Friday, November 25, 2022

How Much Is A Good Laptop For College

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The Best Student Laptop Deals This Week*

The essential laptop buying checklist for school, college and everyday use

*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains

Also note that most schools offer price breaks for particular vendors and include extensive software bundles, which can shave off a good amount from your laptop purchase. So you might want to look into the campus store as a first shopping destination, before you hit your local superstore or favorite online seller.

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Light Computing Students: Spend $200 to $500 on a Laptop

For students who fit into that “light computing” category for example, those majoring in communications, English, political science, and humanities you can generally avoid spending top dollar on the system. However, the lowest prices come with limitations. Your rock bottom price is likely going to be around $200, but you could spend up to $500 for an excellent all-rounder that will serve your average student majoring in anything from business to science.

Chromebooks are available for as little as $200 to $300. A Chromebook could be a great, cost-effective solution that will cover basic word processing and web browsing with ease, but you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection at all times to get the best from it, as it doesn’t feature an Ethernet port. HP also has its Chromebook alternative called the HP Stream 11, a Windows 8.1-powered laptop complete with Celeron processor, which we’ve seen for as low as $188.

Beyond that, there’s no need to spend much more than $500 for a good, solid Windows laptop, because that will buy you something with a Haswell or Broadwell Core i3 or Core i5 processor, at least 4GB of RAM, and at least a 500GB hard drive. These specs will cater well to most student needs. As a general rule of thumb, you can avoid laptops with expensive graphics cards, gimmicky hybrids with detachable touchscreens that serve as tablets, and premium builds because they all add unnecessary cost.

A Note on Apple

Can You Take It Everywhere

Portability is key if youre going to classes every day. You need something small and light enough to put in your backpack.

But portability also relates to how strong the device is. A good quality unit wont get damaged the first time you accidentally bump it against something. And dont worry manufacturers know what your niche needs so youll find the right combination of features out there.

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Ipad Pro The Mac Alternative For Education

If your coursework can be accomplished via a web app or you do not need any specific desktop-based applications, you may want to try an iPad for school. If you’re using an iPad for schoolwork, you’ll likely want a keyboard and trackpad as well, which does add to the overall cost.

Of course, there is also the option of buying the iPad as an add-on device and use it as a small note-taking tablet with Apple Pencil or as an extended display for your Mac with SideCar. However, should you decide to take advantage of the iPad, the device can significantly enhance any workflow.

As a reminder, the iPad can only run apps from the App Store, so you’ll need to ensure you can perform your classwork from the iPad before purchasing the device.

What Is A College Laptop

Top 10 Best Laptops For Back To School 2020

You may get a confused look if you ask a shop assistant for a college laptop. They arent necessarily called this as a rule. They can also be used in various other applications so your college laptop can also be your mothers blogging tool.

However college laptops have certain features in common such as making it easy to take to class. They also fall into price categories students or their parents can afford compared to when youre purchasing a state of the art design laptop for a flourishing company.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Best Keyboard


  • Solid performance on top-spec model


The Surface Laptop Go is pitched directly to students, and its a solid option at every stage of education.

Microsofts classic Surface Laptop design is retained at this more affordable price point, with slim bezels giving the impression of a much more high-end device. That extends to performance on the top-spec Core i5 model, but might not be the case on cheaper variants.

The Laptop Gos keyboard is one of the best youll find anywhere, while the thin and light design makes it very portable. Its missing backlit keys and battery life is underwhelming, but its definitely worth considering if you dont value the Surface Laptop Go 2s upgrades.

How To Choose The Best Laptops For Engineering Students

So, what exactly makes for the best laptops for engineering students? Since you’re likely to be running complex programs like AutoCAD, you’re definitely going to need a laptop with enough power to run them.

We recommend a laptop with the latest Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chips, and at the very least, 8GB of RAM though 16GB is even better.

Many of the programs engineering students rely on are also graphically intensive programs especially CAD, MATLAB and Solid Works, which are used for 3D modelling and video rendering. This means that it’s crucial to have a laptop with a dedicated graphics card – rather than an integrated one powered by the processor.

This is why the best gaming laptops are also ideal choices for engineering students, since they offer that kind of graphic power, and the fact that they can handle games for unwinding after classes is just the cherry on top.

A large screen with a high resolution is also advisable, and if you’re going to be working on site a lot, Finally, it would be a fine idea to take a look at some of the rugged or well-built laptops that are built to withstand accidents on work sites.

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Ipad Pro 129in Best Premium Hybrid


  • Superb M1 chip limited by iPadOS
  • Expensive

Ok, so its technically a tablet but Apple has done such a good job with the iPad Pro over the last few years that its actually a great choice as a hybrid.

The iPad Pro has long represented the finest best tablet money can buy, and the M1 chip takes already-excellent performance to the next level. A stunning 12.9in, 120Hz display makes for a delightful viewing experience, while the large battery can make it through a full work day.

Pairing it with Magic Keyboard really does turn the iPad Pro into a laptop-style device with trackpad and all plus you might also benefit from the advanced features available with the Apple Pencil.

However, these are both expensive accessories, meaning you can easily pay well over £1,000/US$1,000 overall. That could be a sticking point, especially when iPadOS still lacks Mac-level apps.

Nonetheless, its an amazing all-in-one setup if you can afford it.

Choose The Operating System

How much should you pay for the perfect laptop for your school?

Windows 10 is one of the most popular operating system today. You may find it pre-installed in pretty much every laptop these days. It is easy to use. You can install any software, be it productivity to entertainment to games. Depending on what youre studying, there might be specific system requirements such as Mac OS or Linux.

This is something to consider. Of example, if you need a software package that runs on a Mac, you wont be able to do that on a Windows laptop. However, a MacBook or a MacBook Pro is expensive, but you can choose to install Windows on it as well. Laptops running Linux might be more affordable than ones that come with Windows pre-installed. This might save your money, but youll need to spend a bit more to get a copy of Windows.

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Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Laptop For College

Dont make the mistake of buying the wrong operating system. Some school programs will specifically require either a Windows or OSX-based laptop for programs like Photoshop and Gimp. If your learning is strictly reading books, writing papers, and taking quizzes, then you might not need the aforementioned operating systems. In that case opt for a Chromebook, especially if all your activities will be Web based.

Another thing to avoid is having too little RAM or hard drive space. A solid laptop for students will have just enough storage capacity and RAM for studying, completing assignments, and play. If your degree program requires a lot of heavy-duty software, find a laptop that has 4GB of RAM or more and a hard drive with 500GB of storage space or more. This will be enough to ensure that any software you throw on your computer runs smoothly without any hiccups. And keep in mind that an SSD hard drive will result in better performance and increase speeds as well, especially start up time.

And never buy at full retails. As a student always be on the look for those student discounts, even if something already seems cheap!

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

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What Processor Do I Need In A Laptop For College

After settling on your budget, the CPU is probably the biggest decision you’re going to have to make when figuring out what is the best laptop for college. Not too long ago this was very much a one horse race, with Intel claiming all the major design wins for its mobile chips and basically enjoying a monopoly in the laptop space. AMD’s Ryzen chips have changed that, and there’s now a real choice to be made: AMD or Intel.

If you want to pick up an AMD-powered laptop, it’s worth trying to find one packing a Ryzen 4000-series CPU, as they represent a significant leap in performance over their predecessors. Not only are these CPUs decent power houses in their own right, with plenty of cores and threads to chew through your work, but the integrated graphics they offer are actually pretty decent as welloffering at least double the performance of their Intel stablemates.

As for Intel chips, there are plenty of options out there. A confusing amount to be honest. If your needs are modest, then an Intel Pentium chip isn’t truly awful, but you do get a lot more by going up to a Core i3 chip, so that would be our lowest recommendation. From there, the more you spend, the more powerful chips become available. For normal college work you don’t really need an i5 or i7, but they can provide more raw grunt if you need it.

Is A 256gb Ssd Enough For School

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Youll want enough storage for the operating system, your applications, and all of the documents and other files youll need to keep up with your studies. Microsoft recommends 32GB for Windows 10 itself, and you can figure that at least 50GB will be required once your laptop is up and running. Then, youll want to factor in your applications and keep in mind that many games can take up a few gigabytes all by themselves. That means that a 128GB SSD might be a little light and that 256GB is likely a better starting point.

If you want to balance cost and expandability, then look for a laptop with an SD card slot. Today, you can add a 400GB micro SD card for around $60, meaning that if your local storage gets maxed out its possible to greatly expand the space available for your most important documents. Also, if you use a cloud storage service like Microsofts OneDrive that allows you to store all of your documents offline and then download only those you need right now, then you can save on local storage requirements.

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Huawei Matebook X Pro 2020

The Huawei Matebook X Pro has outstanding performance and portability. It has a 13.9 touchscreen display with a high-resolution, 3000 x 2000 feature. Researching and multitasking with other programs all at once are feasible because its base model has a 10th generation Intel i5-10210U processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD.

To keep it interesting, this has a built-in NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU, which wont allow you to play the latest games, but it will help with some basic CAD or physics simulations. The battery capacity is 56 Wh which should get you through a typical five to seven hour day without plugging in, though they do advertise up to thirteen hours of battery life in ideal conditions.

Best Cheap College Laptops Under $300

Why we like it:

Editors Rating:

TypeHere you have a 2 in 1 design: Firstly a proper laptop type but note that its a Chromebook which runs on unique software. But its also a tablet and a presentation console. The hinge allows you to position the screen in a way thats ideal for everyone who need to view it.

Instead of only taking notes this can be your tool for doing an impressive presentation with slides or simply enjoy viewing images with your college friends. After all you want some entertainment when you take a break from studying. In tent mode you can have your laptop standing upright to view the screen without the device taking up much space.

General FeaturesThis is a touch screen laptop which makes it easy to scroll online or quickly browse through slides when you study.

Its at the top of our list because of high end features embedded in an affordable device such as anti glare technology. This is perfect for sitting in front of your class notes for hours during exam times.

It has 4GB RAM and a 2.1 GHz processor from Intel.

Hard DriveThe hard drive only has 32GB storage space with the eMMC feature.

PortabilityAt only 3lb its easy to carry in your bag. The size also works. On the 11.6x 8.1 x 0.8 device you can see clearly but it fits into your backpack with ease.

Just note that this is a Chromebook so its not designed for Windows operating systems. Youll have to work mostly via Google Drive and apps on the Play Store.

  • Only one USB
  • Cant load Windows

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Best Laptop For College Gamers: Razer Blade 14

One thing that many college students like to do is gaming or at least I hope that wasnt just me. It used to be pretty hard to find a laptop that could handle demanding games and was still easy to carry around, but today, things have gotten a lot better. The Razer Blade 14 is a powerful gaming laptop, but its still portable enough that you can carry it around at school without too much of a hassle.

Lets talk performance first: The Razer Blade 14 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, which is a powerful 45W processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.6GHz. AMD Ryzen processors are quite powerful, too, and despite the lower clock speeds, they can give Intel processors a run for their money in many scenarios. The Blade 14 also comes with NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics up to an RTX 3080, and thats a version with 100W of power a very impressive number for a laptop this small. You also get 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage, though that storage is upgradeable down the line. Unfortunately, thats not the case for the RAM.

For the webcam, the Razer Blade 14 sticks with a 1MP/720p camera, which isnt fantastic, but also not uncommon. Some gaming laptops dont have cameras at all or put them in terrible places, and at least the Blade 14 avoids that. Its not the best camera around, but its a laptop college students can use for online meetings and classes in a pinch.

Keeping It Light: Why Weight Matters

$250 Laptop: Can you use it? – CHEAP Laptop for Students?

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.

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