Before buying a laptop, think carefully about what you need. Students have a lot of work to do in college. As well as their schoolwork and projects, they need time for extracurricular activities.
In addition to processing power and system memory, portability should be considered. Laptops that are easy to carry or small are better.
A backup battery is important in an emergency. High-quality batteries are important. They make sure that the device is portable and strong. In our research, we found that college students work for hours on a laptop without worrying about battery life. A thin and light-weighted laptop is the best one to pack for a presentation. It can be used for many things, like making presentations.
When you are shopping for a laptop, storage capacity is important. Make sure it has enough storage. Students need a place to store their homework, as well as games. It is not possible to keep them at home, because then they would not be able to use the internet.
Many schools now offer online lectures, so good quality webcams and microphones are essential. Furthermore, students need keyboards that can withstand abuse. Additionally, they have backlighting if you need to work at night on a paper or document.
Specialization in the field that a student studies also affects what laptop they prefer. For example, if you work on engineering projects that need 3D modeling and simulation, you might need a powerful GPU.
Similarly, an IT student, professional coder, and aspiring programmer need a powerful processor that can support Virtualization to have productive programming experiences. Whether you're running a business or doing something more personal, having the right notebook is important.
Computers are powered by Windows OS. This is a type of computer that many college students use. This backpack is a cheap and affordable option. It also fits the needs of budget-minded college students. If you want a computer that is portable and easy to use, then get a MacBook. They're the more obvious choice.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
The recommended system specifications should be enough for people to handle intensive and other demanding academic tasks, as well as have space for leisure activities. We have put together requirements for every student-friendly activity so that they will not have any problems.
Best Laptops for College Students in 2021
Therefore, every student needs different things. It is hard to find the right solution. There are so many options that it is impossible to find one that will work for everybody.
Here are 12 laptops that are good for college.
Choosing a laptop can be hard. You need to think about what you want from it. What kind of battery, what kind of size? You will need to buy one that is the right for you.
1. Best Overall: HP Spectre x360 15t
The HP Spectre x360 15t is an excellent choice for students. It is large and has a lot of storage so it can be good for studying. The convertible's Windows operating system is easy to use on its own. But if you want, you can use a stylus when it is more productive.
The Hexa-Core processor is very powerful. It helps you do hard tasks like accounting, data processing, and 3D modeling projects. This computer has a fast processor. It can go really fast and be turbo-charged at 4.5GHz.
The current GPU can help with 3D rendering in Cinema 4D. NVIDIA recommends a GTX 1650 as the best GPU for gaming. This GPU has 4GB of RAM, so it can't run demanding games titles like PUBG or Fortnite on high graphics settings. But it can run lightweight titles like Sims 4 and Project Cars 2 without any problems.
This laptop is really fast at loading files and connecting to WiFi. You have a lot of room for storage. You get a 512GB SSD that can work with NVMe. HP has increased the memory of this computer by 16GB. If you often do things at the same time, then there will be more space in your computer for those things.
This gadget is perfect for students. Students do a lot of work and this gadget. The display is very big. The resolution on it is 4K, which means that it has a lot of small dots to make the picture. The screen on the Brightview is really good. The colors are bright and it has multi-touch support.
The backlit keyboards and the touchpad are easy to use. The HP computer has a camera and microphone that work well. Plays on for music production or plays sound from outside can make study sessions interesting.
This gadget is good because it has wireless and wired connectivity. The battery of the laptop lasts for up to 15 hours without running out. Thunderbolt 3 ports let you connect a display, external hard drive, and other peripherals. The Spectre x360 15t is a laptop that is light and has a beautiful design. It weighs only 4.81 pounds, which makes it one of the most lightweight laptops on the market.
The HP Spectre x360 is a great gadget for students. It has the features that make school life easier, like typing and drawing.
2. Best Runner Up: Asus ZenBook 15
If you have a lot of money, you should buy the Asus ZenBook 15 laptop. It can do everything that you need it to do. The good looks and portability of this laptop attract people.
This chip has a good speed. It can go up to 4.9 GHz. The U800 CPU is available in the i3-7100 and the i5-7400 configurations. This means that it has a lower power drain. The Intel Core i7-10510U may require less power than some other CPUs. It can also do two things at the same time.
The Max-Q GPU layout makes the laptop slim without sacrificing performance. The Asus computer has NVIDIA GTX 16-series GPUs with 4GB RAM. The CPU-GPU processing conglomerate allows you to run high-end games without lag.
This laptop has 16GB of RAM to help the existing processor. A 512GB SSD provides a faster and more responsive user experience than a traditional HDD.
The Windows 10 Professional edition already has the gadget. The storage module is large and fast. It's good for college students who need to deal with a lot of data.
The display offers a 15.6-inch 1080p panel which is really big and nice for watching videos. The Lenovo ThinkPad P72 offers really good visuals and media experiences because the screen-to-chassis ratio is 92%. This means that the screen covers 92% of the laptop.
The ErgoLift makes typing easier. The Asus computer has a backlit keyboard that is good for productivity. The Touchpad 2.0 is strong. But you need to upgrade to the ScreenPad if you want it to be really strong.
In addition to that, there are good speakers. There is a good IR webcam on with Windows Hello support and studio-grade microphones. The 5.65-inch touchscreen secondary screen can be used to browse through your assignments, texts, and more without any downtime due to the primary device being in use.
You get access to a USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 2, HDMI, and other essential output units. Asus made a thin design for this laptop. But they did not trade off having many ports and features in the laptop like some other laptops that are bulkier. This laptop is light and cool. It weighs 3.64 pounds and has an ergonomic design This computer has Wi-Fi, which means that students don't have to worry about not being able to get internet outside of the country. They can use it for assignments.
The Asus ZenBook 15 lasts for nine hours. It is better at being productive than other devices on the market.
3. Best with Intel i5: Lenovo IdeaPad L340
Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is the best notebook that has an i5. It performs well when gaming and academic activities both are concerned. This gadget is a good choice for college students. It provides enough power and it is also affordable.
The 4GB VRAM can show 3D images without any problems. It also makes it easier for gamers to do many things at once. The NVIDIA card is made for people who want to have a lot of graphics on their computer. It's perfect for people who want to play games so they can have fun.
The 512GB of ultra-fast flash storage is really fast. It's faster than a hard drive. To do college-specific things, it comes with courtesy of the 8GB RAM.
The display is big. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Despite what your major is, sometimes you may have to do assignments that take up most of your time. The In-Plane Switching mode is perfect for those who suffer from eye strain. It has a high-quality anti-glare display that makes it easier to see and look at other things.
This laptop is great for typing. It has a keyboard that lights up in the dark. You can use it to make graphics or desktop publishing, with a touchpad that is good for that too. The speakers are powerful and have Dolby Audio tech that will really impress you with their sound quality. There's also a webcam-microphone
Lenovo has a physical shutter that protects your webcam and camera lens. It will keep people from peeking at you or doing bad things to you.
This notebook is not heavy. It weighs about 4.84 pounds, which is good for college students who don't like to carry a heavy notebook. This laptop offers a lot of different ports, including HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.1. There are also slots for plugging in pens, card readers, or thumb drives.
On average, the battery lasts six hours on moderate usage. At this price, the IdeaPad L340 from Lenovo is one of the best computers for college students.
4. Best Value for Money: Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7 is a very good laptop. It is well-built, and it is also attractive. You can do many things with this computer. With these abilities, it's a great choice for someone who wants to play games on their computer.
The highest clock speed for this computer can be up to 4.1 GHz. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 16-series GPU is a mid-range card. It can run games that are low on quality, but it can also run some high-quality games too. This laptop has a powerful Intel Core i5-9300H chipset. If you take it with you, then your work will be easier because it has Virtualization and HyperThreading support. When it comes to VRAM, Acer has 4GB.
The NVMe-capable SSD offers 512GB of storage. Acer does not make it hard to use their computer. Their computers have the Windows 10 OS. 8GB RAM helps students to do all their school work at the same time.
The widescreen viewing experience and in-plane switching work together to make your work time go faster. It is also good for playing games on the TV. The 15.6-inch screen is good for college because it has a high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Acer makes computers that are better for work. This laptop has things that are easy for kids to use like a backlit keyboard, a touchpad with a fingerprint scanner, and an HD webcam.
This computer is not heavy. It's made of metal and it weighs only 4.71 pounds! This battery lasts for 8.5 hours, which is still useful for students who forget about their homework. Connectivity is the way that things are connected.
The Aspire 7 is a laptop that can be used for school. It can do any task because it has an H-series chipset that will make it easy.
5. Best Apple Laptop: Apple MacBook Pro
As a college student, the newest 16-inch MacBook Pro might not be affordable. This is where you can get a MacBook Pro 13, which is a good computer. It has high specifications.
One major factor in this is the existing 128MB SDRAM. This gadget has a 5-core i5 processor. This means that it can run high-intensity software without stuttering.
I have a MacBook Pro 13. On it is macOS Catalina. The following addition is 8 GB of RAM. It helps you to do many things at the same time without having to stop. The 512GB SSD is a handy thing to have for this laptop. It helps with storage and shorter boot-ups.
Apple MacBook Pro laptop has a 13.3-inch high-resolution screen. It is the best kind because the pixels are small and there are more of them on this screen. This monitor has a high brightness level which means it is easier on your eyes. It has many advanced features like "True Tone" technology that will make movies and TV even more enjoyable.
The Apple Magic Keyboard has a good-sized keyboard. It is 1m. The features of this computer are good. The trackpad is fast and the speakers are advanced. Other things that help you work are a camera and microphone. The new MacBook Pro is a good computer for students. The Touch ID feature makes it more secure. The integrated touchpad helps you use your apps and see data.
The Apple iPhone has a powerful battery that will last up to 10 hours. That is not all. The phone also has great wireless and wired connectivity. MacBook Pro 13s are light. It has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect old things with and other slots for connecting things.
The Apple MacBook Pro 13 is the most popular high-end laptop for college students.
6. Best Value for Money: HP Pavilion 15
The HP Pavilion 15 series from HP is the best because it has both utility and performance. It also offers more value. The HP Pavilion 15 is a good choice for college students. It has a long battery life, lots of RAM, and an SSD memory drive.
The high-quality CPU provides up to 4.7GHz processing power. The Intel Core i7-1165G7 has a base speed of 2.8GHz. When buying a laptop, choose one that has the Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics. It will be able to handle light games and handle graphic design software like Photoshop, and Illustrator.
BitLocker, assigned access, and remote desktop operation protect this laptop from security threats. The 512GB SSD which is enviably faster compared to HDD. This is great for storing and retrieving data. Windows 10 Pro has security tools that are not available on Windows 10 Home. The 16GB DDR4 SDRAM is the perfect platform for multitasking and lag-free computing.
The Bang and Olufsen speakers are a good thing to have. The screen has IPS technology, and the edges are thin. It makes your view better. This laptop has a screen. It is 15.6-inch 1080p panel.
The HP offers a full-sized keyboard with a dedicated numeric pad. The touchpad is wider and more responsive for multi-touch input. This laptop is good for people who need to write a lot. The keys are big and spaced well, so it's easy.
The powerful hardware is packaged in a package that weighs 3.86 pounds and has a silver finish. Your new laptop is really cool because it has WiFi and Bluetooth. Your battery will last for 8 hours. HP has three USB ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and an audio jack on the base level.
The HP Pavilion is powerful. It has a big, fast processor. This computer has enough space for all your files and games. It's better than most computers for graduate students. Some college students need to charge their phones more often. They should use a fast charger for this. When you have powerful hardware, it can drain your battery more quickly.
7. Best with Stylus (Pen): Lenovo Yoga C940
Here is another laptop that has a good way to fold and flip. The Lenovo Yoga C940 is a tablet that has a stylus and connectivity options.
The Intel Core i7-1065G7 is a good computer. It has an integrated graphics card. Your CPU's default clock speed of 3.9GHz is perfect for you to do many things at once. You might not have any lag time, so you can focus on what is most important.
The Windows 10 OS on the Lenovo convertible is easy to use. 512 GB of solid-state storage makes large files, data, and apps possible. It is fast and does not slow down the system. The G-series processor is equipped with 12GB of RAM. This supports the computer in a good way.
The 1080p panel is good because it is easy to use and you can see what's on it from all sides. The bright and colorful screen is 14 inches and it makes everything look really good.
You won't have to carry your laptop again. This webcam-microphone combination is small and easy to use. The camera has good quality. Lenovo has a big keyboard. It also has a touchpad that is easy to use and speakers that make a good sound.
The router supports the newest connectivity, Wi-Fi 6. The metal-clad device is very strong and it also weighs less than 3 pounds. Even though the Yoga C940 is thin, it still has all of the important slots. These include Thunderbolt 3, Type-C ports, and USB Type-A ports. It also has an Ethernet port.
The battery can last up to 15 hours before it needs a refill. If you are looking for a good laptop, the Lenovo Yoga C940 is one of the best to buy. It is affordable and of high quality.
8. Best Storage Allocation: Dell XPS 13 7390
Touchscreen laptops and ultraportable notebooks are popular among students for their flexibility. A clamshell laptop like the Dell XPS 13 7390 may be more pleasing to most college students. Convertible and 2-in-1 laptops are also available, but they may not be as useful for college students.
Dell has a computer with a powerful chip. The chip can reach up to 4.7 GHz when in turbo mode. This laptop does not have a dedicated graphics card, but it has an Intel UHD integrated GPU. This is best for running games and visual things. This processor is not fast on its own, but it performs well because it can do more than one thing at a time. It is also good because you can use it to make other things work better.
The flash drive is a 1 TB. It is very quick. The laptop has 16GB of RAM. That makes it easier to do more than one thing at a time. The open-supplied Windows 10 Home edition is one of the most interactive platforms for students to work with. The current memory allocation can be used for college use, so you can do multiple tasks and save lots of data.
This feature is good for people who make 3D models and like to eat Doritos. The touch-sensitive panel is very responsive and stays inside the computer. This computer has a 13.3-inch touch screen with a 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels). It is one of the brightest on the market.
This computer has a lot of colors, and it is very sharp. The IPS panel is very bright. It can be seen better when it is anti-reflective and has a contrast ratio of 1:1500.
Students who are concerned about their privacy will like the fingerprint scanner. The Dell laptop has a backlit keyboard, responsive trackpad, speakers, and microphones. They are good for schoolwork.
The battery lasts for 12 hours and there is a light that tells you how much charge is left. The design of this laptop is different. It is metal and it doesn't have any problems with connecting to other phones. Dell has a port with Thunderbolt 3, as well as other ports for data and consumable video content.
The most important thing about the Dell XPS 13 7390 laptop is that it has a display. This laptop also works well and looks good too.
9. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: Dell Inspiron 14 5491
This Dell gadget is both sturdy and portable. It is one of our favorites on the list. As a college student, the Dell Inspiron 14 5491 laptop is one of the best to invest in. It has a flexible form factor and is powerful too.
The Intel UHD 620 is enough to handle when casual gaming is concerned. Intel Core i7-10510U processors are used for processing performances. The CPU does a good job of using less energy. It can handle any task that is hard to do. This is one of the best features of this chipset. The single-core Turbo Clock speed is up to 4.9GHz.
There is 8 GB of storage space available. Your device's storage, boot-up speeds, and data rendering is taken care of by the 512GB NVMe SSD unit. An SSD will make your computer start faster, even when compared to a hard drive.
Most of the software that university students use ran without any problems. We tried out two different programs and they worked well. Sometimes the applications did not work together.
This laptop has a touch screen. It is big and easy to use. The screen resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels. The multi-touch support on the IPS panel is good. It creates quality and clarity.
Removing the touchpad breaks the palm rest. Dell keyboards are backlit. This is good for people in dark places. The LG G6 has powerful speakers. They are made by technology that makes them sound like they are in a movie theater.
Wireless connection standards are synchronized via the smart devices' excellent wireless capabilities. The Dell Inspiron 14 is a beefed-up convertible. It weighs close to 6 pounds. The laptop has a lot of slots for different things. There is USB-C, USB 2.0, HDMI, and more.
This Dell Inspiron is not cheap, but it is a good laptop. It's perfect for someone who does not want to spend too much money.
10. Best AMD-Powered: Acer Swift 3
Acer has the AMD Ryzen 7-4700U processor. The base clock speed can be increased to 4.1GHz when needed for more demanding tasks. This computer has eight cores, too, and it can handle more than one thing at a time.
The current system can do casual games and more complex multi-core tasks. Graphics are a special way of showing images. There are 7-core graphics, and that means there are 7 cores of graphics. before selecting a relevant machine, make sure it has hardware virtualization. This is good for students in business and IT classes.
The 512GB NVMe solid-state storage unit is a good place to store your files. The Acer laptop has 8GB of RAM. That means it can do more things at the same time.
The 14-inch screen is perfect for doing assignments or leisure activities. Images that are HD usually look better than images that aren't. The screen-to-chassis ratio is good. It is 0.21 inches thick.
Acer provides keyboards that are easy to use. The keyboard has a nice feel and you can type without a problem. The fingerprint sensor, touchpad, and webcam were a few of the things that I really liked about this laptop.
There are lots of different ways to connect devices to a computer. Acer laptops have HDMI, USB 3.2 Gen 1, and other slots. This notebook is one of the lightest on our list. It weighs only 2.65 pounds.
The Acer Swift 3 provides a battery that lasts 11.5 hours. It is good because it confirms the quality of the performance.
11. Best Budget Laptop: Asus ZenBook 13
This laptop is for students on a budget. It can be used for many things. The tradeoff is that these headphones are light and portable. But they don't perform well.
In addition to running demanding tasks, such as heavy web browsing usage and basic programming, it is also possible for you to do advanced functions. Under the bonnet, you get an Intel Core i5-1035G1 chip with a turbo clock speed of up to 3.6GHz.
The Intel UHD 620 is in charge of both seeing what you see and playing games.
Asus ZenBook 13 makes RAM modules that have 8GB. This is a lot of space for multitasking. The laptop doesn't have NVMe ability. But it has an SSD. This makes up for it because the SSD storage is ultra-fast than a normal drive. This computer has a very big hard disk. It is 512GB and it will take care of the storage problems that you have. It connects to a card, so it is really fast too.
Another way to make the tablet more student-friendly is to add a feature that helps students see better. You get a better view and a big screen. The screen is 1920 x 1080 pixels and the bezels are slim. The screen is bright and thin. The bezel width is from 4mm to 18mm, which makes the viewing experience almost seamless.
The ASUS laptop also has different features, like a webcam and microphones. This laptop has a keyboard on the back with lights. It also has a sensitive touchpad.
This notebook is 3.4' x 7.3'. It weighs 2.62 pounds. This 5100 mAh battery can charge quickly. It can last for 14 hours even when in extreme conditions. The Dell XPS 15 laptop has the ports and connections that you need. It has two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports, one USB Type-A port, an SD card reader, and an HDMI port connectivity with Wi-Fi 6, Gig Ethernet.
The Asus ZenBook 13 is a good computer. It has a battery that lasts all day and it can do many different things.
12. Cheapest MacBook: Apple Macbook Air
You don't need to spend a lot of money on a MacBook Air. You can get one with a mid-level processor and some productivity features that are great for work.
The most significant advancement is the new Apple M1 chip. It runs at 3.2 GHz. This processor is okay. You can run apps and programs without any issues. The Apple 7-core processor is at the core of this machine. It can make visuals that suit your preferences.
Apple's new operating system is pre-installed on Apple computers. The Apple MacBook Air laptop has a 256 GB SSD. It has fast data rendering capabilities. Apple is making a new iPhone. This new laptop has 8GB of RAM. This should be enough for most people who are using their phones to do multiple things at the same time.
The 13.3-inch display will be good. You can watch the media on it and it will be better than before. The MacBook Air has a very clear screen. It is 2560 x 1600 pixels, with true-tone and color.
This is Apple's new magic keyboard. It has no key travel. This laptop has a touchpad that is fast. It also has a fingerprint scanner so you can unlock the computer and not use passwords. Apple has a new webcam. It is good because you can see your face and it does not make noise.
The MacBook Air 13 is one of the best-looking gadgets on the market. It only weighs 2.8 pounds. The PowerBook has two Thunderbolt 3 ports. It is like a laptop but it does not fold up completely. You can do fast data transfer and charge when you use the port with supported peripherals. This device can work for up to 12 hours without a break before it needs recharging.
This is a good budget for a MacBook. It is best for students.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much memory do I need on my college laptop?
To be safe, you should buy a computer with 8GB of memory. Sometimes there is no limit to how much memory you need, but 8 GB is the best choice. If you can afford to get a 16GB module, it will help with some of the more demanding tasks like running graphics and certain processor-centric tasks.
Which Apple-branded laptop should I purchase for college?
If you want a good computer for not much money, consider a MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is better than Dell's laptop when it comes to speed. The M1 chip and 8-core GPU make the computer really fast.
How much storage space is typically preferred by a college student?
I am always doing things. I watch Netflix, socialize, or sleep during the evening hours. I also read and write. However, a hard drive will slow down your computer. An SSD is best because it loads files, data, and programs quickly.
Which is an underrated aspect shall I take into account before purchasing a laptop for college?
However, you should always keep in mind the safety standards for your laptop. This is because experts say that these standards can help protect your laptop against intruders. For a more secure way to unlock your laptop, look for devices that offer fingerprint scanning or IR cameras with face recognition.
Which form factor should I emphasize while purchasing a laptop for college?
If you travel a lot and need to use your laptop, buy a convertible one. But if you work at a desk, get a laptop that has a stylus and is fast. Students have to think about what they want. There are lots of different options. Think about how much you move, and what kind of tasks you do on your computer.
Choosing and going to a college can be really hard, but it is worth the work. College students have a lot of choices when they are looking for laptops. The level of portability and personal preferences make it hard to choose.
Experts have created a list of gadgets to help you find the best choice.
Buying a laptop can be hard. You might want to look at the price, too.