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10 Best laptops for college students in 2021 (Buying guide)

Best laptops for students

Buying a laptop for college is one of the most significant financial investments you might make before your spring break ends. Freshman or Graduation year, your laptop will be your company during assignments and movie nights. In this article, I have rounded up the best laptops for college students to ensure you make the most of your investment.

These laptops are chosen for regular use and boast features like badass battery life for overnight assignment hours to dedicated storage space for all your files. With hard drives and SSD so smooth, they are meant to strengthen your college years.

You can also opt for a gaming laptop and use it for your college work. However, it can be comparatively more expensive if you aren’t a heavy user. So, keep scrolling through this list of the best college laptops to find the right match!

  1. MacBook Air 13″ (2020)
  2. Dell XPS 15
  3. Microsoft Surface GO 2
  4. MacBook Pro 13″ (2020)
  5. HP Chromebook 14″
  6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3
  7. Google Pixelbook GO
  8. Acer Aspire 5
  9. HP Envy 13
  10. Acer Spin 5

1. MacBook Air 13″ (2020) – Best MacBook for students

macbook air best laptop for college students

Apple’s much-talked-about M1 chips have proved to be a game-changer. With the new range of MacBooks, Apple has presented its thinnest, finest build-up, and fastest range of laptops. The fact that the M1 MacBook Air beats Intel-powered MacBook Pro in terms of performance and speed says a lot.

The cherry on the cake is the price tag that these laptops come with. It is undoubtedly one of my hottest laptop picks for college students. Invest in one and work, play, or edit videos with the same laptop. Did I mention the battery life of this device?

Awestruck is the word!

Glam it up with accessories, maybe cover it up with alluring skins, and don’t forget to get an anti-theft bag for your MacBook.

Specifications:

  • CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
  • Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
  • Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Why should you buy it?

  • Responsive and fast
  • Silent

Price: $999.99

Check out on Amazon

2. Dell XPS 15 – Best Windows laptop for college students

Dell XPS 15 laptop for students

It is compact, it is supremely well-built, and it is durable; DELL XPS 15 is an ideal student laptop, in my opinion. If you are a loyal Windows user, then Dell’s XPS 15 is the laptop you should be looking at.

You can also upgrade the device and opt for a 4K resolution, but the 1920 x 1080 model looks more appealing. With a storage capacity of 1TB, this device can store both your work commitments and personal memories.

Specifications:

  • CPU:  2.6GHz Intel Core i7 6700HQ (quad-core, 6MB cache, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (with 2GB GDDR5)
  • RAM: 16GB Dual Channel DDR4 (2,133MHz; 8GB x 2)
  • Screen: 15.6-inch, 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) InfinityEdge touch
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD

Why should you buy it?

  • Good for gaming
  • Impeccable 4K display

Price: $1,499.99

Check out on Amazon

3. Microsoft Surface GO 2 – Best 2-in-1 laptop for college students

Microsoft Surface GO 2 laptops for students

A great contender in the student laptops range, Microsoft Surface GO 2 is an improved successor to its predecessors in the premium range. Microsoft laptops have known to be a little underpowered with basic configurations, but this one proves it all wrong.

If you are a college student looking forward to investing in a stylish laptop with high performance, get yourself one of these.

Specifications:

  • CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
  • RAM: Intel HD Graphics 615
  • Screen:10.5″ 1920 x 1280 (220 PPI) PixelSense Display
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD

Why should you buy it?

  • Reasonable price
  • Premium design

Price: $399.00

Check out on Amazon

4. MacBook Pro 13″ (2020) – Best laptop for iPhone users

MacBook Pro 13 inch 2020 laptops for students

Indeed the best laptop for mass communication students, MacBook Pro is unbeatable in performance. It can handle 4K and 8K videos with ease without having its fan started says a lot. Damn! Even high-end iMacs fail to do that. An incredible battery life, unbeatable performance, and cost-efficient too!

This is the right pick for students studying and carrying out their side-hustles in their spare time. Freelancers, marketers, content creators, or future entrepreneurs, must invest in this device, for you are not just buying a laptop. You are investing in your future. And do not worry about the budget if this is your favorite college laptop; you can get yourself a refurbished MacBook too.

Specifications:

  • CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU
  • Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU
  • RAM: 8GB-16GB unified memory
  • Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit Retina display
  • Storage:256GB-2TB SSD

Why should you buy it?

  • iOS apps work perfectly
  • Great battery life

Price: $1,249.00

Check out on Amazon

5. HP Chromebook 14″ – Best affordable Chromebook for Students!

HP Chromebook 14 inch laptop for students

Maintaining a perfect balance between portability and screen space, HP Chromebook is undoubtedly a device to look out for under the student’s category. It does not cut a hole in your pocket, has a marvelous display and the keyboard functionalities are beyond par. I also like the trackpad that the device offers. I would buy it for the price tag, its battery life, and the visual appeal.

Maybe it’s time you should consider it too!

Specifications:

  • CPU: AMD A4 – A6, Intel Celeron N3350 – N3450
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon R4 – R5, Intel HD Graphics 500
  • RAM: 4GB – 8GB
  • Screen: 14-inch diagonal HD (1366×768) SVA anti-glare – FHD (1920×1080) IPS BrightView
  • Storage: 16GB – 64GB eMMC

Why should you buy it?

  • Laudable keyboard
  • Decent trackpad

Price: $264.00

Check out on Amazon

6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 – Best budget-friendly college laptop for students

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 laptop for students

You’ve got to buy this laptop. I wish I could end the review with this single statement. The most versatile device on the list has a sleek design, decent battery life, excellent audio quality, light in weight, perfect for streaming videos, and works seamlessly while binge-watching.

I call this the binge laptop. This is one of the cheapest laptops on the list for sure. The setup ensures enough powerful performance for everyday needs, thus, being the right choice for students around.

Specifications

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U 2.1 GHz
  • Graphics: Radeon Graphics
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Screen: 1920 x 1080 Pixels
  • Storage: 128 GB

Why should you buy it?

  • Portability
  • Great build-up

Price: $414.66

Check out on Amazon

7. Google Pixelbook GO – Best Chromebook for college students

Google Pixelbook GO laptop for students

I am not a fan of Chromebooks, one for their premium price and limited functionalities. But, this one changed my opinion big time. The elite one in the list, the 1080p webcam, is enough to put it in the elite category.

With incredible battery life, this is a go-getter. The comfortably spaced keys in this keyboard increase the appeal of this device. GO is sure to be admired for its design; it screams elegance. If you are a Chromebook person or want to invest in one, this is the right device to get acquainted with Chromebooks.

Specifications:

  • CPU:  Intel Core m3 – i7
  • Graphics:  Intel UHD Graphics 615 (300MHz)
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB
  • Screen: Full HD Display – 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display
  • Storage: 64GB – 256GB

Why should you buy it?

  • Budget-friendly
  • 1080p webcam

Price: $649.00

Check out on Amazon

8. Acer Aspire 5 – Best high-functionality laptop for college students!

Acer Aspire 5 laptop for students

Another budget-friendly device on the list, Acer Aspire 5, stands out due to its storage. With a storage capacity of 1TB, Aspire 5 gives you ample memory to store all your notes, assignments, references, and even your favorite games.

I tried the speakers and loved the speaker quality. The audio quality is beyond par, and jamming to those Jay-Z tracks was so much fun. I could feel the rhythm of the music. I would call this laptop the guy next door that you want to hang out with.

Damn, it is popular!

Specifications:

  • CPU:  Core i3
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Screen: 15.60-inch 1366×768 pixels
  • Storage:128GB

Why should you buy it?

  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fantastic speakers

Price: $364.99

Check out on Amazon

9. HP Envy 13 – Best premium laptop for graduate students!

Huawei MateBook X Pro laptop for students

A design to envy, HP Envy 13 comes with a great design, powerful speakers, and security features to keep your laptop running throughout your college days. A prime candidate for a college student, this laptop comes with an i5 core processor and up to 11 hours of battery life.

The laptop comes with a fingerprint sensor to protect your data. The laptop has sleek minimal aesthetics and comes with a 4K screen or a 1080p display. The colors are on point, the aesthetics feel fantastic, and the audio quality is entirely satisfactory.

If your budget is premium, you don’t have to think twice before investing in this laptop. The device is so strong that it will keep you going through your grad school smoothly.

Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620/Nvidia GeForce MX250
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Screen: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB

Why should you buy it?

  • Eleven hours of battery life.
  • Faster performance.

Price: $899

Check out on Amazon

10. Acer Spin 5 – A fantastic 2-in-1 laptop

Acer Spin 5 laptop for students

A seamless experience for taking notes, Acer Spin 5 is one of the best laptops under the 2-in-1 category with its marvelous 3:2 display and a feature-rich stylus. This can be an excellent investment if you are fond of typing or taking notes.

Writers, take note of this device! It is not meant for gaming, so gamers stay away. This is a device for future bloggers too! The graphics produce a vibrant color palette and are a treat to the eyes. Do not think twice; this is a great deal for the price it promises.

Specifications:

  • CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • RAM:  8GB – 16GB
  • Screen: 13.5″ (2256 x 1504) 3:2 touchscreen display
  • Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Why should you buy it?

  • Powerful 10th Generation CPU
  • Versatility

Price: $879.00

Check out on Amazon

Best laptops for students you can buy right now!

If I were in your shoes, I surely would have picked MacBook Pro 13”. I need a laptop with high performance and great battery life. But, I would love to know your pick. Make sure you get one before they run out of discounts. Let me know which one did you finalize in the comment section below.

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