Finding the Best Laptops for College Students

Last Edited: October 10, 2018 by

best laptops for college students

Welcome to our current buying guide to the best laptops for college students based on design, performance, functionality, customer feedback and critic reviews.

Are you sending your son or daughter off to school for the first time? When you send your child off to college, you want to make sure that they have the best college laptop they can be to be successful. Sure, your sons and daughters are going to party and have a lot of fun, but they are going to get a great quality education while they are there as well. A laptop is simply an essential part of every college students’ supply list today. What type of laptop they need  will depend a great deal on how they use it and even what field they are going into.

Below you will find our picks of the very best laptops that are perfect for any student heading off into the world to get their degree of higher learning. If you are on a serious budget you can also see our budget laptop guides or, if you are looking for high-end products, our guide to the best high-end laptops. Our laptops under $1000 guide also has some excellent lightweight laptop options perfect for student use, or, if you are on a budget, our laptops under $200, under $300, under $400 and under $500  offer some price based guides that may save you some time.

Top Picks >> Runners Up >>

Best Laptop for College  – Top Pick

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 laptop
The Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 can switch between a laptop and a tablet, and it is lightweight and extremely portable, making it ideal for the modern day student. This versatile 2-in-1 chromebook comes packed with a fair amount of power, driving what most consider a commendable overall experience thanks to its lightning quick solid state memory and Intel Core M3 processor. The included 4GB of RAM should be more than enough for most, although I wouldn’t go crazy with how many apps you have open when multitasking as there may be some noticeable lag. With 64GB of solid state memory, you will have plenty of room for a lot of files, and it is upgradable to 256GB if necessary. Chrome OS does make use of cloud based storage mostly, so storage should not be that much of an issue. The 10 hour battery life is awesome, and will allow you to slip this sleek chromebook into your bag without the extra weight of the power cable. It comes with a great Full-HD IPS display that has a resolution of 1920×1080. While it’s not 4K, it’s more than enough resolution to give you a beautiful picture while using your Chromebook. It is lightweight, highly portable, and coupled with its robust design, you get a laptop suited to students or businessman who constantly travel.

Pros

  • Fast Intel Core M 2.2Ghz processor
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Limited Functionality in Tablet Mode
  • Price
  • Limited Ports
  • Low amount of RAM

Specs

  • 12.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.6 lbs

Summary

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-inch is solidly built, and includes high end specs for a Chromebook, but its price and port limitations may be a turn off for some.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-inch
$499.00$474.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:22 UTC) Details

Best Cheap Laptop for College – Top Pick

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch
The best selling  Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM not only features the latest Intel Kaby Lake processor, it also features next generation connectivity such as USB 3.1 Type-C and Bluetooth 4.1. Powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i3-7100U processor and 4GB of DDR4 RAM, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM will easily cope with basic tasks such as video streaming, web browsing and word processing, making it perfect for students. The 4GB of RAM will struggle with more hardware intensive apps, however, making the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM better suited for humanities students, as opposed to students needing to run demanding applications. Luckily, Acer has fitted the laptop with an access panel that makes upgrading the RAM a whole lot easier. If you are on a tight budget then we recommend installing a second 4GB RAM module, but if your budget is slightly larger, we recommend installing two 8GB RAM modules for a total of 16GB of RAM. While many sub $500 laptops are still being offered with entry-level 1366 x 768 display panels, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM comes with a Full-HD display. The 1920 x 1080 display offers great image quality and with Acer’s ColorBlast technology, you get more than twice the as many colors as with other budget laptops. If you spend long hours working on your laptop, then Acer’s Bluelight Shield feature will help to reduce eye strain by reducing the amount of blue light that is emitted from the display. The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM features a standard 1TB hard drive, which offers ample storage space for all of your files, your music collection and years of photos. However, these budget storage drives are quite slow in comparison to modern solid state drives. You can replace it with an affordable solid state drive, however this will mean sacrificing storage space for speed as a similar size SSD will cost as much as the laptop. Overall the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is packed for of great features that you would expect from more expensive laptops, giving it a great price to performance ratio.

Pros

  • Full-HD display
  • 7th Gen Intel processor
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Battery life
  • Price to performance ratio

Cons

  • No dedicated graphics card
  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Slower 5400rpm HDD

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1024GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM offers a lot of great hardware for its sub $400 price tag. But you only get 4GB of RAM and we recommend upgrading to increase the laptop’s day-to-day performance.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch
$359.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:40 UTC) Details

Best Laptop For Engineering Students & Architecture Students – Top Pick

Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inch

Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inch
If there is one thing that every student needs today, it is a machine that is easy to carry with them to class and well, wherever they go. However, regular tablets don’t often cut it. The Microsoft Surface Book is the first machine to really bring the two worlds together in a form that is actually highly usable in both laptop and tablet format. It features a modern design that is just plain gorgeous and it packs enough power into its small frame to be useful for almost any task you throw at it. Microsoft has successfully combined the power of today’s laptops into a true hybrid that is a real pleasure to use, and quite handy for any college student looking for a device they can slip into their bags and take with them to class.

Pros

  • Exceptional battery life
  • Powerful hardware
  • Thin and light
  • Pin point accurate touchscreen
  • NVIDIA graphics

Cons

  • No Ethernet
  • No USB Type-C
  • 3:2 aspect ratio
  • No HDMI
  • Price

Specs

  • 13.5 inch, 3000 x 2000 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.34 lbs

Summary

The Surface Book SX3-00001 is a purpose built business laptop that offers great performance, an NVIDIA GPU and excellent battery life that will get you through the day.

Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001 13.5-inch
$1899.00$997.00
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(as of 13-10-2018 03:44 UTC) Details

Best Laptop For Graphic Design Students, Film Students & Photography Students – Top Pick

ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB76 15.6-inch

ASUS M580VD-EB76 VivoBook 15.6 laptop
The ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB76 is a rather unassuming gaming laptop. It has a premium look, much like its the ZenBook line, and therefore looks like it could be geared more towards work than gaming. The sleek, stylish ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB76 flexes a powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor, which is backed by 16GB DDR4 RAM. It has a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU that runs most modern day AAA games and easily runs high demand photo and video editing software. It features a matte 1080p FHD screen with 100% sRGB color gamut, but it is a TN-based display, and not IPS, meaning that one’s viewing angles will be average. The battery life is said to last around 4-5 hours, and while ASUS says the VivoBook M580VD-EB76 has an intelligent cooling system, it is reported to run hot during high-load multitasking and gaming sessions. Measuring in at 0.8 X 15 X 10 inches, and with a weight of 5.1 pounds, it weighs close to what the Macbook Pros and the Dell XPS 15 touch weigh, and therefore makes it practical in terms of portability. At the bottom of the ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB76 are two speakers that drive out good audio for a laptop, with one user even suggesting that it pushes some decent bass. It features chiclet-style keys and the USB 3.1 Type-C port allows for super fast transfer speeds and will also allow for users to connect a Thunderbolt compatible display. The SSD is fast and has 256GB of storage space, while the slower, 5400RPM mechanical hard drive has 1TB of storage space.

Pros

  • Powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor
  • Well priced
  • SSD and HDD combo
  • Sleek, stylish design

Cons

  • 5400rpm hard drive is slow
  • Short Battery life
  • Heating issues
  • Mediocre TN Display

Specs

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD / 256GB SSD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 9.25 hours battery life
  • 5.1 lbs

Summary

If you are looking for a gaming laptop disguised as a premium workstation-type laptop, then the sleek, stylish ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB76 should not be overlooked.

ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB76 15.6-inch
$1049.00
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:21 UTC) Details

Best Laptop For Computer Science Students & Programming Students – Top Pick

Apple Macbook Pro MPTT2LL/A 15.4-inch

Apple Macbook Pro MPTT2LL/A
You may not think coding machine when you think Apple, but since macOS is based on UNIX, you really can’t go wrong. The Apple Macbook Pro MPTT2LL/A is no different. It’s 15.4-inch Retina display is a true thing of beauty, and images and text have never appeared clearer than they will on the Apple display. It comes with a 2.9Ghz Intel Quad Core i7 and 16GB of RAM which provide more than enough speed to execute even the most complex coding projects. It’s unibody aluminum design is sleek and stylish so you will look great while you write your next programming project. If there is one downside to this machine, it’s the lack of ports. It comes with multiple USB type C ports, but Apple has failed to include anything else. If you need classic USB, you will need an adapter, and the same goes for everything else including ethernet. This makes it less than ideal for the office. Still, you will be hard pressed to find a more powerful machine and with it’s open source roots it’s a great choice for any programmer.

Pros

  • Touch Bar with Touch ID
  • Powerful CPU
  • Dedicated AMD graphics
  • Large SSD
  • Brilliant Retina display
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • No standard ports
  • No MagSafe port
  • Non-upgradable RAM
  • Price
  • No SD card slot

Specs

  • 15.4 inch, 2880 x 1800 pixels
  • Mac OS X 10.12 Sierra
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.9 lbs

Summary

The Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MPTT2LL/A is a powerful MacBook Pro for the power user, however the price is steep and the lack of legacy ports will inconvenience even some of the most diehard Apple fans.

Apple Macbook Pro MPTT2LL/A 15.4-inch
$2799.00$2099.00
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:21 UTC) Details

Best Laptop For Business Students &  Accounting Students –  Top Picks

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch


The Dell XPS 13’s extreme portability and great touchpad make it a great college laptop, add the fact that it looks like a museum-worthy piece of art, and we have clearly got a winner here. Its aluminum body looks stylish, and the laptop itself is well built. However, the most striking feature of the XPS 13 is its “infinityEdge display”; it has almost no bezels which allowed Dell to cram the 13.3-inch display into an extremely compact frame. The screen itself, a Full-HD marvel which is sharp, colorful, and accurate. You need good inputs if you are going to be typing around all day and probably night, and while the XPS’ keyboard is impressive, the touchpad is a major highlight. It is expansive and highly responsive; probably only second to the great Macbook touchpad. With its Intel Skylake processor, the XPS 13 runs rings around normal day tasks, and the 8GB RAM will not starve your programs when running many apps at the same time. However, it will struggle running intensive games on the integrated graphics. Finally, with its large 56 watt-hour battery the XPS 13 has enough juice to run a full day and then some; truly epic endurance.

Pros

  • Skylake processor and GPU
  • Battery life
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • Slight fan noise under load
  • No HDMI port
  • Hard to upgrade
  • Limited storage space

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 2.8 lbs

Summary

The Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV offers great performance in a light and compact design.

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch
$794.78
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:45 UTC) Details

Best Laptop For History Students & Law Students & Philosophy Students – Top Pick

HP Chromebook 14 14-inch

HP Chromebook 14 14-inch laptop
Chromebooks are slowly changing the landscape of the education world as they allow more and more students access to the vital online information that they will need for their degrees. The HP Chromebook 14 14-inch might not be a fancy all-metal laptop like the MacBook range, but it does offer amazing value for your money. It will easily allow you to research topics for your term papers and write those all-important essays. The battery life is also very impressive and some users have claimed to easily get 8 hours while browsing the web or watching videos online. But your mileage may vary, and you could even get more out of the battery. While Chrome OS is a great option for students, it does have its limitations and there is no official version of Microsoft Office. Luckily there is Microsoft Office Online, though it is not as simple as launching an app. If not having Microsoft Office is not a deal breaker, then you will feel just at home with Chrome OS. As an added benefit, you will no longer need to worry about those dreaded viruses and those badly timed Windows 10 updates. The display has also received some criticism for its brightness and seems to be slightly dimmer than competing Chromebooks. But, this will only really be an issue if you intend on working in sunny areas. Another criticism is the fact that Chromebooks feature smaller storage drives, though they are designed to work in conjunction with Google’s online cloud storage option. You might also want to look at a good external storage drive so that you can access all of your important documents even if you don’t have an Internet connection.

Pros

  • Attractive price
  • Good build quality
  • Large trackpad
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Limited applications
  • Dimm display
  • Small amount of physical storage

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9.25 hours battery life
  • 3.4 lbs

Summary

The HP Chromebook 14 offers great value for money, however, Chrome OS offers fewer applications and the display is slightly dim.

HP Chromebook 14 14-inch
$259.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:45 UTC) Details


Best Laptops for College Students Under $500 – Runners-Up

ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch

ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch laptop
ASUS’s budget-conscious 2017 Vivobook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch is a truly capable machine for the price and suited to students. It is snappy and responsive thanks to its 8th Generation i5-8250U 1.6GHz CPU and 8GB of RAM, allowing your applications to run comfortably without making the laptop feel sluggish. The design has been improved over to last year’s VivoBook, and it is both lighter and thinner, weighing in at 3.7 pounds, making it highly portable. The keyboard is said to have quite a bit of flex, taking away from the VivoBook F510UA-AH51’s premium feel. ASUS have fitted the laptop with a 1920 X 1080 IPS NanoEdge display, which has an awesome 80 percent screen-to-body ratio. ASUS have cut some corners with the storage, opting for a slow 1TB 5400RPM HDD as opposed to an SSD. This is going to make applications and boot times rather slow, but the other hardware does compensate for this. It has an average battery life of around 5 hours, 30 minutes according to reports, and most reviewers have pointed out that the audio quality is good overall. The Intel UHD 620 graphics won’t win any awards for gaming performance, but it will allow you to run some classic titles well, and even some newer titles on low settings. It also comes with USB 3.1 with a reversible USB C connector for super fast data transfers. ASUS’s new Vivobook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch laptop offers a great performance for the price, and its portability and solid construction makes it well suited for business people constantly travelling.

Pros

  • Responsive
  • Solid performance
  • Up-to-date CPU
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Premium look

Cons

  • Keyboard flex
  • Slow hard drive

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 13.25 hours battery life
  • 3.7 lbs

Summary

With its premium look and ultra portable design, the ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 offers users a solid performance at a very reasonable price.

ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch
$509.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:21 UTC) Details

ASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inch

ASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inch laptop
The ASUS P2540UA-AB51 is suitable for both business use and college students. Its features a fingerprint reader for security purposes and a solid 9-hour battery life, which can even be extended if you switch the settings over to Battery Saver mode. ASUS have fitted the P2540UA-AB51 with a seventh generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB 5400RPM storage drive. The slower storage drive will mean that the ASUS P2540UA-AB51 will take longer to start up and launching your applications will take noticeably longer than laptops with an SSD. Luckily both the RAM and the storage drive can be upgraded and you can even replace the optical drive with a hard drive caddy if you want to keep the 1TB drive for storage. Some users have reported that it offers weak audio due to the downward facing speakers. Though the audio is not the only thing to have taken a backseat, the display has been reported to be lacklustre and the viewing angles, while not terrible, are not great either. Fortunately it is Full-HD, so the image quality will be sharp.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Latest generation Intel CPU
  • Fingerprint reader and TPM chip
  • Great selection of ports
  • Easy to upgrade

Cons

  • Slower 5400rpm storage drive
  • Weak audio
  • Lackluster display

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR4 SDRAM RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 5.2 lbs

Summary

The ASUS P2540UA-AB51 offers great business and security features at an affordable small business price. However the slower storage drive might put some off who are looking for an SSD.

ASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inch
$599.00
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:13 UTC) Details

HP 17-X116DX 17.3-inch


The HP 17-X116DX is suitable for students looking for a larger display at a price that is within their budget. Its 17.3-inch display is large, but HP have cut costs by making it only 1600 x 900. This is in no way a deal breaker and you will still be able to enjoy great content in 720p HD quality. Due to the HP 17-X116DX’s larger overall build, it will be a bit more strenuous to lug around, but this will be the price you pay for the extra screen real estate. While the display may lack Full-HD support, it does offer great image quality and is brighter than some of the competing models on the market. However, the audio does not match up to the display as the speakers are placed at the bottom of the laptop and face downward. This offers somewhat dull audio at times and if you are using the laptop on your lap then the audio can become quite muffled. The battery life is said to be around 5.5 hours, so depending on how long your days are, you may be required to carry around a power cable. The Intel i5 and 8GB of RAM ensures that the laptop is responsive and multitasking will be painless.

Pros

  • Large 17.3-inch display
  • Fast Intel i5 processor
  • Ample storage
  • Great price

Cons

  • Dull audio
  • No numpad or power LED light
  • Slower 5400rpm hard drive

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 17.3 inch, 1600 x 900 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.5 hours battery life
  • 7.3 lbs

Summary

The HP 17-X116DX offers a larger display for all of your multimedia needs, though its Intel processor is more than powerful enough if you intend on doing a bit of design work.

HP 17-X116DX 17.3-inch
$799.99$570.00
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:19 UTC) Details

Samsung Chromebook Pro XE510C24-K01US 12.3-inch

Samsung Chromebook Pro XE510C24-K01US 12.3-inch
The Samsung Chromebook Pro features a brilliant Quad-HD display with a touchscreen panel, and is considered a more higher end Chromebook. This means that the Samsung Chromebook Pro offers a far higher resolution than the average Chromebook, giving you superior image quality. The display can also be folded 360-degrees to transform the Samsung Chromebook Pro into a Chrome OS based tablet. The Samsung pen will allow you to easily draw and illustrate in the various Google applications, though its best use is for quickly and easily taking notes at work or at college. While the store is still quite small for modern standards, you do get double the storage space of most Chromebooks, allowing you to store more of your offline documents. However, Chromebooks are designed to work in conjunction with Google’s online applications and its cloud-based storage option, Google Drive. Still, you may want to get yourself a good external hard drive for those times when you find yourself offline. While the Samsung Chromebook Pro is fairly similar to the Plus, it boasts a far more powerful Intel Core M3 6Y30 processor. This will allow you to get the most out of this Chromebook without it feeling sluggish when you need it the most.

Pros

  • QHD touchscreen display
  • Pen for drawing
  • Thin and light
  • Intel Core M3 CPU
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Limited applications
  • Chrome OS
  • Small amount of storage
  • Only USB Type-C ports

Specs

  • 12.3 inch, 2400 x 1600 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 2.4 lbs

Summary

The Samsung Chromebook Pro brings a premium look and feel to the Chromebook market and its powerful hardware make it a great choice for college students and bloggers alike.

Samsung Chromebook Pro XE510C24-K01US 12.3-inch
$549.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:22 UTC) Details

Best Cheap Laptops for College Students Under – Runners-Up

Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C1LK 11.6-inch

Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C1LK 11.6-inch laptop
The Acer Chromebook R11 is well suited to the modern day humanities student and it has has a neat minimalist design and it packs some decent specs to drive a decent overall experience. It has an all plastic chassis and matte finish, and it is able to transform from a laptop, to a tent, display or tablet thanks to its 360-degree hinge (that is said to feel somewhat flimsy). With its Intel Celeron N3150 Quad-Core Processor and 4GB of RAM, the laptop runs reasonably well and will easily get you through basic tasks and web browsing, and multitasking shouldn’t make it feel sluggish when compared to the 2GB version of this same laptop. While the IPS touch display is said to be sharp and decent overall, it only has a resolution of 1366×768 (720p), but this is fairly common amongst cheaper laptops, with a FHD resolution screen usually adding a couple of 100 dollars to the price tag. While the 32GB of flash memory may seem limiting, Chrome OS mostly makes use of use of cloud based storage. Most users found that the keypad is responsive and the keyboard is said to have a good amount of travel to make it an overall comfortable typing experience. The 10-hour battery life is good and it will last a day at college or the office without you needing to lug around your charger.

Pros

  • Hybrid design
  • IPS Touchscreen
  • 32GB of eMMC Flash memory
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Low quality webcam
  • Only 2GB of RAM
  • Slight display and lid flex
  • Not optimized for touch
  • Not Full-HD

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics Shared
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.8 lbs

Summary

The Acer Chromebook R11 is a great 2-in-1 Chromebook that offers good hardware performance for users after a laptop with all day battery and running Chrome OS.

Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C1LK 11.6-inch
$299.99$285.49
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:21 UTC) Details

DELL INSPIRON I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch

DELL INSPIRON I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch laptop
The Dell Inspiron I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch laptop has received positive reviews for its decent specs for the price, coming with an Intel i5-7200U and 8GB of RAM, affording you decent multitasking capabilities and a machine powerful enough to run some demanding programs reasonably well. Users liked the backlit keyboard and the 2TB of storage space. The construction is said to be solid, too, which impressed many users. However, some pointed out that screen quality is subpar, offering limited viewing angles, and furthermore, it is only 720p. While there is a plenty of storage space, the hard drive is a mechanical hard drive, meaning boot and application load times will be slow. Lastly, the 5-hour battery life is fairly average. The Dell Inspiron I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch laptop offers users a solid experience and is really well priced for the CPU included, but the display quality may be a drawback for some.

Pros

  • Price
  • Decent performance
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Plenty storage space

Cons

  • Mediocre screen quality
  • Slow HDD
  • Average battery life

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 2000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 5.07 lbs

Summary

The screen quality is the only real drawback of the Dell Inspiron I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch. Otherwise, it delivers a decent performance overall thanks to its solid CPU and RAM.

Dell Inspiron I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch
$475.00
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:25 UTC) Details

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch
If you are looking for a thin and light laptop for your studies, then the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is well worth considering. It features a sleek design, weighs in at 2.38-pounds and at just 0.51-inches thick, it is among the thinnest of the Chromebooks on the market. While other ChromeBooks are generally inexpensive, the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US commands a higher price due to the fact that its features are more in line with that of mid-range Windows laptops. The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US sports a Rockchip Hexa-Core OP1 processor with 4GB of DDR3L RAM, which give it the edge over some of its slightly cheaper counterparts. While you might not get an Intel processor, the Rockchip OP1 has been optimized in conjunction with Google for Chrome OS. You also get double the storage space of most Chromebooks, however the 32GB will fill up quickly if you intend on storing larger documents or multimedia files. You can purchase a large MicroSD card to extend the laptop’s storage space and we recommend a good 128GB MicroSD card. If you are permanently connected to the Internet, then you can make use of Google Drive as they offer great packages for under $10 a month. With a good battery life, the Samsung ChromeBook Plus will easily make it through all of your classes at college. The high resolution QHD display can be folded 360-degrees and with the included pen you will be able to take notes with ease. While it does run the more limited Chrome OS, you will still be able to use Microsoft Office thanks to Microsoft Office Online. The only major downside is that it only features two USB 3.1 Type-C ports that require adapters in order to use a standard USB port. Luckily Samsung have included an adapter in the box, which is more than what you get with Apple’s MacBook.

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • 8-Core processor
  • Pen for drawing and taking notes
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Only 2 USB 3.1 Type-C ports
  • Limited apps
  • Chrome OS
  • Limited storage space

Specs

  • Mali-T860 MP4 Shared
  • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • 12.3 inch, 2400 x 1600 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.38 lbs

Summary

The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is a powerful Chromebook that is perfect for all of your college classes. The included pen will make taking notes much easier and will allow you to save them as digital copies.

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch
$449.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 14:36 UTC) Details

HP 15-BA009DX 15.6-inch

HP 15-BA009DX 15.6-inch
Breaking the mold from the usual Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, the HP 15-BA009DX features an AMD Quad-Core A6-7310 processor which offers slightly better performance than the current entry-level Intel processors. This also means that instead of an Intel HD Graphics based graphics cards, you will get an AMD Radeon R4 graphics card. While this will not run any of the current titles such as GTA V or Battlefield 1, it will allow you to play classic titles such as Warcraft III, Age of Empires II and Command & Conquer Generals. The HP 15-BA009DX ships with 4GB of RAM, which will be sufficient for everyday tasks, however, it will struggle with more RAM hungry applications such as Google Chrome. We recommend purchasing a second 4GB RAM module to increase the HP 15-BA009DX’s overall performance. While some budget friendly laptops feature tiny 32GB solid state drives, the HP 15-BA009DX comes standard with a 500GB mechanical hard drive. While this hard drive is slower than the newer solid state drives, it does have the advantage off offer far more storage space. If you would like to undertake the task of upgrading the storage drive to a superfast SSD, then we recommend backing up all of your important documents and files before cloning your current hard drive. We recommend the WD Blue 250GB SSD as an affordable solution for the HP 15-BA009DX. You can expect to find an entry-level display for the price, however the colors and image quality are quite decent for the laptops low price tag. Sure, it might not be Full-HD, however it will still allow you to enjoy your favorite 720p YouTube videos online. Some users have mentioned that the trackpad may not always be super responsive and this might be a deal breaker for some users. However, you can use a basic USB mouse to get around this slightly frustrating issue.

Pros

  • CPU performance
  • Radeon GPU
  • Minimalist design
  • Good amount of storage space
  • Price

Cons

  • Trackpad
  • Integrated graphics
  • No gigabit Ethernet or Bluetooth

Specs

  • AMD Radeon R4 (Beema) Shared [View Framerates]
  • 4GB DDR3L RAM
  • 500GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.5 hours battery life
  • 4.8 lbs

Summary

The HP 15-BA009DX is a budget friendly laptop for the casual gamer who enjoys playing classic titles, however the integrated graphics will limit which games this laptop will run without feeling sluggish.

HP 15-BA009DX 15.6-inch
$287.98$284.88
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from Amazon.com
(as of 13-10-2018 03:35 UTC) Details

Best Laptop For Engineering Students & Architecture Students – Runners-Up

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch laptop
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch laptop comes stacked with some impressive hardware for a reasonable price. The up-to-date Intel i5-8250U that is coupled with 8GB of RAM will run most heavy tasks with general ease. Multitasking will also not be much of problem, as the RAM will allow you to run quite a few applications and browser windows at once. It comes with a somewhat small SSD, affording you only 256GB of storage, but you can always add an additional SSD if needed. It comes with a Full-HD IPS display, but some have noted that it is fairly dim and unspectacular. Regardless, you will get decent viewing angles and the matte finish will prevent any potential glare. It has a solid battery life of around 8 hours and 30 minutes, despite the Amazon product page suggesting up to 15 hours of battery life, but this may be more accurate for light users, while heavier users will drain the battery around the above mentioned time. The NVIDIA GeForce MX150 is by no means a beast, but it will do a fairly decent job at running applications such as those found in the Adobe suite. and  Both the keyboard and trackpad have been given a thumbs up from most who own this machine. There was a lot of critical commentary delivered on quality control, with many users receiving defective machines. While this may be only a select few reviewers, it is always worth mentioning quality control.

Pros

  • Good Intel i5-8250U CPU
  • Decent 8GB of RAM
  • SSD
  • Full-HD Display
  • Price

Cons

  • Dim screen
  • Potential quality control issues
  • Limited storage capacity

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 15 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch laptop is well priced and comes with a good CPU and fast SSD, but the storage capacity is fairly limited, and the matte Full- HD screen may not be for everyone.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch
$599.99$566.50
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from Amazon.com
(as of 13-10-2018 03:31 UTC) Details

ASUS VivoBook S S510UA-DB71

ASUS VivoBook S S510UA-DB71 laptop
The ASUS VivoBook S S510UA-DB71 is a lightweight, powerful laptop. It comes with a thin “NanoEdge” display bezel, which many enjoy about this laptop, making the 13.3-inch 1080p IPS display seem borderless. The brushed aluminium chassis gives the laptop a professional look and the 4.4-pound design means you can take with you anywhere. The Intel i7-7500U and 8GB of RAM drive a solid performance, and it will allow you to run your day-to-day tasks with ease. Couple CPU and RAM with the fast SSD and you have a machine that feels responsive. While the SSD does come with only 128GB of space, ASUS have included a 1TB HDD for additional space, but it is going to be quite a bit slower than the SSD. The keyboard feedback is said to be average, and the touchpad equally as poor, but the keys are backlit, making them easy to navigate in darker settings. Most noted that the audio is good for laptop speakers, but nothing to write home about. It comes with a USB Type-C Gen. 1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 ports, as well as an HDMI port, but ASUS have not included an ethernet port, which did disappoint some reviewers. The built-in fingerprint scanner is great for security purposes and saves you from typing your password every time you want to login. Another drawback is the battery life, with most finding that it lasts around 5 hours, which is quite a bit less than its competitors.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Professional looking
  • Powerful performance
  • Fast SSD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • USB Type-C Gen. 1 port
  • Runs quietly

Cons

  • Average keyboard and trackpad
  • Battery life
  • No ethernet port

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics Shared
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD / 128GB SSD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.4 lbs

Summary

If you are looking for a powerful, lightweight and professional looking laptop, then the ASUS VivoBook S S510UA-DB71 is for you. But it does not come with an ethernet port, so it will only run on Wi-Fi.

ASUS VivoBook S S510UA-DB71 15.6-inch
$778.87
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from Walmart
(as of 24-03-2018 04:10 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T 13.3-inch

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T 13.3-inch
If you are looking for a super thin and light Ultrabook for work or to take with you when you travel, then you might want to consider looking at the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T. At just 2.9-pounds and 0.5-inches thin, this laptop offers the ultimate portability for its price. However, the metal used is slightly thin and there is a small amount of keyboard flex while typing, which might annoy some users. The ASUS ZenBook Flex also has a slightly below average trackpad, however, you can use a small mouse instead to alleviate any annoying trackpad lag or misclicks. Powered by an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor, the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T is one of the few laptops from ASUS which uses the Skylake mobile processor. While it has a slower clock speed of 0.9GHZ, it can boost to 2.2GHz when needed and is not intended for heavier multitasking or for design and video editing applications. However, this processor and the installed 8GB of RAM will easily allow you to send emails, Skype with family and friends, browse the web and to use the various Office applications from Microsoft. To store all of your files, the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T features a superfast M.2 256GB solid state drive. If you have a larger collection of multimedia files, you will want to use a good external hard drive, as the SSD will fill up very quickly. As expected from this thin laptop, the audio is not very loud and this has to do with the space the speakers have to resonate sound. While the audio is not as good as some of the other laptops in this guide, it is still good for streaming media or while using Skype.

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Fast SSD
  • Good amount of memory
  • USB 3.1 Type-C port
  • Battery life
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Micro HDMI port
  • Buggy trackpad
  • Slight keyboard flex
  • Average audio

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.9 lbs

Summary

The ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T is a compact and light Ultrabook that is great for the user who is constantly on the go. However, the trackpad has much to be desired and might annoy some users.

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T 13.3-inch
$749.00$706.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 14:36 UTC) Details

Best Laptops For Engineering Students & Architecture Students – Runners-Up

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inch

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inch
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is not only the best laptop from Microsoft so far, but it is also one of the best hybrids in the market. Even at first glance, the giant manufacturer’s prowess is evidenced by its looks. From a distance, it is almost identical to its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3, with the same grey magnesium finish and the same adjustable kickstand. However, a closer look will reveal the subtle but impressive touches, which include a slightly larger screen, a slimmer profile, reduced weight and a better docking mechanism for the Surface Pen. Powered up, the 12.3-inch 2736 x 1824-pixel resolution display is as sharp as they come. Out of the box, Windows 10 comes bundled with the device, and it looks great on the WQHD PixelSense panel, which ticks all the boxes when it comes to color accuracy, contrast, brightness and viewing angles. The stereo speakers also output great sound, with sufficient loudness and commendable bass, making the Surface Pro 4 an all-around stellar multimedia device. Ports are few but useful and despite being thinner, the Surface Pro 4 still manages a USB 3.0, a Mini-DisplayPort and a Micro-SD card reader. Microsoft has generously flooded the market with an array of internal hardware configurations, but we bet a 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6300U, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD is just enough power to please the average student while maintaining a reasonable price. Everyday web-browsing, document editing, HD movie watching and light to moderate gaming will all be handled with ease, with issues and lags only being experienced with demanding tasks like heavy video processing and intensive gaming. Even more pleasing is the battery, with can comfortably endure a good 11 hours of normal continuous usage.

Pros

  • Intel Skylake processor
  • Good battery life
  • Crisp and responsive touchscreen
  • Comes with Windows 10 Pro

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • No physical keyboard included
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Underpowered for designers

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 520 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 4GB SDRAM DDR3 RAM
  • 128GB SSD
  • 12.3 inch, 2736 x 1824 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 1.73 lbs

Summary

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 offers a great performance for its compact size, but you will have to purchase the keyboard separately and the 4GB of RAM hurt its overall performance with heavy multitasking.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 CR5-00001 12.3-inch
$789.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 14:40 UTC) Details

Microsoft Surface Pro FJX-00001

Microsoft Surface Pro FJX-00001 12.3-inch laptop
The 2017 Surface Pro is tablet with the performance of a laptop and it is the improved version of the Surface Pro 4. This particular model of the 2017 Surface Pro that we are looking at is the Intel i5 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space. Needless to say, it performs exceptionally well thanks to the seventh generation Intel i5 processor, and it is equipped with great specs, making it great for engineering or architecture students. Multitasking and web browsing are also a breeze with the 8GB of RAM and the build quality is great. The elegant finish gives it a very stylish quality much like its predecessor, but it does have fewer ports, like a USB Type-C port. It comes equipped with a single USB 3.0 Type-A connection, along with a mini-display port. Many pointed out that the kickstand is improved, and just under the kickstand is the microSD card. The speakers are front facing on each side of the display, with many noting how loud they are overall and how decent the sound quality is. The Surface Pen is said to be a lot more sensitive compared to the the Surface Pro 4, but it is not included, and it is pricier. The 2-in-1 laptop should also ideally be used with the keyboard, but even that is expensive. The Surface Pro ends up being pricier than the Surface Pro 4 when you factor in all these additional costs of essentials. The battery life has been improved by about 3 hours, amounting to around 13 hours compared to the Surface Pro 4, which only had around 10 hours of battery life. The 256GB SSD is fast, and it has Intel HD Graphics 620. Microsoft’s Surface Dial is also compatible with the Surface Pro, but it will cost you around $90 extra. The 2017 workhorse Surface Pro is stylish and a truly high performing 2-in-1 laptop, and it is an excellent follow up to the Surface Pro 4.

Pros

  • Elegant and stylish
  • Great performance
  • Improved battery life
  • Surface Pen more responsive
  • Fast 256GB SSD
  • Great display
  • Improved kickstand

Cons

  • Surface Pen and keyboard are expensive
  • Minimal port selection
  • No USB Type-C

Specs

  • 12.3 inch, 2736 x 1824 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 10.75 hours battery life
  • 1.7 lbs

Summary

Despite having a small selection of ports and no USB Type-C, Microsoft’s new 2017 Surface Pro packs the power of a notebook in a tablet format.

Microsoft Surface Pro FJX-00001 12.3-inch
$992.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 15:21 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW 15.6-inch

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T 15.6-inch
If you are looking at enrolling into a creative degree that will require a beefier laptop, then the ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW is worth considering. Its sturdy metal unibody chassis is not just elegant, but strong enough to withstand the day-to-day punishments of a college student. ASUS have also improved the battery life and you can expect to get about 8 hours, which is double that of its predecessor. Its crisp 4K display is great for graphic design and photography students and offers great viewing angles thanks to its In-plane switching technology. You also get 111 percent sRGB color gamut, which beats the MacBook Pro by 25 percent. Meaning you will be able to complete your design or photo editing assignments with full knowledge that the colors will look true to life. The 15.6-inch touchscreen display is on par with the Surface range from Microsoft when it comes to overall responsiveness, which makes navigating around Windows a breeze. The display supports a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 for better 4K video editing, but it is slightly shinier than some of its competitors displays. When it comes to raw hardware performance, the 6th generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and 16GB of DDR4 RAM will have no issue handling more intensive apps such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Solidworks. When you want to take a break from working on those college assignments, you can use the ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW to play some of your favorite games thanks to its dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 2GB of video memory. The GTX 960M will also allow you to process and render your assignments a lot faster than those laptops that only feature integrated graphics. Sadly it does not have a Kensington laptop lock, meaning that you will have to watch over your ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW like a hawk.

Pros

  • Metal chassis
  • UHD touch screen
  • Fast Quad-Core processor
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Fast USB-C connection

Cons

  • Heavier than some competitors
  • Glossy screen

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 5 lbs

Summary

The UX501VW’s glossy display and extra heft are minor shortcomings considering you are getting a UHD display, all-day battery life and an all metal unibody design for a lot less than the “pro” laptops from other manufacturers.

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T 15.6-inch
$1372.99
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from BhPhotoVideo.com
(as of 08-12-2017 04:35 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV 15.6-inch


It can be tough finding solid specs in budget lines the Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV delivers. Featuring a sixth generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, you will have more than enough power for all your daily computing tasks. In includes a 1TB hard drive giving you more than enough room to store your applications and a wide range of files. The display is clear and bright and features a touchscreen interface to make navigation easier than ever. The machine includes Intel HD graphics 520 which aren’t the greatest in the world but more than enough for some light gaming and perfect for apps that require at least a little bit of video power such as Photoshop. The Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV is the perfect machine for anyone shopping on a budget but still wants a device with decent hardware and design that will hold up as you carry it with you to your class.

Pros

  • Decent performance
  • Touchscreen
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Premium design

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Slower 5400rpm hard drive

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.4 lbs

Summary

For a mid-range PC, the Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV gives a professional user excellent performance in a well-designed desktop replacement unit, allowing for a day to day smooth and efficient Windows 10 experience at a very fair price.

Dell Inspiron i5559-4415SLV 15.6-inch
$679.99$599.00
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from Amazon
(as of 18-10-2018 14:49 UTC) Details

Best Laptops for College Students Under $500

Best Laptops For Graphic Design Students, Film Students & Photography Students – Runners-Up

Acer Predator Helios 300 G3-571-77QK 15.6-inch

Acer Predator Helios 300 G3-571-77QK 15.6-inch
We decided to included another Acer gaming type laptop as it has all the necessary hardware to run demanding design programs incredibly well. On top of this, it is exceptionally well priced for what you get. The Acer Predator Helios 300 joins the Predator range as a more affordable solution, however, Acer have had to make a few sacrifices in order to offer its attractive price. The first thing that should be noted is that the display is dimmer than some of its counterparts and it doesn’t reproduce as many colors as the higher-end Predator laptops. However, the display is not all bad news, as you do get a Full-HD display panel which uses IPS technology for far better viewing angles and the quality is not terrible for those looking for a decent display for editing. You can always connect the Acer Predator Helios 300 to a monitor if you need a wider coverage of the sRGB color spectrum for work or college assignments. The Acer Predator Helios 300 is powered by a Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and is backed up by 16GB of DDR4 RAM. This will easily allow you to run even more intensive editing applications will little to no lag. While many of its competitors offer the GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti, Acer have gone ahead and fitted the Acer Predator Helios 300 with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, which means it is VR-Ready. The 256GB M.2 SSD offers fast boot and application loading speeds, however it is a bit small for saving larger files, especially video exports. Luckily, the Acer Predator Helios 300 ships with the cradle for a SATA based storage drive and you can easily install a 512GB or 1TB SSD at home. If the SSDs are out of your price bracket, then you can also consider a good 7200rpm SATA storage drive to increase the laptop’s storage. However, this will mean losing the fast loading advantage that SSDs provide. While the Acer Predator Helios 300 runs cool during everyday use, it will run hot while gaming or while you run more intensive applications. While this might put off some users, it is not at all uncommon for laptops in its price category and is not a deal breaker in our eyes.

Pros

  • Excellent Kaby Lake processor
  • Powerful gaming performance
  • Lightning quick M.2 SSD
  • Great performance
  • Easy to upgrade RAM and storage
  • Features USB Type-C port

Cons

  • Runs hot under load
  • Small amount of storage space
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Poor battery life
  • Not the loudest audio
  • Not the brightest display

Specs

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 4GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 7 hours battery life
  • 5.95 lbs

Summary

The Acer Predator Helios 300 G3-571-77QK is an affordable Acer Predator laptop which even features a more powerful GTX 1060 compared to its competitors' GTX 1050 offerings. However, the tiny amount of storage space needs addressing if you own a larger game collection.

Acer Predator Helios 300 G3-571-77QK 15.6-inch
$1099.99$1049.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 15:13 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire VX 15 VX5-591G-75RM 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM 15.6-inch
The Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM is a great choice for students who are studying one of the many great creative degrees out there. It also has the added benefit of being a gaming laptop for those much needed breaks from college work. The Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM bares a few design similarities to Acer’s top of the range Predator gaming range, while still coming in at a more affordable price for most students. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti features 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory and will easily run your favorite gaming titles. More importantly, the GTX 1050 Ti offers far better performance when it comes to rendering videos and animations compared to any of the integrated GPUs currently on the market. However, the IPS display does have one major downside and that is that it offers an average sRGB score and its ability to replicate professional AdobeRGB color spaces is well below average. This is slightly bad news for photographers and designers. However, this isn’t the end of the world as you can easily connect a good monitor to the Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM. Powering the Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM is a Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which will easily run intensive applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Autodesk Maya. The downside of the Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM is that it only features a single M.2 solid state drive with only 256GB of storage space. This is far too small for those larger files or for those huge AAA gaming titles. While there is space to install a 2.5-inch drive, you will first have to purchase an upgrade kit from Acer as this range does not come with the required bracket, cables or screws. The other more costly option would be to replace the existing M.2 SSD with a larger 512GB or 1TB module. However, the best option would be to use a good quality external storage drive.

Pros

  • Dedicated NVIDIA graphics
  • Powerful Kaby Lake processor
  • Fast USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Aggressive looks
  • Price

Cons

  • Small SSD
  • HDD upgrade kit sold separately
  • No optical drive
  • Small battery

Specs

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.51 lbs

Summary

The Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM offers a decent gaming experience for its price, however the 256GB SSD is slightly too small for most gamers and adding a second drive will require an upgrade kit from Acer.

Acer Aspire VX 15 VX5-591G-75RM 15.6-inch
$1049.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 14:36 UTC) Details

Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 14-inch

Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 14-inch
Razer have been on the gaming scene for a number of years, however, they are not usually the first name that we think of when talking about laptops for creative students. However, the Razer Blade’s display reproduced an excellent 115% of the sRGB color gamut, which is great news for creatives. This will mean that the colors in your design or animation assignments will look more true to life compared to cheaper laptops. Razer have done away with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M from their last generation Razer Blade and have gone for the newer and more powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 laptop edition GPU. The newer GTX 1060 is based off of NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture and with 6GB of GDDR5, so you should not have an issue running most of your applications or games. However, if you need a more powerful card for rendering, then you might want to look at the Razer Core external GPU enclosure. This will allow you to use one of the NVIDIA Quatro Workstation cards with your Razer Blade. Being a premium gaming laptop, it features the latest 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, which will make light work of most applications and games. Backing up the Core i7-7700HQ processor is 16GB of DDR4 2133MHz RAM, which combined will allow for a lag free experience. While all this hardware is quite powerful, the thin design means that it can heat up quickly, causing the fans to run most of the time. This might put off some users who are looking for a quieter machine for everyday use. The Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 features a decently sized 512GB SSD, which offers a decent amount of storage space for your college assignments and for your favorite games.

Pros

  • Kaby Lake i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Thin and light
  • USB Type-C
  • 512GB M.2 SSD

Cons

  • Heats up under load
  • Expensive
  • No Ethernet
  • No optical drive

Specs

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.5 hours battery life
  • 4.10 lbs

Summary

The Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 is a new an improved version of the Razer Blade which offers a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and a 512GB SSD.

Razer Blade RZ09-01953E72-R3U1 14-inch
$2099.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 14:36 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch


Some students need more than a basic computer for both school and play. The Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK may have a lot going for it when it comes to gaming, but it is also a true powerhouse of a machine, making it perfect for any college student that needs a little extra power out of their machines for tasks such as video and graphic editing. Powered by a 6th generation Skylake Quad Core Intel i5-6300HQ running at 2.3 GHz along with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 4 GB of RAM, this laptop packs in plenty of punch great for the heaviest of apps and games as well. It only comes with a 256GB SSD, however, meaning you will need to find other ways to store your files. Overall, the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK is a great machine for any student that loves to play games or just needs a laptop with a little extra power for their school applications.

Pros

  • High end specs
  • SSD Storage
  • Extremely competitive pricing

Cons

  • Plastic design
  • Minor screen bleed

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 5.67 lbs

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK packs higher end specs and an SSD at a very reasonable price offering one of the best gaming laptop deals in recent memory.

Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch
$849.00
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from Amazon
(as of 18-10-2018 15:01 UTC) Details


Best Laptops For Computer Science Students & Programming Students – Runners-Up

Dells XPS 13 9370 13.3-inch

Dell XPS 13 9370 13.3-inch laptop
Dell’s XPS 13 9370 has been described as the best laptop made by Dell by Techadvisor, and it is not hard to see why. It comes in a smaller case than the previous XPS 13 9350-5340SLV (which was and still is immensely popular), and packs enough power to easily outcompete most of the competition in this price range. The sleek build is subtle and attractive and the inside has a carbon fibre finish that has wowed many reviewers. One of its strongest features is the display. The 3840 x 2160 UHD display featuring the InfinityEdge design, meaning it has a thin bezel around it that is hardly noticeable, resulting in an 80.7 percent screen-to-body ratio, and to top it all off, it is a touch screen. The display is said to have incredible color representation and thanks to the high resolution, the level of detail is breathtaking. The keyboard offers a great typing experience, and it has a two-level backlight, and the trackpad was found to just as excellent. Dell have chosen to use the Intel i7-8550 CPU, a powerful CPU that handles tasks like a dream, but the Dell XPS 15 9560-7001SLV-PUS uses the i7-7700HQ, which is still slightly stronger than the U-series featured in the model. However, as pointed out by Windows Central, it scored higher on Geekbench 4.0 test for its single-core and multi-core performance than the Surface Book 2, a favorite of ours. The 16GB of RAM is more than enough for most, and it has an all-day battery life of around 8-hours according to reviewers, which great for a laptop that features such powerful hardware and that has 4K display. Cooling seems to be a bit of an issue – as it is with most ultra thin ultrabooks – and one user noted that there seems to be a bit of CPU throttling, but it only slightly impacts overall performance. On top of the laptop getting noticeably warm, the fans will become audible as they work hard to keep things cool, and this may annoy some users looking for a quiet experience. The 512GB PCIe solid state drive is fast, and booting up and application load times will be fast, and that speakers are said to be great when compared to other laptops. For connectivity, you will get 2x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and USB 3.1 and it no longer features an SD card slot or USB-A ports.

Pros

  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Top-tier performance
  • Stunning QHD display
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • The underside gets hot
  • Potential CPU throttling due to heating
  • Loud
  • Awkward camera placement

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 2.6 lbs

Summary

The Dell XPS 13 9370 13.3-inch ultrabook delivers one of the best Windows 10 experiences out there thanks to its fluid performance, incredible InfinityEdge display and its featherlight design, but like most other ultrabooks, the fans can get loud due under load due to improper cooling.

Dell XPS 13 9370 13.3-inch
$1599.99$1577.71
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(as of 02-09-2018 15:30 UTC) Details

Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3-inch

Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3-inch
While Apple has slipped from the top spot with their latest MacBook Pro and their standard MacBook due to its limited selection of ports, the MacBook Air is still a good option for those who are after the Apple experience. The MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A still retains the same thin and light aluminum unibody design as the original 2010 model and can easily be slipped into a bag while on the go. While it still uses a fifth generation Intel Core i5-5250U processor, the MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A will still run most of your daily processes with ease. And thanks to its 8GB of RAM, you should also be able to use the RAM hungry Google Chrome web browser. Sadly, the RAM is not upgradable. You also get a 256GB solid state drive for super fast boot speeds and application launches. Replacing the SSD for a larger one is slightly more expensive as it requires a specialized SSD compared to Windows-based laptops that use SATA or M.2 SSDs. However, the 256GB of storage space should be enough for your programming needs. One of the drawbacks of the compact MacBook Air is the fact that its smaller display does not support Full-HD and instead Apple has opted for a 1440 x 900 pixel display panel. This will impact your coding and will require some scrolling when writing longer lines of code. However, you will be able to connect a monitor via the Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2) port. While it might not be the newest or the most powerful Ultrabook on the market, it is still great for programmers due to the simple fact that it runs Mac OS X. This means that it is a full Unix-based operating systems compared to most modern versions of Linux which are GNU-based operating systems. You will also be able to write code for any platform due to the strict Apple licensing restrictions and the fact that you will be able to run Windows and Linux too via either dual boot or virtual machine.

Pros

  • SSD
  • Apple ecosystem
  • Good for programming
  • Small and light

Cons

  • No optical drive
  • Non-upgradable RAM
  • No Full-HD display
  • Older hardware

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 6000 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB LPDDR3 1600MHz RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 13.3 inch, 1440 x 900 pixels (IPS)
  • Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 2.96 lbs

Summary

The Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A is a light and compact Ultrabook for those looking for great battery life and Apple’s legendary ecosystem. However, the last update to the Air range was in 2015 and its competitors have already moved on with the latest hardware.

Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3-inch
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(as of 13-10-2018 03:50 UTC) Details

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A 15.4-inch

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A 15.4-inch
The new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has been criticized by even the most hardcore Apple fans. The problem is that previous generation of MacBook Pros featured a good selection of ports and the world famous MagSafe charging port, however, the new version only features USB 3.1 Type-C ports. This will mean purchasing an adapter to use something as simple as a USB mouse. If you really want the MagSafe feel, you can always purchase a magnetic USB 3.1 Type-C adapter that will give you a similar experience. However, this will never be the same as the MagSafe charger as you will have the adapter sticking out of the side of the MacBook. The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A shares the same stylish aluminum unibody design of its predecessor, however Apple have made it almost 40% thinner than the previous model. The new Touch Bar will display shortcuts depending on what applications you are working in and promises to speed up your workflow. Powered by an Intel Core i7-6820HQ processor and 16GB of RAM (which is not upgradable), the Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A will easily run all of your day-to-day tasks. The powerful hardware will also come in handy when you need to test your code. Apple have also given the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A a beefier AMD Radeon Pro 455 GPU with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory. It also features automatic graphics switching to switch to the Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU to conserve battery life when using less demanding applications or while coding. The benefit of the MacBook range is that they run Mac OS X which is based off of Unix. This will allow for the best coding experience and is the choice of many of the top developers and programmers across the globe. While the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A is quite expensive, it does offer the user the ability to use it for more than just writing lines of code.

Pros

  • Touch Bar with Touch ID
  • Powerful CPU
  • Dedicated AMD graphics
  • Large SSD
  • Brilliant Retina display
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • No standard ports
  • No MagSafe port
  • Non-upgradable RAM
  • Price
  • No SD card slot

Specs

  • AMD Radeon Pro 455 2GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 15.4 inch, 2880 x 1800 pixels (IPS)
  • Mac OS X 10.12 Sierra
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 4.02 lbs

Summary

The Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A is a powerful MacBook Pro for the power user, however with a hefty price tag and no legacy ports it might not be the MacBook that we hoped for as everyday users.

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar MLW82LL/A 15.4-inch
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(as of 30-09-2018 05:05 UTC) Details


Best Laptops For Business Students &  Accounting Students – Runners-Up

Dell XPS 15 9560-7001SLV-PUS 15-inch


Dell’s XPS 15 9560-7001SLV-PUS is the older brother of the highly regarded 2015 Dell XPS 13. The first thing many notice about this laptop is its incredible display. The 15-inch IPS 4K InfinityEdge display is simply gorgeous, and it has a near 100 percent Adobe RGB color according to Notebookcheck, but not a full 100 percent as claimed by Dell. The display is also a touchscreen, and is said to be highly responsive, allowing you to “interact naturally with your technology” as per Dell’s description. The XPS 15 is an incredibly versatile machine, as it’s both suitable for productivity users looking for a powerful workstation thanks to its powerful 7th-Gen Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM, and it’s suitable for mid-tier gaming, thanks to its entry level NVIDIA GTX 1050. It’s clearly designed for power users, however, with laptops dedicated for gaming delivering a much better gaming performance in this price range. The GPU will also allow for some heavy duty video and photo editing, however. The XPS 15’s aluminium body feels great and the construction of the laptop is awesome. Some noted that it is surprisingly heavy, however. The battery life, according to users, when used moderately, is around 6-7 hours and typing is great thanks to the carbon fibre palm rest. Quality control is a major concern, however, since some customers received laptops that had various issues: no OS installed, faulty drivers, and damaged laptops. Fortunately, they were able to return them. But this is worth noting in case you do find yourself receiving a faulty machine. It runs quietly under moderate use, but stressing it does seem to make the fans get quite loud according to reports. This did not deter many people though, and most were immensely happy with their purchase. If you are looking for an excellent all purpose workhorse of a laptop that easily has a class leading display, then look no further than the Dell XPS 15 9560-7001SLV-PUS.

Pros

  • Stunning display
  • Near 100% Adobe RGB color
  • Class topping performance
  • Dedicated GPU
  • Great construction
  • Thunderbolt 3

Cons

  • Poor quality control
  • Noisy fan under stress
  • Webcam placement
  • Keyboard

Specs

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 16GB DDR3 RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 4.5 lbs

Summary

The Dell XPS 15’s 4K InfinityEdge display is one of the best screens available, and Dell have thrown a decent GPU into a mix of already powerful hardware, making it an awesome all purpose laptop.

Dell XPS 15 – 9560 15.6-inch
$1999.00$1649.00
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(as of 30-05-2018 04:50 UTC) Details

HP Spectre X360 15t 15.6-inch

HP Spectre X360 15t 15.6-inch laptop
Thin and light 2-in-1 laptops have become popular among those users who enjoy both laptops and tablets. The HP Spectre X360 15t closes the gap between the two markets and can easily be transformed into a super powerful Windows 10 tablet. The brilliant 4K touchscreen helps this laptop standout from the competition and will allow you to easily enjoy the best 4K series and movies right in the comfort of your own lap. Driving the 4K display is a dedicated NVIDIA 940MX graphics card, though it’s not suited for hardcore gaming. Instead the graphics card is more intended for running photo and video editing applications. You also get an HP Active Stylus Pen which can be used to illustrate breathtaking artworks or draw amazing blueprints for ground breaking products. The brilliant display and the Active Stylus Pen are not this laptop’s only amazing features, you also get 1TB of SSD storage, a seventh generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor and a whooping 32GB of memory. This combined make the HP Spectre X360 15t a great choice for power users on the go who are looking for a powerful machine that won’t skip a beat and that will keep up with their high standards. Overall, the price might be steep for some who are looking for more powerful graphics, but to be honest it is not meant for gaming. Instead it’s meant for those working professionals who need and what a powerful, yet elegant 2-in-1 laptop.

Pros

  • Brilliant 4K touchscreen display
  • Elegant design
  • HP Active Stylus Pen
  • Large 1TB SSD
  • 2-in-1 design

Cons

  • Higher price
  • Not as light as we would have liked
  • Only one full-size USB port

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8.25 hours battery life
  • 4.4 lbs

Summary

The HP Spectre X360 15t is a powerful laptop for the working professional, though it does come with a steep price and only one full-size USB port.

HP Spectre X360 15t 15.6-inch
$2149.00
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:19 UTC) Details

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch


The Dell XPS 13’s extreme portability and great touchpad make it a great college laptop, add the fact that it looks like a museum-worthy piece of art, and we have clearly got a winner here. Its aluminum body looks stylish, and the laptop itself is well built. However, the most striking feature of the XPS 13 is its “infinityEdge display”; it has almost no bezels which allowed Dell to cram the 13.3-inch display into an extremely compact frame. The screen itself, a Full-HD marvel which is sharp, colorful, and accurate. You need good inputs if you are going to be typing around all day and probably night, and while the XPS’ keyboard is impressive, the touchpad is a major highlight. It is expansive and highly responsive; probably only second to the great Macbook touchpad. With its Intel Skylake processor, the XPS 13 runs rings around normal day tasks, and the 8GB RAM will not starve your programs when running many apps at the same time. However, it will struggle running intensive games on the integrated graphics. Finally, with its large 56 watt-hour battery the XPS 13 has enough juice to run a full day and then some; truly epic endurance.

Pros

  • Skylake processor and GPU
  • Battery life
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • Slight fan noise under load
  • No HDMI port
  • Hard to upgrade
  • Limited storage space

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 2.8 lbs

Summary

The Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV offers great performance in a light and compact design.

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch
$794.78
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:45 UTC) Details

Lenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUS

Lenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUS
The Lenovo ThinkPad T460 might not be the lightest or most compact laptop ever, but it makes up for it with increased functionality and epic endurance. The ThinkPad line has been known for its stellar keyboards, and the T460 is no exception. In addition, the large touchpad is smooth and responsive, and the TrackPoint makes an appearance for those who prefer to control the cursor this way. The 14-inch, Full-HD display is not very colorful, but it is sharp and provides ample multitasking estate. At its core, an Intel Skylake i7 6600 is backed by 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. What this means is that whatever your major is, the T460 is more than capable of handling any tasks you throw at it. All of these parts are low power as well and are partly responsible for the ThinkPad’s outstanding 13-hour battery life. This makes the T460 ideal for long school days where you may not have the opportunity to plug in. Also, the device is well manufactured with a high build quality; it will easily survive harsh school environments.

Pros

  • Windows Professional
  • Skylake processor
  • SSD
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • New Docking Connector
  • No optical drive
  • No VGA
  • No USB 3.1 Type-C

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • 18 hours battery life
  • 3.79 lbs

Summary

The Lenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUS offers great reliability and performance for users who are constantly on the go.

Lenovo ThinkPad T460 20FN002VUS 14-inch
$929.00$739.99
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(as of 09-03-2018 05:44 UTC) Details

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch


If the display is important to you above all else, the ASUS F555LA-AB31 could be the machine for you. It includes a 15.6-inch matte screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, a rarity at its price point. An Intel Core i3 is at the heart of this little gem and although the included 4GB of RAM is a little low making multitasking a little more difficult in some instances. One nice feature is that this model comes with Windows 10 pre-installed, so you don’t have to spend time upgrading it after you unbox it. While gaming can be done on some older games, the Intel HD 5500 graphics perform pretty well, although don’t expect it to power modern games at the highest frame rates. It is perfect, however, for higher end apps that need a little extra in the video department. While this won’t win any races, it gives you plenty of power for your money and will make a great addition for any college student in need of a machine to assist them with their learning.

Pros

  • Full-HD Screen
  • Great price
  • Good sound

Cons

  • Slight screen bleed
  • Hard drive not easy to replace
  • Dim display

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 5500 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.6 lbs

Summary

At this price you are getting a great performing Windows 10 laptop with a FHD screen and fast wireless connectivity. Only slight screen bleed at the bottom and basic users will struggle to upgrade the hard drive.

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch
$499.99$396.78
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(as of 09-03-2018 05:02 UTC) Details


Best Laptops For History Students & Law Students & Philosophy Students – Runners-Up

HP Chromebook 14 14-inch

HP Chromebook 14 14-inch laptop
Chromebooks are slowly changing the landscape of the education world as they allow more and more students access to the vital online information that they will need for their degrees. The HP Chromebook 14 14-inch might not be a fancy all-metal laptop like the MacBook range, but it does offer amazing value for your money. It will easily allow you to research topics for your term papers and write those all-important essays. The battery life is also very impressive and some users have claimed to easily get 8 hours while browsing the web or watching videos online. But your mileage may vary, and you could even get more out of the battery. While Chrome OS is a great option for students, it does have its limitations and there is no official version of Microsoft Office. Luckily there is Microsoft Office Online, though it is not as simple as launching an app. If not having Microsoft Office is not a deal breaker, then you will feel just at home with Chrome OS. As an added benefit, you will no longer need to worry about those dreaded viruses and those badly timed Windows 10 updates. The display has also received some criticism for its brightness and seems to be slightly dimmer than competing Chromebooks. But, this will only really be an issue if you intend on working in sunny areas. Another criticism is the fact that Chromebooks feature smaller storage drives, though they are designed to work in conjunction with Google’s online cloud storage option. You might also want to look at a good external storage drive so that you can access all of your important documents even if you don’t have an Internet connection.

Pros

  • Attractive price
  • Good build quality
  • Large trackpad
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Limited applications
  • Dimm display
  • Small amount of physical storage

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9.25 hours battery life
  • 3.4 lbs

Summary

The HP Chromebook 14 offers great value for money, however, Chrome OS offers fewer applications and the display is slightly dim.

HP Chromebook 14 14-inch
$259.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:45 UTC) Details

ASUS EeeBook E402SA 14-inch

ASUS EeeBook E402SA 14-inch
Attending college is not a cheap endeavor and for many students this means having the latest Ultrabook or MacBook is not within their budget. Luckily there are companies out there such as ASUS who offer great affordable laptops that will allow you to complete your college assignments on your very own laptop. This small and compact laptop will easily fit into your backpack while you move between classes and despite its smaller size, it still manages to offer a good selection of ports. The new and improved full size chiclet keyboard will make typing a breeze, though its lack of a number pad make it less of an attractive option for Accounting or Business majors. The ASUS EeeBook E402SA has even been upgraded by Computer Upgrade King (CUK) with a much faster Hybrid storage drive. This type of drive bridges the gap between faster Windows startup times and larger amounts of storage space. With 1TB of storage space you will easily be able to store all of your college assignments and also your media files for that much needed down time while studying. The Intel Celeron N3060 and 4GB of memory will handle basic tasks with ease, however it won’t be winning any performance awards anytime soon, and for the price we can hardly expect it to be a powerful photo and video editing PC. The ASUS EeeBook E402SA offers average battery life and this will mean that you will need to keep your charging cable close at hand to make sure that you can keep this great little laptop juiced up at all times.

Pros

  • Large Hybrid storage drive
  • Good keyboard
  • Compact size
  • Great price

Cons

  • Not for power users
  • Average battery life
  • No Full-HD display

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 3 lbs

Summary

The ASUS EeeBook E402SA’s compact size make it great for carrying around campus with you and its attractive price make it ideal for those students on a tighter budget.

ASUS EeeBook E402SA 14-inch
$329.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 15:19 UTC) Details

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 11.6-inch

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0
If you spend most of your daily time working online and wouldn’t mind a browser based OS on your laptop, then the Acer CB5-311-T9B0 Chromebook is another top choice. The excellent battery life will mean that you will be able to sit in lectures the entire day and not have to worry about your laptop dying on you. Powered by an NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core processor and 2GB of RAM, this Chromebook will cope with most basic college tasks with ease. But more intensive apps will struggle a bit with only 2GB of memory installed. But the biggest limiting factor of most Chromebooks are the small physical storage space that they offer. With only 16GB of storage space, users will have to look at an external storage drive for their larger college assignments and for their multimedia files. Google does offer 200GB of Cloud based storage for 2 years, but this will require a connection to the internet at all times. While there are a host of Windows 10 apps on the market, Chrome OS is a lot more limited with app offerings. But for basic college tasks, there are more than enough apps to choose from. But if this does not bother you that much then the Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 is a great choice for its excellent battery life and its portable size.

Pros

  • Tegra K1 processor
  • Full HD screen
  • Long battery life
  • Large comfy keyboard

Cons

  • Poor audio

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 11 hours battery life
  • 3.31 lbs

Summary

With a price tag as attractive as this it's very easy to overlook the poor sound quality on this stylish, fast and portable Chromebook.

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 13.3-inch
$234.99
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(as of 19-05-2017 05:21 UTC) Details

Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US 11.6-inch

Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US 11.6-inch
Although the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a little pricier than other options out there, with it you get a premium designed Chromebook along with specs that many would consider a little more “higher end” than what you normally find on Chromebooks. It features a stylish lightweight design and a 1366 x 768 resolution Anti-Glare display of modest picture quality. With the 11 hour battery life, you can expect the device to last all day between charges even if you use it during class. If you are looking for the stability and ease of use in Chrome OS, but with a few features that are a little more premium than others, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is definitely worth a second look.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Anti-Glare display
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Less competitive price
  • No Full-HD display
  • 16GB of Storage

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics (Braswell) Shared [View Framerates]
  • 4GB DDR3L RAM
  • 16GB SSD
  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 11 hours battery life
  • 2.54 lbs

Summary

Following the success of the Chrome book 2, the Chromebook 3 offers better performance and almost 30% better battery life for Chrome OS users on the go.

Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US 11.6-inch
$179.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:49 UTC) Details

HP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inch

HP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inch
Netbooks such as the HP Stream 14 have become hugely popular, and make great college laptops due to their compact designs. The device is made from both metal and plastic, reaching a nice compromise between strength and portability. However, the case gives in to pressure around the keyboard and touchpad. This is especially evident while typing on the chiclet keyboard, which has shallow travel. The touchpad, on the other hand, is large and sensitive making it easy to use multi-touch gestures. The 14-inch display is pretty basic, with a 1366 x 768p resolution. It is also a TN panel, meaning that brightness and viewing angles are not its strongest suits. Most netbooks are designed with office use in mind. As such the Stream 14’s modest specs are ideal for the classroom environment. There is no hint of lag during web browsing, video playback, or when running office applications. However, the 32GB flash memory will leave you starved for storage space, and you might want to invest in additional storage. With meager power requirements, the low power parts allow the netbook to squeeze out over 6 hours of continuous use from its small battery. This adds its appeal as a carry-around laptop and combined with the budget price, makes the HP Stream 14 an excellent on-campus device

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • 1TB of OneDrive storage
  • Two USB 3.1 Type-A ports
  • Good battery life
  • Price

Cons

  • Limited offline storage space
  • Underpowered for power users
  • No optical drive

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell) Shared [View Framerates]
  • 4GB DDR3L RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.75 hours battery life
  • 3.17 lbs

Summary

The HP Stream 14-ax010nr is a portable budget friendly laptop that performs great when it comes to basic tasks, but it is not recommended for power users.

HP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inch
$199.99
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:40 UTC) Details


Best Laptops For Science Students & Medical Students – Runners-Up

ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 15.6-inch

ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 15.6-inch
While the ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 is slightly more expensive than some of the other 2-in-1 laptops in our college guide, it does offer a whole lot more for its price. The sleek and light aluminum design is not just stylish and beautiful it also houses some powerful hardware. Powered by a 6th generation Intel i5-6200U processor and 12GB of RAM, the ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 will cope with basic college tasks with ease. The hardware is even powerful enough to comfortably run apps such as Photoshop and Illustrator for those design students. The 5400rpm mechanical drive offers 1TB of storage space, which is ample space for college assignments and multimedia files. For users who are after better performance, we recommend upgrading to a solid state drive to speed up those boot and app loading times. The brilliant Full-HD touchscreen display is very responsive and can easily be folded 180 degrees so that the ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 can be used as a tablet. The main chassis can also be used as a kickstand so that you can comfortably watch your favorite YouTube clips and Netflix series. If you enjoy a bit of casual gaming between assignments, then the Intel HD Graphics 520 will offer decent frame rates for games such as Counter Strike Go and Diablo III. The backlit keyboard allows students to comfortable work into the late hours of the evening or in dimly lit areas without missing a key.

Pros

  • Backlit keyboard
  • USB Type-C
  • 12GB of RAM
  • 3x USB 3.0 ports

Cons

  • No Ethernet
  • No optical drive
  • Weird power and volume button placement

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.07 lbs

Summary

The Asus Q504UA-BBI5T12’s sleek design, powerful hardware and good battery life make it a great choice for college students who want that little bit extra.

ASUS Q504UA-BBI5T12 15.6-inch
$589.71
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(as of 18-10-2018 14:43 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS-51 13.3-Inch

ASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS-51 13.3-Inch
In the recent past, Asus’ ZenBook series has been on a roll. The ZenBook UX305CA raced to the top of the mid-range ultrabooks’ list earlier this year, and while our small complaint with it was its modest performance, the new ZenBook UX305UA addresses our concerns full-on, with a more powerful 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor. Yet despite having near-similar names, the UX305UA’s faster CPU is not the only difference between the two. At first glance, it is designed more simply and less flashy, with a conservative blend of metal and plastic that gives it a solid, but old-school look. The ZenBook UX305UA has also grown in both thickness and weight, but this means you get a larger battery and a more effective cooling system to offset CPU throttling on heavy usage. Being a 1080p IPS Full-HD panel, the display is a beauty to look at. Colors are vivid and picture quality is very good for both photo and video viewing. The ZenBook UX305UA also gets sufficiently bright in the outdoors, and thanks to the non-glossy screen, reflections are not really a problem. Hidden underneath the laptop is a pair of speakers, which are easily muffled by the surface it’s placed on, but when unobstructed produce strong sound and decent bass. As mentioned, this new ZenBook comes with an Intel Core i5-6200U CPU, and coupled with a generous 8GB of RAM, the device performs very well in everyday tasks. Even light to moderate gaming is allowed, and a snappy 256GB SSD plays an important part in the laptop’s fast and reliable performance. Even more reliable is the battery, which on normal use labors for a good 10 hours before drying out.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Thin and light SSD
  • Intel Skylake processor
  • Full-HD matte display

Cons

  • RAM cannot be upgraded
  • No full size HDMI port
  • No backlit keyboard

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.86 lbs

Summary

The ASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS51 offers users a thin and light laptop that can easily be carried on a daily basis. But the RAM cannot be upgraded and you will have to settle for the installed 8GB of memory.

ASUS ZenBook UX305UA AS51 13.3-Inch
$875.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 14:40 UTC) Details

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch
The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 is a sleek and compact 13.3-inch laptop that is perfect for the college environment. The aluminum construction is rugged enough to withstand anything that the business world can throw at it and is perfect for the user constantly on the go. To keep up with the latest applications, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 features a seventh generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor and 8GB of RAM, making it suitable for any student looking to run more demanding programs. While the RAM cannot be upgraded, it will be more than enough to run word processing applications and memory intensive browsers such as Chrome. ASUS understands that security is important in the business world, which is why the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 features a TPM chip to encrypt your hardware. From the software side, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 features a fingerprint reader built into the trackpad, this technology has been developed for the Smartphone market and will allow you to securely and easily log into Windows 10. The glass-covered trackpad will allow the use of smart gestures, which will simulate many of the Windows 10 touchscreen functions. The long battery life will allow you to easily work on the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 through long meetings, or even on long haul flights. While it does feature a superfast next generation USB 3.1 Type-C port, it only features two full size USB ports and you do not get an Ethernet (LAN) port for offices without WiFi. If you intend on hooking up the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 to a projector or a larger monitor, then you will have to use an adapter as this laptop only features a microHDMI port. You might want to consider a good USB 3.1 Type-C dock to extend your USB ports and to give you a full size HDMI port or even a VGA port.

Pros

  • Aluminum construction
  • Compact design
  • 7th Generation processor
  • Fast SSD
  • Fingerprint reader

Cons

  • No Ethernet or optical drive
  • Non-upgradeable memory
  • microHDMI
  • Only two USB ports

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 2.6 lbs

Summary

The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 is a great laptop for the working professional and with its great battery life it is perfect for the user who is constantly on the go.

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch
$759.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-10-2018 14:36 UTC) Details

ASUS UX360CA-AH51T 13.3-inch

ASUS UX360CA-AH51T 13.3-inch
When attending lectures, a laptop with great battery life makes all the difference. Having your laptop die halfway through will mean either finding a socket to plug it in or going back to the old ways of pen and paper. However, the ASUS UX360CA-AH51T offers great battery life off of a single charge and will easily last through a day of taking those all-important notes for your next big midterm. Not only does it offer great battery life, the ASUS UX360CA-AH51T is also super thin and very light, making it easier to carry between classes. The touchscreen display can even be folded 360 degrees backwards to turn this ultrabook into a Windows 10 tablet. This will allow you to even scribble down notes and ideas during lectures and save them directly onto your storage drive. To store all of your college work and personal files, the ASUS UX360CA-AH51T features a superfast 512GB solid state drive. While the Intel i5-7Y54 processor is slightly less powerful than most of the latest seventh generation Intel i5 processors, it will still allow you to easily run everyday tasks. However, more intensive applications will strain this processor, leaving the whole laptop feeling sluggish. Due to the fact that the processor has been designed for passively cooled laptops and for tablets, it does not require a fan. This means that there will never be a noisy fan starting up while you concentrate on your lecturer or while studying in the library. While it only features two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, you can connect a next generation dock to the lightning fast USB 3.1 Type-C port. This will allow you to extend your ports and most docks even feature a full size HDMI port for that extra screen while working on a paper.

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Battery life
  • Large SSD
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Great touchscreen display

Cons

  • Slightly underpowered i5 processor
  • Only two USB ports
  • microHDMI port
  • Some ASUS bloatware

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 3.0 lbs

Summary

The ASUS UX360CA-AH51T is a light and compact ultrabook that offers great battery life and a large SSD. However, the processor will struggle with more intensive applications and there is no full size HDMI port.

ASUS UX360CA-AH51T 13.3-inch
$759.00
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from Newegg.com
(as of 05-06-2017 02:36 UTC) Details


Conclusion

That rounds out our list of laptops perfect for college students. We are confident that you will find the best laptop for the student in your life right here. If you can’t afford a laptop right now you’ll glad to know that many colleges also offer free laptops to help their students get started. Of course, if you would prefer to do more research, you could also visit our other guides including our best laptops under $500 and best cheap laptops Under $400 guides. Also, if you prefer something a little more high end, we’d suggest taking a look at our best gaming laptops under $1000 and best high end laptop guides.

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