Top 13 Best Laptops for College Students

Handling college courses without a laptop is unimaginable for most students. Most learners are going the online route and computers are becoming essential.

You will require the laptop to communicate with your professor, take notes in class, complete online coursework, and much more.

Based on your field as a degree seeker, you may want your computer to have superb functionality or basic word processing.

Whatever the purpose, the best laptops for college students combine functionality, cost, and design. In this piece, we compared some of the best laptops for college students and compiled the compilation below.

Laptops for College Students

Things to Consider When Buying Laptops for College Students

•            Performance

When buying your laptop, the key is finding the right power that suits your needs. If your laptop is mainly meant for writing papers, you don’t need a computer with a large storage capacity.

Similarly, a hefty processor and 8GB RAM could be unnecessary. However, if your laptop will be used in graphic design, you might need more than 4GB RAM and a simple dual-core processor.


•            Battery

Battery life is so vital when choosing a laptop for college students. A laptop serving you more than a day after charging will be great. Most available laptop models have a battery life of up to 13 hours. That gives you ample study time and time to open several tabs on the internet for your assignments.

•            Portability

You will learn the benefits of purchasing a lightweight and thin laptop. Nothing is as irritating as carrying a heavy laptop to the library or campus. Laptops with a small footprint allow easy packing in your backpack and other study materials.

•            Storage

What is the primary use of your laptop? If you need to store many files, photos, and videos on your device, you will want to consider a computer with more storage space. A hard drive with about 500GB or more should be okay for general college coursework. You can also opt for an external hard drive to save and back up your files.

•            Connectivity

College students need laptops with the latest connectivity options like Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and Wi-Fi 6 support. A device supporting Wi-Fi 5 will also be fine, as it is the current standard.

These wireless technologies enable you to connect to the internet and other devices quickly. Other things to look out for include an HDMI port, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader.

•            Display

When it comes to the display, you should consider both quality and size. A laptop with a screen size of 15.6 inches will enable you to see things better and have more space to work on.

A resolution of 1920 x 1080 is the minimum you should go for, as it will appear sharper. A machine with an anti-glare display will also be easier on the eyes, especially when working in dim environments.

•            Operating System

There are two major operating systems for laptops, Windows and macOS. Most college students prefer Windows because it is compatible with most software and easy to use.

Apple computers are also gaining popularity among students for their sleek design and simple interface. If you are still deciding which operating system to choose, you can always ask your professor or tech-savvy friends for guidance.

13 Best Laptops for College Students to Choose

1. Apple MacBook Air (Latest Model)

The MacBook Air is one of the best laptops for students as it is lightweight, has a long-lasting battery, and features a retina display. The design of the MacBook Air is also appealing, which is essential for students.

The only drawback of this computer is that it doesn’t have a lot of ports. You get two USB-C ports and a headphone jack, and that’s it.

The MacBook Air also doesn’t have an SD card reader, which might be an issue for some students. Nevertheless, the MacBook Air is still one of the best laptops out there, especially for college students.


– Lightweight

– Long-lasting battery

– Retina display

– Attractive design


– Limited ports

– No SD card reader

2. Acer Aspire 5

The Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent all-around laptop perfect for college students. It has a decent design, good performance, and a long-lasting battery. The Acer Aspire 5 also has various ports, including HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.0, and an SD card reader.

It’s a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable, all-purpose laptop. It’s also one of the lightest laptops on our list, weighing just under four pounds.


– Excellent all-around laptop

– Good performance

– Long-lasting battery

– Various ports, including HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.0, and an SD card reader


– Not the best laptop for gaming

– Some users have reported issues with the trackpad

3. Lenovo ThinkPad T490

The Lenovo ThinkPad T490 is a great laptop for students who need a durable computer. It is made out of aluminium and magnesium, which makes it durable.

The ThinkPad T490 also has a variety of ports, including Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB-C, and USB 3.0. The laptop also has a fingerprint reader and a backlit keyboard. The ThinkPad T490 is a great choice for students who need a durable and feature-rich laptop.


– Durable construction

– Variety of ports

– Fingerprint reader

– Backlit keyboard


– Some students may prefer a lighter laptop

– The fingerprint reader may not be as accurate as some students would like

4. Apple MacBook Air M1 Laptop

If you are looking for a laptop for your hefty graphics work and stunning presentations, the Apple M1 is an ideal pick. This laptop for college students has a sleek and lightweight design, making it portable.

It is, therefore, a good choice for undergraduates who will be hauling their laptops everywhere. Its 8GB unified memory makes the whole system responsive and speedy.


•            Good battery life

•            Lightweight and portable

•            Superfast memory

•            Stunning display


•            High price point

5. Acer Swift 3 Laptop

The Acer Swift 3 is ideal for students looking for a laptop combining both portability and powerful processing. Its Octa-Core processor will run the most demanding apps at a fast speed and hyper-efficient battery usage.

The biometric fingerprint reader, as well as the Hello sign-in options, help to keep the PC secure all the time. It is also Alexa-compatible for a flawless performance of simple tasks.


•            It is Alexa-compatible

•            Secure with the fingerprint reader

•            Good for photo editing

•            Lightweight and portable


•            Low-quality speakers

6. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (Latest Model)

If you are at a crossroads in buying a laptop or a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is a good choice. It gives you the flexibility of a laptop and the power of a laptop.

You will also appreciate its kickstand that offers you different viewing angles. Given how versatile it is, the Surface Pro has become a good choice for students in the business field. It is easy to type a report and give a presentation on this device.


•            Sleek and compact for portability

•            Offers different viewing angles

•            Good battery life

•            Several hardware upgrade options


•            The keyboard is bought separately

7. Acer Chromebook Spin 713 – Steel Gray

This one is a good laptop for college students on a budget. It prides itself on a sturdy design and amazing performance. The laptop meets the required standards for battery life, responsiveness, and performance.

It also ranks on the durability score due to its quality aluminum body and glass touchscreen. You will, however, have to cope with its weighty design.


•            It has enough ports

•            Quality performance

•            A flip-and-fold design

•            Comes with a sharp display


•            It is a little bit heavy

8. Dell XPS 13 9310 Laptop– Silver

This is an upgrade of the Dell 2019 XPS 13. The 2020 update prides itself on a comfortable keyboard, touchpad, and large display. Another great feature of this laptop is its battery life of up to 14 hours.

Better still, this laptop enjoys the outstanding performance of the Intel 11th Generation core i7 processor. This is a good pick if you are a student looking for exceptional performance from your laptop at a steep price.


•            Runs on quality Intel core processors

•            Improved graphics

•            It has a sleek and lightweight design

•            Good battery life


•            Lacks legacy ports

9. HP Envy x360 Flip Laptop with HP Stylus Pen

This laptop is a 2-in-1 device with impressive graphics and quality performance. The laptop has a large screen and a quality keyboard, making typing effortless. You will also love its fingerprint reader, which offers extra security.

However, this laptop’s price point needs to be within reach for most college students. If you are, however, looking for a quality tablet/laptop combo, this one is a good choice.


•            Fast processing speed

•            Quality graphics

•            Good battery life

•            Comes with an HP stylus pen


•            It is a little bit pricey

10. Google Pixelbook Go – Just Black

When talking about the best laptops for college students, you must take advantage of this. It comes in various models that buyers can choose from. The laptop stands out for its long battery life, sleek design, and great webcam.

It also shines for its colorful display coupled with a great performance. On the downside, the laptop lacks quality speakers and different port options. It is best suited for students owing to its lightweight design.


•            Excellent battery life

•            Lightweight and portable

•            A comfortable and quiet keyboard

•            Brilliant touchscreen display


•            Lacks some essential ports

11. Dell Inspiron 3510 Laptop, Black

College students looking to buy a laptop for writing papers, studying for exams, or conducting research will love this laptop so much. It is, however, not the best choice for gamers or streamers.

Users should expect 11 hours of battery life from this laptop. You can always upgrade its RAM and hard drive to boost its performance. Overall, the laptop is a combination of both affordability and performance.


•            Good battery life

•            16GB RAM for a smooth running

•            It has a variety of ports

•            A relatively affordable price


•            Low screen quality

12. Microsoft Surface Go 3 – 4GB Memory 

This device is a seal for most students, especially the ones looking for an affordable 2-in-1 laptop. It has a lightweight design that appeals to most students hauling their laptops everywhere.

Its price, however, comes with some drawbacks. The stylus and the keyboard are bought separately. This is a good laptop for most students and offers a mix of affordability and flexibility.


•            Portable for daily tasks

•            It is a 2-in-1 Windows laptop

•            Good battery life

•            Offers different viewing angles


•            Small screen size

13. Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 4GB RAM

If you are a college student on a budget, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet will serve you well. It is the go-to option for students who do not necessarily require a highly-performing computer.

The 2-in-1 device prides itself on good battery life in a slim package. You will be pleased to learn that it has a detachable cover and keyboard. Its low price and functional performance make it easily accessible for college students.


•            Impressive battery life

•            Android phone integration

•            It has a decent camera

•            Enough onboard storage


•            The keyboard is too small


Read More: Best RTX 3080 Prebuilt Gaming PC



In the same way, every college student is unique, and so is the laptop they will need. Some students don’t require laptops with massive power and would opt for portability over everything else.

On the flip side, some students emphasize laptops that can quickly render 3D models, stream online, and watch lectures simultaneously. The compilation above has looked into all these, and we assure you that the options will stand for the four years you will be in college.

Apart from withstanding the ruthless usage you subject them to in your class work, they are light enough to slide into your backpack effortlessly.

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