom level.
Essays, research papers, and chatting online with your classmates will take up most of your computing time, so a full-size keyboard and a comfortable touchpad are crucial. Also know: When you venture smaller than a 13-inch-class laptop, you run the risk of not getting the same typing experience. The easiest way to ensure that you have the best keyboard is to stop by a brick-and-mortar store and spend some time typing on prospective choices of different size classes.
Asus Rog Zephyrus G14
Gaming laptops can look like they’re designed for college too. The Asus ROG Zephyrus wouldn’t look out of place amongst a sea of MacBooks, but it has a secret under its serene aesthetic: it’s super powerful. It pairs an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS with an Nvidia RTX 3060 Max-Q graphics chip for amazing gaming power that will easily deliver 100+ FPS in most modern games and Esports titles. You can take full advantage of that, too, thanks to this gaming laptop’s 144Hz refresh rate 1080p display.
This laptop isn’t big and bulky like many of its contemporaries though. Sporting a lean 0.7-inch thickness and a weight of just 3.6 pounds, it’s super portable and has a decent battery life that will mean you can game for 5-6 hours at a time before reaching for a charger. If you want even more gaming power, the new-generation Razer Blade laptops are a great alternative, but they’re more expensive and are much more easily identifiable as a gaming machine.
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