Best laptop for colleges: The 5 Best Laptops For College – Summer 2023: Reviews

The 5 Best Laptops For College – Summer 2023: Reviews

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. Best Laptop

    1. Best Upper Mid-Range

      1. Best Mid-Range

        1. Best Budget

          1. Best Gaming

            1. Notable Mentions
            2. Recent Updates
            3. All Reviews
            4. Discussions

            Updated Jun 30, 2023 at 11:20 am

            By Ryan Lim

            If you’re going off to college, you’ll need a laptop that can handle your school workload. Depending on your program, you can get a simple Chromebook, an ultraportable Windows laptop or MacBook, or a powerful mobile workstation. Preferably, you want a portable, well-built device with enough battery life to get you through the day. As you’ll be working a lot on the laptop, you should also look for a device with features contributing to a good user experience, like a sharp and bright display, a comfortable keyboard, and a responsive touchpad. It’s also important to consider the port selection if you use multiple peripherals or external displays.

            We’ve bought and tested over 75 laptops. Below you’ll find our recommendations for the best laptops for college you can buy. You can also see our recommendations for the best laptops, the best lightweight laptops, and the best 15-16 inch laptops.

            1. Best Laptop For College

              Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021)


              Finding Store


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              Maximum Brightness

              476 cd/m²

              Typing Quality



              Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)


              Battery Life (Web Browsing)

              12. 5 hrs

              Fan Noise Under Load

              42.1 dBA

              See all our test results

              The best laptop for college we’ve tested is the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021). This premium model has a sleek, compact design, sturdy build, and all-day battery life. You can spec it with an M1 Pro or M1 Max SoC (System on Chip), both of which can handle nearly every type of workload, making it an excellent choice for students in fields like graphic design, architecture, or engineering. It gets a little hot under load, but the fans never get loud, so you don’t have to worry about causing too much noise in a quiet classroom.

              In addition to its incredible performance, the MacBook Pro 14 provides a fantastic user experience. It has a sharp Mini LED display with full DCI P3 coverage, a comfortable keyboard, and a gigantic, easy-to-use haptic touchpad. If screen real estate is more important than portability, you can get the larger Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021). It’s essentially the same device but has slightly better-sounding speakers and longer battery life. The only downside is its higher price tag.

              The last thing to know about the MacBook Pros is that Apple has released newer M2 versions. These new models are identical to their predecessors, just with a faster processor, HDMI 2.1, and increased memory support (up to 96GB). At this point, it’s best to go with an M2 model unless you can find the M1 at a deeply discounted price through a third-party seller, marketplace, or even Apple’s refurbished section.

              See our review

            2. Best Upper Mid-Range Laptop For College

              Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022)


              Finding Store


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              13. 6″



              Maximum Brightness

              468 cd/m²

              Typing Quality



              Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)


              Battery Life (Web Browsing)

              10.9 hrs

              Fan Noise Under Load


              See all our test results

              If your school workload consists only of lighter tasks like text processing, web browsing, and video playback, get the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) instead, the successor to the very popular Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020). It has a gorgeous display that gets bright enough for use outdoors in broad daylight, a comfortable keyboard that you can type on all day, and a gigantic and responsive haptic touchpad. Its M2 SoC is plenty fast for general productivity tasks like text processing and web browsing, and it can also handle some light video editing. The downside is that it only has two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports with support for a single external display.

              Want something like the MacBook Air 13 but with a bigger display? Good news! Apple just released the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023). It’s essentially the same laptop as the 13-inch model but with a larger 15.3-inch display and a few tweaks. You can see it on Amazon here. You also get better speakers, a 35W dual USB-C charger, and an M2 chip with ten GPU cores (you need to upgrade to the more expensive model with a 512GB SSD to get a ten-core GPU on the 13-inch). All this comes with a price increase of $200 USD over the 13-inch model.

              For Windows users, get the LG gram 14 (2023). It’s also a high-end ultraportable laptop, and as its name suggests, it’s incredibly light, even lighter than the MacBook Air 13. It provides a good user experience with a sharp display, a comfortable keyboard, and good thermal and noise handling. Its wide port selection includes two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, letting you connect up to two 4k displays at 60Hz with a single cable. Build-wise, although it feels sturdy, its lightweight magnesium alloy chassis just doesn’t feel as rigid as the MacBook Air’s. It also has a smaller touchpad and a dimmer display.

              See our review

            3. Best Mid-Range Laptop For College

              Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022)


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              Maximum Brightness

              336 cd/m²

              Typing Quality



              Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)


              Battery Life (Web Browsing)

              13.6 hrs

              Fan Noise Under Load

              40.0 dBA

              See all our test results

              The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) is our pick for the best laptop for students in the mid-range category. This 2-in-1 Chromebook has a nice 14-inch display, giving you just enough screen real estate for multitasking, and it supports pen input so that you can take notes with a stylus. The stylus comes with the device, and there’s a charging slot in which you can dock it for transport. The keyboard feels spacious and tactile but can be tiring after an extended period. As for the touchpad, it’s on the smaller side and can be slightly janky when performing some gestures, but overall, it’s satisfactory.

              This laptop has various Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, from a Core i3-1215U to an i7-1260P. However, you may have trouble finding the exact configuration you want due to availability. The Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage is the easiest to find in stock, and it’s more than adequate for students with a light workload. Battery life is outstanding; you can easily get through a full day with plenty to spare. One last thing: ensure you can do your schoolwork through a Chrome browser or Android app because Chrome OS doesn’t support x86 Windows applications.

              For Windows users, we have two recommendations. If you want to stick with a 2-in-1 convertible, go with the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023); otherwise, the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a good choice, too. The Inspiron is a larger 16-inch device, so you get more screen real estate for multitasking and a fingerprint sensor. However, it doesn’t support Thunderbolt 4 or pen input, and its battery life is shorter at around ten hours of light use. As for the Swift 3, it’s very similar to the Spin 714 overall, but the keyboard isn’t quite as good, and the webcam is significantly worse.

              See our review

            4. Best Budget Laptop For College

              Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020)


              Finding Store


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              15. 6″



              Maximum Brightness

              265 cd/m²

              Typing Quality



              Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)


              Battery Life (Web Browsing)

              12.1 hrs

              Fan Noise Under Load

              38.8 dBA

              See all our test results

              If you’re shopping on a limited budget, the best budget laptop for students we’ve tested is the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020), a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree hinge. You can configure it with an Intel Core i3 or Pentium Gold CPU, which are both powerful enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. However, you can only get a maximum of 4GB of memory, which means it may stutter if you have too many applications or Chrome tabs open.

              Its battery life is excellent at around 12 hours of light use, more than enough to get through the day. Of course, as it’s a cheap model, there are a few compromises. First, the display doesn’t get very bright; it’s fine for most indoor settings but not well-lit environments or outdoors. Second, keyboard backlighting is only available on models with an Intel Core i3 and 64GB of storage (model 81T90002UX). If you’re new to Chrome OS, know it has limitations as to which types of apps or programs you can install, so you need to ensure that it suits your needs.

              See our review

            5. Best Gaming Laptop For College

              ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)


              Finding Store


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              Maximum Brightness

              458 cd/m²

              Typing Quality


              8. 8

              Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)


              Battery Life (Web Browsing)

              10.3 hrs

              Fan Noise Under Load

              52.0 dBA

              See all our test results

              If you want a device you can also game on during downtime, get the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022). It has a nice 120Hz QHD display with support for variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing when gaming. It gets bright enough for use outdoors in broad daylight and has full DCI P3 coverage, meaning you can use it for your color-critical work. Its AMD Ryzen CPU and dedicated GPU are powerful enough to provide a smooth gaming experience, and they can also handle other demanding tasks, making the laptop suitable for students in technical fields like 3D graphics. The battery lasts around 10 hours of light use; however, if you do more intensive stuff that requires the dedicated GPU, you can expect it to be closer to an hour and a half.

              See our review

            Notable Mentions

            • MSI WS76 (2021):
              The MSI WS76 (2021) is a great Windows alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021). It’s available with Intel 11th Gen. CPUs and NVIDIA discrete graphics, which are powerful enough to handle demanding tasks. You can configure it with a 4k display that covers the entire Adobe RGB and DCI P3 color spaces, so it’s suitable for photo and video editing. However, its color accuracy out of the box isn’t as good, meaning you’ll need to calibrate it before you do any color-critical work, and it’s also less portable because it’s bulkier and heavier.
              See our review
            • Acer Swift 14 (2023):
              The Acer Swift 14 (2023) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) for those who don’t need lots of graphical processing power, like programming or music production students. Its keyboard and touchpad aren’t as good as the Apple laptop’s, and you can only get a maximum of 32GB of memory. The battery lasts around nine hours of light use, enough to get through a typical school day but still much shorter than the Apple model’s twelve hours.
              See our review
            • Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022):
              The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). It’s available in a 13.5- or 15-inch size, so you can choose the one that suits you best. It’s a better option if you need to connect multiple external displays since the Apple model can only output to a single external monitor. However, its speakers don’t sound as good, and its battery life is shorter. The Microsoft model’s display gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings, but it isn’t nearly as bright as the Apple’s, so if you plan on working in a sunny environment or outdoors, the Apple laptop is still a better option. Also, the Microsoft laptop doesn’t handle reflections well.
              See our review
            • Framework Laptop (2022):
              The Framework Laptop (2022) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) if you want an easily upgradeable laptop. It also has a modular port system that lets you swap out the ports on the fly. However, its battery life is much shorter, and the laptop is only available through Framework’s website.
              See our review
            • Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021):
              The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) if you need a 2-in-1 tablet. It’s an especially great option if you’re in a program that requires you to draw with a stylus. However, like the keyboard, you need to buy the stylus separately, making the overall cost of the device much higher than the Apple laptop.
              See our review

            Recent Updates

            1. Jun 30, 2023:
              Minor text changes to add the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) and the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) in the text. No change in recommendations.

            2. May 31, 2023:
              Verified that all picks are still valid. Minor text changes to add the LG gram 14 (2023) as an alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). Added the Microsoft Surface laptop 5 (2022) as a Notable Mention.

            3. May 02, 2023:
              Verified the accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations. Added the Acer Swift 14 (2023) as a Notable Mention.

            4. Apr 06, 2023:
              Minor text changes to include the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) as an alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). No change in recommendations.

            5. Mar 10, 2023:
              Minor text changes. Replaced the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) with the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) because the Spin 714 provides a better user experience overall. Replaced the Razer Blade 14 (2022) with the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) because the ASUS is cheaper and has longer battery life. Added the LG gram 17 (2021) as a Notable Mention.

            All Reviews

            Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops for college students to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn’t worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

            If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s the list of all of our laptop reviews, sorted by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.

            The 6 Best Laptops for College Students in 2023

            We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more›

            1. Electronics
            2. Laptops

            Photo: Connie Park


            We’ve updated this guide with our new pick for budget Windows laptop.

            College is expensive—including tuition, housing, and textbooks, not to mention food and other miscellaneous costs. So students need a reliable laptop that’ll last for years of taking notes, writing papers at 3 in the morning, and editing slides for a group project. But choosing the right laptop can be more challenging than writing a thousand words on Proust.

            We test dozens of laptops every year, and for this guide we’ve rounded up the picks from our other guides that are the best for students. A laptop’s price-to-performance ratio is the most important factor, followed by its battery life, its size and weight, and its keyboard and trackpad. Our top pick offers the best balance of all those factors for high school and college students, whether they’re attending classes remotely or schlepping it to a physical classroom.

            We also have more-portable picks, if you’re able to spend more. And for anyone on a tighter budget, we have less expensive options that are also well suited for younger kids. To achieve their more-affordable price tags, these cheaper options all make serious trade-offs—in shorter battery life, bulkier size, or more-limited functionality—and they’re not likely to last as long as our picks. If you’re a film or photography student and you need a laptop for photo and video editing, or if you want a laptop that can also play games, we have picks for you, too.

            The research

            • Our pick: Asus Zenbook 14 OLED
            • A Windows upgrade: HP Spectre x360 13.5
            • Mac options: MacBook Air
            • Budget Chromebook pick: Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H-K62Y)
            • Budget Windows pick: Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 (A3SP14-31PT)
            • Budget tablet pick: Apple iPad

            Our pick: Asus Zenbook 14 OLED

            Our pick

            Asus Zenbook 14″ OLED (UM3402YA-WS51T)

            The Zenbook 14 is the best laptop you can get for the price. But its build quality isn’t as nice, and it won’t perform as well in a few years as our top picks.

            Buying Options

            $699* from Walmart

            *At the time of publishing, the price was $700.

            Asus Zenbook 14″ OLED (UM3402YA-WS74T)

            This version of the Zenbook 14 performs just as well as our top pick, but it costs a couple hundred dollars more than the base model.

            Buying Options

            $869* from Walmart

            *At the time of publishing, the price was $870.

            Recommended configuration

            Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 7530U or Ryzen 7 7730U Screen: 14-inch 2880×1800 OLED touch
            Memory: 8 GB or 16 GB Weight: 3.06 pounds
            Storage: 256 GB or 512 GB SSD Tested battery life: 11 hours

            Who these are for: Budget ultrabooks—thin and light laptops with good performance and long battery life and a price tag in the $700 to $800 range—are ideal for high school and college students because they provide the best value. These cheaper ultrabooks tend to make minor trade-offs compared with ultrabooks over $1,000: They may be a bit larger and heavier, may not last quite as long on a charge, may feel less sturdy or solid, or may lack convenient features such as a fingerprint reader or USB-C charging. But even with those drawbacks, budget ultrabooks still provide far better performance and overall quality compared with $500 laptops.

            Photo: Connie Park

            Why we like this one: Most high school or college students shopping for a laptop to last through graduation should get the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED, either the base model with 8 GB of memory or the version with 16 GB of memory. It’s powerful and portable enough to use for a full day of classes, and it has a vivid screen and a solid keyboard and trackpad. Unlike most cheap ultrabooks, the Zenbook 14 is sturdy and equipped with a fingerprint reader, and it comes with a USB-C charger, which you can use to charge more devices and is generally cheaper to replace than specialty non–USB-C chargers. If you spend around $400 more for the HP Spectre x360 13.5, you get a sleeker, nicer laptop with a better webcam and potentially more memory. But for most students, those differences aren’t worth the $400.

            You can read more about the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED and our other picks in our guide to Windows ultrabooks.

            A Windows upgrade: HP Spectre x360 13.5

            Upgrade pick

            HP Spectre x360 13.5″

            The Spectre x360 offers exceptional battery life, a tall touchscreen, and a reliable keyboard and trackpad, and our pick is thin and light enough to slip in a bag and take anywhere.

            Buying Options

            $1,250* from HP

            *At the time of publishing, the price was $1,000.

            Recommended configuration

            Processor: Intel Core i5-1235U Screen: 13. 5-inch 1920×1280 touch
            Memory: 16 GB Weight: 3.01 pounds
            Storage: 512 GB SSD Tested battery life: 11 hours

            Who these are for: If you’re willing and able to pay more, get an ultrabook, which is a laptop with a great keyboard, screen, and battery life, as well as enough power to do everything most people need a computer for. It’s also thin, light, and portable. Because great ultrabooks provide a better experience and last longer than cheaper alternatives, they can cost more than many students are able to spend on a laptop—expect to pay between $1,100 and $1,300 for a great one that will last for years. But they lack the processing power to play high-end games or to handle demanding tasks like video editing or 3D modeling.

            Photo: Michael Hession

            Why we like this one: The HP Spectre x360 13. 5 (with 16 GB of memory) offers the best balance of what makes an ultrabook great: It offers fast performance, battery life for a full day of classes, a tall aspect ratio screen that’s ideal for browsing the web and writing papers, and a quality keyboard and trackpad. And if you take any classes remotely, the Spectre has the best webcam we tested this year. It also has a 360-degree hinge that lets you flip the touchscreen all the way around to use it as a tablet (or in any intermediate position), and it comes with an active stylus for taking notes. The Spectre x360 13.5 isn’t as light or compact as some other Windows ultrabooks, but at 3 pounds it’s certainly not heavy, either. It ships with too much bloatware, but that’s easy to uninstall when the laptop arrives.

            You can read more about the HP Spectre x360 13.5 and our other picks in our guide to Windows ultrabooks.

            Mac options: MacBook Air

            Our pick

            Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

            The M1 MacBook Air has a comfortable keyboard, good performance, and a reasonable amount of storage—things that haven’t always been true of previous MacBook Airs.

            Upgrade pick

            Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022, 13″)

            The 2022 M2 MacBook Air offers an updated design, a brighter screen, and a better webcam, and it restores the fan-favorite MagSafe port.

            Buying Options

            $1,099* from Apple

            $1,099 from Amazon

            $1,100 from Walmart

            *At the time of publishing, the price was $1,100.

            Recommended configuration

            Processor: eight-core Apple M1 or M2 CPU Screen: 13.3-inch 2560×1600 or 2560×1664 IPS
            Memory: 8 GB Weight: 2.8 pounds
            Storage: 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 14.5 hours

            Who these are for: If you prefer macOS or need exceptional tech support, a MacBook is a safe bet; the 13-inch models usually offer the best combination of size, weight, and speed. They’re great for most types of schoolwork, including writing, researching, and basic video and photo editing and coding. Once you factor in Apple’s education discount, you can get one with good enough specs and storage to last three to four years for less than $1,000. MacBooks are usually more expensive than Windows ultrabooks, especially if you want to upgrade the memory or storage; Apple’s SSD upgrade prices are so high that we usually recommend looking into cloud storage or an external SSD instead.

            Photo: Andrew Cunningham

            Why we liked this one: At $900 after an education discount, the 13-inch MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is Apple’s cheapest MacBook. If your budget can stretch another $100, we recommend the newer MacBook Air (M2, 2022, 13″), which has a brighter screen, a superior webcam, and a MagSafe charging port. Both models are more than fast enough for web browsing, working on documents, and light photo and video editing, plus they can even handle professional work like 3D rendering or compiling code. They also have great keyboards and trackpads, as well as all-day battery life. Like Apple’s other laptops, the Air has only USB-C ports; you may need a USB-C hub for certain peripherals. But the Air’s light weight, solid construction, and industry-leading support make it a great laptop, especially if you also own an iPhone or other Apple devices.

            Budget Chromebook pick: Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H-K62Y)

            Budget pick

            Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H-K62Y)

            With reliable performance, a vivid, bright display, and long battery life, the Spin 513 is the best Chromebook for the price.

            Recommended configuration

            Processor: MediaTek Kompanio 1380 Screen: 13. 5-inch 2256×1504 touch
            Memory: 8 GB Weight: 2.82 pounds
            Storage: 128 GB eMMC Tested battery life: 10.5 hours

            Who these are for: Chromebooks are ideal for students who don’t need Windows or macOS for specific programs. A good Chromebook can do almost anything a regular laptop can do, including document work, video calls, and streaming video—as long as it’s possible in a web browser or via Android apps. And $500 Chromebooks tend to be faster, lighter, and sleeker than similarly priced Windows laptops. Plus, Chromebooks are secure and easy to maintain. But Chromebooks may have trouble connecting to campus printers, and they can’t play Windows games. And they’re not good for people who need access to Mac or Windows apps for photo, video, or audio editing, or other specialized software.

            Photo: Michael Hession

            Why we like this one: If you can complete all of your coursework on a Chromebook, we recommend the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H-K62Y) because it has the best combination of features and price of all the models we’ve tested. It has fast enough performance, a reliable keyboard and trackpad, and a tall, vivid touchscreen. The Spin 513 is also portable, with a thin-and-light body and long enough battery life to last a full day of work or classes. Though we wish the Spin 513 were less expensive, it’s absolutely worth its price. (We’ve also seen this model drop below $500 on sale, which is an excellent deal.)

            Budget Windows pick: Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 (A3SP14-31PT)

            Budget pick

            Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 (A3SP14-31PT)

            Unlike most cheap Windows laptops, the Aspire 3 Spin 14 is fast, compact, and light, and it has a decent 1080p touchscreen and good battery life.

            Recommended configuration

            Processor: Intel Core i3-N305 Screen: 14-inch 1920×1200 touch
            Memory: 8 GB Weight: 3. 3 pounds
            Storage: 128 GB or 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 8.5 hours

            Who these are for: If you need a Windows laptop for school and you can’t afford to spend a lot, you can find a decent one for less than $500, but you have to make some compromises. These models are best suited for grade-school or middle-school students, because most budget Windows laptops that are fast enough for school work tend to be bulky, heavy, and stuck with battery life that won’t last a full day of classes. You have to be extra-vigilant when shopping for a laptop in this price range to avoid slow or old processors, not enough memory, sluggish storage, and terrible, low-resolution displays.

            Photo: Acer

            Why we like this one: The Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 (A3SP14-31PT) in any of our recommended configurations (37NV, 38YA, or 32M6) is the best Windows laptop you can find for the price. But we strongly recommend saving up for our top pick if you can—it’s better in nearly every way.

            The Aspire 3 Spin 14 is fast enough to meet most people’s computing needs, and its keyboard and trackpad are reliable. It also has a decent-looking 14-inch 1920×1200 touchscreen with a tall aspect ratio, as well as a 360-degree hinge that allows you to use the device as a tablet to take handwritten notes (if you have a stylus). Compared with most bulky Windows laptops in this price range, the Aspire 3 Spin 14 is also more compact, and it has long enough battery life to last a full day of classes.

            The Aspire 3 Spin 14 ships with Windows 11 S mode, which allows only apps from the Microsoft Store and limits you to Microsoft Edge for web browsing. But you can switch it to Windows 11 Home for free to install any program you need. It also comes with a ton of bloatware; we recommend following these steps to get rid of it.

            Choosing a budget laptop is tricky, because you can find hundreds of variations, their prices fluctuate constantly, and companies release and discontinue models with no warning. If our pick isn’t available, check our full guide for other available options and advice on how to shop for a budget laptop.

            Budget tablet pick: Apple iPad

            Our pick

            Apple iPad (9th generation)

            With a large screen, a fast-enough processor, and Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, the 9th-gen iPad offers the features most tablet users need.

            Who these are for: Windows laptops and Chromebooks that cost around $300 are almost uniformly unpleasant to use—washed-out screens and crappy performance are the two biggest problems. A tablet isn’t good at all the things a laptop is good at, and if you’re taking programming classes or learning how to do high-end photo and video editing with apps such as Photoshop or Premiere, a tablet probably wouldn’t work for you. But if you mainly need to browse the internet, write papers, stream videos, draw, and take handwritten notes, an iPad can be a workable, inexpensive substitute for a traditional laptop. iPads feel faster than cheap laptops, they run the App Store’s huge selection of games (in addition to productivity apps), and their light weight makes them more convenient to use in bed or on a couch when your homework is done and you want to unwind.

            Photo: Sarah Kobos

            Why we like this one: The 10.2-inch Apple iPad (9th generation) isn’t as fast as the much-more-expensive iPad Pro models, but it is responsive and pleasant to use, its screen is bright and colorful, it has good battery life, and the Apple Pencil is great for drawing or taking notes. And Apple has made big strides forward in keyboard and mouse support, which makes the iPad feel a lot more like a traditional laptop when you put it in a case and pair it to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (or one of Apple’s Magic Trackpads). If you can afford it, and especially if your iPad will be your only computer, consider the 256 GB version instead of the 64 GB version; with that version, you’ll need to rely on cloud storage less, and you’ll have more space for apps and other files.

            Meet your guide

            Kimber Streams

            Kimber Streams is a senior staff writer and has been covering laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more for Wirecutter since 2014. In that time they’ve tested hundreds of laptops and thousands of peripherals, and built way too many mechanical keyboards for their personal collection.

            Further reading

            • The Best Laptops

              by Kimber Streams and Dave Gershgorn

              From budget-friendly options to thin-and-light ultrabooks to powerful gaming laptops, we’ve spent hundreds of hours finding the best laptops for most people.

            • The Best Backpacks for College and High School Students

              by Zoe Vanderweide

              Our top backpack picks for the 2022 back-to-school season include a comfortable outdoorsy pack, a campus classic, and a just-grown-up-enough daypack.

            • What to Buy: A School Laptop Under $500 That Isn’t Junk

              by Thorin Klosowski

              To get a laptop that’s usable for most schoolwork, you need to spend at least $450 to $500. I’ve tested dozens of laptops, and here’s what I’d recommend.

            • The Best College Dorm Essentials

              by Wirecutter Staff

              Our favorite durable-but-not-too-expensive bedding, accessories, kitchen gear, and tools for your dorm room.

            Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

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            How to choose the best laptop for college students?

            Last updated: April 20, 2023 by Arun Singh | Fact verified

            Affiliate Disclosure: Full Transparency – Some of the links on our website are affiliate links and if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you (nothing at all!).

            Laptops are gadgets that have become a must for any college student. One of the reasons for this is the huge spread of the concept of online education and everything related to learning.

            So finding the perfect laptop that best suits your college needs can be a daunting task. So we are here to solve your problem. In this article, we will guide you through how to choose the best laptop for college students.

            So, if you are a college student and you are looking for good laptops for college students, then this article is sure to help you in your search. Along with this post, you should also take a look at How to check laptop or PC specs?

            • Wondering what are the best laptops for gaming for around $600? If so, you’ll probably get the best deal on your expenses by coming straight here.


            How to choose the best laptop for college students?

            Step #1: Know your requirements.

            The very first step in finding the best laptops for students is to understand their needs. By need, we mean what features you want in your laptop. The requirements may vary from person to person, but in the general context of the students; the most preferred features are good sound and graphics quality, decent storage, and fast processing.

            So in this section we will discuss some parameters to look out for when looking for a good laptop:

            1: Memory: You need a good amount of memory for fast processing. So, based on this fact, you should consider acquiring a memory that will do everything for you.

            2: Screen size: Assuming you’re looking for a laptop that’s best for college students, you’ll need a small, large laptop screen. Under normal circumstances, a 12-inch laptop screen is worth choosing, but if you’re a gamer or avid movie buff, you should consider a 14-inch laptop screen. If you already have a laptop, you should take a look at the post explaining how to clean a laptop screen.

            3: Graphics: If video games are one of your priorities, you should choose a laptop with good graphics performance.

            4: Hard drive: A good laptop with decent memory will do, but only for a college student; you will need to store video courses and content. So, choose the one that best suits your needs. You can choose between SSD or HDD according to your needs.

            5: CPU: This stands for “Central Processing Unit”. You should consider looking for a high performance processor so that it doesn’t lag your processes. If you are looking for a gaming laptop, there are a few things you should consider before choosing a gaming laptop.

            6: Appearance Although this is not a factor to pay special attention to, since you are in college, appearance and design become factors to pay attention to. Highlight, slim and neat design will please you more.

            7: Weight: If you are looking for the best laptops for students, you should pay attention to the weight of the laptop. Since you have to carry a laptop with you, you should choose one that is lightweight, easy to carry, and durable.

            Step #2: Decide on a brand.

            Now that you are done with the specs, you need to select the make of your laptop. When choosing a brand, you should see reviews from existing users. To do this, you can scroll down various e-commerce portals and reviews.

            Since you have landed on this article, we assume that you are looking for a laptop that is best for students. So, according to my recommendations, you should choose a laptop with a good battery backup. At least four hours of backup battery will do everything for you. The bonus is a good rigid and durable body structure.

            If you’re taking several high-end courses and attending major conferences regularly, you should choose Apple or Sony as it will give you a very professional look. However, this is not required. You can choose whatever suits your budget and needs.

            When choosing the best brand for your laptop, you also need to decide on your budget.
            This will make things easier for you as it improves your search for the best laptop.

            Step #3: Buy a laptop.

            Now that you’re done with the specs, brand and budget, you need to make your purchase. You can buy it online or offline, whichever suits you best. For online shopping, you can consider Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal, or some other online portals.

            Choose the one that gives you the best price plus some other perks like free insurance and all. However, be sure to purchase a laptop from a trusted source.

            Here are a few additional things you should also keep in mind when looking for a laptop suitable for your college:

            1) Decide on a platform: You should choose a platform in advance. This will greatly improve your search and help you a lot. You can choose Mac, Windows or LINUX.

            2) Check the price: very often you can get a discount on the laptop of your choice on certain portals. So be sure to check out as many trusted platforms as you can. If you can wait, you should look for festival deals or Black Friday deals.

            3) Insurance: If you are in college, your laptops may be stolen or damaged. So be sure to check if there is insurance. If not, then get it.

            To summarize.

            With that, let’s conclude, this section brings us to the end of this tutorial on How to choose the best laptop for college students? “We hope we have been efficient enough to satisfy your curiosity on this topic.

            We firmly believe that we left no stone unturned by delving into the smallest details of the subject and making you understand the whole concept.

            But if you still have any questions about best laptops for college students then feel free to post your question in the comments below. We will try our best to solve the problem.

            Moreover, if you found this article useful and worthy, show your love by sharing it in the community and among your peers.
            Thank you for passing by and reading.

            Arun Singh

            Arun Singh is an experienced server management professional and has over 8 years of server hosting experience and occasionally shares his digital marketing knowledge. He currently works for a private company in Mumbai, India and manages the servers at

            Best College Student Laptop Discounts You Can Get in 2023

            This post is a detailed guide on how to find the best college student laptop discounts you can get.

            A student has many benefits when it comes to discounts on groceries. For example, if you’re into gadgets and electronics, HP student discounts and Dell student discounts can save you up to 50%.

            However, if you are an entertainment lover, Hulu Student Discount Spotify Student Discount can save you some really good money.

            On the other hand, you can Get paid to watch Netflix or, even better, get Netflix Student Discount . For those who need new sportswear, you can get Gym Shark Discount.

            When it comes to the Internet, everything can be bought at a bargain price. Sometimes you may feel that the price is a little high.

            But other times, like this, where certain groups of people can get the same products at an even lower price. It only gets better!

            Generally, students and teachers get the best discounts of all people. Hence, knowing where to find the best college laptop discounts is crucial.

            There are several reasons to have a laptop in college, but sometimes we don’t want to spend so much money on one.

            College laptop discounts let you buy any laptop at a surprisingly low price.

            We’ll also look at some of the best student and teacher discounts. READ ALSO: Top 10 Colleges for Students with Autism

            Laptops come in many shapes, features and sizes.

            Before buying a laptop, you should familiarize yourself with its main characteristics.

            The key things that make it the perfect device for you.

            Here are some features to look out for when buying a school laptop.

            #1. Battery Life

            First of all, when choosing a laptop for college, battery life is an important variable.

            A long-lasting battery is essential for a good notebook.

            Therefore, a laptop battery that lasts only an hour or two is not ideal.

            Although some batteries can last up to four hours on average, this is not enough.

            On the other hand, a laptop with a battery life of at least seven hours is enough for any task. This is the option you should go with.

            No. 2. Processor

            In the midst of an important project, a good laptop with a fast processor will not leave you and your work. Intel processors include Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors.

            The processor works like the brain of a laptop computer.

            It displays the performance of the computer.

            Since the notebook’s processor is powerful, programs such as photo editing and graphic design software will run faster.

            Buying a Core i5 or Core i7 processor should work for you.

            #3. RAM

            VASHE computer RAM In fact, it is a short-term memory in which data is stored only as needed for the processor.

            It shows how your laptop will respond to commands and how many programs it can run. You can run more applications on your laptop if you increase the amount of memory.

            At least 4 GB of RAM becomes standard on good laptops.

            In most cases, 2 GB will not be enough.

            This will be difficult for you because your laptop will be slow, especially if you use it to run heavy applications.

            This will require a laptop with more RAM.

            Laptops with 8 and 16 gigabytes of RAM are now available.

            No. 4. Hard disk

            Another thing to think about when buying a laptop is the amount of hard drive or memory.

            There are basically two types.

            The first is a hard disk drive (HDD) and the second is a solid state drive (SSD).

            Usually a computer with an SSD will be faster than a laptop with a hard drive.

            This is because SSDs do not have moving parts that consume more power and require a drive; unlike hard drives.

            However, both types store information more or less permanently on your computer.

            When should I buy a laptop?

            The best time to buy a laptop depends on the season.

            From July to September there are many special offers for schoolchildren.

            Then, in November and December, the Christmas sales start. In the spring, from about February to April, retailers cut prices again.

            The back-to-school season, which runs from July to September, usually gives students the best prices.

            However, don’t pass up a great deal just because it’s holiday season!

            Discounts available throughout the year.

            What are the discounts for student laptops?

            Student discounts on laptops are usually given to college students when a supplier or company lowers the price of laptops and accessories.

            This usually increases accessibility for students and increases sales for the company.

            READ ALSO: The Best Dance Schools in the World | How To Enter

            Best College Student Laptop Deals You Can Get

            With any of these student discounts on laptops, you won’t have to pay full price.

            A significant portion of the cost will be reduced so that you can easily afford a laptop.

            #1. Student Discount: Apple Education Program

            Mac computers are becoming more popular for a variety of reasons. On college campuses, Apple laptops are especially popular.

            And Apple only makes it better by offering some of the best laptop deals for college students.

            Apple products provide student laptop discounts that are unmatched on their Windows counterparts.

            Savings is for current and new college students and their parents.

            Apple is making this available to teachers and staff, benefiting teachers and students alike.

            It also covers the cost of education for homeschool teachers of any level. The Apple Education Pricing Program covers most Apple products.

            #2. Best Buy Student Discount: Best Buy Student Offers

            Best Buy, the world’s largest electronics retailer. It offers various discounts on laptops for college students.

            While discounts vary by department, Best Buy does offer discounts on laptops.

            To take advantage of student discounts, you must create or join a Best Buy account and subscribe to student offers.

            Once you join, you will receive promotional emails that you can use both online and in store.

            You will be able to sort by student discounts and then use your coupons accordingly.

            Visit site

            №3. Dell Student Discount: Dell University

            College student discounts on laptops are available through Dell University.

            This is a program offered by the PC manufacturer Dell.

            One benefit is the promise of price matching for students.

            In addition, students can earn up to 6% on their purchases through Dell Rewards.

            In addition, additional perks include free expedited shipping and exclusive offers.

            On his student laptops, you get top-notch hardware at a discount.

            Make it shine as one of the best laptop deals for college students.

            See also: Best laptops for high school students

            #4. Microsoft Student Discount: Microsoft Education

            Microsoft is offering a 10% student, military, and parent discount on all of its products.

            All three Microsoft Surface devices are included: Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book.

            Don’t forget to take advantage of the Microsoft Office 365 offer. This is undoubtedly one of the best deals on laptops for college students.

            All you have to do is enter your student’s email address to get free Office 365.


            #5. Amazon Student Discount: Amazon Prime Student

            Amazon remains the market leader in e-commerce, technology and deals. University students can sign up for an Amazon Prime account and receive exclusive discounts.

            Such discounts from partners who only offer discounts to Prime Student members.

            Although a Prime membership is required, Amazon offers a six-month free trial and a subscription discount.

            Prime Student offers substantial discounts on laptops, phones, tablets and other electronic products.

            Not to mention the other benefits of Amazon Prime.

            These benefits include free 1- and 2-day shipping and access to Amazon Prime Video.

            Visit Website

            ALSO READ: Top 10 Very High Payout Affiliate Networks

            #6. Lenovo Student Discount: Academic Purchase

            Lenovo also provides student and professor discounts.

            Lenovo ThinkPad, IdeaPad, Yoga and other Lenovo devices receive a 5% discount.

            After you add the device to your cart and verify your student identity with, you will receive a discount.

            Please note that this discount cannot be used with any of the site’s other promotional coupons.

            No. 7. Acer Student Discount: Acer Online Discount

            Acer provides students with a 10% discount as well as free shipping.

            To receive a discount coupon, Acer will connect you to Student Beans to verify your student status.

            Sorry, this offer does not cover warranties, recovery hardware, Chromebooks, orders totaling over $5,000, or any pre-orders.

            Free shipping not available outside the US.

            Visit site

            №8. HP Student Discount: HP Student Store Weekend Discount

            Although the HP website no longer offers student discounts, Unidays may still offer discounts on HP devices.

            Unidays is a great resource for students looking for great deals on well-known brands, including HP.

            Registering on Unidays and verifying your student status will give you quick access to the latest HP offerings.

            You should keep an eye on these deals because they change over time.

            #9. Samsung

            As a rule, most Samsung products are discounted up to 10%.

            Fantastic discounts include a $300 Speed ​​and Storage package that includes two Samsung drives.

            It’s easy to get one of the best laptop deals for college students.

            From time to time, Samsung provides exclusive offers for students.

            College students can access these discounts and make the most of them.

            Visit site

            №10. Sony Education Store

            Save up to 10% on computers and accessories at the Sony Education Store.

            Also, as a student, you can present your ID at the Sony Store and receive a discount.

            When making an online purchase, you must verify your school and agree to certain terms and conditions.

            When you shop with Sony online, you’ll get even more great rewards like:

            • Updates and configuration options only available to you
            • Includes free shipping and a 30-day return policy.

            READ ALSO: Why should we hire you? Best Interview Response

            Best College Laptop Discounts | FAQ

            Are Acer laptops good for students?

            Yes! Acer laptops are affordable, making them ideal for college students.

            On the other hand, Acer laptops are known for their short battery life. As a result, you should consider many other possibilities.

            What size laptop is ideal for high school?

            13″ laptop ideal for high school students.

            The Dell XPS Ultrabook is a powerful laptop capable of handling even the most demanding workloads and software in a small 13-inch chassis.

            Which laptop is best for high school?

            The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops for high school students.