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The Best Laptops For College Students

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

As a college student, a laptop is a necessary tool. It is used for assignments, taking notes, research, and keeping in touch with peers.


Your laptop-buying journey starts and ends with the amount of money you’re willing to spend. No surprise there.


Choosing the best laptop for your needs can be a daunting task, with a wide array of options on the market.


This blog post will review the top laptops for college students based on factors such as performance, battery life, portability, and affordability.


The perfect hybrid machine that’s just as good a tablet as it is a laptop still doesn’t exist.


But throughout last year, companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google continued to improve their operating systems for machines that do double duty.


Windows 11 has features that make it friendlier for multi-screen devices, while Android has been better optimized for larger displays.


Plus, with the rise of ARM-based chips for laptops, especially Apple’s impressive M series, prospects for a powerful 2-in-1 with a vast touch-friendly app ecosystem are at an all-time high.


How To Choose the Best College Laptop that Will Fit Your Needs?


With competitive brands offering the best laptops for college students that are only slightly different from one another, it is often difficult to choose the one that fits your needs. The following are a few parameters to keep in mind while choosing the best college laptop:


  1. Specifications - The best college laptops have an adequate core processor, demanding graphic display, and decent RAM storage. You should be able to complete tasks like typing, accounting, browsing and streaming. Intel Core i5 and i7 are the best processors for college laptops, while 8GB RAM storage is decent for multi-tasking. Most entry-level laptops have GPU integrated with the processor.

  2. Connectivity – The laptop should easily connect to other devices via Bluetooth, wi-fi, HDMI, and USB ports.

  3. Durability – The laptop should be durable to withstand rough handling and last you a long time.

  4. Portable – College students must move around and often travel with the laptop, so it should be lightweight. The laptops we have listed here are mostly 1 to 1.5kg.

  5. Operating System- Choosing the operating system depends on your purpose. For example, if you are looking for a good typing experience and retina display, you should go for macOS, but if you want to use multiple apps on your laptop and play games, choose a Windows laptop.

  6. Battery Life- College students have to use laptops on the go. So, the best laptop for college students lasts at least six to eight hours.

  7. Price- A college laptop should not cost you a fortune. The laptops we have listed are entry-level laptops with all the good features at affordable prices.


Should You Go For Windows Laptop or a Mac?


Choosing between a Windows Laptop or a MacBook primarily depends on your purpose, comfort, and budget. MacBooks give an immersive experience due to their superior audio and video quality, typing style, and display features, which are difficult for any other laptop to match.


They are sleek in design, offer easy integration with other Apple products, and are a go-to choose for creative professionals and designers.


On the other hand, the advantage of choosing a Windows laptop over a MacBook is that you get various accessories and apps.


If you are a gaming enthusiast, a Windows laptop is your only choice simply because macOS is not designed for gaming. Most demanding AAA game titles are released for the Windows version only. Also, an Android phone user will find that the phone can integrate only to a Windows laptop, not a Mac.


The Configuration You Should Look for in a Laptop

When choosing the best laptop for college students, the following are the configurations you should look for while making your purchase:


  • Processor – For most college students, the Intel Core i5 Processor would be enough to finish work like writing, browsing, searching, and streaming. Similarly, AMD Ryzen 5 is suitable for the best laptops for college students.

  • Graphics – Graphic hardware is mainly integrated with the processor in entry-level laptops. But if you want to play games on your laptop, then Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is a stellar choice.

  • RAM Memory – Choosing a laptop with at least 8GB RAM is wise as it is suitable for multi-tasking and for using heavy applications.

  • Screen Display – Opt for a full HD display (1920 x 1080p) for a sharper resolution and a brighter screen

  • Operating System - Windows 11, MacOS, and Google Chrome OS are the latest operating systems available in the best laptops for college students. They are suitable for writing, browsing, accounting, streaming, and gaming tasks.

  • Hard Drive - Choose a laptop with 256GB SSD or more to manage large files quickly. Some options offer 512GB or storage as well.

MacBook Air


laptop

The MacBook Air is a popular choice among college students due to its sleek design, long battery life, and high performance.


This laptop features a stunning retina display, Touch ID for secure login, and the latest Apple M1 chip for fast processing. It is also lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around campus. However, it is on the more expensive side compared to other laptops.


Dell XPS 13


laptop

The Dell XPS 13 is another top laptop for college students. This laptop boasts a powerful Intel Core processor, long battery life, and a compact design.


The XPS 13 also has a high-resolution display, making it perfect for streaming lectures or watching Netflix during study breaks. Additionally, it has a comfortable keyboard and touchpad, making it easy to type up assignments or take notes in class.


Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5


laptop

For those on a budget, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 is an excellent option. It is an affordable 2-in-1 laptop that can be used as a traditional laptop or as a tablet.


The Ideapad Flex 5 has a long battery life, a comfortable keyboard, and a touchscreen display that is perfect for taking notes or drawing diagrams.


Although it may not have the same performance as the MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13, it is a great option for students who need a reliable laptop without breaking the bank.


HP Spectre x360


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The HP Spectre x360 is a great choice for college students who need a versatile laptop that can handle multiple tasks.


This laptop features a 360-degree hinge, allowing it to be used as a laptop, tablet, or tent mode. The Spectre x360 also has a long battery life, a high-resolution display, and a comfortable keyboard. Additionally, it has a powerful Intel Core processor and fast SSD storage, making it ideal for multitasking.


ASUS ZenBook UX425


laptop

The ASUS ZenBook UX425 is a lightweight and portable laptop that is perfect for college students who need to carry their laptops around campus.


This laptop features a sleek design and a 14-inch display with a thin bezel, making it easy to fit in a backpack or tote bag. The ZenBook UX425 also has a long battery life, a comfortable keyboard, and a fast processor, making it ideal for completing assignments or taking notes in class.


Acer Swift 3


laptop

The Acer Swift 3 is an affordable laptop that offers excellent performance and portability.


This laptop features a powerful AMD Ryzen processor, a long battery life, and a lightweight design. It also has a comfortable keyboard and a high-resolution display, making it ideal for completing assignments or watching videos.


The Swift 3 is a great option for college students who need a reliable laptop that won’t break the bank.


A few other takeaways:


  • Get at least 8GB of RAM. And if you’re planning to do a ton of multitasking while streaming, 16GB is worth considering.

  • Storage is still a huge concern. These days, I’d recommend aiming for a 1TB M.2 SSD, which should be enough space to juggle a few large titles like Destiny 2. (If you can afford the jump to a 2TB SSD though, just do it.) Some laptops also have room for standard SATA drives, which are far cheaper than M.2’s and can hold more data.

  • Get your hands on a system before you buy it. I’d recommend snagging the best gaming laptop for you from a retailer with a simple return policy, like Amazon or Best Buy. If you don’t like it, you can always ship it back easily.

  • Don’t forget about accessories! For the best performance, you’ll need a good mouse, keyboard, and headphones.


Conclusion


Choosing the right laptop for college is crucial for success. In this blog post, we discussed the top laptops for college students, including the MacBook Air, Dell XPS 13, Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5, HP Spectre x360, ASUS ZenBook UX425, and Acer Swift 3.


Whether you prioritize performance, portability, versatility, or affordability, there is a laptop out there that will meet your needs.


Do your research, weigh your options, and choose a laptop that will help you succeed in your academic pursuits.


Why you can trust us-

Digital Pulse has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2018. All products recommended by Digital Pulse News are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company.

Some of our stories may include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are accurate at the time of publication.

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