Buying Guide: Best Laptops for College Students. Things to know before buying a laptop.
Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Well, finding the best laptop has never been easy. As every individual has their own set of requirements. Someone is looking for portability, someone is looking for a laptop for serious college presentations and projects and someone is looking for an entertainment laptop along with browsing, streaming, research and perhaps light gaming post-coursework.
Since students don’t usually have big budgets for laptops but few do have. But overall it has to be affordable, even though they don’t necessarily have to be cheap. And yes, they must have a great battery life, hopefully enough to last a whole school day on a single charge.
To make your selection process easier and help you chose a right laptop, we’ve got something for every need, we picked out the best laptops for students 2020 has to offer.
The best student laptop for all-round value for money and performance
The HP Pavilion 14 is an excellent choice if you want value for money during your student years
Intel Core i5-1035G1 10th Generation | 8GB DDR4 RAM ׀1TB 5400 HDD + 256GB SSD | 14” Full HD | NVIDIA MX250 2GB Graphics | Windows 10 Home
+ Overall power-packed specifications
+ Dedicated connectivity & long battery
+ Stylish Design
+ Suitable for modern day student
HP Pavilion 14 boasts of a stylish design packed with impressive specifications while keeping it lightweight. Along with the powerful hardware, high contrast display, dedicated connectivity options & long battery life of 10 hours making it a perfect companion for the modern-day student.
Hp Pavilion is loaded with NVIDIA MX250 2GB Graphics Card making it a mighty bull in the laptop segment for students. The machine comes packed with Windows 10 Home edition. For the price it offers, HP pavilion 14 is a bingo.
The best student laptop if you want to spend little extra
The Dell XPS 13 is an excellent choice if you want to spend little extra and expecting little extra from your laptop
Intel Core i5 – i7 8th-Generation | 4GB – 16GB RAM | 128GB – 1TB SSD | 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080; non-touch) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160; touchscreen) Screen | Intel UHD Graphics 620
+ Powerful core
+ Premium design with an innovative webcam
+ Performance with portability
+ Amazing keyboard
If you are looking for an ultrabook that seamlessly balances performance with portability, The Dell XPS 13 is waiting for you. Four-sided Infinity Bezel with a 16:10 aspect ratio & the addition of new color options makes it highly engaging. Moreover, the keyboard in the Dell XPS 13 is redesigned to reduce slipping owing to the new texture. Striking screen, robust core, premium design with redesigned webcam & extended battery life are some of the reasons to bring this machine home.
The best budget-friendly student laptop choice
Pick Acer Chromebook 15 if you are looking for your ultimate laptop with little budget ease
Intel Celeron 3205U (dual-core) | 4GB RAM | 32GB SSD | 15.6” 1920 x 1080 | Intel HD Graphics
+ Value for money
+ For Chrome OS lovers
+ Smooth for optimum student tasks
Acer Chromebook 15 is a viable option for students who are looking for value for money laptop. The product is endorsed as a ‘Big Chromebook’ with a 1080P 15.6” screen to enhance the viewing experience, though the screen is a tad dim compared to other laptops. The connectivity is standard(nothing very great) though it delivers ample for a normal student.
Specifications work well for routine tasks, some multitasking can be performed without any gap. It is the best valued top performing laptop in the market.
The best student-choice laptop for style, performance and love for Apple
Apple MacBook Air is the choicest option for your style and love for Apple products
Intel Core-i5 | 8GB RAM | 128GB or 256GB SSD | 13.3-inch LED 2560x1600 with IPS Screen | Intel UHD Graphics 617
+ Lightweight & portable
+ Apple’s true tone technology
+ Amazing Color options
Apple’s newest MacBook Air arrives with a needed redesigned keyboard, enhanced processors, double storage and gets a price drop. Apple’s true tone technology (which automatically adapts to ambient lighting) with a slim bezel 13.3” display is vivid & crisp. The battery life is more than sufficient to last working hours, stereo speakers are crystal clear & the webcam is up to industry standards.
If you're looking for a lightweight laptop and don't plan on using heavy apps or doing serious gaming, the Air is for you. Owing to the lower price bandwidth it is now affordable for non-apple fans too. If you are an Apple fan, this machine is the one to bring home.
The best student laptop for presentation, portability, serious studying and little bit of entertainment needs
Take a look at HUAWEI MATEBOOK X PRO for your best choice of laptop under lightweight and serious studying and entrainment
8th Gen i7-8550U | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 13.3” 3K Touch | GeForce MX150
+ Amazing 13.3” display
+ Great battery life
+ Gaming friendly
Huawei Matebook X Pro is the one from the top drawer that is supposed to long last even after student days. It is packed with a 13.3” 3K LTPS touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, 178-degree viewing angle which makes the Huawei Matebook X Pro a classic. The battery on Matebook X Pro is amazing and lasts around 11 hours. The GeForce MX150 injection provides the needed oomph to make Matebook X-Pro a gaming beast.
A portable powerhouse laptop choice for students
DELL XPS 15 should be your choice if you are looking for heavy performance
Intel i7-3612QM | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | 15.6" 4K UHD Non-Touch (3840 x 2160) | NVIDIA GTX 1650 | Windows 10 PRO
+ Overall Powerhouse but at premium
+ Amazing OLED 4K screen
+ True gaming experience
The Dell XPS 15 comes with the minimalistic design, yet it is fully primed with Intel Core i7 processor, 750GB storage, a Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, marvelous OLED 4K screen making it a real powerhouse in the category. There are ample connectivity options in the Dell XPS 15 to make it a workforce. Dell XPS also has blu ray drive which is an upgrade over DVD drives.
There are, however, some trade-offs for all that class and power - namely the battery life, which is just over 8 hours. If you love power, go for this mean machine.
The best student laptop for 2-in-1 computing; Laptop and Tablet
HP Envy x360 13 is one of the best choice of laptop for portability, ease of work and being budget friendly
AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700U | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD | 13.3” FHD Touchscreen 2-in-1 | Radeon Vega 10 Graphics Card | Alexa Built-in | Windows 10
+ 2-in-1 convertible
+ Portability with style
+ Build Quality
HP Envy x360 13 houses a 13.3” IPS Full HD display which delivers crisp images and good contrast ratios. The biggest selling point of HP Envy x360 13 is that it can morph into a tablet by spinning the screen all the way back. In terms of build quality, HP Envy x360 13 feels sturdy to give a premium feel. This machine bolstered by 8GB of DDR4 memory can handle creative tasks efficiently. The good thing for students is that HP Envy x360 13 will not burn a big hole in your pocket and yes, it's portable.
An alternative strong 2-in-1 laptop option for students
Suggesting LENOVO YOGA 530 as an alternate option in 2-in-1 computing to you to have options
Intel Core i5-8250U Quad cores 8th Gen Processor | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | 14” Full HD (1920x1080) Touchscreen | 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX130 Graphics Card
+ Budget friendly
+ Enough Capabilities for student tasks
Lenovo’s new 530 series is meant for students who are looking for a convertible budget device. The Yoga 530 comes with a 14” IPS display with a 1920x1080 resolution and 157 PPI pixel density. The device also comes with ample connectivity ports to smoothly work in typical student life.
The Yoga 530 is more than just an office machine and powerful enough for more-demanding software like Adobe Photoshop. Yoga 530 comes with a chiclet keyboard which is easier to use doing assignments. These features for the price tag are worth a shot.
The best budget-friendly 2-in-1 student laptop for lightweight computing
Go for MICROSOFT SURFACE GO, for convertible and portable laptop experience
Intel Pentium Gold | 4GB RAM | Intel HD Graphics | 2-in-1 Convertible
+ Truly portable
+ Crisp Image production
+ Offers Kickstand
Microsoft Surface Go is a 2-in-1 convertible which is a miniature variant of Surface Pro 6. Weighing just 1.15-pound (0.52kg), this 10” convertible is truly portable. Brilliant high definition display produces picture quality which is from the top drawer. The 3:2 aspect ratio works well for web browsing and general educational tasks.
The surface go with its specs can easily handle any 3D rendering software. The friction hinge kickstand is one of the best tablets stands in the business which makes Surface Go versatile. Microsoft has managed to include ample connectivity options to make it a viable option for students.
One of the best student laptops with gaming credentials
If gaming is first love then go for LENOVO IDEAPAD L340 15
Intel Core i3-8145U | 8GB RAM | 1 TB HDD +128 GB SSD | 15.6” (1920X1080) full HD display | Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
+ Adept for daily student tasks
+ Strong gaming performance
If you are the one who likes a game of Fifa after lectures, Lenovo Ideapad L340 is for you. This glossy finished piece boasts of 15.6” Full HD panel with crisp color values. L340 holds well in terms of overall design and ease of use. Playback battery times range between 6 & 7 hours which is good for the laptop in the price segment. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 provides the needed oomph to L340 in terms of gaming performance.
Overall L340 performs well in day to day tasks. It is snappy and does not flag. The performance is not jaw dropping, but within the budget it is gold.
How to choose the best laptop for yourself?
The teaching techniques & education curriculums have evolved over the years. Today’s student isn’t only required to perform routine tasks but also needs to do a lot of rendering & analysis, stream lectures & play high definition games.
Getting a laptop with all the desirable features will be a hole in the pocket, so the best way forward should be prioritising the features. Overall HP Pavilion 14 is the all-rounder in the mix, offering everything in optimum dosages without being pocket heavy. If you are on a budget, you will hit bingo with the steal price of the Acer Chromebook. Dell XPS13 & XPS15 are fully packed with hardware & attractive finish but they come with a price tag. If you are an Apple person, go for MacBook Air. Microsoft Surface Go can be the wildcard if you are looking for something handy.
As they say, one shoe never fits all, prioritise your goals and pluck the one that suits you.