I get asked a lot to recommend a laptop for someone who is a student, whether that’s a school, college or university.
I was a student myself not that long ago and trying to find a good laptop for not much money that was suitable for student life was always a bit of a struggle mainly as there are so many options on the market.
I found that a lot of websites would make lists, talking about the best laptops for college students only to include a bunch of really expensive options that don’t deliver great bang for your buck.
…but in this article
My rendition of the best laptops for college students I’ll be focusing on great value pics that hit some of the key features students tend to look for.
Not every laptop in this collection is dirt cheap, but I have covered a range of price points from below $500 to something the rich kids can buy as well.
Probably the most important feature for students is portability.
You don’t want to be lugging around a massive laptop to and from class.
Best Laptops for College Students – LG Gram
I’ve tested a lot of ultraportable laptops over these, and the clear standard in the portability category is the LG gram 13.
…as the name suggests
This variant of the LG gram is 13 inches in size, so it’s already down in the more compact end of the laptop size spectrum.
it also has pretty slim bezels…
So not a lot of space is wasted, but crucially this 13-inch system weighs just 965 grams, under the 1.3 to 1.5 kilograms of most other ultraportables of this size.
The LG gram 13 also ticks off one of the other key aspects for students, and that’s battery life.
If you’re in a class all day, you need good battery life.
We’ll have to carry around a charger…
The good news if the gram 13 has a huge 72-watt battery despite its low weight and that leads to some of the best battery life.
I’ve tested especially considering it has a touchscreen you’ll get a day’s worth of usage from a single charge with that much worry.
You also end up with pretty decent specs the base model packs a
– Core i5 8250
– 8GB RAM
– 256GB storage
…plus you get full-size USB ports and a 1080p display.
The more expensive models aren’t worth buying in my opinion just stick to the base model and upgrade the RAM and storage itself if needed.
Because this laptop sticks, a lot of the category students need it’s not the cheapest on this list.
Going for it a thousand US dollars but if you have that amount to spend this is the best option out there.
Honestly, …many laptops that are priced up to $1500 or so won’t provide what the LG Gram does, so I think it’s worth it for the price.
Best Laptops for College Students – HP Envy X-360
The other thing that students might find useful is a laptop that supports an active stylus for easy note-taking annotating our equation solving.
A lot of student focus laptops are now supporting this feature everything from the Surface Pro down to cheap devices.
…but the HP Envy x-360 13-inch I’m recommending.
HP Envy x-360 is excellent for some reasons it’s competitively priced, it has decent hardware inside, portable and it comes with a pen included in the price.
HP Envy x-360 is just released the 2018 model of this laptop but having used the previous model.
HP Envy x-360 is looking more portable for just USD750 you can get this laptop with:
– 1080p display
– AMD Ryzen 5 2500 processor
– 8GB RAM
– 256GB storage
…even if you don’t need the pen support for note-taking
The HP Envy x-360 13-inch is one of the best options you can get for around USD750.
There’s a couple of reasons I prefer this sort of device to the stylus-equipped tablets out there like the surface pro.
#1- The HP Envy x-360 13-inch has a 360-degree hinge.
so you can easily flip around the display into a tablet mode for note-taking.
…but because the envy has a full keyboard built-in and works well as a laptop, You get an uncompromised typing experience.
The keyboard covers that come with the surface pro and other tablets aren’t that great, and typing on those devices there is no such problem with the convertible laptop.
It’s built like a laptop first, but because of the hinge, you can still easily use the styles for annotating and drawing.
#2 – The HP Envy x-360 is also a good option because of the AMD Ryzen 5 processor.
Which has integrated graphics capable of playing favorite games like 49.
…and that’s not something you’ll get with equivalent Intel CPU.
For the price I think a lot of students will be thrilled with the HP Envy x-360 13 provides, though you shouldn’t expect portability or battery life as good as the LG Gram.
if you are set on a tablet form factor though and drooling over something like a surface pro…
I recommend the Eve V tablet instead…
The entry-level Eve V is similar to the entry-level surface pro.
…from a hardware standpoint
But the Eve V is cheaper, and it includes both the keyboard cover and styles in the price.
The two laptops I’ve recommended so far are my top two picks for students, but understandably not everyone has $1,000 or $750 to spend on a laptop for school.
For those on a tighter budget, I’ll point you towards two configurations of the Acer Aspire E 15-inch.
I’ve recommended before, the best hardware you can get for an entry-level to mid-range price.
Best Laptops for College Students – Acer Aspire E 15
The Acer Aspire E 15-inch isn’t a pretty laptop.
It’s thick most amount of plastic, large bezels and isn’t super portable it also won’t deliver you particularly amazing battery life.
…but it lacks in those areas it makes up for in its hardware.
For just $600 this laptop will deliver you:
– Core i5 8252 processor
– 8GB RAM
– Nvidia Geforce MX 150
– 256GB SSD
– 15.6-inch 1080p Display
That’s just as powerful as the other two laptops we’ve mentioned so far but at a significantly reduced price.
It’s actually quite impressive that a laptop of this size has managed to include an SSD and discrete graphics both of which have a significant impact on performance.
The MX 150 might not be amazingly fast but it’s able to play Fortnight and Overwatch, and that’s not bad for a $600 laptop.
If your budget is even tighter, there’s a $380 model of the Acer Aspire E 15 that cuts things. You g
– Core i3 8130 you processor
– 6GB RAM
– 1TB Hardisk
– 1080P Display
despite being so cheap, this variant does not leave you with a painfully slow Pentium Celeron or Atom processor which are often found in $400 laptops.
It’s also possible to add in an SSD later to get a handy speed bump if you want.
Best Laptops for College Students – Acer Predator Helios 300
Between lectures assignments studying and of course parties you might want to fit in a bit of gaming.
…but you only have a relatively tight budget enough to buy just one system, and you want it to be capable of handling your schoolwork plus high-end games.
There’s one standard option that provides affordable gaming hardware in a decent laptop, that’s the Acer Predator Helios 300.
Like the budget laptops I was talking about, the 15 inch Acer Predator Helios 300 isn’t super portable and won’t give you outstanding battery life at least compared to assumingly with the 13-inch ultrabook.
…but ultra ebooks are useless for triple-a gaming while the Helios 300 packs respectable mid-range hardware that’s easily capable of playing today’s games at 1080p with decent quality settings.
I’d recommend one of two options here for a touch over $1000 you can get the last gen model which packs:
– Core i7 7700HQ
– Nvidia GeForce GTX 1066 graphics
– 16GB RAM
– 256GB SSD
– 1080p 60 Hertz display
You’ll get a great gaming experience, and while it is $1,000, it delivers basically the best value for money in this product category.
If you have the budget to spend $150 more you can grab the latest Helios 300 which pumps you:
Core i7 8750H
1080p 144 Hertz display
This new model is about 10% faster in games.
you might not be the coolest guy ever for lugging around a large gaming laptop to lectures.
…but it is still portable and can be run on the battery for a few hours.
Best Laptops for College Students – Microsoft Surface Book 2
If you’re a rich kid and money isn’t as much of an obstacle for you look no further than the Microsoft Surface Book 2.
Microsoft Surface Book 2 is very expensive, but it packs a lot of handy features into the one portable package.
The surface book 2 supports one of the best active pens on the market, and the screen detaches from the base so that you can use it as either a legitimate tablet or as a fully fledged laptop.
The 13.5-inch model is reasonably thin and lights particularly for the hardware you get, and if you need good battery life, the surface book 2 is one of the best performers in that department.
…and even if you want a gam
– Intel i7 Processor
– Nvidia GeForce 1060
– 16GB RAM
– 17 Hours Battery life
Nvidia discrete GTX 1050 GPU which isn’t the fastest GPU out there but it’s the fastest you can get in a 13-inch device.
and can play modern games…
To get all these features, it will cost you a pretty penny the GTX 1050 is only available in model starting at $2,000.
and I’d recommend the $2,500 model so you can get a decent amount of storage and RAM.
…that is a lot of money, but it’s an impressive little machine…
That’s it for this look at the best laptops for students if you have any other good recommendations be sure to leave those in the comments.