What Is The Best College Laptop
We feel strongly about the Envy 13 and the Envy x360 13 as the best laptops for college students. Not everyone is on a budget, but most folks will want to save as much money as possible so they can pay off student loans. If you’re in this group, the Envy 13 and Envy x360 13 deliver premium specs and features at a reasonable, sub-$1,000 price.
The Envy 13 might be a mid-range notebook but it looks and feels like a more premium machine. The Envy also delivers fast performance from 11th Gen Intel CPUs, it has a great screen, and it’s portable enough to carry around campus. Then there’s the Envy 13 x360, which has all of those traits in a convertible chassis and is assisted by AMD’s powerful Ryzen 4000 CPUs. Need a larger screen? The HP Envy 14, as the name suggests, is essentially a 14-inch version of the Envy 13.
Apple fans who prefer macOS should opt for the new MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro. The fanless MacBook Air with M1 is a good choice for those on a budget but the 13-inch MacBook Pro delivers longer battery life and sustained performance. If you don’t have a budget, consider the Microsoft Surface Pro Studio, the Dell XPS 15 or one of the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pros. You could also go big on the Dell XPS 17, the best 17-inch laptop around.
Find The Perfect Laptop Computer To Get You Through College
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The best laptops for college students need to be light and portable enough to carry to classes, have enough RAM and storage to handle productivity needs, and be priced to fit a limited budget. We’ve reviewed laptops that support a variety of operating systems, including Windows 10, Chrome OS, and macOS, from well-known brands like Dell, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Apple, and others to see which ones will work best for the specific needs of different students.
Our top pick, the ASUS ZenBook 14, is a well rounded workhorse of a laptop. It’s simple and sleek with a metal build, reasonable weight, affordable price, and specs that can handle spreadsheets, browsing, videos, and everything else a student might need. Its 14 inch form factor is an ideal compromise between productivity and portability. If your needs are more budget-specific, you should take a look at our list of the best laptops under $500. For all others, our list of the best laptops for college students should give you plenty to chew on.
Fast and well rounded performance
Highly portable form factor
Not particularly powerful
Buy Macbook Air Vs Macbook Pro For College
As one of the most frequently asked questions from students, getting MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro for college has no definitive answer it all depends on your specific requirements and needs. MacBook Air, for example, is generally considered the best Mac for college students at large, due to its light configuration and long battery life. Its also one of the cheap Mac laptops that nevertheless covers all the basics.
Those who anticipate spending lots of time working on complex projects need to look for an advanced processor, large storage capacity, high-resolution display, or all at once. MaBook Pro is a great option here, since it offers much more power without sacrificing portability and lightness. On the other hand, its safe to say that if you need a laptop simply for research and written assignments, then a MacBook Pro might be a waste of money. But dont let that stop you just yet, since you could be eligible for the Apple MacBook Pro student discount.
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Dell Xps 13 Battery Life
Thanks to its 11th Gen processor and graphics card, the Dell XPS 13 is classified as an Intel Evo laptop. As such, its supposed to last at least 9 hours of battery life for 1080p systems. But, this is a 4K system and when the system ran the Laptop Mag Battery Test, it lasted only 7 hours and 32 minutes.
Thats longer than the Spectre and Flow X13s times of 7:14 and 6:30, respectively. However, its well short of the 10:04 premium laptop average. The Yoga 9i and MacBook Pro also lasted significantly longer, clocking in at 11:15 and 16:32, respectively.
How To Choose The Best 13
There’s a lot to consider beyond screen size when choosing the best 13-inch laptop.
The first is portability. 13-inch laptops are popular, especially among college students, because they offer a good balance between screen real estate and portability. The Dell XPS 13 is a great example. It weighs around 2 pounds and is just 0.5 inches thick yet you get a 13.3-inch edge-to-edge display.
Battery life is another key component because portable machines should deliver long runtimes. Consider a laptop that gets at least 9 hours of battery life, which should be enough to get you through a full day of work or a long international flight.
When it comes to specs, we recommend buying a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM and a minimum of 256GB of storage. While Intel had things on lock for years, any of the latest chips from Intel, AMD or Apple should be sufficient for most users.
Other things to consider include a comfy keyboard and a sensitive touchpad. And when it’s time to watch Netflix or YouTube, be sure to get a laptop with a vivid and bright display .
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Does Storage Matter What Does Ssd Mean
The level of storage you need depends on the tasks you intend your laptop for. Aside from software, which can take up gigabytes in space, storage is needed for files including media — such as television shows or films — music, photos, and documents.
Traditional hard drives are slowly being phased out in preference for solid state drives , which are flash-based, use less energy, and are significantly faster. However, they are also usually more expensive. Alternatively, eMMC storage cards, usually found in Chromebooks, are an embedded form of storage suitable for these light devices due to the hardware’s tiny size.
What You Need To Know About Mac Laptop Prices
When you first start comparing Mac laptop prices, it might seem as though MacBook deals for college students are not that cheap. However, once you dive deeper into your search for the top computer on the market, youll not only find many cheap Mac laptops, but realize that even the most expensive models are completely worth their price, due to their exceptional longevity and overall efficiency.
Besides, if youre a registered student, youre eligible for the Apple college discount to use towards your new Mac from Apples Education Store. Occasionally, there are some back-to-school deals too, usually during the summer months the right time to buy a MacBook.
Want to find additional ways to save money but still get the best MacBook for college? Consider shopping at Apples refurbished store or buying a cheap Mac laptop secondhand.
Now that you know everything about Mac education pricing, lets explore some of the best laptops for college students on the market right now.
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The Dell Xps 13 Has All The Hallmarks Of An Excellent Laptop: Strong Performance A Lightweight And Striking Design A Comfortable Keyboard And A Gorgeous Display
- Screen: 13.4-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 non-touch ~ 3,840 x 2400 touch
- Processor: 11th-gen Intel Core i5 ~ Intel Core i7
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home
- Memory and storage: 8GB ~ 16GB of RAM, 256GB ~2TB storage
Pros: Excellent design, attractive screen, long battery life, good performance
Cons: Webcam could be better
Dell’s flagship laptop has always stood out for its eye-catching design, nearly borderless screen, and solid performance. That’s still true in 2021 with the newest version of the Dell XPS 13, which runs on Intel’s 11th-generation processors and now offers the option for an OLED display. The cheapest model is currently on sale for $783.99 through Dell, which is a great price for a laptop of this caliber.
The XPS 13’s design is a big part of what makes it a great choice for college students in particular. It starts at just 2.6 pounds, making it even lighter than the MacBook Air. Since there are barely any borders framing its screen, Dell was able to cram a 13-inch screen in what’s essentially the size of an 11-inch laptop. That could be useful for college students in need of a portable laptop that will fit in almost any bag.
The XPS 13 also has one of the most comfortable keyboards I’ve ever typed on, a perk students will appreciate when writing long papers or taking notes in class.
Choose The Operating System
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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Dell Xps 13 Performance
Outfitted with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, the Dell XPS 13 is a little firecracker. The laptop handled streaming an episode of Jujutsu Kaisen on HBO Max with 45 additional tabs, some playing Twitch, TweetDeck and .
The notebook also held up against our synthetic tests, scoring 5,365 on the Geekbench 5 overall performance test, which was enough to top the 4,104 premium laptop average and the Spectre . However, the Yoga 9i , MacBook Pro and Flow X13 all outpaced the XPS 13.
There was a slip up on the Handbrake test the XPS 13 took 18 minutes and 33 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. Its slower than the 16:54 category average. The Spectre was somewhat faster with a time of 18:05 while the Yoga 9i and MacBook Pro clocked in at 14:24 and 13:38, respectively. The Flow X13 had the fastest time at 8:43.
The XPS 13s SSD duplicated 25GB of mixed media for a transfer rate of 814.4 megabytes per second, crushing the 604.5MBps average. The Flow 13s 1TB M.2 2230 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD delivered a speed of 779.5MBps while the Spectre reached 764MBps and the Yoga 9i hit 692.3MBps.
What Are The Best Laptops For College
The methodology for our ranking is based on a weighted score from aggregated ratings from high-quality consumer site and rankings such as Laptop Mag, CNET, Macworld UK, PC Mag, Laptop Mag, Tech Radar, WIRED, PC World, Laptop Ninja, Digital Trends, and more.
We went through multiple computer review sites and took an aggregate of the scores by standardizing them to a scale from 0-100. We then took an aggregate of those scores to come up with our rankings.
The Chromebook R 11 Convertible is another outstanding, value-driven product from Acer. A Chromebook that opens with a 360° hinge, becoming a tablet with multi-touch IPS technology and an 11.6 screen. The Chromebook 11 can also be used in a stand-up position or tent mode, giving students tons of flexibility. A stylish look featuring aluminum paneling, the Acer Chromebook R 11 is also thin and light, weighing only 2.76 pounds. An Intel Celeron N3150 Quad Core processor with 32GB SSD and 4GB of memory offers a solid machine for a student lifestyle.
The Acer Chromebook R 11 will keep you connected with its featured MIMO 802.11ac wireless. A superior webcam provides a vivid picture, making images pop and video chats even better. With 2 full-size USB ports, an SD reader, and surprisingly strong audio features, the Acer Chromebook R 11 delivers a lot of features for such a moderate price-point. A strong battery life of around 10 hours adds to the appeal.
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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.
Estimated Cost Range: $1999
The estimated retail expense for the recommended laptop options ranges from approximately $1,999 to $2,599. The AppleCare Protection Plan is an additional $349. The USB SuperDrive is an additional $79. All students at UC Blue Ash are eligible for Apple Educational Pricing, which will reduce the expense of the selected computer by about $100.
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
If youre looking for an excellent typing experience, look no further than the Surface Laptop 4. Microsoft has been killing it with its recent Surface Laptops keyboards, and this one is no exception. Though theyre not as deep and springy as ThinkPads, the buttons here are super responsive and offer ample travel. The roomy trackpad is solid, too.
Of course, its important that the Surface Laptop 4 deliver on everything else, or we wouldnt recommend it. The 15-inch version that we tested offered breezy performance, respectable battery life and a lovely 3:2 Pixelsense screen that supports Microsofts Surface Pen input. Though its design is a little staid, the Surface Laptop 4 still has a clean, professional look and a luxurious aluminum case that’s sturdy enough to withstand being stuffed in your backpack on the regular. Plus, at 3.4 pounds, it won’t burden your shoulders much.
The best thing about the Surface Laptop 4 is that the base model, which comes equipped with AMDs Ryzen 5 processor and 8GB of RAM, starts at $1,000. That rivals the Dell XPS 13, making it a better buy for the value conscious you get more screen, more power and more RAM for the money. Both the Surface and the XPS are great options, but the latter offers an OLED panel and thinner bezels that make it look more modern.
Best Laptop For College
College kids are justified in spending a bit more money than other age groups. Some can expect to do some fairly demanding work. Assad Abid, an electrical engineering undergrad from Pakistan, needs to run simulation software for his assignments. Aakash Chandra, a student at New Horizon College of Engineering in India, does a lot of coding, in addition to creative work in Premiere Pro and Photoshop, and gaming. Students also noted that its worthwhile to pay for a laptop that will last for a few years after graduation. That means you wont have to worry about finding and financing your next device until youre settled into a job.
But among high-end, capable devices theres still a wide range of options. Students stressed that a college laptop should be light. Expect to bring it between classes, meals, meetings, the library, and other locations on campus. Its a boon that I can carry my laptop as well as some notebooks without feeling like Im carrying too much for six hours a day, says Haseeb Waseem, a senior at Villanova University.
The Dell XPS 13 has a variety of configurations. Students with light workloads may prefer the base model, while gamers and creatives can add a GPU.
Another universally-lauded feature: battery life. Waseem, who uses an HP Spectre, says the all-day juice gives him the flexibility to study in a bunch of different locations, and even outside.
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How Can I Get A Free Laptop From The Government
Freecycle is an online-only platform that you can use to get free computers and laptops from the government. It is a Non-Profit Organization that gives recycles items for use. You can fill the application form online if you are a needy one and this local organization will give you recycle items for use.