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Which Laptop Should I Buy For College

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What Is A 2

Which laptop should I buy for University? | Student Tips

A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that operates both like a laptop and a tablet. As a tablet laptop hybrid, it’s lightweight and offers tablet-style features like a touch screen, but has an operating system like a PC. To put it simply, it’s a laptop that turns into a tablet.

A 2-in-1 laptop is a great option for a college student who prefers to keep up with one device for all their school needs. It’s thinner and sleeker than the traditional laptop which makes 2-in-1 laptops quick and easy to pack up and put in a backpack. Some come with detachable keyboards, while others offer attached keyboards with a 360-degree hinge. Both options showcase the 2-in-1 laptop’s versatility compared to the traditional laptop or tablet. In class or watching a lecture? There’s options for that too. Take notes by typing on the attached or detached keyboard, but there’s also the stylus option where you can take notes directly on to the touch screen. Check out options at HP, Lenovo or Dell.

Due to the thin nature of the 2-in-1 laptop, one of the biggest disadvantages is the processing power. If you’re wanting to utilize it for both school work and gaming â a traditional laptop is your best bet.

Whether your child is learning at home or at school, a laptop, tablet or Chromebook is an essential tool for them to excel in their classes, complete their homework and stay in touch with friends and family.

How We Test The Best College Laptops

College students, no matter the season live in a highly mobile situation, where they’re going to want a laptop that can last a while on a single charge. That’s why we test laptops with our afore-mentioned web-surfing-based battery test, which involves setting each laptop’s display to 150 nits of brightness and measuring how long it can last while loading an endless stream of web pages.

On top of that, we test each laptop’s performance with a mix of every day usage, and performance-measuring benchmarks such as Geekbench for the CPU and our own storage speed tests to see how fast these laptops can clone big blocks of data.

We measure each laptop’s display via the readings recorded by our light gun, one of two pieces of hardware that we use to measure how bright a screen can get and how much of the sRGB color spectrum it can produce.

Be sure to check out all of our guides to get you ready to go back to school:

Best Laptop For Computer Science Students

Our choice for the best laptop for computer science students is the Microsoft Surface 3.

This is an excellent all-around computer that will have all of the bells and whistles that you might be looking for in your laptop.


Starting with the design, the Surface 3 has a 13.5 inch touchscreen display. This means that it is a little bit smaller than some of the other laptops that we have looked at, but still in the size range for what you should be looking for in a laptop. The laptop has a few colour options to choose from as well, whether you prefer Cobalt Blue, Matte Black, New Sandstone, or even Platinum.

Looking at its ports, the Surface 3 has a USB Type-C port and USB Type-A ports as well. These will allow you to connect it to other displays, docking stations, or any kind of accessory that might need that connectivity. The device is very lightweight, only weight 2.79 pounds, making it incredibly easy to carry around.

The battery life of the Surface 3 is amazing, lasting up to 11.5 hours on one charge. Then, if you have killed the battery, you can go to a full charge in just over an hour. The trackpad on this laptop is also about 20 percent larger than the trackpad on the Surface 2, giving you more room to work with.


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Best For Design/photoshop Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The Surface Pro 6 is flexible, versatile and ultra portable.

Price: | Features: Convertible design, touchscreen, 12.3 display

WHY ITS A TOP PICK: If youre in creative design, the Surface Book Pro loves to get drawn on.

With Microsofts Surface Pro, youre in for a treat. Fast, portable, and easy to set up. The Surface Pro 6 also offers two different uses laptop, and tablet . This adds to the portability, making it fantastic for the on-the-go student and one of our top picks for one of the best college laptops.

With the base unit starting with a 12.3-inch display, an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage, the Surface Pro 6 is perfect for the student that can handle the demands of Graphic Design and/or demanding software tools like CAD and Photoshop. From graphic cards, we suggest one from the GeForce GTX 16 series.

And the ability to transform the Surface Pro into a tablet is another great feature because it removes the need for another device. With this feature, you get a 2-in-1 laptop, which is excellent build quality. However, if your primary intent is to get a tablet, then the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a better choice. Its truly one of the best student laptops for college students. Dont forget the best laptop bags to protect your device.

Price: View Price | Features: Intel Celeron N3350 processor, 15.6 FHD touchscreen

WHY ITS A TOP PICK: The Acer Chromebook 15 is perfect for work or play on campus.

Best Student Laptops : The Very Best Laptops For Students

Best Laptops for College Students under $500

These are the best student laptops for going back to school, blended learning and studying remotely

ByRobert Jones, Yasmine Crossland Last updated 2021-09-01T13:03:06.323Z

Studying today, no matter if you are at school, college or university, is markedly different from a few years ago, with a new emphasis placed on online remote learning. There’s significantly less face-to-face time, more virtual seminars and lessons, as well as more resources being delivered purely online.

All of that means that it is now more important than ever to own one of the best student laptops of 2021.

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.

So how do you choose the best student laptop? Price is important, of course, but it shouldn’t be your sole criteria. That’s why our guide covers so many options, manufacturers and operating systems: every student is different and that means their requirements will differ.

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Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 15


For creative work like video editing, 3D design, architecture, music production or similar disciplines, you need something a little more powerful than the average laptop for students. You need a capable processor, a powerful GPU to handle all the 3D calculations, and a gorgeous, high-resolution display to show it all on. Or how about two of them?

The Asus Pro Duo 15 features not just one gorgeous OLED display, but two, giving you some of the best color clarity and contrast of any laptop out there, whilst also opening up the potential for heaps of touchscreen controls, right at your fingertips. To power this bevy of pixels, it comes equipped with a top-tier 10th-generation Intel CPU, and pairs it with an Nvidia RTX 3070.

The GPU there is monstrously powerful, and though the CPU isn’t quite cutting edge, it has eight cores with 16 threads and more than enough thermal headroom to maintain a high clock speed whatever task you throw at it. This is a stunning laptop no matter what you want to do with it, but the second screen gives it some amazing touchscreen options for artists, designers and editors alike.

First Off: Research Your College

The first, and most important, thing to do is check with your school for specific system requirements. They may have hard-and-fast hardware recommendations.

Some colleges and universities want their students equipped with Windows-based laptops, to cut down on software incompatibility issues or to keep technical support concentrated on one platform. Others don’t care which operating system you use, whether it’s Windows, macOS, or even Linux if you’re a hard-core type. Some institutions have onsite computer repair centers that service only laptops purchased from the university or an affiliated computer store on campus using one of these facilities, the turn-around time will be much quicker than if you were to send it overnight to the original manufacturer.

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Choosing The Best Mac For Education

Macs especially Apple laptops are hugely popular among students. They’re portable and fast, robustly built, and have a longer battery life compared to other popular laptops.

A Mac you buy for education will provide you with support throughout your entire course and will likely be a computer youll want to carry on using long after you graduate.

Choosing the best Mac for college depends on the kind of student you are, the type of assignments you get, and your general expectations from a computer.

Are Gaming Laptops Good For College

iPad vs MacBook – Which Should you Buy for College?

There was once a time when our answer would be a strong no, primarily because gaming laptops were once usually much larger, thicker, and heavier than non-gaming machines. Thats the last thing you want to carry around from class to class. Thats no longer true today, when many gaming laptops are thinner and lighter than ever. In addition to our Dell G3 Gaming pick above, the Razer Blade is perhaps the classic example of a laptop thats made for gamers, with fast CPU and GPU options, but isnt much thicker or heavier than other laptops.

At the same time, gaming laptops tend to focus more on performance than battery life, and youll pay a premium to carry around those gaming components in a thin and light chassis. The great thing is that many laptops today have Thunderbolt 3 ports that can connect to external GPU enclosures for some extra gaming oomph. If you choose a laptop with at least a quad-core 8th-gen Intel CPU and at least 8GB of RAM, then you can attach it to an external GPU and get performance thats pretty darn close to a dedicated gaming laptop. And your choice of a laptop will be much wider, including choosing among the horde of excellent 2-in-1s that have hit the market over the last several years.

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Plan For Additional Requirements

You should be prepared to switch from in-class learning to online learning at any time. In response to COVID-19 containment efforts, some colleges and universities have announced plans for a mix of online and in-class learning, while others plan to keep courses online, at least in the near future.

With those changes, schools are suggesting that students may need additional equipment and services. The University of Chicago Law School includes a COVID-19 Considerations section of tech recommendations, in which it suggests that students consider systems with webcams, residential internet , and a printer. Similarly, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, suggests that “a fully functional webcam, microphone, and speakers will be essential… Additionally, a strong, high-speed internet connection will ensure that you can converse and collaborate seamlessly with your instructors and colleagues.”

Figure D

In 2020, many schools also encourage students to plan for a mix of in person and online courses. For example, the University of Chicago Law School suggests that students may need a webcam, residential internet, and a printer.

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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Microsoft Laptop Surface Go

Why we like it: Everything we loved about the Surface 3 at a price to suit your needs

Battery life: Up to 13 hours

Operating system: Windows

Storage space: 64GB-256GB

I once wrote that if Microsoft were ever to produce a budget version of its excellent-but-pricey Surface Laptop 3, I’d “have absolutely no doubt that itd be historic considered one of the best laptops in history.” Well, apparently dreams can come true.

The Surface Go takes everything I loved about the Surface Laptop 3 and slashes the price to a figure normal people might actually be tempted by. While technically the Surface Laptop 3 is the superior in terms of specifications, the Surface Go makes you forget about all that with its smart, elegant design and ease of use.

I use the term elegant because while it’s a handsome device with a sleek aluminium chassis on top in ice blue, platinum, or sandstone , it’s not trying to reinvent the wheel: it still looks like a laptop. Even so, the 12.4 inch touchscreen with slim bezels are nice enough and optimised for colour so it’s great and bright to work on. It’s also lighter than it’s predecessor at just 1.1kg, which puts it among the very lightest laptops out there.

The other big thing to talk about is the battery which is excellent. Microsoft claims it can make 13 hours on certain settings I’ve managed about 10 and a half, but either way it’s impressive. Even more so when you can consider go from 0-80pc with an hour’s charge.

Weight: 1.26kg – 1.54kg

Hp Spectre X360 13 Audio

What laptop should I buy for college? (2013 edition ...

Not even the Spectre x360’s dual bottom-firing speakers could prevent me from rocking my head to Dayglow’s groovy retro jam “Close To You.” But let’s be clear, these aren’t the best-sounding speakers, even with luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen doing the tuning. They sound fine, with a decent punch on the low end but the midrange lacks depth, making my alternative and indie playlists sound flat. It’s worth noting that the Spectre x360 14 has a quad-speaker setup capable of more sonic oomph than what you get with this 13-inch model.

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Key Factors To A Top Laptop For College

Performance: Theres no need to overbuy in power. Find the right power for your needs. For instance, if youre just picking up a laptop for writing papers, you might not need something with a large capacity SSD, a hefty processor, and 8GB of RAM..and with it a hefty price tag. Likewise, if youre buying something for a Graphic Design or CAD class, youll likely need something much heftier than just 4GB of RAM and a dual-core processor even if that processor is an intel core i7. Find a laptop that meets your needs and sets you up for success.

Portability: Make sure to purchase a thin and lightweight laptop. Theres nothing worse than carrying around a chunky laptop thats awkward and heavy to lug around campus or to the library. Its also good practice to make sure your laptop has a small footprint, allowing you to easily put it in most backpacks or carrying bags alongside textbooks and other study materials.Battery: Find a laptop with a good battery life, preferably one thatll last you all day and then some. For instance, the ASUS C201 has a battery life that lasts up to 13-hours, giving you plenty of study time during the day and then some. While you might not need that much, its good to search for the best college laptops that will last a little over three hours.

What Laptop Should I Buy

Are you mainstream and trendy like the Apple MacBook Air, or do you prefer gaming and keeping it simple like the Acer Aspire? Take this quiz to find out which laptop best suits your needs!

  • 1. You decide to bake a cake for your grandmother’s birthday. What kind of cake do you make?
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  • Which one is your favorite laptop?
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  • What is your zodiac sign?
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  • How would you describe your personal style?
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  • What is your favorite flavor of fruit juice?
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  • Which laptop brand would you rather buy?
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  • What is your favorite animal?
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  • How would you describe your personality?
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  • What is your favorite animated movie?
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  • How to Train Your Dragon

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  • In which U.S. state would you like to live?
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    • Sample Question
    • Sample QuestionYou don’t play video games.True
    • Sample QuestionWhich of the following incidents would disqualify your laptop from future warranty repairs:The bag containing the laptop was dropped or stood on by yourself or another studentKeys on the keyboard have been removed by another studentAttempts to remove tamper proof stickers, panels or hardware have been madeThe frozen drink in your bag melted all over your bag and laptopAll of the above

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