In today’s academic setting, every college student needs a laptop. While most college students are on a budget, a laptop with robust features that will last an entire degree program can, fortunately, be purchased for under $800. The best laptops for college students are ones capable of word processing, graphs and charts, and downloading lectures and other academic media. Since most degree programs include online classes, you will want to make sure your laptop is capable of high speed internet, and compatible with online modern application and sites such as Microsoft Office, and Blackboard..
Best Laptops For College Students – Comparison Table
|2020 HP Athlon Silver 3050U Laptop||14-inch display|
AMD Athlon mobile processor
4 GB of RAM
|4.4 out of 5|
|2. ASUS Zenbook UX305UA laptop||13.3-Inch FHD Display|
Intel 5th Gen Core M-5Y10 0.8GHz Processor
256 GB Solid State Drive. 8 GB RAM
|3.9 out of 5|
|4. Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV||Intel Core i5-6200u 2.5 GHz Processor, Intel HD Graphics 520|
8 GB LPDDR3 RAM
128 GB SSD Storage
|3.9 out of 5|
|Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop||11.6-inch display|
Touch screen display
|4.7 out of 5|
|6. Dell Latitude D630||Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2 GigaHertz|
2GB DDR2 RAM
80GB Hard Drive
|3.7 out of 5|
|7. Toshiba Satellite S55-C5274||Intel CoreTM i7-5500U Processor|
12GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory
1TB 5400 RPM, Serial ATA Hard Drive
|4 out of 5|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 3||14-inch display|
8 GB of RAM
Built-in privacy features
|4.5 out of 5|
|Acer Aspire 1 A115-31-C2Y3 Laptop||15.6-inch display|
Windows 10 S
Intel Celeron processor
|4.5 out of 5|
|10. HP Pavilion||1 TB hard drive|
Intel Core i5 CPU
High resolution webcam
|3.8 out of 5|
Considerations When Buying The Best Laptop for College
Most college students will do a variety of work ranging from typical word processing to the advanced graphing of data. For this reason students will require a modern laptop, with applications including Office, especially Microsoft Word and Excel, Skype for video chat and tutoring, Adobe Photoshop. With these and other application requirements, modern college students will need at least 3GB of RAM, for quick memory, and a good CPU to process several applications’ data at once. You want to be conscious of what it is you are studying, and what you need from the laptop. For instance, if you are studying graphic design or editing then you may want a computer for video editing.
If however, your studies are less processor demanding and portability to take your device between classes is more important, then a laptop for students is likely the choice. Aside from this students will need a webcam and a decent amount of storage space. While operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS can get many students through college, those in general degree programs will probably benefit from having access Windows-specific applications such as Internet Explorer.
Aside from operating systems and proprietary software, there are several other considerations when buying a laptop for college students. Since students will be carrying the laptop around campus choosing a lightweight computer is sensible. Screen size is a big factor, as smaller laptops allow for more portability and fit easily into a backpack, some students may prefer larger screens. With larger screens comes more overall weight, in most cases, which is an important factor for students already lugging heavy books around campus. Students in graphics design programs and those who spend a lot of time typing may want larger models for more comfort.
Best Laptops For College Students Reviewed
Check out this workhorse from HP. This laptop runs the full Windows 10 operating system. However, it’s more “lightweight” and efficient than most laptops on the market. That’s because it uses a mobile processor instead of a full-fledged PC processor. The mobile processor runs smoothly, keeping up with your standard day-to-day tasks without missing a beat.
However, the processor also works wonders on battery life. You get up to 10 hours of runtime on a single charge without sacrificing performance.
- 14-inch display
- AMD Athlon mobile processor
- 4 GB of RAM
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Windows 10 OS
ASUS has put forward a great laptop for students with the Zenbook model UX3205UA. Not only is it highly portable at just 13.3 inches across the monitor and total weight of just 5.5 pounds, it has a great specifications profile. With a 6th generation core i5 processor, this laptop will display HD graphics and process data in the background while never skipping a beat. It comes standard with a hearty 8GB of RAM, and a smaller but fast 256 GB SSD for storing thousands of pictures and hundreds of video files. The laptop is very stylish with a titanium gold appearance. This model also comes equipped with Windows 10, the newest OS from Microsoft. This ASUS Zenbook is average in terms of price, but you sure get a lot for your buck.
- 13.3-Inch FHD Display
- Intel 5th Gen Core M-5Y10 0.8GHz Processor
- 256 GB Solid State Drive. 8 GB RAM
HP Pavilions are a great choice for students because they offer the dependability and compatibility that HP has become known for. For students looking for something a little different, the HP Pavilion 13-s128nr is a great choice. It’s a 2 in 1 laptop, meaning it can be used as a traditional laptop, or you can flip the screen over and view it like a tablet for Netflix and other media. This 2 in 1 technology is perfect for students looking for a single machine to use both on and off campus.
Check out these great tablets for college students
The 13.3 inch screen is fully HD and is powered by a sixth generation Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz CPU and great on-board graphics processor. The screen is also touch screen which makes the tablet functionality even better, with no need for a wireless mouse. This model included Windows 10 and 8GB of super fast SDRAM. Expect to pay around $550 for the Pavilion 12-s128nr.
- Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz CPU
- 13.3 inch screen is fully HD
- 8GB of super fast SDRAM
The Dell XPS is a great laptop for students because of it’s Microsoft Signature Edition status. The XPS 9350-1340slv obtained the Signature Edition stamp from Microsoft for being highly efficient, rid of bloatware and super fast. Students looking for a good clean academic computer without bloatware applications that rarely get used will enjoy the fast start-up and operational time of this PC. This XPS has an Intel Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM. Another great thing about this machine is it’s upgradability. You can add another 8GB of RAM in it’s second RAM slot giving you an option for 16 total GB of RAM, which is enough for super fast video editing. Students in college will also appreciate how lightweight this model is, weighing in at just 2.8 pounds.
- Intel Core i5-6200u 2.5 GHz Processor, Intel HD Graphics 520
- 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 128 GB SSD Storage
Looking for an efficient notebook for everyday use? Check out the Acer Chromebook Spin. This isn’t like your average laptop. It runs Chrome OS and operates entirely online. While it lacks the traditional storage capabilities of standard laptops, it’s made for the modern connected world!
Plus, this Chromebook has a unique touch screen display. Flip it back to use the device as a tablet. With all of the apps available for download, this unit will serve two purposes and take the place of a dedicated tablet.
- 11.6-inch display
- Chrome OS
- Touch screen display
- 10-hour battery life
- 4 GB of RAM
- 32 GB of storage
For students on a tighter budget the Dell Latitude D630 is a great choice. It delivers all the system requirements the average student will encounter, but with a very reasonable price tag. It has 2GB of DDR2 RAM which should be adequate for word processing, blackboard assignments and even streaming video. You can expand the RAM up to 8GB if needed, for extra speed while rendering video or better game-play.
An 80GB hard drive should be plenty for your homework and thousands of picture files. This Latitude comes with a 14.1 inch LCD screen which is bigger than some of the costlier models, and has a Graphics Media Accelerator (x3100) to make sure your video comes across nicely without lags or slow buffering. With Windows 7 Professional, the Latitude can handle any standard software a student would need including Microsoft Office or photo editing software. Make power-points, complete online course-work, and create and share video on a budget with this laptop.
- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2 GigaHertz
- 2GB DDR2 RAM
- 80GB Hard Drive
Toshiba has always produced high quality laptops, and the Satellite S55-C5274 is a perfect example of this. It’s really a great laptop for college students, as it a large 15.6 inch LED HD screen and excellent specifications. This Satellite has an Intel Core i7 CPU which is a great processor for resource intensive tasks such as video editing, and data compiling. Programmers and students in technology degree programs will love the 12GBs of cutting edge DDR3L RAM, offering huge potential for crunching lots of data at once without lagging. This laptop has a full Terabyte (TB) of storage space on an internal SATA hard drive, which is enough to store massive coding projects, hundreds of thousands of images or hours of HD video.
The Satellite S55-C5274 has a stylish brushed black matte finish, and weighs just 4.8 pounds making it very lightweight considering it has a 15.6 inch monitor. This laptop has the most up to date operating system, Windows 10, so students needn’t worry about having to modern software compatibility. With the latest update on Windows 10, this model also features Cortana, a digital assistant that will help complete basic tasks and save users time. Cortana can even be set to activate by voice command. Students that still require optical media such as lectures of software on DVD will be pleased with the DVDRW optical drive, capable of copying 4 or 16BG discs in just minutes.
- Intel CoreTM i7-5500U Processor
- 12GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory
- 1TB 5400 RPM, Serial ATA Hard Drive
Lenovo has done it again with this newer iteration of the IdeaPad lineup. This sleek and sophisticated notebook is sporting 8 GB of RAM for blazing-fast performance. It also has a unique Q-Control system, which helps you find the right balance between power and energy efficiency.
One unique feature of the IdeaPad 3 is the built-in privacy. Not only do you get good software privacy, but you can get peace of mind with the camera shutter. The physical shutter blocks the camera view for ultimate control at your fingertips.
- 14-inch display
- 8 GB of RAM
- Built-in privacy features
- Dopoundsy sound system
- Versatile power system
Here’s another no-frills device that will serve most people well. Powered by an Intel Celeron processor, it’s a mobile-friendly alternative to bulkier laptops. The processor is highly efficient, striking a nice balance between power and energy usage. With the right settings in place, you can get up to 10 hours of runtime on a single charge.
From a design standpoint, this laptop doesn’t disappoint. It’s simple, lacking all of the bells and whistles as other units. But that’s its strongest feature! The laptop is clean, thin, and super mobile.
- 15.6-inch display
- Windows 10 S
- Intel Celeron processor
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Only 0.78 inches thick
Another great product from HP is the Pavilion. It’s priced right for students at just $500 and contains a powerful Intel Core i5 CPU. With one of the bigger screen sizes available in this type of machine, 17.3 inches, it makes for great presentation building and viewing. It has an LED backlit keyboard which makes typing in dim light much more comfortable.
This HP Pavilion model comes with an updated 64 bit Windows 10 operating system which is as good as it gets when it comes to application and hardware compatibility, and safety of your files. The Pavilion also comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports and a high resolution webcam which can make conferencing an easy high quality process. Store all of your projects on its 1 TB hard drive, and create DVD copies of any important files with the super high speed multi-disc burner.
1 TB hard drive
Intel Core i5 CPU
High resolution webcamCHECK DEALS ON AMAZON