|1. Microsoft Surface||2. MacBook||3. Asus|
College is an exciting and important phase of your life, and a good education will lay down the foundation of opening many doors of opportunities waiting for you. And perhaps you already own a laptop or are toying with the idea of buying the new and best laptop for college.
When in college, you will discover that your life has changed completely. You are in a new environment, making new friends and forever keeping up with your assignments as well as extracurricular activities. You will spend hours in the library with your laptop as well as spending time on your social networks, updating and expanding your network. Apart from that, you would be chatting with your parents.
Now that you are in college, you need a good laptop that meets certain criteria and fulfil all your needs. Whether you are a student from the arts, science, commerce or engineering, or any other stream, you must carry a laptop as a college student; you should be aware of the best laptops for college to pick from based on your specific needs.
Needless to say, the best laptops have become an essential gadget for college students, and any student is likely to feel handicapped without one. Let us take a look at why college students need laptops and how they make use of laptops.
Need For College Laptops
Students take their laptop wherever they go. In fact, they have used it right from their schooling years, and this is why there are many best laptops for high school students. However, things take on a much serious turn when in college.
For research and taking down notes- When searching relevant concepts related to their lessons or subject, the students use their laptops. It becomes easier for them to search online and take down important notes when necessary.
Read electronic versions of books- It becomes a lot easier for students to refer to library books online and read the content being discussed by their professor in the classroom.
Complete assignments- Today, all projects and assignments are handed out to the student online, and some of them are to be completed withal in the classroom. Having a laptop makes things a lot easier and convenient for the students.
Give online tests and complete exercises- At times, the professors and teachers like to give online tests during class, and they expect each student to carry a laptop and answers the questions right away. The professors design special tests and exercises that require the use of laptops or tablets.
Communicate with instructors and peers- The laptops play a very important role when the students need to communicate with their teachers and professors digitally regarding lectures, assignments, and any other discussions.
Today every college student looks for the best college laptops as he is aware of the inherent advantages and significance of working on a laptop.
1. Convenient To Take Notes
When students take down the notes directly on a word document, it is a lot more convenient and faster for them. They can organize their lectures and notes digitally, and there is no fear of losing their notes, unlike the paper documents. Moreover, they can access and search for information much faster on their laptop.
2. Faster Writing And Editing
Students like the idea of writing faster and simpler editing work as and when needed. The word processing software allows them to complete their assignments in a much shorter time and thus helps to raise their efficacy. Most students assert that they feel a lot more confident and well organized when using their laptops for college work.
3. Benefit From Working Groups
College students prefer to work in groups, and when they are on their laptops and working together, they benefit a lot. This is because having laptops encourages coordination and cooperation, and students can connect with each other, whether they are at home, in the library, or in a classroom. They can share information and discuss notes and lectures with each other.
Today, it is assumed by the college and the teachers that students will bring laptops with them, and this is why laptops have become very essential in college. Along with selecting the top college, the students also search for the best laptops for college. They are aware that they would be relying heavily on a laptop for in-class and out of class activities.
Before buying the best laptop for students, one should be aware of what to look for and what aspects to keep in mind to make the right choices. As there are plenty of laptops, it is essential to shop as a well-informed buyer so that you buy a laptop that will last through the college year, meet all your needs, and without making a dent to your savings.
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Laptop For College Students
Every student needs to look for best student laptops, whether they are in school and particularly those students who are in college. There are many aspects that can impact their choices, for example, the budget for the user as well as the power and features on the laptop.
Just go through the following factors when looking for the best laptop for school or college and be confident that you are on the right track.
1. Your Curriculum And The Needs
Every school and degree program are different, and so are the needs of each student. So, based on the curriculum and the needs, one should look at the laptops. Many students may need to work on graphics-intensive material and will need a laptop with a faster processor and high-end graphics card plus plenty of RAM.
2. The Screen Size
When looking for the best laptop for college students, the students are anxious about the screen size and its quality. Typically, most college students prefer a 13 to14 inch screen laptop as the overall size, and weight of the laptop too is important for them. Anything larger than 15 gets too big to handle and carry, and it becomes heavier too. In terms of optimum comfort, the 13 to14 inch screen is considered to be ideal as it weighs about 3 pounds.
3. The Weight
So, when you look at the screen size, pay attention to the weight as well. Anything more than 4 pounds is sure to feel uncomfortable and weighty as you move around the around campus that whole day long. The greater the screen size more is the weight. However, other factors, too, can add to the weight of the laptops apart from the size of the screen, such as the number of batteries, presence of traditional hard drives, and other peripherals such as DVD drives that are integrated within.
4. The RAM And Storage
Today we live in a cloud-powered world, and most students store their data in the cloud and stream their music and movies online. It means that you really don’t need tons of storage on your laptop and can do with 256GB of storage. So, focus more on the speed of the laptop rather than the storage size. While 8 GB is typical in most of the best laptops for students, 4 GB is the minimum. Storage is less important ever since the advent of the cloud.
5. The Graphics Processing
Graphics Units or GPUs are responsible for rendering complex images and are essential for engineering, architecture, and videography students. These units are fixed on the motherboard separately and carry added cooling features. So, if you are an engineering or architecture student or love to play high-end games on your laptop, then look for advanced Graphics Units.
6. The Ergonomically Designed Keyboard
The best laptops for colleges come with a great keyboard that ensures longer and comfortable working hours without that clickety-clack sound or feel. This is essential, especially when you are working in a library or classroom where there is pin-drop salience. The sounds can be distracting and disturbing for others. Do not ignore the keyboard basics and keep the comfort factor in mind. A poorly designed keyboard means getting tired earlier and feeling uncomfortable when working on the laptop.
7. The Battery Life
Look for a laptop that promises eight to12+ hours of battery life. The good news is that many of the best laptops for college come with dual-battery configurations that promise about 20 hours of work time. There are factors that can drain the battery life faster. For example, the larger the size of the screen, the more battery power it will consume.
Some applications like word processing, use less battery power as compared to high-end applications like rendering and creating complex graphics. So, consider how you are going to use the laptop and its screen size that can impact battery life.
8. WiFi Connectivity
For every student, it is a must to enjoy wireless connectivity, and the latest standards for wireless connectivity are much more advanced than before. Thus, it means that students can enjoy seamless activities and productivity when they use their laptop.
9. Different Ports And Accessories
The more the ports and accessories, the happier are the students. After all, they need all those extra sports for plugging in their wireless mouse and other devices. So, the more of those options for external connections, the more attractive is the laptop for them. Many times, students insist on getting an integrated DVD drive or other features like a printer.
10. Pre-loaded Software
Most computer manufacturers are aware of the kinds of add-ons and other applications the college and the students will need. So, before buying the laptop, check with your college about the expected specifications and software needed. Many colleges already offer cloud-based versions of those applications and programs at the time; the laptop manufacturers offer special deals for students and equip their laptops with the latest software they need.
11. A Sturdy Build
The build and construction of the laptop define its durability and protection. There are laptops that have been made to survive rough working conditions. Students should keep away from flimsy-looking laptops that can get damaged easily or stop working in case of a minor spill on the keyboard. Today, there are laptop models that are spill-proof and are made of carbon fibre and magnesium alloy for more protection. Many have even passed the military-level durability tests.
12. The Warranties
Your college life is likely to revolve around the laptop you just bought, and you need to be sure that you will get all the support you need in case something goes wrong. So, the warranties do mater here, and the leading companies like Dell, Lenovo, and Apple do come with offers of extended warranty to two years or more. Those warranties mean instant replacements and get the tech support as and when you need for your laptop. Hence, look for the best laptops for college that promise reliable quality and easy availability of tech support.
While most students would run after the latest and fastest processors, it is essential to know the basic requirements. Any CPU that is recently released carries around 2.0 gigahertz of computing power. However, keep in mind that the processor’s speed can get influenced by other factors such as advanced memory. The bottom line is what you actually need and what is your budget. The latest and fastest processors come with multiple cores and can be expensive.
Chrome Or Windows or Apple OS X?
When buying a laptop, you would be given the option of selecting between Chrome, Apple OS X, and Windows. Before going for one, it is essential to understand the three operating systems and their pros and cons.
1. Apple OS X
The loyal Apple fans will, of course, want the Apple’s OS X operating system, despite the hefty price tags. They love the idea of working on a great-looking laptop with high screen quality and a well-designed interface that can easily run high-octane programs. While the laptops with Apple’s OS X
operating system look great and can run high-end programs, they can be expensive.
2. Windows 10 OS
Windows are the norm for most laptop operating systems, and today, one can look for a laptop with almost every possible configuration and budget. Thus, college students can have more options when they go for Windows 10 OS laptops. The latest version of the Windows 10 operating system boasts of innovative features that can help boost productivity and aid in multitasking. Students are well familiar with Windows operating system and can enjoy numerous configurations but the upgrades are not free.
3. Chrome OS
Chrome OS is looked upon as a recent entrant in the realm of operating systems. However, students get attracted to the Chromebooks because of their incredibly low prices. Today, Chrome is a great choice for students as they become more diverse and come with the latest updates. They are becoming more functional for a broader section of students because of the -based programs. Most students may still be not well familiar with operating systems but these come at a low price.
So, based on your scenario, whether you are a high school student or a college-going one, you might have different requirements in terms of the operating systems, the hardware, and software. Still, based on the above criteria, which is the best student laptop and what kind of specifications should it have? Well, if your laptop meets the following criteria, it is indeed a good laptop for your college needs:
- Anything over 2.0 GHz processors is fine for the majority of students. However, many students prefer to go with the latest and fastest processors with multiple cores and clock speeds that are well over 4.0 GHz.
- Even if your laptop has limited internal storage, it is okay as one relies more on cloud storage today. So, the standard 4GB of RAM works fine, or you could go for 8GB territory laptops if they fit within your budget.
- A Full HD 1080p display is just fine for most students unless they need a special display screen for their courses or programs like computer-assisted design and advanced gaming. The monitor display should suit their educational needs with clear, sharp visuals.
- Standard recommendations assert that laptops need to carry larger high-resolution screens and should be powered by 8th-generation Intel Core and carry at least 8GB RAM. Any laptop that fails to keep up with the need for your projects is definitely not what you would want. So, check with the department of your college and the intended major for the specifications recommended for the general course of study.
Here are some recommendations for different students:
1. Arts And Social Science Students
Students of arts and humanities use their laptop for downloading, researching, and reading study material. They use MS Excel and Word extensively, and the art students may run some professional software for image editing. Most of the students use Macs, and some students prefer Windows PCs as well.
2. Science, Engineering And Technology Students
Science and, Engineering students download study material and upload their college projects. They often use Microsoft Excel for complex laboratory readings for physics and chemistry projects. IT and Computer Science students work on specific platforms for programming software languages. The engineering stream students may need software such as AutoCAD and 3D for coding and designing.
3. Commerce Students
Commerce courses and curriculum needs special software such as Tally ERP, EasyAuto, and MIS tools for generating data reports and making calculations and creating data dashboards. The Commerce students use data and multiple spreadsheets for their work and to store data reports.
4. Architecture Students
Architecture students need to use their laptops as design tools and fulfil the required coursework that expects better performance. It is observed that students of architecture prefer to use dual-boot Macintosh computers and laptops that carry a greater processor speed and higher RAM and disk capacity, especially through the later years of college. Typically, Architecture students carry a laptop with the latest Intel i7 processor with 16 GB of RAM and 500 GB hard drive.
Just look for a laptop with specifications that meets your needs and excels in performance. Based on your college and curricula needs, you should look for the best laptops for college.
Where Should I Shop For The Best Laptops For College?
There are a couple of colleges that are into agreements with leading laptop manufacturers. So, you can browse the campus stores in your college and study their models and offers. Some of them claim to offer discounts on the best school laptops. However, the onus lies on you as a buyer to do your homework and research well before you make a decision.
Just don’t jump at the lucrative offers and make good comparisons online. Read reviews and go through the feedback to learn more about the laptop. There are leading online stores that offer complete and updated information on the best laptops for college.
However, when you buy from the college campus store, you are likely to get improved tech support. Always assess the warranty terms and tech-support options of the company. As students often work late nights, it is recommended to look for 24/7 phone support.
The best laptops need not carry all those frills, and the students can easily do without all those extra features that they really don’t need. The best laptop is the one that delivers what it promises and can help the students to do a lot more than just their productivity work.
Top 15 Best Laptops For College 2020
1. Microsoft Surface
Surface Laptop 3 is indeed among the best laptops for college students as it comes with impressive speed and performance. Thanks to the powerful processors, the laptop is great for multitasking, and an all-day battery means you can enjoy longer hours on the laptop without worrying about its juice.
You will love the thin and light laptop with an elegant design that cokes in rich colour combinations. More ports on the laptop mean having more connections for accessories and displays. Enjoys specs like 256GB and 8 GB RAM in the device.
- very stylish and capable
- latest processors
- USB-C and USB-A ports
- 11.5 hours of battery life
- a bit expensive
2. 13-Inch MacBook
The 13-inch MacBook is just your kind if you are looking for an impressive resolution on an LED-backlit widescreen display. Powered by dual-core Intel Core i5 and support of Intel HD Graphics 6000, you can look forward to a much faster and impressive performance. You will enjoy working on the keyboard and are sure to love the performance.
Apple has indeed nailed when it comes to the build quality and looks. You will love the sleek design of the laptop, which is very light to carry. The battery life is impressive, and with two USB 3 ports, you couldn’t ask for more. The laptop comes with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, Fast SSD Storage, and 8GB memory.
- Sleek and lightweight design
- 10-12 hours of battery life
- Wi-Fi wireless networking
- Screen not good enough
3. Asus Vivobook 15
Asus Vivobook Laptop is indeed gorgeous and flaunts a frameless 15.6-inch NanoEdge display, which means a much smaller footprint. The laptop comes with a Powerful AMD Quad-Core Processor and an HD camera on the top bezel. Enjoy high-end graphics, thanks to AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics. Other specs include 128GB SSD and 8GB DDR4 RAM.
You will love the ergonomically designed backlit keyboard with a fingerprint sensor and allows comfortable typing. The compact laptop comes in four unique colours and finishes.
- frameless NanoEdge display
- keyboard with fingerprint sensor
- compact and light
- ergonomic backlit keyboard
- Battery not impressive enough
4. Acer Aspire 5
If you are looking for exceptional performance and impressive battery life, then the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is just the right one for you. Powered by AMD Ryzen 3 Mobile Processor and Radeon Vega 3 Graphics, the 15.6-inch laptop packs power and performance along with 7.5-hours battery life.
Enjoys extensive connectivity as well as travel with ease with this thin and light laptop with aluminium cover. Discover the power of sound and music, thanks to TrueHarmony, and do a lot more with those ports. A backlit keyboard means you can work comfortably even in a dark environment.
- Thin and light
- innovative speaker design
- backlit keyboard
- great battery life
- touchpad feels slightly loose
- need to touch a key to light up the keyboard backlight that may turn off after some time
5. New Apple MacBook
You will simply love the New Apple MacBook that comes with a stunning 13.3-inch Retina Display. With the latest generation keyboard and all-day battery life, it means you can work comfortably for much longer hours now on your college assignments. Thanks to the True Tone technology and Intel UHD Graphics you get sharper visuals on the screen
Enjoy advanced security with the Touch ID and Apple T2 security chip. Other specs include Dual-core 8th-Generation Intel Core Processor and Fast SSD Storage plus 8GB memory. You will enjoy the Stereo sound because of the stereo speakers.
- stunning Retina Display
- advanced security
- Stereo sound
- 12 hours battery life
- creaky body
- may overheat
6. Asus ZenBook
The slim and lightweight Asus ZenBook laptop is a favourite with all students. Weighing just 2.5 pounds, the lightweight laptop with an aluminium body allows convenience and portability. The 13.3-inch full-HD screen boasts of NanoEdge bezel display, and the laptop packs extra goodies like higher connectivity with HDMI and Intel Core i5-8265u processor that makes for its powerful performance.
The laptop features great storage and memory due to 512GB 2 SSD and 8GB RAM. Customers love the keyboard with great features and as it is indeed a value for money product when compared to other laptops.
The battery life is absolutely impressive in the top performance Ultrabook.
- Slim and light weight
- Fast and powerful performance
- Great battery life
- Reasonable price
- there could be a third USB port
- display is somewhat green tinted
7. 2019 Newest Lenovo Ideapad
Lenovo has indeed nailed it when it comes to creating the best laptops for college. The students can look for everything they need, a good screen size, faster performance, more storage, and affordable price in the laptop. With a 15.6 inches screen size and 2.5 GHz Celeron processor, they can enjoy faster speed and performance.
Battery-powered; the sleek looking black laptop is easy to carry around and is indeed one of the most powerful laptops you will come across. Customers are very happy with its value and can enjoy graphics-intensive gameplay.
- powerful performance
- affordable price
- even has a DVD player
- battery life could be improved
- unimpressive 0.3mp webcam
8. HP Stream
Whether you’re in school or college, the HP laptop with 11.6″ HD Display and 32 GB storage promises impressive performance and reliable storage. Look forward to a great speed thanks to Dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 processor and enjoy your favourite movies, games, and music on the laptop with dual front-facing speakers.
Lok forward to all day long of battery life as well as faster downloads and seamless web surfing. You can easily carry a thin and lightweight laptop. Other features include AntiGlare WLED-backlit Display and 32 GB eMMC Graphics Internal storage and HP Webcam with digital microphone.
- great performance
- longer battery life
- stylish portable design
- low storage space
- touchpad is not very sensitive
9. New Lenovo Laptop
For under $300, the New Lenovo is the ultimate budget laptop, and you get amazing specs for the price. Powered by the Intel Celeron N4000 processor, the Lenovo laptop comes with 4GB system memory for handling numerous tasks and provides greater storage capabilities. On-processor Intel UHD Graphics 600 ensures high-end image quality for casual gaming and other productivity tasks.
The thin and laptop weighs just 2.54 lbs and offers maximum portability. The energy-efficient 11.6” display supports high-definition video playback, and some other features include Stereo speakers, Wireless-AC: 2x USB Type-A Ports, and a 2-cell Lithium-ion battery.
- Ultra-thin and light
- great processing speed
- impressive battery life
10. Acer Chromebook
Acer Chromebook with 11.6″ HD touch Display runs on chrome OS, and one can easily access the rich gamut of games, music, movies, apps, and more from the laptop. Powered by Intel Celeron N3060 and boasting of 4GB memory, the super portable Chromebook has enough juice to last all day. Enjoy a seamless web-based media streaming due to the fast-wireless connection.
This Chromebook is very simple and easy to use and comes with virus protection. Automatic updates and software upgrades mean higher security.
- light and portable
- fast-wireless connection
- 10 hours of battery life
- touch screen and foldable
- touchpad is a bit unresponsive
11. ASUS Newest Laptop
ASUS VivoBook Laptop is simply great for students and is indeed done of the best laptops. Powered by Intel Celeron processor and carrying 4GB of memory, students can look forward to the seamless operation and can compete for their assignments without nay hitch on this impressive and affordable laptop.
Enjoy specs like three USB 3.1 ports for higher connectivity, 32GB eMMC hard drive for faster load times, and great image quality on 11.6-inch HD display. You can look for a more customised set up as the laptop that connects easily to other devices. The Wireless AC is useful, and this laptop definitely looks more expensive, considering the price.
- powerful CPU
- great battery life
- very affordable
- a bit fragile
- poor screen quality
12. ASUS VivoBook Laptop
ASUS VivoBook is a sleek looking lightweight laptop that is just perfect for students for their assignments as well as entertainment. The laptop comes with splendid software enhancement, and the 15. 6” full HD screen with NanoEdge display technology offers great viewing and is anti-glare.
Powered by AMD Quad-Core Processor, it is a great combination of performance and function. Ergonomic keyboard with a fingerprint sensor means a comfortable typing experience. Lightning-fast Wi-Fi 5 and USB 3 ports ensure higher connectivity.
- powerful performance
- thin and light
- NanoEdge Display
- Splendid visuals
- One-Year protection against accidental damage
- comes with Windows S version
- USB continues to offer power even when the lid is closed
13. 2019 Newest Lenovo
2019 Newest Lenovo now packs AMD Radeon Processor and boasts of 4GB DDR4 memory along with 128GB Solid State Drive. The laptop with 15. 6″ HD display indeed balances portability and screen size. The
4GB memory is adequate for basic multitasking while the flash-based SSD ensures faster start-up and seamless data access.
Enjoy next-generation wireless connectivity with the newest Lenovo that introduces new features like the Edge Web browser. Now you can mark-up Web pages on your screen. Overall, you get what you pay for with this laptop.
- Energy-efficient screen
- Built-in media reader
- no noise and reduced heat
- Cheap to buy
- low battery life
14. Lenovo Thinkpad
The 15.6″ HD Lenovo Thinkpad is a gorgeous laptop that is known for its powerful performance and simple looks. Powered by the 8th Gen Intel processor, you can look forward to faster performance and easier maintenance. The premium laptop comes at a reasonable price, looking at its performance and features.
The sleek business-ready laptop combines security features and standardized connectivity and offers faster start-ups. Now you can across multiple devices and carry out different tasks, thanks to the plentiful power delivered by the Intel Core processor. With MIL-STD-810G military certification, the laptop is ideal for professionals and college students.
- sleek design with smart metallic construction
- robust security features
- good value for the price
- lower warranty period
15. XIDU PhilPad
With the XIDU PhilPad Full HD Tablet, you can look forward to a proven formula of a sleek design, great battery life, and faster processor. Look forward to a smooth experience with the wonderful laptop that is built to perform and look great too. Powered by Intel Quad-Core, the super-fast tablet comes with 6G RAM + 128G ROM,
Equipped with a 13.3” IPS touchscreen and a 2.0MP and 5.0MP camera, now you can capture special moments and share and store those bright and clear images and videos. What else you get with the touch screen tablet include a detachable keyboard, stylus pen, and a standard charger.
- Great customer service
- excellent performance
- most affordable
- Smart Stylus
- Amazing battery life
- Windows related issues
- heavy and awkward
FAQs on College Laptops
1. What Is The Best Screen Size Recommended For Laptops For College Students?
The college students may mostly use their laptops to read documents, and there are others who use them for creative activities. As per a general consensus among technology analysts and surveys, a 13-inch laptop makes for a good choice for most students as it is portable and can handle detailed work. However, there are students who would need wider screens and need to work for longer hours.
2. Should One Prefer Chromebooks As They Are Cheap?
Most students are well familiar with Chromebooks as they have probably used them in high school. While they seem a lot more tempting because of the lower price, but the issue here is the limited number of applications supported by them.
Many of your college assignments and tasks may not run on the Chromebooks, and you may not be able to play some of those popular PC and Mac games. Moreover, many college students find Chromebook processors a bit on the weaker side. Still, if you insist on buying a Chromebook for your college, do check the computer specifications of the college you intend to go to.
3. Does The Weight Matter?
Every college student will agree that it is indeed cumbersome to carry large bulky laptops. So, consider the weight and size as while it might feel great to own a computer with more than 17-inch screen size, the downside is carrying the heavier and larger laptop from class to class. So, unless you can get something which is super thin and super light, avoid larger laptops with more weight. For most students, a 13- or 14-inch widescreen works fine and is light enough.
4. What Is The Price Range To Expect For A Good Laptop For College?
Different students have different needs and budgets when they enter college. It is true that with the lowest prices, they feel some limitations. Generally speaking, most students end up spending about $500 for an all-rounder laptop that will suffice their educational and entrainment needs while in college.
Majors like architecture, engineering, and 3D courses will require a very pricey laptop with the latest hardware and advanced features like the fastest processor, sufficient RAM, and high-end graphics card. For the students with more demanding majors and applications can consider a desktop instead.
5. Should I Go For The Model With A Tablet And Keyboard?
Also known as the Hybrid laptops, these laptops are referred to as or 2-in-1s or convertible. While many students do get attracted to the idea of a tablet-keyboard combo, one has to questions themselves if they really do need the feature. After all, you are never going to use one without the other, and there are chances that you might forget one part in your room and carry the other to the classroom. To be honest, there are no real benefits of buying these hybrid models with a tablet and a detachable keyboard.
To conclude the discussion, when it comes to buying the best laptops for college, the reality is that there are no clear answers. A lot relies on individual preferences, the budget, and what is expected by your college. Whatever choice you make, ensure that you get the right balance that meets your preferences, and deliveries the performance expected for your college tasks. So, when shopping for the best laptops for school or college, it’s important to choose features that meet your budget and fit the student’s educational and lifestyle needs.
When you start looking for the best laptop for yourself, you are sure to get overwhelmed by the choices available. Start by reviewing the following options and look at some of the laptops that are highly recommended for college students.