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15 Best Laptop for College Students [Updated 2021]

For students, the best laptops for college are those that let you study for exams and then watch TV or play games when you want to unwind. Finding the finest laptops for students may be a full-time job with so many options available at such a wide range of pricing.

Consider the battery life and CPU performance when purchasing a laptop for school. We have a large variety of the finest laptops for you to pick. Consider one of the finest 2-in-1 laptops if you’d rather take notes by hand rather than on your laptop. Additionally, we’ve listed the best gaming laptops for students who want to relax once the class is over. The evaluation of certain laptops that may end up on our list is still ongoing, so check back often for the most recent and best laptops for students.

A good mouse, a well-equipped backpack, and possibly even a printer will go nicely with any laptop you choose. That said, we’ve rounded together a list to help you find the best laptop for college students dreading the thought of paying tuition.

Which one is the Best Laptop for College?

The Envy 13 and Envy x360 13 are our top picks for college students’ laptops. Not everyone has a set budget, but the majority of people wish to save money to pay off student debts. In case you’re in this category, the HP Envy 13 and HP Envy x360 13 provide high-end specifications and features for less than $1,000.

Although the Envy 13 is a mid-range laptop, it feels and looks like a high-end model. The Envy has a beautiful screen, and it’s small and light enough to tote about campus thanks to Intel’s 11th-generation CPUs. Alternatively, there’s the HP Envy 13 x360 convertible, which combines all of the above features with AMD’s powerful new Ryzen 4000 processors. Looking for a bigger monitor? According to HP, the Envy 14 is just a larger version of the Envy 13 with a screen size of 14 inches.

The new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is ideal for those who prefer macOS over the iOS operating system. Even while the fanless MacBook Air having M1 is an excellent cheap option, the 13-inch MacBook Pro offers better battery life and a more powerful processor. Consider Dell XPS 15 or Microsoft Surface Pro Studio if you’re on a tight budget. The Dell XPS 17 is the greatest 17-inch laptop available if you want to go large.

If you don’t require a new laptop right away, you may want to hold off on purchasing one until the next round of models comes out. At CES 2021, a large number of new products were unveiled, many of which will be available shortly. Laptops featuring Intel 11th Gen CPUs, AMD 5000-series processors, and Nvidia 30-series GPUs are among the options available right now.

15 Best Laptop for College Students

1. HP Envy 13 (2021)

HP Envy 13 (2021)
amazon.com

Rating: 9.4 out of 10

There’s no better time to buy a laptop for students than right now. For those looking for a portable computer with a lot of power and a long battery life but on a budget, the HP Envy 13 is truly an ideal option.

To compete with higher-priced flagships, the 2021 model will have even thinner bezels and speedier performance. Because of its elegant design, brilliant and colorful 1080p display, and powerful 11th Generation Core i5 processor, the HP Envy 13 is the finest laptop for students in its price range. The Envy 13 is a fantastic value-for-money laptop, especially when compared to some of the others on our list.

Features

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7GPU:
  • Irix Xe (or GeForce MX350)
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p (touch)
  • Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds

Pros

  • Bright, vivid display
  • Attractive design and clicky keyboard
  • Core i5 CPU is speedy
  • 11+ hours of battery life

Cons

  • Plastic touchpad
  • No IR camera option

2. MacBook Air

MacBook Air
amazon.com

Rating: 9.6 out of 10

The Apple MacBook Air is the right choice if you prefer macOS over Windows 10. The new M1 CPU, which provides amazing speed and good battery life, makes the MacBook Air the fastest ultrathin notebook ever. This year’s model is the largest increase.

Despite the low price of $999, the MacBook Air delivers unmatched performance and a lengthy battery life of 14.4 hours and 41 minutes. Only the finest Windows 10 laptops have this combo, and even they fall short in comparison.

What’s the point of buying the MacBook Air over the Pro? There is no fan on the MacBook Air, so it is pin-drop quiet. However, the MacBook Pro offers greater overall performance. Since it is very light and thin, the 13.3 inches laptop from Apple is the comfiest to carry about.

However, the MacBook Air is currently slower than it has ever been compared to the MacBook Pro. In addition to the same 720p webcam and Magic keyboard, it now features two USB-C connections and the same fast processing speed. To make it even more brilliant, the M1 model’s P3 color coverage was added to the 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 Retina display.

Features

  • CPU: M1
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • GPU: M1 (integrated)
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB or 1TB or 2TB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel
  • Size: 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds

Pros

  • iPhone and iPad app support
  • Slim unibody aluminum chassis
  • Great speakers and Magic Keyboard
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Breathtaking performance

Cons

  • Only a few ports

3. Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13
amazon.com

Rating: 7.4 out of 10

When it comes to college students’ laptops, the Dell XPS 13 can be an ideal choice. The laptop is equipped for work or play thanks to an 11th generation Intel Core i7 CPU with integrated Iris Xe graphics. You’ll have plenty of time to do both with the phone’s 11-hour battery life. When compared against other laptops, the laptop constantly outperformed them.

The XPS 13 is both beautiful and powerful, so you don’t have to choose between the two. The laptop was smaller and lighter than prior generations thanks to the company’s efforts. Despite its reduced size, Dell has made significant adjustments, including increasing the size of the touchpad and keyboard. You’ll also get a 13.4-inch screen with almost no bezels on each side — the world’s first.

With modest changes adding up to a major improvement for the notebook as a whole, the Dell XPS 13 is the best laptop for you if you want everything.

Features

  • CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 (11th Gen)
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200 or 4K
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • No bezels whatsoever
  • Powerful performance
  • Attractive, premium chassis

Cons

  • Lacks legacy ports

4. HP Envy x360 13

 HP Envy x360 13
amazon.com

Rating: 8.8 out of 10

The HP Envy 13 is one of the finest Ultrabooks available for around $1,000. The Envy 13 is a 2-in-1, so you can use it as a tablet or a tent when you’re not using it as a laptop. Its all-aluminum construction and AMD Ryzen CPUs with Herculean performance are what make it such an incredible bargain for the money.

The Envy 13 with a Ryzen 5 CPU performed better than laptops with Intel 10th Gen CPUs in our tests. This particular Envy costs just $800, yet it’s powerful enough to compete with laptops costing several hundred dollars more, such as the pricey MacBook Pro. Aside from that, the 13.3-inch display on the Envy x360 13 is bright and vibrant, and the keyboard is plush.

The Envy x360 has relatively few flaws in our opinion. This laptop is a great deal if you can live without the Thunderbolt 3 connector and IR camera.

Features:

  • GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • Storage: 256GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Size: 12.1 inches x 7.7 inches x 0.7 inches

Pros

  • Outstanding performance
  • 1080p display is bright and vivid
  • Stylish and compact aluminum design
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No IR Camera

5. Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro
amazon.com

Rating: 9.6 out of 10

There has been much anticipation for this moment. This is all possible because of Apple’s new M1 laptop SoC. It improves the performance and battery life of the MacBook Pro by delivering the greatest power-per-watt performance.

More precisely, the MacBook Pro outperforms practically every laptop on the market, even some workstation models. While performing our battery test, which is meant to simulate real-world use, we discovered that the Pro managed to last an astounding 16 hours and 32 minutes while loading so much power into such a small compact chassis.

Although the camera is still 720p, it has an image processing unit and operates on Apple’s ARM-based architecture, allowing iPad and iPhone applications to function on Mac. Yes, you can now use it to play and use your favorite iOS games and applications.

Big Sur completes the list of great improvements observed in the new MacBook Pro. Big Sur is OS X’s most significant upgrade since the operating system was released a decade ago.

Features:

  • CPU: M1
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • GPU: M1 (integrated)
  • Storage Capacity: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600
  • Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds

Pros

  • Stellar overall and gaming performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Lightning-fast SSD
  • Great webcam

Cons

  • Not enough ports

 

 

6. HP Spectre x360 14

 HP Spectre x360 14
amazon.com

Rating: 9.6 out of 10

As far as convertible laptops go, the Spectre x360 14 is on the top. A new 13-inch model is coming out for the year 2021 that expands on previous models while adding beneficial new features like a display of 3:2 aspect ratio and 11th Generation Intel CPUs having Iris Xe graphics. With a 1920 x 1280-pixel IPS or 3K2K OLED display, long battery life, and rapid overall performance, this laptop stands out from the crowd.

You can understand why we enjoy this laptop so much when you take into account its large, smooth-to-the-touch touchpad and comfortable (though shallow) keyboard, as well as its great security features (fingerprint sensor and face recognition) and a big supply of connectors.

If you can afford it, the Spectre 14 is the better option than the Envy 13, particularly if you want a more adaptable design. It’s safe to say that the Spectre 14 is the greatest convertible laptop on the market right now. Even if it has a few flaws, once you hold this beauty in your hands, the flaws quickly go away.

Features

  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Display: 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixels IPS or 3K2K OLED
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches

Pros

  • Striking, luxurious design
  • Gorgeous OLED and FHD display options
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • Unwieldy as a tablet
  • Pricey

7. Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3
amazon.com

Rating: 9 out of 10

The Acer Swift 3 along with AMD Ryzen CPUs is your best bet for an explosive performance at a low cost. The Dell XPS 13 is no match for this $649 laptop, which can even compete with Apple’s MacBook Pro. In terms of raw performance, it’s all great since the Ryzen 7 4700U CPU can be found within.

The Swift 3’s clicky keyboard, with its springy sensation, was also a hit with us. It contains a fingerprint scanner for speedy login, and it’s not plastic; it’s composed of aluminum and magnesium rather than cheap plastic. The Swift 3’s main flaw is its dark and lifeless display. If that’s not an issue, the Swift 3 is a fantastic value.

Features

  • GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U
  • Storage: 512GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Display Size: 14-inch, 1080p
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Size: 12.7 x. 8.6 x 0.6 inches

Pros

  • Herculean performance
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Clicky keyboard
  • A beastly multitasker

Cons

  • Dim Display

8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
amazon.com

Rating: 9 out of 10

The 9th generation of Lenovo’s premier business laptop has several positive upgrades. Longer battery life of 15 hours, a 14-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10, powerful quad speakers, and lots of connections are included along with quick performance from Intel’s 11th generation CPUs. The whole system weighs less than two pounds (2.5 pounds).

Even yet, it’s the X1 Carbon’s iconic ThinkPad characteristics — a tough chassis (built to MIL-STD-810G standards), a top keyboard, and a sleek black/red color scheme — that elevate it above the rest.

Of course, we’d like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon to have had a better camera and not done away with the SD card reader. Additionally, the most top configurations might be too pricey for students. Despite this, it’s difficult to find a business laptop that’s better suited for college students. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a 2-in-1 notebook with corporate characteristics (Gen 6).

Features

  • GPU: Iris Xe
  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB
  • Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel 16:10
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Size: 12.7 x. 8.6 x 0.6 inches

Pros

  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Great quad speakers
  • Good 14-inch, 16:10 FHD display
  • Epic battery life
  • Class-leading keyboard

Cons

  • No card slot
  • Poor 720p webcam

 

9. Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go
amazon.com

Rating: 9 out of 10

It’s a great laptop for students since it has the same elegant design as the Pixelbook but costs a lot less money. Although the Pixelbook Go is one of the most affordable laptops on our list, it nevertheless offers a light and speedy design as well as long battery life.

Students are increasingly using Chromebooks in the classroom, so the Pixelbook Go should be familiar to them. A lightweight, user-friendly OS built on Google’s Chrome browser. When you purchase the Pixelbook Go for your freshman kid, you know that it will last him through high school and into college since it is sturdy and powerful enough to endure.

Features

  • GPU: Intel UHD 615
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8200Y
  • Storage: 128GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Display: 13.3-inches, 1080p
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Size: 12.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches

Pros

  • Bright, colorful display
  • Great battery life
  • Solid performance
  • Super Slim design

Cons

  • Lackluster speakers

10. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

 

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
amazon.com

Rating: 7.4 out of 10

What can be done when two conflicting forces work together for the common good? Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro shows it. AMD and Nvidia are the opposing powers in the gaming community as the ultimate beneficiary. Gaming enthusiasts can run AAA games at Ultra graphics settings on the Legion 5 Pro thanks to its AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and GeForce RTX 3070 GPU.

With a magnificent 16-inch QHD display and great keyboard and touchpad as well as the abundance of connections, it more than makes up for its lack of spectacular looks. The Legion 5 Pro uses a lot of power, yet it still has a good amount of battery life.

Features

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 of VRAM
  • CPU: Ryzen 7 5800H CPU
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Display: 16-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel
  • Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Size: 14 x 10.4 x 1.1 inches

Pros

  • Bright 16-inch, QHD 165Hz display
  • Fantastic keyboard with Numpad
  • Excellent productivity and gaming performance
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Only four-zone RGB
  • Bland and heavy chassis

11. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15
amazon.com

Rating: 8.4 out of 10

The Dell XPS 15 is capable of multitasking, multimedia, and even gaming. The XPS 15 has a stylish, thin profile, but it’s also a powerhouse. For those who don’t care about the longest battery life, the InfinityEdge bezel has enabled one of the highest-resolution screens.

And if that’s not enough, the graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti and a Core i7 processor of Comet Lake H-Series from the 11th generation. All of our standard tests, including the graphics test, showed the laptop to be the clear winner. As a result, in an emergency, you may have a productive gaming session. It’s a master of none system that does everything well.

Features

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 3456 x 2160 (3.5K) OLED
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Size: 13.6 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches

Pros

  • Breathtaking 3.5K OLED display
  • Massive touchpad and spacious keyboard
  • Slim, premium chassis
  • Supercharged performance

Cons

  • Heavier than some competitors
  • Below-average battery life

12. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
amazon.com

Rating: 8.8 out of 10

In my opinion, Microsoft has achieved a good 2-in-1 balance with the Surface Pro. A unique hinge on the Surface Laptop Studio enables the display to be moved forward and positioned in various positions rather than having a removable lid such as the Surface Book or attachable keyboard of the Surface Pro 8.

It’s possible to use the Surface Laptop Studio as a digital drawing board while still using it as a laptop, thanks to the Surface Laptop Studio app. The Surface Laptop Studio’s versatility, along with its exceptional performance and extended battery life, makes it a fantastic choice for creative workers. The Surface Laptop Studio is one of the finest laptops for college students because of its excellent keyboard/touchpad combination, strong speakers, and 1080p camera.

Features

  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti (4GB of VRAM)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11370H
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 14.4-inch, 2400 x 1600-pixel (3:2) at 120Hz
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Size: 12.7 x 9 x 0.75 inches

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Gorgeous 14.4-inch, 120Hz display
  • Clever hinge enables new modes

Cons

  • Not enough ports
  • Performance is short of class-leading
  • Thick chassis

13. Acer Swift 5

 Acer Swift 5
amazon.com

Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Small yet powerful, it is a notebook that showcases Intel’s latest Evo Platform, which uses an Intel 11th Generation Core i7 CPU with Intel’s Iris Xe GPU. If you’re looking for anything to replace your gaming laptop, this is a lot more powerful than the competition.

Despite the Swift’s small weight (2.3 pounds), on a single charge, it offers over 13.5 hours of battery life, so regular travelers will be happy with it. There are low bezels around the 14-inch 1080p touchscreen, which is bright enough to function well in most circumstances.

Despite the lack of key travel, the keyboard is comfortable to write on, and the touchpad is generously sized and responsive to Windows 10 gestures. The Acer Swift 5 is a fantastically portable notebook that doesn’t sacrifice performance for portability’s sake.

Features:

  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch, 1080p touchscreen
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Size: 12.6 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches

Pros

  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Excellent performance
  • Stellar battery life
  • Gorgeous design

Cons

  • Irritating keyboard layout

14. Acer Chromebook Spin 713

 Acer Chromebook Spin
amazon.com

Rating: 9 out of 10

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a great option for Chrome OS consumers who desire more versatility than the Google Pixelbook Go has to offer. The Intel Core i5-10210U CPU in this outstanding 2-in-1 laptop keeps the price down to $629 while still delivering rapid performance and a lovely 13.5-inch display.

Even better, the Chromebook Spin 713 has a battery life of approximately 12 hours, so you can go from class to class without worrying about running out of power. Because of its foldable display, the laptop may be used to rapidly discuss a project with a classmate or to sketch or take handwritten notes.

Chromebook Spin 713 is the best laptop for K-12 and college students because of its flexible design, quick performance, and beautiful display. It also has excellent battery life.

Features:

  • GPU: Intel UHD
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504
  • Weight: 3.0 pounds
  • Size: 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches

Pros

  • Bright, colorful touch screen
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Speedy performance
  • Versatile form factor

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard

15. Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

 Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable
amazon.com

Rating: 8.4 out of 10

To put it another way, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 is an improved Surface Pro 7. It utilizes a kickstand that can spin to around a 160-degree angle and is removable like the previous model. Similar to the Surface Pro 7, the 12.3-inch screen and amazing detachable keyboard are seen on the Surface Pro 8. Its robust chassis also provides military-grade durability.

When compared to the Surface Pro 7 and 7+, what makes it superior to them? There’s a little weight advantage to using the ThinkPad X12 Detachable, as well as greater battery life (almost 11 hours). Even better, the X12 Detachable includes both a keyboard and a pen in the box, but it’ll set you back a hefty lot.

With that said, the Surface Pro 7 has better speakers and a USB Type-A connector. Otherwise, we recommend the X12 Detachable instead.

Features:

  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1130G7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Display: 12.3-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixel
  • Size: 11.2 x 8 x 0.3 inches
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Good 12.3-inch display
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Accessories come bundled
  • Bright, colorful touch screen
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Speedy performance
  • Versatile form factor

Cons

  • Terrible speakers
  • No USB Type-A

8 Things you must consider before purchasing a College Laptop

1. Research Your College

The most crucial step is to find out what kind of computer system your college operates. They might have a list of strict hardware requirements. (Alternatively, it may not.)

To reduce software compatibility concerns or to focus technical assistance on a single platform, several schools and institutions choose to provide their students with Windows-based laptops. Those that don’t care about operating systems such as Windows, macOS, or even Linux are the hard-core kind. They just want you to work. Laptops bought from the university or an allied computer shop on campus may be serviced at certain colleges’ on-site computer repair centers, which are far faster than sending it overnight to the manufacturer.

Also, keep in mind that many schools give discounts to certain vendors and include large software bundles as part of the purchase price, saving you money off your laptop. As a result, before hitting your local superstore or favorite internet vendor, consider the campus store as a possible first shopping location.

2. Keep It Light: Why Weight Matters

 Big-screen notebooks aren’t for everyone, but depending on how far you have to carry them around all day, they may not be the best decision.

If you want a mini-home theatre in your dorm room or to play the newest games in 1080p magnificence on a large-screen laptop, you’ll have to lug it from class to class on campus since it weighs more than 5 pounds with a 15 inches or 17 inches’ screen. If portability is more important to you than screen size, a super-thin ultraportable computer can be the best choice.

Most individuals will benefit from a 13- or 14-inch widescreen display since it will free up space in your bag and reduce your overall weight. As long as you recognize that entire web pages and productivity software will need more scrolling and fonts will seem smaller than on bigger displays, assuming the same zoom level and resolution, a smaller display may work depending on your tolerance level.

Because you’ll be typing essays, research papers, and talking with your classmates online for most of your computer time, you’ll need a comfortable trackpad and a full-size keyboard. Also, keep in mind that if you choose smaller than a 13-inch laptop, your typing experience may suffer. By spending some time typing on numerous keyboards of various sizes at a physical shop, you may be confident that you have the ideal keyboard.

Instead of buying a laptop, consider purchasing a single keyboard to keep at home or the dorm for those times when typing is a need. Alternatively, you might use an HDMI-connected desktop monitor.

3. How Much Power is Required?

When it comes to laptop CPUs, you have a broad range of options to pick from, depending on your budget and intended use. Another option is to go with one that utilizes both of your strengths: The “Tiger Lake” Core CPUs from Intel’s 11th generation have improved power and battery efficiency. While AMD’s Ryzen mobile processors aren’t as widely available, they’re showing promise as an ultraportable laptop processor.

When it comes to long-term battery life and spending most of your time surfing the web, Chromebooks are a good option. Low-power processors power these Chromebooks, which excel at workaday internet duties. (Chromebooks will be discussed in further detail below.) If, on the other hand, speed is important to you, a Core i5 or Core i7 CPU on a Windows 10 or macOS system will offer you the best performance.

If you want to spend your spare time playing video games, you may want to invest in a more costly laptop designed specifically for gaming. A dedicated graphics processor (GPU) is required for AAA game titles to look well and run smoothly on most general-purpose PCs, particularly those under $800. A respectable Nvidia GeForce GTX or AMD Radeon RX for playing games at 1080p resolution and moderate or better settings may be had for as low as $700 these days if you look around. (For more information on budget GPUs and how to get a gaming machine that is exactly right for your requirements, see our guide to the best inexpensive gaming laptops.) Some high-end and scientific applications benefit from GPU acceleration, and a strong GPU may provide such assistance. However, much like a high-powered CPU, a powerful GPU drains the battery quickly.

The good news is that integrated graphics solutions should be enough for most jobs you’ll encounter daily (unless you’re an architecture student who relies heavily on CAD software). Most low- and mid-priced laptops come equipped with this graphics chipset. Intel integrated graphics, such as Intel Xe Graphics, Intel Iris/Iris Plus graphics, Intel UHD Graphics, or Intel HD Graphics, are the most common nowadays. We’ll compare them in our evaluations, but none of them can compete with even a mid-range dedicated GPU. (Learn more about the gaming limitations of laptops with integrated graphics processors.)

4. SSDs are the TOP option

Local storage space is less important today than it once was because of cloud storage and online apps, however, you should still make sure your laptop is enough for your purposes. To install a lot of software and save all your media files, you will need at least 500GB of storage space. You may get away with a laptop that has less storage if you don’t anticipate the need for it or are happy to leave most of your work online.

Regardless of your choice, keep in mind that the amount of storage you choose has an impact on performance. Choosing a hard drive over a solid-state drive can save you money, but it will be substantially slower (SSD). Some students are prepared to pay more for a speedier SSD in exchange for reduced capacity and a higher price. If your laptop is going to be used a lot on campus, we highly suggest an SSD, since they are almost unbreakable even if the laptop is dropped. As a bonus, SSDs are far quicker than traditional hard drives, giving laptops a noticeably more responsive feel.

The great news is that you may expand your laptop’s storage capacity anytime you need it by connecting an external hard drive or SSD to a USB connection. It’s a fantastic choice to have even if you’re not a video addict or an aspiring filmmaker since you never know when you may need it.

Gamers may have a different point of view. Many AAA game installs are 40GB or 50GB in size, which means a modest SSD might be quickly depleted. This is something to consider before purchasing a system, such as one with a 256GB SSD, or at the very least be ready to switch games on and off the disc when you become tired of them or finish them.

5. Battery Life: How much should it be?

A large battery will come in handy if you have a busy day of lessons and activities ahead of you. Some laptops designed for students’ use come with a choice of battery alternatives. Most of them, on the other hand, just have one—and it’s permanently attached.

Find out how important battery life is compared to everything else. A second, or bigger “extended” battery if available, should be purchased at the time of purchase if detachable batteries are an option (they are not in most cases, regrettably). The more cells a battery has the longer it will last.

The extra weight of a large battery is certainly worth it if it means you can leave your system unplugged from morning till dark without worrying about it running out of juice. Because we’ve tested all the laptops that leave our laboratories for battery life with a constant video playing, you’ll have a fair sense of how long the different models can last.

6. What About Chromebooks?

 For the last several years, Chromebook makers have made a concerted effort to get into the education sector. Chromebooks have evolved from glorified netbooks running Chrome OS to laptops with a web-centric design but a feature set that isn’t completely stripped-down. A Chromebook may provide you with much of the capability of a standard laptop, while also having the added benefit of extended battery life.

It’s also going to be a lot less expensive than other kinds of notebooks. Basic Chromebook devices cost between $200 and $400, with higher-end ones costing up to $1,000. If you want to utilize these technologies efficiently offline, you must prepare ahead of time and have ready access to steady, reliable Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately, PC gamers will have no use for a Chromebook as it runs Chrome OS and (on newer models) Android applications from the Google Play store. A Chromebook, on the other hand, may serve as an excellent, affordable secondary laptop for taking notes around campus while your monster gaming rig stays in the dorm or at home.

7. For your College Consider a Hybrid

A new kind of laptop has appeared in the last few years. Hybrids, also called 2-in-1s, are laptops that can open like a clamshell when you need them to and become tablets when you don’t. Others have a folding keyboard that can be rotated around the hinge to get out of the way when you don’t need it. For laptop-like capabilities, certain PCs (referred to as “detachable”) let you dock a tablet/screen component with an additional keyboard.

It’s possible a 2-in-1 on a budget may serve several purposes for you. Keep in mind: If you’re thinking about getting a 2-in-1 keyboard/mouse combo, check if the keyboard base is also included in the price, it is in some cases. In other circumstances, it’s an extra cost item that will increase the price, sometimes significantly.

8. A Word on Warranties

 Almost all laptops sold now come with a one-year parts and labor guarantee. A warranty extension is also an option, but whether it’s worthwhile will depend on the kind of user you are.

For starters, be aware that spilled drinks and drops on concrete are not covered by the basic guarantee. In most cases, accident coverage is sold separately from extended warranties, so you should expect to pay close to USD 300 for 3 years of coverage if you get it through the manufacturer. When it comes to extended warranties, Apple gives three years for a fee of $250, while other Windows laptop manufacturers go as high as four years.

Warranty fees beyond 15 percent of a laptop’s total price should be avoided in favor of backup drives or other services that reduce downtime in the event of a problem. Of course, there’s no way to quantify the value of having a stress-free life. Logic boards and displays, two of a laptop’s most costly components, might break, costing you half of its price in repairs. If anything goes wrong after the first year, it’s most likely due to faulty components.

Conclusion

The market is indeed flooded with options these days, and sorting the best laptop for college through them all may be a challenge. There’s no need to stress, however, since we took care of everything. Swipe or scroll down to see the trendiest laptops for the new school year that will adorn your campus quad, college classroom, and dorm room.

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