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College is expensive—including tuition, housing, and books, not to mention food and other expenses. So students need a laptop that can handle years of note-taking, writing papers at 3 a.m., and editing slides for a group project. However, choosing the right laptop is more difficult than writing a thousand words about Proust.
Best 2020 Laptops For College Students
We test dozens of laptops every year, and for this guide we've collected the best for students from our other guides. The laptop's price-to-performance ratio is the most important, followed by battery life, size and weight, and keyboard and trackpad. Our top picks offer the best balance of all these factors for high school and college students, whether they're taking classes remotely or taking them into a classroom. body
Best Laptops For College 2023
We have more portable options if you can afford to spend more. And for those on a tight budget, we offer affordable options that are also suitable for small children. To achieve their better price points, these cheaper options come with significant trade-offs—shorter battery life, larger sizes, or limited functionality. -and it may not last as long as we choose. If you are a film or photography student and need a computer for photo and video editing, or you want a gaming computer, you have a choice.
Zenbook 14 is the best laptop for the price. But its build quality isn't great, and it won't perform as well as our top pick in a few years.
This version of the Zenbook 14 works like our top pick, but costs a few hundred dollars more than the original model.
Who it's for: Ultrabooks—thin and light laptops with good performance and long battery life and priced between $700 and $800—are ideal for high school and college students for They provide the best value. These smaller ultrabooks tend to have a few things going for them compared to $1,000+ ultrabooks: they're bigger and heavier, they don't last as long, they don't feel as strong or stable, or they don't. Suitable features such as. as a fingerprint reader or USB-C charging. But despite these drawbacks, budget ultrabooks still offer better performance and overall quality than $500 laptops.
Best Laptop For High School Students In 2023
Why we like it: Most high school or college students buying a laptop end up going out and buying the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED, the model with 8GB of memory or the version with 16GB of memory. It's strong and can be used for a full day of use, with a touchscreen and a solid keyboard and trackpad. Unlike most budget ultrabooks, the Zenbook 14 is powerful and equipped with a fingerprint reader, and a USB-C charger that can charge multiple devices and make it easier to switching over non-USB-C adapters. Spending about $400 more on the HP Specter x360 13.5 will get you a slimmer, better laptop with a better webcam and more memory. But for most students, those differences aren't worth $400.
You can read about the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED and our other options in our guide to Windows ultrabooks.
The Specter x360 offers excellent battery life, a high-end display, and a touchpad and trackpad. It's thin and light enough to fit in a bag and take it with you anywhere.
Who they're for: If you want it and can pay more, get an ultrabook, which is a laptop with a big screen, screen, battery, and enough power to do everything most people need. people have a computer to work on. It's thin, light and portable. Because ultrabooks offer a better and longer-lasting experience than cheaper options, they can cost more than most students can afford. computer—expect to pay between $1,100 and $1,300 for a good laptop that will last for years. But they lack the processing power for high-end gaming or demanding tasks like video editing or 3D modeling.
The 7 Best Laptops For College Students
Why we like it: The HP Specter x360 13.5 offers the best balance of what makes an ultrabook good: fast performance, battery life for all-day recording, a high-quality screen-ratio for browsing the web and writing papers, and a good keyboard and trackpad. And if you're taking classes remotely, the Specter has the best webcam we've tested this year. It has a 360-degree hinge that lets you fully rotate the touch screen to use it as a tablet, and some models come with a stylus for taking notes. The Specter x360 13.5 isn't as light or compact as some other Windows ultrabooks, but at 3 pounds it's not heavy. It ships with a lot of bloatware, but that can be easily removed once the laptop arrives.
You can read more about the HP Specter x360 13.5 and our other options in our guide to Windows ultrabooks.
The M1 MacBook Air has a comfortable case, good performance, and plenty of storage—something that wasn't always true of previous MacBook Airs.
The 2022 M2 MacBook Air offers a new design, is brighter, a better webcam, and brings back the favorite MagSafe port.
I Test Laptops For A Living — And This Is My Best Laptop For College Pick
Who they're for: If you want macOS or specialized technical support, the MacBook is a safe choice; 13-inch models offer the best combination of size, weight, and speed. They are good for most academic tasks, including writing, research, and basic video and photo editing and coding. If you factor in Apple's tuition fee, you can get one with good specs and storage for three to four years for less than $1,000. MacBooks are better than Windows ultrabooks, especially if you want more memory or storage. ; Apple's SSD upgrade costs are very high so we recommend looking at cloud storage or an external SSD.
Why we like it: At $900 after education, the 13-inch MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is Apple's cheapest MacBook. If your budget can spare an extra $100, we recommend the new MacBook Air (M2, 2022, 13-inch), which has a brighter screen, a better webcam, and a MagSafe charging port. Both models are faster for web browsing, document creation, and light photo and video editing, and can handle professional tasks such as 3D rendering or code translation. They have great keyboards and trackpads and all-day battery life. Like other Apple laptops, the Air only has one USB-C port; Some peripherals may require a USB-C hub. But the Air's light weight, solid build, and industry-leading support make it a great laptop, especially if you have an iPhone or other Apple devices.
Reliable performance, a wide screen, and long battery life for a full workday make the Flex 5i one of the best Chromebooks for the price. But it is difficult.
Who they're for: Chromebooks are ideal for students who lack Windows or macOS for certain programs. A good Chromebook can do everything an old computer can do, including storing documents, making video calls, and streaming. streaming videos—when possible through a web browser or Android apps. And $500 Chromebooks are faster, lighter and slimmer than similarly priced Windows laptops. Also, Chromebooks are safe and easy to store. However, Chromebooks may have trouble connecting to campus printers and may not be able to play Windows games. They are not good for those who need Mac or Windows software for photo, video or audio editing or other specialized software.
Best Cheap Laptops (2023): Our Picks For $700 Or Less
Why we like it: If you can do all your classes on a Chromebook, we recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus because it's the best combination of features and price in among the models we tested. It has a fast and reliable keyboard and trackpad, a high resolution, excellent quality breakers, and enough battery life for a full day of studying. But we'd like it to be lighter—at 3.6 pounds, it's heavy for a 14-inch laptop.
Unlike most Windows laptops, the Aspire 3 Spin 14 is fast, stable and light, with a decent 1080p screen and good battery life.
Who they're for: If you need a Windows laptop for school and can't afford to spend a lot, you can find a decent one for under $500, but you'll need to make some adjustments. These models are perfect for elementary and high school students, as most cheap Windows laptops are fast enough for school work, bulky, heavy, and don't have battery life that lasts all day. all. You should be very careful when buying
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