What Features Make A Good Laptop For College
Depending on the program of study, there are a few features that cant be overlooked. In general, the best laptops for college should have room for advancement. Before deciding on the best laptop to meet certain needs, make sure all the computer requirements for the program are met. This includes all applications and other programs needed.
You always want to consider the following:
If there is a lot of movement, it is important to determine how easily the laptop can be carried. How light or heavy the laptop is can make a huge difference to whether it is the right purchase for the student.
How well does the laptop perform? For students who have creative arts majors, this is very important. A lot of these programs take up a lot of space, which could slow down the computer. Additionally, purchasing a computer that is slow and cannot handle tasks very well would not be a good idea.
While it would be nice to get a computer with all the bells and whistles, this may not be the case for college students on a budget. The key is in getting all the features needed while staying within a designated price point. That may mean getting another brand that includes everything instead of the more popular brand with limited features at that price point.
Asus Zenbook Produo 15 Oled
If you are looking for a laptop that feels more traditional than a Microsoft Surface, but still manages to turn heads from time to time, then the ASUS ZenBook ProDuo 15 OLED will do just that with its secondary tilting touch sensitive display. I love the idea of having a touch screen that isnt my primary display because when Im in the zone working, the last thing I want is fingerprints all over my display.
Dont let the potentially gimmicky second screen fool you though, this is a potential powerhouse with models including up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, making this a multi-tasking, gaming, productivity powerhouse.
The main screen provides a 4K OLED HD cinema quality screen perfect for editing videos and photos for your presentations. They are aiming the marketing of this machine at photographers, programmers, video editors, musicians, animators and game streamers, but I think youll agree that sometimes when working on your postgraduate school work, you need to take skills from all those industries to succeed.
Best For Upgrading Your Child’s Current Device
If your child already has a tablet or iPad, consider buying a compatible Bluetooth keyboard to allow them to use it as a laptop.
There are lots of different keyboard options but in general Bluetooth keyboards are light-weight, the built-in battery is efficient and they allow your child to access Google Classroom and other homework portals and work on documents.
A low-cost, high-reward “hack”!
An affordable, durable entry-level laptop that’s perfect for secondary school day-to-day computing. “My first impressions were that this looks amazing and feels sturdy,” says Tom. “Fast boot-up and download speed, fast charging and it has three USB-A ports, a HDMI-out port, a headphone jack and an SD card slot, so it’s easy to add peripherals or gadgets. The battery life is only 3-4 hours, but I think most secondary students would be using this laptop at home so it’s not a big issue. I liked the built-in webcam and the privacy shield and the keyboard feels great to type on. The mousepad is responsive, too. The screen colour and resolution could be better, but for homework, internet searching and watching TV or movies it’s fine. I think this is fantastic value for money.”
The IdeaPad 3 comes with Windows 10 in S mode enabled, which may offer extra peace of mind in terms of security for your child. S mode can be disabled if you want your child to have access to apps that aren’t available in the Microsoft Store.
Assessing Graphics: Integrated Vs Dedicated
Most business PCs come with integrated graphics chips, which are a lightweight graphics-acceleration solution that’s part of the main CPU. These integrated GPUs are usually fine for business laptops, since you won’t be playing 3D games on a computer meant for work. Most professionals who require discrete graphics will use them for specialized tasks such as GPU acceleration in Photoshop, high-definition video creation in Adobe Premiere Pro, or 3D graphics visualization in architectural drawings and CAD software. Mobile-workstation-class laptops will usually come with some sort of discrete graphics, either for their 3D capabilities or to drive multiple monitors.
When evaluating graphics solutions, it’s easy to tell what tier of business laptop you’re looking at. Integrated graphics silicon is usually dubbed “Intel HD Graphics,” “Intel UHD Graphics,” “Iris Plus,” or “Iris Xe” and indicates a mainstream business machine. In contrast to integrated solutions, the most common dedicated graphics chips in laptops, as a whole, are from Nvidia’s GeForce line, but they are not usual fare in business machines. GeForce GTX or RTX chips tend to be reserved for higher-end consumer or gaming systems, though some business machines will include one of Nvidia’s lesser GeForce MX chips to give graphics a little boost. A higher-end workstation machine will tend to use dedicated graphics chips from Nvidia’s Quadro or AMD’s Radeon Pro line.
Best Business Laptop With Nvidia Rtx Graphics
- Sizzling Core i9 and RTX 3070 performance
- Choice of Nvidia professional or gaming GPUs
- Colorful RGB keyboard
- Relatively low RAM and storage ceilings for a workstation
- Mini DisplayPort or HDMI, not both
- Wi-Fi 6, not 6E
- Excellent productivity performance and battery life
- Screen could be a bit brighter
- Slight underperformance by Iris Xe graphics versus other implementations tested
- A few ounces overweight
- Fine keyboard and 16:10 aspect ratio display
- Impressive battery life
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Why You Would Choose A Laptop Vs A Chromebook
Like I mentioned, I’ve usually a strong advocate of Chromebooks for education. That’s mostly because they are so economical and a good entry point for online learning. But, your high schooler will be spending more time on the computer and need more power and storage. Their education may require complex programs that require downloaded software.
Laptops are definitely a better choice for high schoolers who you are going to be using the computer for gaming or design programs, such as Photoshop or CAD. If your high schooler is really techie and interested in programming, a laptop is the way to go.
You see, Chromebooks are meant to work on their own operating system and were built to run off an internet connection. They are a way more affordable in price but have basic minimal features whereas laptops come with more storage, faster processors, and more bells and whistles. It is very easy for older kids to become frustrated using Chromebooks if they are trying to run multiple tabs at the same time.
Dell Precision 5750 Mobile Workstation
Almost anything in Dells business or gaming line of laptops will work well for postgraduate students to do nearly any workload required of them. The advantage of their business line is that the build quality is better and as such, protects the expensive components within better than their consumer line. The Dell Precision 5750 has a 17 screen but doesnt weigh you down like some other 17 laptops on the market.
It comes in a wide variety of configurations from different CPUs, to different amounts of RAM and with integrated or discrete graphics, so what you get from this machine depends on the money you spend, but even the lowest end Precision 5750 is a great machine with 8GB of RAM, a 10th generation Intel i5 processor and a high quality 1920 x 1200 pixel screen. The battery on the base model is a bit small for the size of the screen at only 56 Wh so wed recommend upgrading to get the 97 Wh battery of the more up market configurations.
Did you know that the maximum battery size you can carry on a plane is 100 Wh? Most of Dells Precision 5750 models nearly touch that mark.
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Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Go 2
The Surface brand is desirable, and thanks to the Surface Go 2, it’s no longer out of reach for folks on tighter budgets. The base model is easily a match for any other low-cost laptop, with the bonus of a touchscreen with inking support. Inking is essential because the size of the Surface Go 2 makes it a truly spectacular digital notebook and sketchpad when used with something such as Microsoft OneNote.
The Intel Pentium processor, 64GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM are perfect for lighter computing needs. While the optional Type Cover will get the best experience from it, it’s not a compulsory purchase. You can alternatively just use any wired or wireless keyboard you may already have to type on the Surface Go and save money.
The Surface Go is a proper Surface but with a much more attractive price. And that’s what makes it so special it’s a Surface for everyone. And for schoolwork, in particular, this is a fantastic device, with enough flexibility to be used for recreation time when the work is all done. It’s a grown-up PC that younger users will adore.
Samsung Galaxy Book Ion
Need an affordable laptop with outstanding battery life? The Galaxy Book Ion might be just what youre looking for. It promises up to 20 hours of battery life like the MacBook Pro but at a much more friendly price point. The QLED screen is another standout feature , with fantastic picture quality in any light, including outdoors. Unlike some other laptops, the Galaxy Book Ion includes an HDMI port to make it easy to connect an external monitor or projector with no adapter needed.
Perhaps coolest of all: the touchpad doubles as a wireless charger! Lay any Qi-certified device on the touchpad to charge , and you can leave your separate cell phone charger at home. Choose from 13.3 or 15.6 screen size, both with 512GB of internal memory.
Teacher Discount: Samsung offers a 10% education discount when you buy directly from their site.
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.
Best Buy Customers Often Prefer The Following Products When Searching For Laptops For School Work
A laptop is a great tool for students. It’s portable, so you can take it to class and work on assignments, and it’s powerful enough to handle most schoolwork. Browse the top-ranked list of laptops for school work below along with associated reviews and opinions.
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 3579 reviews
Conduct academic research with this 14-inch HP Chromebook. Its Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of DDR4 RAM let you run multiple browser tabs at once without performance lag, and the 32GB of flash storage provides quick access to files. This HP Chromebook lasts up to 10.75 hours on a single charge, so you can work untethered.See all Chromebooks
Conduct academic research with this 14-inch HP Chromebook. Its Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of DDR4 RAM let you run multiple browser tabs at once without performance lag, and the 32GB of flash storage provides quick access to files. This HP Chromebook lasts up to 10.75 hours on a single charge, so you can work untethered.$218.99Your price for this item is $218.99ClearanceThe regular price is $319.00Check Stores
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What You Need To Know Before Buying A Laptop
Processor: This is what drives everything. The processor is the central chip in your machine that receives commands from applications and tells all the other components inside what to do. The more gigahertz in your processor, the faster it can process. Speed without slowdowns is key for anyone looking to multitask and run as many apps as they want. Whether working, or watching movies , a decent processor will keep up the speed with little to no lag. Anywhere from 3-5GHz should suffice for the average user.
Screen: Theres been a resolution revolution in the past few years, and laptop screens can now be as beautifully detailed as your home flatscreen, often in 1080p with sharp, rich color. Some laptops even offer a touchscreen too. And size matters screens can be compact or go all the way up to 17+ inches. If youll be working on-the-go, some screens offer an anti-glare coating, which can be extremely helpful when working outside or on a flight. Contrast and brightness makes a big difference too, and can really bring out the crisp details in every pixel.
Keys: It may seem like an afterthought, but comfortable keys definitely count. Go for something thats evenly-spaced and doesnt require hard pressing, with just enough spring and bounce-back to let your fingers fly when youre taking notes or get a sudden idea or inspiration. Some are also backlit for night-typing, perfect for when the cabin lights go off during your next overnight flight.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
One of the disadvantages of the Surface Pro X is that it uses an ARM processor, and this means that sometimes the fringe applications wont work on the version of Windows that the Surface Pro X runs, but the Surface Pro 7 is just as capable, and uses normal Intel processors, meaning that it runs the normal version of Windows and is compatible with all of the applications you might need to use to complete your postgraduate degree.
The Surface Pro 7 comes with a slightly smaller screen at 12.3, but you wont really notice the difference as the resolution of the screen at 2736 x 1824 pixels means it has the same number of pixels per inch as the Surface Pro X.
If you need more storage than the Surface Pro X provides, then the Surface Pro 7 also meets your needs here with up to 1TB of storage space.
The one downside of the Surface Pro 7 over the Surface Pro X in our experience is the battery life though with a rated battery life of around 10.5 hours, but the biggest advantage is that it is priced at a lower cost than the Surface Pro X, making it easier to afford the accessories that make this even more of a productivity system.
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Best Laptop For Work And School For The Money: Asus Vivobook S15 S530
The Asus VivoBook S15 S530 is thin, stylish and offers the best value for money from our choices. Its hard not to appreciate its 15.6 full HD screen surrounded by ultra-slim bezels.
An i5 core processor in combination with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD storage power this wonderful model.
This Asus model has an aluminum chassis, a backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader. The gray metal finish comes in four vibrant accents to fit different tastes.
What is more, the three-sided narrow edge display results in 86% screen to body ratio, providing an immersive display with wide viewing angles.
When you open the laptop, hinges tilt the keyboard up 3.5 degrees to give you a comfortable typing position. This position also helps to boost the cooling process and audio quality from the down-firing speakers.
This laptop also features multiple connectivity options. On the right-hand side, theres an audio jack, USB-C port, HDMI port. On the left, you get a micro SD card reader and USB 3.1 port.
However, most workers and students would prefer a standard-sized SD card reader since many devices like cameras use that. A workaround for this small compromise would be to get an adapter.
The Vivobook s15 uses Asuss Wi-Fi Master technology, to offer you a faster and reliable connection over a considerable distance. It can receive a reliable connection even when 225 meters away from the router thats 65 meters further than what standard laptops use.
What We Like
What We Dont Like
Best Budget Gaming Laptop For College
- High-refresh display with support for AMD FreeSync
- Potent Ryzen 4000 series processor
- 16GB of RAM in under-$1000 test configuration
- Good battery life and speakers
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Single-color keyboard, versus RGB keyboard of the Alpha 15
- CPU runs hot under load
- Can’t quite match gaming frame rates of GeForce GTX 1660 Ti notebooks
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Best Laptop For Elementary School
For younger students, a touchscreen device is easier to use than a keyboard and touchpad, says Michelle Glogovac. Glogovacs five-year-old son uses an iPad for Webex meetings with his kindergarten class. Hes gotten the hang of it Glogovac says hes already learned how to mute and unmute himself, a skill that many adults arent familiar with.
That said, it may be worth investing in a keyboard case if you go the tablet route. Glogovac has to type her sons meeting codes and passwords for him, which can be cumbersome on the iPads flat screen.
As kids get older, their best laptop choice will vary depending on their needs. As a parent, its important that you and your child are in sync about how they intend to use it and the size of the programs they want.
Kristin Wallace purchased a budget HP laptop for her daughter, Bella, but didnt realize how quickly the nine-year-old would fill up 32GB of storage. It is really slow and has no space for games. I need a computer with more storage space, said Bella, who uses the laptop to Zoom with friends and take virtual guitar lessons and math enrichment classes. Wallace plans to buy Bella a better device in the next few weeks.
Durability is also worth paying for, according to Mitchell. If youre using a tablet, get a protective case. If a reasonably-priced insurance or replacement policy is available, its usually worth the extra expense.
- : a sturdy touchscreen Chromebook